Questions and Answers

General

What is PledgeToPitch? What's your reason for being?

We are a message delivery service.
We have two simple goals:
  • Make sure every message reaching you is worth reading.
  • Allow you to reach people you may not otherwise have the opportunity to.

What is a Pitch?

It is a message similar to a 'sales pitch' or an 'elevator pitch'. It is a personalized and targeted message.

What is a Pledge?

The Pledge, or the Assurance as we sometimes call it, is the basic warranty that the Pitch will be of sufficient quality and above all relevant to you, and not spam.

Is PledgeToPitch a social network?

No, it's a method of communication, where messages are assured for quality and relevance. There can be consequences for spammers and timewasters.

Is PledgeToPitch a fundraising platform?

No, we are not fundraising entity. We are about communication, although we will pass the Pitcher's Assurance to the Reliever (usually a Charity) when the Pitcher or the Receiver tells us to do so. See 'Assurance mode'.

Is PledgeToPitch a charity?

No, we are not charity, we are a regular limited company, registered in Scotland [SC571942].

What problems are you trying to solve?

We want to ensure that when people decide to message you that they have a duty to you and to your time and attention. If you feel that trust has been broken or abused then we allow you options to deal with the abuse accordingly.

How do I create an account?

By using your Social Network account to log in. On your first login, you will need to accept the T&C's and that's all. We have Help tours on the Profile page and the Create Pitch page to assist you.

Do I need to declare if I am a Pitcher or a Receiver?

No. Every user can both Send and Receive. We have separated the site into two distinct areas but you can readily switch between them using the Writers / Readers buttons on the top menu.

What if the Reliever I want is not included in your list of Relievers?

You are welcome to check out the detailed catalog which is available wherever you would normally select a Reliever. You may find an alternate Reliever that you can use. If you want to propose a new Reliever then you can also Pitch regarding the addition of the proposed Reliever from the detailed Reliever catalog page. Be aware that you are Pitching and will be subject to all the same conditions and ramifications as a normal Pitcher.

What if I don't have social network account or I don't want to use it?

You are recognizable by your social presence, that's how people who don't know you will find you, and that's why we only accept Social Network credentials to authenticate you with.

My LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter/Google+ social network asks me if I allow PledgeToPitch app to have access.

The service will never perform any actions on your behalf, like sharing or posting updates. It will also only get minimal information about you: name, description, public page address, etc.

What is a Public URL Link?

Each person in Social Network normally has a profile page. See here for examples how to get it.

I do have multiple Social Network accounts. Can I link these in PledgeToPitch?

No. We decided to keep these accounts separate, because the interests we pursue in our Professional and Private lives are usually mutually exclusive.
Instead of linking accounts we made login-logout very quick.

Receiver specific

What are the benefits of being a Receiver on PledgeToPitch?

We are stepping away from the 'dump-in-my-inbox' nature of email, where messages can arrive en-masse, uncategorised. Important emails get mixed with spam and it's a constant arms race to limit your inbox to good email messages only! With PledgeToPitch you keep your email address secret and have gated access to your time.

How do I tell people PledgeToPitch is my preferred way of being approached?

Use a link from your Social Network profile page to your PledgeToPitch profile page for prospective Pitchers to reach you. See how here.
Alternatively use your PledgeToPitch public email address to advertise that you use our service.

What is my public address on PledgeToPitch?

It is an email address for your PledgeToPitch account which DOES NOT have any mailbox behind it. It will not accept any emails, ever. You can see it on your profile page. You may print it on your business card and freely distribute it. When someone tries to send an e-mail to this address they get an automatic server response telling them to use PledgeToPitch.com website to create, assure and ultimately send you their Pitch. This lets you control how people contact you and allows you to apply consequences to those that contact you without due regard.

How do you use POP3 with PledgeToPitch?

When new Pitch is recived to your Inbox, we need to notify you somehow. Easiest option would be to send a notification email, adding to the burden. We chose not to do that and instead opted to form the unread pitches into pseudo-mailbox, readable using any POP3 client such as Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.
You can configure your client using parameters below
POP3 server: pledgetopitch.com
SMTP server: pledgetopitch.com
User name: Use the public address from your Profile
Password: See your Profile

How can Pitchers find me?

They can find you via your social profile link, your name. They may try to send an email to your Public Email, which will return 'Not Authorized' telling them to use website. Ultimately Pitchers need to know who you are. We do not allow generic searches to find you. It is our intention that people will find you via your public social network persona.

How do I let people know the topics that I am keen on?

The first thing you should do is to make things easier for everyone by letting them know two things: your Interests and a general Suggested Assurance. You can do this in your Profile page.

What is an Interest?

It's the combination of an Action (verb) and a Category (noun) that you are interested in as Receiver. In your profile, you can setup multiple Interests and you can declare an Assurance for each one.

What is the Suggested Assurance?

It's a general Assurance, for all Interests you have not detailed separately. It can be a suggestion to Pitchers as a value that you place on your own time.

What Suggested Assurance amount should I choose on my profile?

We suggest you set a moderate Suggested Assurance to start with like $5 or $10.
Ask yourself this question: "What donation to charity would soothe the disappointment for me wasting 2 or 3 minutes?" For many of us a few dollars is reasonable, while CxO's might find they want to set that higher. Remember you can set Interest specific Assurance amounts also.

High or Low assurance?

The Assurance amount indicates the Pitcher's confidence in their Pitch. For example, if as a reader you are looking to employ someone, a low assurance will put the bar low for prospective employees, set it high if you aim to get only exceptionally good responses.
Minimum Assurance is $1 and the maximum is $500. Where USD is not the chosen currency a roughly equivalent amount should be used.

How do I know I will only receive Pitches that are of good quality and relevant to me?

The sender's confidence in their Pitch to you is ultimately assured with money. Every time you strongly feel your time has been wasted you can Reject the Pitch and the assurance will go to a third-party reliever such as a Charity or a Not for Profit.

In what order are the Pitches presented to me in the Pitch Feed?

The Pitches we present to you are sorted according Reading Priority from your profile. The received date is not considered.

What is the Reading Sequence?

It is your way as a Receiver to express your preference of the order of Pitches in your inbox. It is only meaningful if you are getting more Pitches than you are willing to read.
There are 3 parts to it: Assurance, Interest and Mode.
When you choose an option with Assurance first, the first Pitch shown will be the one with highest assurance followed by those with lower assurances. The very bottom of the list will be those Pitches with assurances not meeting your suggested level.
Sequences starting with Interest will put Pitches addressing your express interest on the top.
When you choose sequence starting with Mode, the Donations are first, then Receiver Choice, and then Pitcher Choice.

Why the pitches I receive never reveal the Sender, Assurance Amount or the Reliever?

We are helping you to make an unbiased decision, by showing you only the Title, Summary and Body. Showing the sender, amount or reliever too early might introduce bias. The Assurance Mode and Assurance indicator (Good or Low) and Interest will hint help you decide. Sender's name and contact details are revealed only after you Accept the pitch.

I see a Pitch with Low assurance indicator. What does it mean?

This indicator is shown in the top right corner with values Good and Low. It means that the assurance amount is below your suggestion within that Interest, or below your general Suggested Assurance otherwise. This does not mean that the Pitch will be poor or not relevant or interesting to you.

I have to Dismiss too many well-intended yet irrelevant Pitches…

Add Interests to your PledgeToPitch profile. It will give a huge hint to those reaching out to you exactly what you are interested in.

I get too many Pitches ...

One suggestion could be to increase your suggested Assurances, and change your Reading Sequence to prefer Assurance.

Do I have to have read every Pitch?

ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Your time is valuable and you should always read only as much as you see fit. You have no obligation to read anything let alone everything. For unopened pitches you may choose to Dismiss outright or leave to expire - in both cases Pitcher will get their money back.

Should I Open and read a Pitch that has a Low Assurance anyway?

It's a free country!
If you will not feel disappointed if 3 minutes of your life are wasted, and a Reject action gives the Reliever (Good cause) measly $1, you're welcome to gamble.
There will always be worthwhile messages that do not meet your expectations on Assurance; use the other message attributes to decide.

Pitcher specific

What are the benefits for Pitchers?

With PledgeToPitch you can approach all users, and use an Assurance to get high up their message queue.
Reader's Interests and their view of the value of their time are visible to you, which makes it much easier for you to decide whether and how to message them.

Why can't I just email the person?

If you already have their address - sure, go ahead. If you know them well enough then PledgeToPitch is probably not the best way to contact them. However, if you do not know them well enough then ask yourself what the chance is that your email will land in their spam folder or be ignored? PledgeToPitch allows you to elevate yourself above SPAM email; if you feel that is needed!

How can I find someone?

You can search using either their Public Profile Link or an exact Name with optional Keyword.
The first way is the most definite, the second may show multiple accounts even if you type a keyword. Knowing the Public Profile also ensures you have done your research properly and will have a better chance of ensuring your Pitch is appropriate to your Receiver.

When is my identity and contact details revealed?

Both are disclosed to the Receiver ONLY after the Pitch has been Accepted. You will remain anonymous in any other case.

I want to introduce myself in the Title, Summary, or Body. Is it against the rules?

It is not against the rules, but we advise you to follow the flow we designed and remain anonymous until the Pitch is Accepted. By revealing your name early some Receivers will consider it inappropriate which may count against you. Keeping your contact details only in the field provided means Dismissed or even Rejected pitches will not reduce your chances if you decide to Pitch to the same Receiver again.

What is an Assurance?

It is an amount of money that you as the Pitcher put into security to assure to the Receiver that you are confident in your Pitch to them. The actual amount can be under or over what the Receiver suggests. Importantly it can get forfeited if your Receiver rejects your Pitch.
As a Receiver, your PledgeToPitch profile page is where you set Suggested Assurances for each of your Interests.

Are Receivers paid for Opening and reading Pitches?

Receivers are NEVER paid for Pitches! Whatever the Receiver decides it must be on the merits of the Pitch alone, and is at their absolute discretion.

What is Donation mode?

Donation mode is when the Pitcher wants to donate the Assurance to Receiver's favourite Reliever on OPENING of the message (Normally the entire Assurance is forfeited only on Rejected pitch).
Use of this mode proves the Pitcher is extremely serious and confident in their message.

What happens after my Pitch is delivered? Can you describe the reading process?

Initially only the Title and Summary, along with indicators of Interest, Mode and Assurance are visible.
At this point Receiver can:
  • Open the Pitch
    This reveals the main body of the message. For Pitches with a Donation mode set the entire Assurance is taken for distribution.
  • Dismiss it without opening.
    The Assurance will be released back to the Pitcher.
The system will automatically Expire the Pitch after your chosen number of days. If the Pitch expires the Assurance will be released back to the Pitcher.
On an Opened pitch, the Receiver's options are:
  • Accept
    This is the only way a Pitcher's contact details can be revealed.
    A Fee is charged from the Assurance, and the remainder of the assurance will be released back to the Pitcher.
  • Dismiss
    The Receiver needs to select an explanation. The Pitcher is charged a Fee, and the remainder of the assurance will be released back to the Pitcher.
  • Reject
    The Receiver needs to select an explanation. Pitcher is charged the whole Assurance, and this is passed to the Reliever within a few days.
If none of the above options are executed, and the Pitch expires, the system acts in the same manner as Dismiss, with the reason "Pitch has been opened but no decision taken"

What is the (Receiver's) Action?

It's the Action you would like the Receiver to take when the Pitch is successful. When creating a Pitch, you select Receiver's action. Ex: 'Buy' if you have goods to sell.
Possible actions are:
Type Action-Action
Capital Invest-Divest
Employment Recruit-Work
Services Provide-Use
Trade Buy-Sell

What is the Category?

It's an hierarchical structure to narrow the focus. You may select the Category from any level: top, middle or bottom.
Grouped together with an Action this constitutes the Interest.

What is Assurance Mode?

There are three ways a Pitch can be Assured:
  • Donation
    The Pitcher donates the money to the Receiver's favorite Reliever as soon as the Pitch is Opened.
    This could be the option that gets you highest in the receiver's message queue; depending on their Reading Sequence.
    The next two modes donate the Assurance amount only when Receiver is deeply unhappy and they reject your Pitch.
  • Decided by the Receiver
    The Pitcher leaves the selection of a Reliever (most often a Charity) up to the Receiver.
    This option is generally seen as stronger then next one.
  • Decided by the Pitcher
    The Pitcher explicitly nominates the Reliever prior sending.
    This is generally seen as the weakest option. The Receiver will never see which Reliever has been selected.

The Pitch I have sent has been Dismissed. Can I appeal?

NO, NEVER.
Our T&Cs clearly state the Receiver's decisions are final. You can look at the Reason given and learn from it. Your next Pitch will be better for that. To be clear the Receivers decision does not need to be reasonable and their decision is final.

My Pitch has been Rejected and I lost my assurance. The Receiver is clearly wrong/misguided. Can I appeal?

NO, YOU CANNOT.
PledgeToPitch T&Cs specifically state that Receiver's decisions are final, even if it is irrational or plain wrong.

I will start a chargeback or ask for refund of any Assurance charged due to my Pitch getting Rejected.

PLEASE DON'T.
Look at our T&Cs. If you do you will not be able to send Pitches anymore until the payment is received.
Our duty is to deliver your Pitch to your nominated Receiver, and we will consider any claims only related to the performance of OUR duties.

Is the Pitch content confidential?

Yes, it is. We will show it (i.e. the title, summary, body and other attributes) only to the Receiver. The Receiver however can share it with other people as they see fit.

Should I include ideas/solutions/sensitive information in my Pitch?

YOU SHOULD NOT include anything sensitive, because the Receiver may freely use it.
Tread carefully, describe enough to get your Receiver to contact you without revealing any vital parts. Ultimately it is your decision as to what content you use in your Pitch.
You have to sign in to raise a Support Ticket if the Q&A did not solve your problem.