Table of Contents
Planning for your network
What are networks?
Groups can be linked together into a federated hierarchy called a network. Groups within a network share data according to their place in the hierarchy. Networks are perfect for federated organizations, organizations with local chapters, field campaigns, and similar structures. More here.
What to think about before you create your network
A Networks partnership includes all the features included in our standard Movement partnership, plus the ability to create a federated structure of parent/child groups. The minimum monthly payment for Networks is $100/month. A Networks partnership costs $2/thousand emails, rather than $1/thousand emails in our standard Movement partnership. The minimum suggested email volume for an organization applying for the Networks partnership is 50,000 emails per month. More here.
Rules of a Network
While Networks can be flexible, there’s a few rules to keep in mind before you set up your network:
- Data flows up, not out. This means that data from child groups flow up to the parent groups. So if I have a national group, and someone gives the Texas group their phone number, the activists’ data including phone number will flow up to the national group. However, the data won’t go to the New York group. This can be adjusted using syndication (read on).
- There is one API key per group. The API knows nothing of networks, meaning each group, parent or child, has their own API key. An important note for any Salesforce users — because you can only sync a Salesforce instance once, be strategic about which group you choose to sync to Salesforce (most organizations choose the parent group).
- Activists are subscribed up the network, but each subscription status is separate. This means that when I subscribe to the Texas group's emails and mobile messages, I’m also automatically subscribed to the national group's emails and mobile messages. But I can unsubscribe from the national group and remain subscribed to the Texas group and vice versa. You can turn this setting off for mobile list subscription status on the 'settings' tab of your child groups.
- Permissions flow down the network. As an administrator of a parent group, you are also an administrator of any child groups below it. But this means that whatever permissions you have in the highest tier parent group will be applied to all the child groups. So if you have the activists permission but not the contributions permission, that will be applied to all child groups in the network.
So you decided to get a network — now you need to start thinking about how you want to structure your parent child groups. Ask yourself:
- Is your organization a federated structure?
- Is your organization centralized? Decentralized?
- What kind of chapters/locals/child groups does your organization have?
With these pieces in mind, draw yourself a hierarchical map of the organization. You’ll use this to structure your network, so make sure it’s reflects your organization. You can have as many hierarchy levels as you’d like.
For the purpose of this guide, let’s say we have a national group called Progressive Action Now. We have state groups and local chapters below that.
There’s two main structures that people use to structure their networks:
Centralized: Parent - Child - Grandchild
This structure is best for centralized federated groups, where the national organization has close ties to the state and local groups. This network allows all data from the local and state groups to flow directly up to the national group. The national organization is able to provide training and support to the child groups. The national organization can enforce the use of naming conventions of questions, custom fields, and tags so that the data stays clean.
Decentralized: Dummy Parent - Child - Child
This structure is best for decentralized groups, where the state and local groups have more autonomy. It is not as common as the centralized structure mentioned earlier. The national organization does not have much contact with the state and local groups and doesn’t have capacity to enforce standardized naming conventions of questions, tags, and custom fields.
In this structure, the data from the local and state groups flows up the a dummy group. The dummy group does not send emails or sponsor actions, the national child group is used for that. This allows the national organization to keep their data separate and clean, so a local group’s questions like ‘what will you bring to the event this Saturday?’ will not flow to their group.
Not sure which structure is best for you? Contact us at email@example.com
Creating your network
Adding groups to the network
Once you’ve made your partnership contribution and our team has set up your network, you’ll be able to add child groups to your network. The group link you sent us is the top tier parent group — all your child groups will go below it.
To create a child group, go to the Actions tab of the Start Organizing menu and select Groups. Enter a title and description for your child group (and a zip code if you want). Next, below the description box you’ll see a dropdown menu. Choose the parent group for this child group. Repeat this for as many child groups you have planned in your network structure. More here.
Custom terms and conditions
Now it’s time to think about a custom terms and conditions page. You can have every administrator in your network be forced to agree to the network terms and conditions before they can manage a group in your network. You can also collect additional data on that administrator through questions — so you could get their phone number, for example.
If you’d like to set up a custom terms and conditions page for your network, format your terms and conditions (and questions, if applicable) in HTML and email it to us. We’ll get it set up for you. More here.
Setting up your child groups
Managing the Networks tab and setting permissions
Once you’ve added child groups, you can navigate to the ‘Networks’ tab on your group manage page and view a list of your child groups (you can click the grey arrows to the left of the group name to expand the list of groups). Here, you can click to manage each child group. As an administrator of the parent group, you’ll have access to fully manage the child groups.
You can also set permissions for the child groups by clicking the red ‘Permissions’ button. More here.
Adding administrators and setting permissions
Now that you've created your group, use the Administrators tab on the group manage page to add other organizers and administrators and set their permissions. Administrator permissions flow from the top down, which means if you have the 'launch email' permission in the National group, you will have that permission for all of the state and city groups as well.
Using a ladder to subscribe activists to child groups
You'll want an automatic way to sort your activists into the appropriate child group. Ladders is a great way to do this. Create the ladder in the top-tier group (since people are automatically subscribed up the network, it will catch all the activists). After someone subscribes, you can sort them into the appropriate child group. Here's some examples on how to do that based on someone's location, proximity to a zip/postal code, or based on tags.
Creating collections to group your child groups
Collections are ad-hoc lists of child groups in your network, allowing you to easily select them as a group rather than having to choose them one by one in email and report targeting. This is helpful if you send emails to people based on geographic region or some other grouping.
To create a collection, go to the Details tab of the Start Organizing menu and select Collections. More here.
Managing syndication, data sharing, and sending to children
The top rule of a network is that data flows up, not out. However, other items (and some data) can flow down through syndication. Syndication allows a parent group to send actions, emails, wrappers, custom fields, and tags to its child groups. This lets you create template actions, wrappers, and data, which keeps your data clean throughout the network.
Locking network questions and custom fields
You can choose to lock down custom field and question creation in your network and limit the ability to create new custom fields and questions to certain administrators. If you choose to lock down custom fields, administrators in child groups can still create their own questions for specific actions that link to action only fields. When using an action only field, data is stored in the action itself, not the activist record. This means data from these fields will not flow to the parent group. This allows child groups to create ad hoc questions necessary for their actions, but does not create custom fields at the child or parent level that may clutter data. Click here to read more about action only fields.
Syndicating actions and emails
Syndicating actions allows the parent group to create a template of an action, and send it to child groups. You can do this by going to your top tier parent group manage page and clicking Syndication. From there, you'll be able to select which groups should receive the syndication package, and what should be included in the syndication package (emails and actions you've already created). The groups that receive your syndication package will be able to copy that action to their group and edit it how they want. For example, instead of the title of the form being 'Generic State Sign Up Form' the child group could change it to 'Sign up for Progressive Action Now in Texas'. More on syndication here.
Sending email wrappers and page wrappers to child groups
You can duplicate email wrappers and layouts and page wrappers to child groups, which makes the wrappers available for them to use. On your email wrappers or page wrappers page, click the Duplicate button. From there, you'll be able to choose which child groups you want to duplicate the wrappers to. The child groups will then see the wrapper appear in their own list of wrappers.
If you want to send an email or page wrapper to all child groups, you can easily do this by clicking the Send button. Note that if you do this, your child groups will not be able to edit the wrapper on their end. However, any changes made in the parent group will automatically apply to the child groups. To allow your child groups to personalize the wrapper, you can include a Group Name clip to add the local group name whenever the wrapper is used by a child group. Click here for more on clips.
Syndicating core fields
Normally, core fields (first name, last name, email address, mobile number, street, city, state, zip/postal code, country, and language) flow up from child groups to the parent group. But they can be syndicated. When you turn on syndication to child groups, if the value of one of these fields changes on this group or any child group, they all will receive the updated value. Otherwise, data will flow up the network from child to parent as normal. You can turn this on or off on the 'Questions and Custom Fields' page. More here.
Sending questions to children
This allows you to use the same questions throughout the network, keeping your data more organized. This is helpful if you have a question for something like employer or occupation. This will keep the data in the same custom field for all groups in the network.
Sending custom fields to children
By default, custom field data flows up from the child group to the parent group. But you can syndicate custom fields, which will share custom field data throughout the network. This means that if someone's custom field gets updated in one group — whether it's a parent or child — the custom field gets updated throughout the network. This is helpful for custom fields like employer or occupation. You can send custom fields to children on the 'questions and custom fields' page.
Sending tags to children
You can send tags to child groups to use. Child groups won't be able to edit a tag shared with them, but they can use that tag on their pages. Syndicating tags like this also syndicates the value of each tag, so if a tag is applied to an activist anywhere from parent to child, that activist will show up as having been tagged on every group. This is different from the normal flow of data in a network, where tags on activists would flow up from children to parents but not the other way.
Managing your network
Downloading all transactions for the network
You can download all the transactions from groups in the network on the Statistics tab of your group manage page. More here.
Downloading the monthly email report
On the 'network' tab of your group manage page, you can download an email report. The report spreadsheet contains a row for the current group plus any child groups in the network, a link to their manage page, a count of the size of their subscribed email list (activists who are subscribed to receive email at that time), and a cumulative count of the number of activists who were sent email that month, non-deduplicated. More here.
Downloading the administrator report
The administrator report, which you can access from the 'network' tab of your group, will contain a list of all administrators and organizers for that group and its children, including the administrator's first and last name, email address, and list of groups they are an administrator or organizer on. More here.
Removing a group from the network
Edit the group, and below the description box, select no parent group. This will remove the group from the network and remove partner permissions, settings, and email/mobile message sending permissions. If the group would like these to be re-enabled, they need to set up their own partnership.
That's it! You're now an expert in networks. If you have any further questions, check out our getting started guide for new partners which walks through the migration process for groups. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.