Action Network Help & FAQs

Additional sponsorship modes and data sharing

Additional sponsors will receive data on activists who take action, including being subscribed to their list and receiving data like custom fields, based on rules that depend on which mode is being used for the action. Activists who are shared in this way will show up on those groups' lists, just like any other activist, and can be emailed, downloaded via reports, and the like.

Two modes for data sharing are available -- "Share All" and "Proportional" -- and the mode can be changed by admins of the original sponsoring group by flipping the "Mode" toggle switch between the two options in the "Sponsors" tab of the action. "Share All" is the default mode.

No matter which mode is used, the original sponsoring group receives all data on all activists who take action. The sharing mode only applies to data sharing among the additional sponsoring groups.


Share All Mode

If the action is set to "Share All" in the mode toggle, every additional sponsor will receive data from any activist who takes action, just as if they had created and sponsored the action originally themselves, up to their limit, if any. (See here for more on limits.) This includes activists being subscribed to their list, tags, custom fields, and the like. Additional sponsors who join the action later on will only receive data from those who take action after they have joined.

If an activist unchecks the subscribe box when taking action, they will be shared unsubscribed with all sponsors, as normally occurs when an activist takes action in this way.

Note: Actions submitted over the API will not be shared with additional sponsors.


Proportional Mode

If the action is set to "Proportional" in the mode toggle, the proportional algorithm will run. This algorithm is complex and is explained next in detail, but the overall goal of the algorithm is to give each group the same number of new activists as the number of activists they brought in, as measured by activists taking action with their referrer code. So if one group manages to get 10 activists to take action by using their referrer code, the proportional algorithm will attempt to give them 10 additional activists who are new to their list from the pool of other activists who took the action and didn't use that group's referrer code. In this way, groups that bring in more activists to the action get more new activists out of it.

The proportional algorithm relies on counting the number of activists each group has brought in to the action by using their referrer code. A link to this action with a group's referrer code attached can be copied from the link icon next to the group's name in the "Sponsors" tab.

Note: Groups must use their referrer code in order to receive additional activists from the proportional algorithm. If they do not use the exact referrer code we give them, their contributions will not be counted. Make sure groups participating in your action understand this and know how to use their referrer codes correctly.

For each activist who takes action using a group's referrer code that group will see their "Referrer" statistic increase, and internally we will remember that this group is owed one activist in return for their contribution. Referrer and owed counts are deduplicated by activist and group, so if the same person takes action twice with one group's referrer code, they will only be counted once for what that group is owed. However, if the same activist takes action with two groups' referrer codes, each group will be owed one activist as a result.

Every hour, the proportional algorithm will run and attempt to give each group the number of new activists to their list equal to the number that they are owed. These new activists are taken from the general pool of activists who've taken action, either with other group's referrer codes or without referrer codes at all, who are also not currently subscribed to the group who is owed's list. If suitable activists are found and the group is under their limit (see here for more on limits), the new activists will be subscribed to that group's list, with all the data from the subscription like custom fields and tags coming along with. That group's internal owed count will be reduced by the number that were shared in this way, and their "Shared" statistic in the statistics section increased by the same number, to document how many were shared in this way.

For example, if one group has collected 10 activists with its referrer code, it will now be owed 10 additional new activists. When the proportional algorithm runs, it will examine all of the other activists who've taken the action and attempt to find 10 of them who are not currently subscribed to that group's list. It will then subscribe as many as it finds, up to 10, to that group's list, and decrement the number owed to that group. So if the algorithm finds 5 suitable activists, it will subscribe those 5 to that group's list and decrement the owed count to 5 instead of 10. It will also increment the "Shared" statistic to 5, to indicate 5 activists have been shared in this way.

Some additional rules apply to the proportional algorithm:

We will only share activists with up to four additional sponsors. Once an activist has been shared with up to four additional sponsors they will not be shared again, even if a sponsoring group is owed activists and that activist is new to that group's list.

We attempt to share activists who have been shared least, then move on to those who have been shared more. For example, if a group is owed one activist and there are two activists new to this group's list who have taken the action and are thus eligible to be shared, one that has been previously shared to three other groups and one that has only been shared once, then we will share the activist who has been shared once with this new group, rather than the activist with a higher number of previous shares.

Additional sponsors who join the action later on will only be eligible to receive activists from those who take action after they have joined.

If an activist unsubscribes from a group's list after they have taken action, that activist will no longer be shared with that group on that action, to make sure an activist is not resubscribed over and over again. Activists who unsubscribed before taking action may be re-added as new to that group's list to fulfill what that group is owed, however, just as if they took action on an action that group sponsored directly.

In any situation where there are more groups than available shares -- for instance, if five groups are owed one activist and one specific activist is new to all five groups -- a random algorithm will be used to determine which four of the five groups the activist will be shared with, as the limit for sharing is four groups.

If an activist unchecks the subscribe box when taking action, they will not be shared with any additional sponsors, nor will they count towards what a group is owed.

Taken together, this means it is possible -- indeed, potentially likely depending on how much overlap there is between group subscription lists -- that a group may not receive as many new activists as they are owed, if that number of activists isn't available per the rules above. However, if new activists come in to the action later, these will be shared to account for what's owed using the rules above when the algorithm runs.

Access to additional sponsors is a partner feature, available to those who make a recurring monthly donation to support our toolset. Click here to contact us to discuss a partnership.

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