Summary Report: East Bay DSA Mobilizer Pilot Program, Sep. 2017–Jan. 2018

January 17, 2017 05:30


The mobilizer pilot, approved in September 2017 by the East Bay DSA Local Council (LC), directed the Internal Organizing Committee (IOC) to pursue a three-month mobilizer program and an accompanying evaluation. This is a summary of evaluation findings. The pilot began in late Sep. 2017. Although the initial evaluation plan involved interviewing cohort members and control groups, this plan was changed due to limited capacity for the head mobilizer assigned to cutting lists. This evaluation is principally based off of survey responses from mobilizers in late December, reports from head mobilizers on regular check-in calls, and feedback from mobilizers at a December program meeting.

Recruitment, Retention, and Engagement

Head Mobilizers

  • Each head mobilizer was responsible for organizing four mobilizers. Core responsibilities included 
  1. Weekly contact with their mobilizers
  2. 1:1 meetings with each of their mobilizers over the course of the program
  3. Consistent participation in program coordination meetings and tasks.
  • Three head mobilizers participated in this phase. All head mobilizers continued working through the completion of the program.
  • Two out of three head mobilizers consistently achieved all core expectations.
  • For the proposed Phase Two, one head mobilizer is the proposed program leader, and two head mobilizers are not continuing.


  • Each mobilizer had an assigned cohort of 12 members. Their core responsibilities were weekly contact with each cohort member, 1:1s with each over the course of the program, tracking their interactions, and maintaining reliable contact with their head mobilizer.
  • Head mobilizers identified 14 mobilizers candidates and successfully recruited 12.
  • 12 mobilizers began; 9 of 12 mobilizers kept working through completion of the phase.
  • By early November, three mobilizers had decided to step back from the program, claiming they were overcommitted and unable to fulfill the responsibilities.
  • Four out of the nine completing mobilizers were responsive and active on a weekly basis. The remaining five mobilizers were responsive and active during at least two-thirds of weeks during the pilot.
  • Four pilot mobilizers are confirmed to become head mobilizers in the proposed next round.
  • With guidance from program leaders, one mobilizer took on creating a weekly mobilizer digest email, with a list of upcoming events for mobilizers to direct their cohorts towards.

Cohort Members

  • The program assigned 12 members each to 12 cohorts, for 144 cohort members total.
  • On average, about 45 percent of cohort members were responsive to outreach from mobilizers (across four attempts, including call, text, and email). This is similar to the response rate of roughly half reported by NYC DSA mobilizer program on a Sep. 2017 call with their coordinators. Between cohorts, rates varied as widely as 25–70 percent.
  • On average, about 30 percent of cohort members met for 1:1s with their mobilizers.
  • According to feedback from mobilizers, in all but one cohort, one to two cohort members each became more actively involved in East Bay DSA as a result of the program. Five mobilizers identified eight new potential mobilizers in their cohorts.

Key Positive Feedback from Mobilizers

  • Head mobilizer check-ins and the weekly digest email provided the most useful support.
  • Building closer relationships with cohort members was a meaningful, rewarding experience for almost all mobilizers and helped develop their organizing skills and goals.

Key Suggestions for Improvement from Mobilizers

  • Setting clearer expectations for the usual level of responsiveness
  • Providing more suggestions on outreach language to cohort members.
  • Offering more training and practice with feedback for 1:1s and making asks.
  • Communicating central program decisions more clearly to the mobilizers.
  • Additional calls and meetings for mobilizers to share approaches, reflect, and collaborate.

Next Steps

The pilot proposal passed at the August LC meeting stated that

"the Local Council empowers the IOC to scale up the member mobilizers after the pilot phase. Before doing so, the IOC will share a report with the LC within a month of the end of the pilot program, detailing strengths, weaknesses, and particular issues that the IOC will address in the full implementation phase."

Phase Two of the mobilizers program will begin at the mobilizer training on January 21, 2018, with the following parameters and changes.

  • Scale: 4 head mobilizers and 12-16 Mobilizers, 16 members in each cohort
  • Time Frame: 4 months from January 2017 through May 2017
  • Leadership and Accountability: Appointed internal organizer Keith B. will assume the role of mobilizer coordinator and report program progress to elected internal organizer Hannah K. every other week. The mobilizer coordinator will hold weekly calls with all head mobilizers.
  • Evaluation: The mobilizer coordinator will administer an online survey to all cohort members and a control group at the start and the end of the four-month program.
  • Mobilizer Responsibilities:
  • Mobilizers will no longer be asked to plan their own social events for their cohort members. Instead they will be encouraged to meet up with their whole cohort at official East Bay DSA events.
  • In addition to their responsibilities of checking in with their head mobilizer once a week, contacting each cohort member once a week, and doing a 1:1 with as many cohort members as possible within the first month of the program, mobilizers will be required to attend all-mobilizer calls or meet-ups once per month.