MobilizeAmerica allows organizations to configure an integration with NGP VAN / EveryAction 8. Our integration syncs events, people, and signups from a single Mobilize Organization to a single VAN Committee. Data is synced in realtime, including whenever an event is created or updated, or whenever a signup is created or updated. By default we sync just the data for the events owned by your organization, but you can also have data synced for events that your organization promotes.
In this documentation and in Mobilize we will refer to the integration as “VAN,” but the integration can be used with any application built on the VAN platform, including EveryAction 8, VoteBuilder, LAN, and NGP 8. This integration will not work with NGP 7 or EveryAction 7.
All data is synced to the committee’s MyCampaign mode — data is never synced to or from MyVoters.
All major changes to the Mobilize VAN integration (from April 2020 onwards) are listed in the VAN integration changelog.
What data is synced between Mobilize and VAN/EveryAction?
Events & Event Times
All Mobilize events owned by your dashboard will be synced to VAN as one or more Events in MyCampaign.
In Mobilize, an Event may have one or many Times across multiple days. In VAN an event must exist on only one day, so a Mobilize Event with many Times will create multiple VAN Events. If the Mobilize Event Times are on the same day, they will be grouped into a single VAN event with multiple shifts.
Although in VAN events may have multiple locations and roles, Mobilize Events only have one location and role, so all events created in VAN will have just a single location, and all signups will use just one role (as configured in your VAN settings).
Mobilize will use VAN’s find-or-create logic for locations, to pick an existing location if one is found. How VAN determines location matches is described in their API documentation.
Making changes to events
All events created by Mobilize must be edited in Mobilize, and the integration will sync updates to VAN. We do not support editing Mobilize-created events directly in VAN; any edits you make in VAN may be overwritten the next time Mobilize syncs the event.
Supporters & Volunteers
Every unique Mobilize supporter (User) will be synced as a unique Person in VAN.
A User can be created in Mobilize from signing up for an Event, filling out a Lead Form, or creating an Event within a given organization.
Mobilize Users are considered unique by email address, and also usually have a full name, phone number, and zip code. When syncing to VAN, we use VAN’s find-or-create logic to deduplicate records based on all the information we have about a user, which will merge that information into the existing VAN record if one is found. How VAN determines a match is configurable by VAN administrators as documented in their API documentation.
For every User signed up to your Event in Mobilize, we will create a VAN Signup record with the appropriate status as configured in your VAN settings.
When a User’s attendance status is updated through Mobilize (e.g., they cancel or confirm before the event, or are marked attended or no-show after the event), we will update the status in VAN.
Although in general our sync is one-way — we write data into VAN, but do not read data out — the one exception is VAN Signups created by Mobilize.
Starting two days before an event, Mobilize will read out the status of upcoming event signups in VAN around midnight every night. If a signup is marked “Cancelled” in VAN, its status will be updated in Mobilize and no reminder emails will be sent. (Read more about our automated notifications.
Mobilize will also continue to check for “Completed” and “No-Show” statuses in VAN for three days after the event, and we will update the status in Mobilize if either of those are set.
Promoted Events and Signups
You may also chose to sync the Events and Signups you are promoting through Mobilize to your VAN committee. Doing so works the same as syncing your owned Events and Signups, with the exception that Promoted Events won’t sync until they have at least one Promoted Signup from your Organization. This prevents creating a large number of potentially empty events in your VAN committee that you don’t control.
With the exception of promoting events across the firewall (see below), events and signups you promote appear in VAN the same way as events and signups you own.
VAN Codes for Promoted Events
We will create a unique VAN Code for each organization you promote, and add the Code to that organization’s events when it syncs to your VAN, so you can identify the original event owner.
Data Masking Across the Firewall
Mobilize enforces restrictions on what data can be shared between independent expenditure and coordinated-side entities. It is applied when a you promote an organization across the firewall, and it works in the following way:
For signups that you recruit to a promoted event, we will create a “masked” representation of the promoted event in your VAN and sync masked representations of the signups to that event.
The event title and details will be marked “[Redacted].” The only details that will appear on the event are the date/time and event type.
The Signup model will continue to have the first name, last name, phone number, email, and zip code of the user.
Setup and Configuration
Get an API key
To set up a new VAN integration, we will need a VAN API key, which can be requested from VAN directly. Once you have obtained an API key, go to the VAN Settings tab in your dashboard, enter it into the VAN API key field and click Connect VAN account. Once your VAN API key has been synced, you will need to configure event types, roles, and statuses (below).
Configuring Event Types, Roles, and Statuses
All events in VAN must have a VAN event type, which can only be configured in the VAN UI. Once these event types are set up, you will configure a mapping from Mobilize Event Types to VAN event types through your VAN settings page:
This will include setting the VAN role to use for attendees (and optionally hosts), as well as the statuses to use for registered, cancelled, and confirmed signups.
If you also wish to sync promoted signups, you must configure a separate set of mappings for promoted events:
Note that if you don’t configure a given event type for promoted events, signups to those events will not sync.
Finally, you may with to set up an activist code and/or survey response for the users that you sync from Mobilize. You may set a different activist code for your signups to events and your signups to your generic Lead form.
If any of your VAN event types or activist codes are not showing up, check with VAN support to make sure you’ve configured them to be accessible through the API.