A payment processor used by some political campaigns is Piryx (your guess is as good as ours on how to say that.) Their company gained traction in 2008 when Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina yelled “You Lie!” at President Barack Obama during a joint session of Congress regarding the health care bill. They provided the campaign with an online donate option to capitalize on this speech. Piryx also processed donations for Romney’s 2012 presidential bid and the Republican National Committee. In 2011, Piryx renamed itself Rally.org. However, since then, their main focus has been helping nonprofits and individuals raise funds for college, medical bills, etc., through “Crowdfunding”. Although they pride themselves in providing political candidates the ability to accept online contributions, it doesn’t appear that way. Piryx’s YouTube channel (last updated in 2010) says in their bio: “Piryx offers non-profits a branded and topical way to receive payments online, while also integrating with other apps in our marketplace to enhance with communication strategy.”
Candidates looking to raise money online may want to rethink using Piryx. RaiseTheMoney.com is the nation’s very best product for political campaigns and is much easier to use. Let’s go through a comparison of Raise the Money’s services compared to Piryx. Here’s a link to the Piryx’ website, http://piryx.com/, and here is a link to Raise the Money’s: https://politics.raisethemoney.com/. First of all, Piryx services are not easily displayed. The rate isn’t displayed anywhere on the first page and the services listed are very generic and vague. RTM’s services and rate are easily displayed by clicking through the different subheadings so you are given access to the information that you need. Exclusively to RTM, we have a unique Crowdfunding feature that provides candidates the ability to assign digital bundlers to raise money for them.
The features list of these two companies have a few similarities, but not many. At first glance, it appears that both have a simple and easy Facebook integration button. Here is a blog post that explains how to integrate the Piryx form with Facebook: http://piryx.tumblr.com/post/459327042/tip-of-the-month-fundraising-with-piryx-on-facebook-in-5. Here is the YouTube link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=853k8ipj2zg First of all, this blog post is about 5 years old, so maybe things have been updated and maybe not; but if you are trying to integrate your Facebook on Piryx, this and a YouTube video are the only options (both updated 5 years ago.) Facebook has changed quite a bit since then, so these “helpful” guides seem pretty worthless.
Using Piryx, there are 5 steps to integrate this button onto your Facebook page. First, you have to create a Campaign through Piryx. Then, you have to add a “Static FBML” to add to your page. Then, change the title of the campaign. Somehow you are supposed to have access to a script of coding to copy and paste. Huh. Don’t forget to replace “Your Donation Page Link Here” with a link to the donation page and then add that tab to your fan page.
On the contrary: here is RTM’s support YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9u8L02oJ5rA The steps take about 30 seconds to complete. Simply log into your Facebook account as a manager of your page and click “Connect with Facebook.” That’s it. No coding. No Static FMBLs to add to your page.
Piryx also lacks an API that can be integrated with other platforms that manage your fundraising lists or compliance reporting with the FEC. Raise the Money, on the other hand, integrates with multiple CRM (customer relationship management) firms including NationBuilder. Additionally, RTM create APIs with other platforms, if requested.
Piryx or Rally?
The new vertical launched in 2011 has caused for some confusion. Here is a response from Rally.org’s website about the difference between the two companies:
So, who is supposed to use Piryx? Can political candidates use Rally.org if they like the description of Rally’s features better? It seems like the political candidates and other organizations who use Piryx are getting left behind with the new Rally vertical. Rally’s website is updated frequently and helps share the message of their clients to potential donors. They are constantly posting troubleshooting messages and new features they are planning to add. If you wanted information about Piryx’s new features or really just any updates in general about the company, good luck finding it.
The customer support features of each company are vastly different as well. For instance, here is Piryx’s customer support form on their website:
Just for fun, I dialed the toll free number. Yep, you guessed it. It went straight to voicemail to leave a message. So, you can leave a message or email them if something is wrong with your website or you have a question. Who knows when they will get back to you regarding your questions.
With Raise the Money, our contact information is listed on our website:
Also, we give out our cell phone and email information as well. Our clients can call us anytime with a question they have about their campaign and we usually resolve problems in less than 24 hours.
Another problem: whenever a donor makes a contribution, “Piryx/Rally” comes up on the banking statement. This is going to increase chargebacks. On the other hand, candidates that use the RaiseTheMoney platform the candidate’s name appears on the donor’s bank statement. No confused donors who have no idea what “Piryx/Rally” means.
Although rate is usually comparable to the features it provides, it is not in this case. Piryx/Rally’s fee is 5% on top of a 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction fee. So, say a donor makes a contribution for $100 that’s $8.20 of fees. Alternatively, RaiseTheMoney’s default rates area much lower: 4.9% + $0.25 per transaction. We also offer special rates for candidates or committees with a high volume campaign.
Do Your Research
Another thing to consider: choose your payment processor wisely. Campaigns are ruined every election cycle because of unknown information on staff and vendors. Your opponent’s opposition research will and can find out everything about your campaign. Piryx/Rally’s current investors could be of some concern. Why do you care? Well, you don’t unless you’re a Republican candidate using Piryx. Piryx/Rally’s current investors include: environmentalist and former hedge fund manager, Tom Steyer, and Andrew Bleeker, a top Democratic strategist:
Andrew Bleeker is founder and president of Bully Pulpit Interactive, one of the top Democratic digital media firms and famous for his work with the Obama campaign. Here is a link to Rally’s list of investors: https://rally.org/corp/about. Politico.com pointed out that Steyer pledged to contribute $100 million in 2014 to defeat Republicans. And yet, in 2013, the Republican National Committeee paid over $84,000 to Piryx. In 2012, Mitt Romney’s campaign paid out more than $3 million to Piryx. Currently, the Republican Governor’s Asosociation uses Piryx. Don’t believe us? Here is their website donate page: https://secure.piryx.com/donate/y2BC5cPq/RGA/republicangovernorsassociation
There is an alternative that offers lower rates and cutting edge features: www.RaiseTheMoney.com