How much are you willing to pay to hear Ed Pinto’s life story? #AMPLIFY Wrapping Up

This little fundraiser was an experiment. There are many, many folks in our community who value the #AMPLIFY project, but for all sorts of reasons – they won’t make time to sit down and type our their responses.

Ed Pinto is one of those people. I’m not going to analyze his emotional reaction to the prospect of answering these questions, just reinforce that he has given the usual responses

  • his story isn’t important enough
  • his voice as a cis white guy isn’t as important to include as other voices
  • he’s really busy living the life I’m asking him to write about
  • he doesn’t really want to type that much

None of this is atypical. But Ed is a man up for a good cause and an adventure so I propositioned him – let’s use his storytelling as a barometer. We set up a fundraiser for the #AMPLIFY project and set some fundraising goals with ‘rewards’ for people who genuinely would like to read Ed’s Q&A and who believe his story belongs in the archive. It was an experiment to leverage his story to help continue funding the project and try to break down some of these barriers to participation.

Our levels were pretty straightforward (pun fully intended)

  • $500 meant Ed would sit down and type his responses within a 30 day timeframe. It set a deadline for him that he couldn’t push off.
  • $1000 meant I would go to Ed and type his responses personally. That’s a commitment of time on both of our parts.
  • $1500 meant we would take photographs of this Q&A live session and send an autographed copy to every donor.
  • $2000 meant we would VIDEO the Q&A live session from the infamous bathtub at Pinto Manor – Ed would take a bath while sharing his story. I would not take a bath and would sit on the far end of the bathroom with my laptop as far from water as possible. We planned to do some live segments on Facebook as well as putting the whole raw footage in its entirety into the archive itself along with his Q&A. If you know Ed, you know that means some pretty interesting segueways I’m sure.

As of today, we have had 33 donors raise $1,000. That’s so wonderful. So we are set to set up a session where I go to Ed’s house and type his responses. Then I’ll format it and send to him to edit and then publish for you all to read.

Ed has a very full plate right now with his work commitments, helping friends, and other things that have arisen. I’m also heading into some busy weeks, so we are thinking about capping this at the $1000 level. But some people have said they REALLY want the video element – so I’m bringing this back to you.

If you want the video, we need to raise another $1,000. That means asking other friends to chip-in. That means passing the hat so to speak at upcoming events that are Ed-friendly.  That means all of our 33 donors and the hundreds of people reading this sharing with friends and inviting people to like the fundraiser. It means other creative fundraising ideas that you might bring to the table.

I cannot ask Ed to continue asking his personal network to contribute because he’s already spent a lot of time on this and he did arrange for a videographer. I’ve asked my personal network. I think we’ll both continue to ask, but clearly – we need a boost from somewhere and that’s where you come in.

I do want to remind everyone that all of the money does go through our fiscal sponsor, Persad Center, but every penny comes to AMPLIFY – Persad is one of the few fiscal sponsors in the region that does not keep an administrative fee.

So we’ll keep this open through August. If you’d like to chip in a few dollars, awesome. Ed has promised some side goodies to donors as well and  you know if we make this video, it will be awesome. There will probably be a bit of Ed nudity, lots of laughs, and you’ll LITERALLY get to watch Ed share his stories. That’s an experience #AMPLIFY doesn’t often get to access.

So shall we see where this goes in August?

Ed Pinto Pittsburgh



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