Problem it tries to solve:
How do campaigns recruit for events online and not waste time on data entry? (And how do partners recruit for campaign events?)
An organizer posts events online using the Mobilize platform to recruit volunteers. RSVPs automatically sync to VAN.
MobilizeAmerica can get expensive when scaled, especially if a full organizing program is not yet up and running.
Does it sync to NGP VAN?
Yes, read and write.
The price ranges from free to $4,500/month, depending on the size of the campaign and access level.
Discounts of up to 80% off are available.
“So many pros!! We got so many shifts off this too, and in particular the promotion feature was a game changer. During GOTV we had our event feed promoted by national organizations like Daily Kos, Swing Left, OFA, etc that really boosted our profile.
Cons: GOTV event tool was difficult to keep updated and it was confusing which functions were automated and which needed to be edited. Overall the bulk editer was more helpful than hurtful though.”
“Overall [Mobilize America] is a huge asset to any field team that uses it. It brings in online sign ups and both the front end and the back end are relatively easy to use. The van sync component is an absolute life savior. The only pain point exists in creating recurring events. It’s a little more tedious in mobilize than it is in VAN, but it’s nothing significant that all the pros don’t already make up for.”
“Pros: A lot of attention has been given to event promotions, which allowed outside groups to share our events to their supporters. However, the thing I think was most useful was the event format: multi-shift and single location. This allowed supporters to see specifically where they needed to go for their event in simple terms and then decide when they would volunteer. Not to mention the simple but friendly UI design.
Cons: It’s only a platform for collecting signups, not managing the event or taking the event in broader context. This made the stats provided not very useful.
Pain Points: VAN Sync was a nightmare. Ideally we would generate the events in VAN then Mobilize would display them, but that wasn’t the case. This created a million events/shifts in VAN that were clutter and sometimes defunct and we had to do all these separate workarounds to include mobilize signups to our VAN event signups.”
The Basics: Mobilize America is an online events platform that allows campaigns to create recurring or single event pages online, host them on their website or send them out via email, and get all the sign up data back into VAN.
An organizer creates a new event in the Mobilize America dashboard, and the same event with the same shift times is created in their VAN account. The event is now both online and in VAN.
A volunteer signs up for an online event. Their contact info is put into the VAN event and they receive automatic email reminders.
All event and shift data syncs to VAN. No duplicate VAN profiles are created (Mobilize will match new volunteer sign-ups to existing profiles).
Automated email reminders and day-before text confirmations are sent to volunteers to help reduce flake rate. Additionally, SMS opt ins collected via event sign ups can be added to a campaign’s opt in list.
Volunteers can sign up for multiple shifts at once.
The platform can be used as a bridge between any partner and a campaign. Once a campaign creates an event and hosts it online, a partner can take the event, put it in its own branding, and recruit volunteers into it — with the data syncing into both organization’s CRMs.
Organizer-facing training materials exist so large and small programs can easily train and deploy the tool at scale.
There is an existing base of volunteers in the millions that use the platform for distributed actions.
The SMS functionality currently only exists as a blast text (non-peer to peer) the day before an event as a confirmation.
There are currently no custom email templates. All automatic emails follow a standard template.
It needs better feed curation. Currently, your campaign’s events feed will be a long list of events — and volunteers need to search based on their zip code.
The volunteer marketplace functionality is mainly helpful for programs that want to run distributed phone and SMS programs.
Prices range from free to around $4500 per month depending on the level of the campaign, when you sign a contract, and access level. Bulk and bundled discounts are also available.
Mobilize America can write shift data into VAN.
Mobilize America can read shift status out of VAN.
Who we would recommend this tool to:
Out of State volunteer programs. They can best leverage the combination of the volunteer marketplace and ability to sign up large numbers of people.
Programs that work with labor unions or other large partner organizations. The partner implications give the platform an outsized ability to funnel volunteers into a campaign voter contact operation.
Statewide organizing programs. Small features — such as being able to have a separate VAN name and public name, allowing organizers to create their own events, and in-depth organizer-facing training guides — allow for an easy deployment to large organizing teams.
Who we wouldn’t recommend this tool to:
Small programs. In our opinion, spending money on this type of tool is not worth it for smaller races where the organizers will know every volunteer personally.
Programs that do not use VAN. The real power in the platform is its VAN integration, and it is optimized as such. Without the integration, it’s not nearly as helpful.