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WHY WE DECIDED NOT TO USE THE AVAAZ NETWORK TO RUN OUR PETITIONS.

As we have been asked on numerous occasions by a variety of people why did we select Change.org instead of AVAAZ, we decided to share with you some background research that guided our decision.  Let us start by saying that the optimum would be for the petition to be housed in our own website – we are currently still developing our own online petition platform, but it takes time and resources.

college selection

After a long analysis of many of the available platforms online, Change.org received the highest marks in our selection criteria while AVAAZ failed to meet most of them.

Here's a quick snapshot of some articles that we took into consideration.

AVAAZ:  We felt uncomfortable by the close relationships that some of its board members have, and who some of its original funders appear to have been, but you can read more about it here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avaaz

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/nov/17/avaaz-online-activism-can-it-change-the-world

http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/avaaz

http://empirestrikesblack.com/2012/06/avaaz-empire-propaganda-mill-masquerading-as-grassroots-activism/

http://cifwatch.com/2011/10/19/presenting-the-progressive-guardian-approved-group-avaaz-%E2%80%93-astroturfing-for-hamas/

http://www.globalresearch.ca/avaaz-the-lobbyist-that-masquerades-as-online-activism/5314829

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2012/dgreenfield/avaaz-org-and-the-lefts-hall-of-mirrors/

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/09/13/welcome-to-the-brave-new-world/

http://jilliancyork.com/2012/05/29/on-avaaz/


CHANGE.ORG: We felt more comfortable with Change.org which is registered as a B Corp. You can read more about them here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Change.org

http://techcrunch.com/tag/change-org/

http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/04/change-org-merges-old-school-advocacy-with-social-media/

http://www.omidyar.com/

Some facts that you may not be aware of:

  1. If you want to really gain visibility and exposure to thousands of people on Avaaz or Change.org IT COSTS MONEY - LOTS OF IT. Yes, they will promote your campaign for a fee.
  2. If you don't have the financial resources to support a paying campaign on either of the platforms, you have to promote your campaign the old way - namely by by investing time, lots of it and some money - lots of manpower resources using a mix of social media platforms.

Although both platforms have a strong economic framework, for us, and in our opinion, the difference, between AVAAZ and Change.org is vast. Although both represent themselves as social enterprises we at ASMAA are more comfortable with Change.org’s model than with the AVAAZ one.

It was clear to us that some people does not know about Avaaz and Change.org commercial focus and are under the opinion that it is a "FREE SERVICE".

While others view the fact that both have a commercial undertone, to be something to be frowned upon, but as social enterprises both organisations rely on funds to support their social and comercial initiatives although their business model is vastly different.

The truth is that unfortunately no-one can operate yet in a world where no money at all is required to fund operations and campaigns. And both of them rely on additional external funding for survival and growth. It is the source of some of the funding and grants that Avaaz received and receives that worries us.


But at the end of the day is up to you yourself to do your research and reach your own conclusions.

Depending on the issues both platforms have merit, but in ASMAA’s case, we made the choice to stick with Change.org until such time as we have our own online petition platform due to the sensitivity of the issues that we stand-up for ... coupled with the fact that WE DO NOT HAVE the financial resources to run paid-for campaigns neither.

If you would like to debate this issue, we invite you to comment on the comment section of this article, and we will respond to each and everyone. Alternatively we invite you to e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

ASMAA’s Management

 

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