Frequently Asked Questions
Imagine an America where every voter owned his or her politics, where every citizen exercised her voice, and where every candidate listened hard to your concerns. Expanding the circle of democracy and participation is the story of America. Prytany will help you write the next chapter.
Prytany is revolutionizing the world of campaign and issue advocacy finance. As a non-partisan, political fundraising and social media platform, it serves as a one stop shop for users and candidates alike. Founded by one Democrat, one Republican, and one Independent, Prytany empowers citizens to own their politics, raise their voices, and hold government accountable.
Is Prytany free to use?
For constituents, Prytany is completely free to use; candidates that enroll with Prytany, however, will pay a fee to Prytany. Also, when you use Prytany to make a contribution to a campaign and you use a credit card or debit card to make the contribution, you will be charged the standard 2.9% fee plus $0.30 per transaction charged by Prytany’s third-party payment processing services provider. You will be notified of this charge before you complete your credit card or debit card transaction. This charge will be in addition to and will not reduce the amount of your intended contribution. You will pay no fee or charge when your contribution is funded through an ACH bank account transfer.
Our fee structure is described further below.
Do you have to make contributions to use Prytany?
No, Prytany is more than a platform for making contributions. It’s also a tool for learning about political races and enabling direct communication between constituents and those running for or holding higher office. Too often. there is a divide between those who are voting and those who run. Prytany bridges this divide. It’s a platform with a purpose, so that those who seek to lead are held accountable by those who vote.
What is “Prytany Verified” and why do I have to provide my Government I.D.?
Our primary goal is to give people confidence that the people with whom they’re connecting are who they say they are. It is hard to know that the people you are talking to on social media platforms are truthful about their identity. We have built a system that allows us to make certain that users are who they say they are. You may be asked to sign into our website and provide your I.D. once you have exceeded $1,000 in total contributions in a fundraising cycle or if your social activity is above average. Once we confirm that your account is verified with a valid ID, we do not keep or store any information from your ID with the exception of the ID identifier. We do that to ensure that an ID is not used twice.
Finally, we have developed a proprietary and highly secure interface with the Social Security Administration, whereby if a user has above average activity on the social platform or is making significant contributions, they may be asked to verify their social security number and name match. This alone doesn’t verify an individual’s identity, but the combination of what we are doing goes a long way to eliminate fake accounts, bots, and foreign intervention in our electoral process. Prytany makes absolutely nothing on verification; there is a cost of $1 to a user for social security verification. We choose to leave this at cost, because it is important to us that people have as few obstacles as possible to use any part of our overall verification process.
There is no circumstance under which we would sell or allow anyone access to this information. Period.
What are the fees?
Our fees are the lowest of any political contribution processor servicing candidates of any party and we strive for simplicity with our fee structure. We charge campaigns that elect to receive contributions made through Prytany’s payment processing service a 3% fee payable out of your contribution. This means that if you make a $1.00 contribution to a candidate, that candidate’s campaign will pay us 3 cents.
If you use a credit card to make a contribution, our third-party payment processing service will charge you a 2.9%+ 30 cent processing fee to send your contribution. Prytany is not making a cent on this fee. This is “at cost” for using a credit card. If you use a direct ACH funds transfer from your bank account, there is no processing fee at all.
Each campaign that enrolls with Prytany also agrees to pay to Prytany, within 30 days after each anniversary of the date such campaign’s enrollment date, an annual top-up fee in an amount equal to $250 minus the aggregate amount of fees paid to Prytany by such campaign during the applicable 365-day period for contributions received by such campaign via the Prytany Platform. The fees paid to Prytany by each campaign are in consideration of the overall benefits received by such campaign from its use of the Prytany Platform and are considered by Prytany to be commercially reasonable and fair value for such use. Accordingly, Prytany does not think it is making an in-kind contribution to any Enrolled Committee under 11 CFR 100.52(d).
If a campaign chooses not to “claim” their Prytany profile by enrolling with Prytany, you will be unable to make contributions to that candidate through the Prytany platform; instead, Prytany will treat your attempt to make a contribution to an unenrolled campaign as your intent to make such contribution if and when the unenrolled campaign enrolls with Prytany. The amount of such conditioned contribution will be withdrawn by Prytany for the benefit of the enrolled campaign from your designated preferred funding source as previously provided to Prytany if and when the unenrolled campaign becomes an enrolled campaign unless you change, alter, or cancel your intended contribution.
What if my contribution is refused or refunded by the campaign?
When you make a contribution, the campaign that received your contribution is not required to accept it and may refund it even if it was accepted. In that event, if the campaign has not transferred your contribution from its account with Prytany to its bank account, Prytany’s third-party payment processing service will cancel or reverse your contribution and will return your contribution, without reduction for Prytany’s 3% fee, to your account with Prytany. If the campaign has transferred your contribution to its bank account before it determined that it is unable to accept your contribution or elected to refund your contribution, the campaign will be responsible for returning your contribution to you. Prytany’s 3% per transaction fee paid by the campaign is nonrefundable once the campaign transfers your contribution to its bank account. Until the campaign transfers your contribution from its account with Prytany to its bank account, a hold may be placed on your contribution and Prytany’s 3% fee. Provided the campaign has not transferred your contribution to its bank account, Prytany will return any refused or refunded contribution to you through the Prytany Platform promptly after the campaign informs Prytany of its election not to accept or to refund your contribution.
Does Prytany sell information on me?
No. You will never see advertisements “targeted” at you for commercial goods on Prytany. Prytany will not allow independent developers to have access to or “buy” your information.
We will, however, allow candidates to search and refine constituencies around policy interests. Why?
Right now, we find that conversations between candidates and parties can be meaningless and impersonal. There are often form letters that try to put your first name in the text to give you a sense of familiarity with subject lines like “Hey” that often do not touch on anything you care about and then proceed to ask for money. Prytany wants these types of conversations to take on greater value and meaning to all involved. One way to do that is to match candidates and constituents around issues and engage.
You want to share it because you disagree. Prytany isn’t one dimensional and neither is politics. Currently, people can make a contribution to a specific candidate. On Prytany, you can do that, but you can also contribute against a candidate by easily supporting an opponent or in some cases all of a particular candidate’s opponents. Prytany makes that easy. Voters often don’t just vote for a candidate, but also against a particular candidate and Prytany is the only platform that is built to bring that to campaign fundraising.
What is a group?
In addition to facilitating individual connections, Prytany has a unique platform whereby users can build “groups” - both public or private-invitation only. These groups can be informal groups of constituents who want to discuss specific policy issues or candidates, or they can be organized around an event. Those attending the event can form a group to facilitate a longer term conversation with a candidate or a record of which group members contributed to that candidate.
What is pledging?
Pledging is making a contribution commitment to a candidate the payment of which is conditional on the action of a special interest organization. If there is a special interest group that is for or against a position that you care about, then you can either amplify or counter their voice by making your contribution conditional on a candidate receiving a particular rating from that special interest group.
Pledges may be made only to campaigns that enrolled with Prytany.
Does Prytany have a political preference?
No. Prytany was founded by one Democrat, one Republican, and one independent, each with their own political positions on issues. They are on opposite sides on many issues — like so many other groups of people around the country. One thing they all agree on: we are becoming too isolated from and intolerant of differing points of view and from those who hold elected office. Prytany aims to close that gap and facilitate direct engagement among people and with the elected officials and candidates.
Where did the name Prytany come from?
The original Prytany was the rotational executive seat of power in the ancient Athenian Senate. The Prytany served as the “president” of the legislative body for a term that was 1/10th of the year. The Prytany was chosen at random so that no one could predict who would come next. This was a unique element of ancient democracy that ensured that all voices were heard. Our new Prytany embodies that spirit.