Problem it tries to solve:
How do I post my events online and recruit volunteers via email?
A local campaign puts a volunteer form on their website and potential volunteers sign up to help the campaign.
The online interface for events is not as user friendly or intuitive as other platforms on the market.
Does it sync to NGP VAN?
Yes – it is VAN!
“We used this before switching to Mobilize. Pros: It’s free! We were a low budget team so it was nice for us to be able to get an online events tool up and running relatively easily. Cons: Not user friendly. If you make edits to events it changes the URL, so we struggled with a lot of dead links.”
The Basics: The VAN Online Suite has 3 main components to it: an events platform that lets users post events online and get sign up data put in VAN automatically, automated confirmation emails, and the ability to automatically put people’s social media handles in their MyCampaign profile.
Online Events: An organizer makes an event in VAN, clicks “Publish to website” and the event appears on the campaign’s website.
Automated Confirmation Emails: If a volunteer is scheduled for an event and has a valid email address in VAN, a toggle can be checked for them to receive confirmation emails.
Social Matching: When turned on, VAN will automatically search for a profile’s social handles. Typically this has a 40% match rate.
It’s all fully integrated with VAN. Because this is a new suite offered through VAN, there are no problems with the VAN sync and it requires no API set up.
It’s organizer-facing. All of these tools are embedded in an organizer’s VAN account so they don’t need to learn a new system or remember an extra login.
It’s cheap. The events plus email platform only costs an extra $425 per month.
The social media matching uses a large swath of platforms. This functionality can search for a person’s profile on dozens of social media platforms.
The events interface is not very user-friendly. While the data sync works well, it is difficult for volunteers to engage with the sign up pages themselves.
The social media matching can take time. After set up, it can take up to 4 weeks for the initial batch of MyCampaign profiles to match.
There is a one time setup fee of $300 and then $425 per month.
Since this suite is a part of VAN, all data automatically goes into and is read out from VAN.
Who we would recommend this tool to:
Programs with small digital teams. This software requires very little set up or additional training, so it’s ideal for programs that don’t have a digital team to handle more robust tools.
Programs with tight budgets. Although the events platform is far from optimal, it is extremely cheap. If you don’t have a large tools budget, this might be a good platform to look into.
Who we wouldn’t recommend this tool to:
Large organizing programs. The events platform is not quite built out enough to accommodate hundreds of organizer events at different locations in a digestible format.
Programs with large digital teams/budgets. There is no replacement for a good events platform. While this could get the job done, if you have the capacity/budget for a bigger one, you should get it.