Save Black Rock City!

Returning to our city in the desert is our number one priority, and we need your help to make it happen! Let’s meet this moment together so we can gather in the dust, connect, and create again!

  ANNOUNCEMENT: Two fantastic Burners are matching all contributions up to $50K by 9/30. Give today!  

To Our Community

We are all grieving that we couldn’t build our beautiful city in the desert this past August. But we’re resolved: returning to Black Rock City is our number one priority; it’s our community’s largest cultural engine, and the world needs sources of connection, inspiration, and innovation more than ever.

In 2020, Burning Man Project lost more than 90% of its annual budget as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are now faced with the daunting reality of running a global nonprofit without the necessary means to continue our operations. While we’ve cut our costs dramatically, we are at risk of running out of money in December, and we will not be able to bring back Black Rock City unless we have the support of our community.

For Black Rock City to survive, it’s going to take each one of us contributing what we can to save it. Our goal is to raise $1,500,000 by the end of October to help SAVE BLACK ROCK CITY. Will you join us?

Save Black Rock City HeartArtist: Shane Pitzer, Photographer: Andrew Wyatt

Our love and affection for our community is boundless. Please download this fun PDF, get creative with decorating it, and share it on social media using the hashtag #savebrc!

Here’s what we’re doing with your contributions:

  • Retention of critical staff who are working hard to bring Black Rock City back, more inclusive and more sustainable than ever before.
  • Maintenance of key infrastructure, especially our heavy equipment, needed to produce the event and support artists and art projects.
  • Supporting our critical work with the Bureau of Land Management and other government agency partners on permitting, event operations, stewardship, and more.
  • Ensuring the health and safety for our city, including consulting with epidemiologists, virologists, and medical practitioners to stay in front of best practices to help us gather safely in this new reality.

This is not a drill. If we want to return to Black Rock City, we need to keep the fires warm in the center core. If we care about the culture of Burning Man around the globe, then it’s going to take each of us giving what we can to get us back to the playa again.

This $1.5 million is part of a larger fundraising effort to Save Black Rock City. This is a communal effort. Whether you can give $5 or $500,000, every gift matters. We’re also raising money through annual fund/major donors, challenge and matching gifts, and more. It’s going to take all of us to bring back our home in the desert. Check out this page for a comprehensive, candid look at how it all fits together.

If you’ve ever been to a Burning Man event (in Black Rock City or anywhere around the world), if you think the world is a brighter place when creativity is allowed to flourish, then please chip in so we can keep the magic going.

THANK YOU.

Updates

The latest info on this campaign.


Monday, September 21st

Thank you to everyone who has gotten our campaign off to a fantastic start.


We’re excited to share that two generous donors are challenging us to match their gifts until September 25. The impact of your gift will double as a result! Let's show them our commitment to Saving Black Rock City! Photo credit: Andrew Wyatt


Saturday, September 26th

We just got another matching gift!


Two community members are matching all contributions up to $50,000 until September 30. Add your voice to the growing chorus of Burners who are getting us back to Black Rock City!
Photo credit: Mark Fromson


Why is Burning Man Project fundraising?
We will not make it to the next cycle of building Black Rock City. This crisis is real and we need your help.

Our number one priority is to bring back Black Rock City in the future. This community campaign will help retain irreplaceable staff with critical institutional knowledge, ensure we maintain important infrastructure, and more.

This is a lot of money! Will $1.5 million meet all of your needs?
It is a lot of money! It’s also not everything we need to save Burning Man. We’re aiming to raise $12 million to get us to ticket sales season in the spring, and this campaign is meant to engage our broader community who want to help us get back to Black Rock City however they can. Check out this page for more context on how this campaign fits into our current financial situation.
How exactly will the money be spent?
  • Retention of critical staff who are working hard to bring Black Rock City back, more inclusive and more sustainable than ever before.
  • Maintenance of key infrastructure, especially our heavy equipment, needed to produce the event and support artists and art projects.
  • Supporting our critical work with the Bureau of Land Management and other government agency partners on permitting, event operations, stewardship, and more.
  • Ensuring the health and safety for our city, including consulting with epidemiologists, virologists, and medical practitioners to stay in front of best practices to help us gather safely in this new reality.
What else is Burning Man Project doing in a year without Black Rock City?
Facilitating a global cultural movement takes year-round engagement. We’ve built a world class staff with deep institutional knowledge over many, many years, and they’re hard at work preparing to bring back Black Rock City while advancing other key initiatives, including:

  • Sustainability, inclusivity and efficiency. We’re moving the sustainability roadmap forward faster, we’re working with community leaders to become more radically inclusive both on—and off—playa, and we’re implementing a new strategy to produce the event more cost effectively.
  • Nurturing our volunteer base and preserving Burning Man’s cultural ecosystem, including Burners Without Borders, Kindling, the Regional Network, and the Multiverses.
  • Maintaining Fly Ranch and our other Northern Nevada properties, which provide infrastructural support for Black Rock City and must be maintained throughout the year.
  • Continuing our work with the Bureau of Land Management, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Washoe and Pershing Counties, Nevada Department of Health and Human Services as well as the citizens of Gerlach and Empire on permitting, event operations, stewardship, and economic development.

For more about what we’re up to in a year without Black Rock City, please see this post on the Burning Man Journal.

Are you doing other stuff to raise and save money?
Yes, and a lot of it. We received more than 9,000 generous donations before this campaign launched, we have cut expenses across the board, and we received a federal loan to cover some of our payroll and rent expenses, which has helped. We’re continuing to work on a number of ways to ensure our financial security, as every bit counts

What’s with the grilled cheese and old jalopy?
We hope you enjoy these flashbacks and references to our unique culture and the experiences many people share in Black Rock City. As with all things at Burning Man, you are responsible for the fulfillment of your own experience. And just to be extra clear since this is the FAQ after all, no we are not planning to ship you an old jalopy or facilitate a grilled cheese sandwich showing up under glass in deep playa. But honestly, now that the possibility is out there, who knows! Weirder things have happened.
I already gave Burning Man money during the 2020 DGS/FOMO Sale refund process. Should I give again?
First off, thank you so much for your generosity during the 2020 ticket season! Your contributions have helped us keep the lights on over the last few months, and we appreciate you deeply. We are now setting our sights on getting through the rest of the year and, hopefully, bringing Black Rock City back to the desert in 2021. If you’re able to give again and support us in this endeavor, please do! You’ll also help us by sharing this need with your friends and community. It’s an effort of many that will help us succeed.
I can’t donate right now. How else can I help Burning Man Project?
We get it. We’ve had to make some very hard choices over the last few months—including salary cuts, reductions in seasonal and year-round staff, and slashing expenses—and we know that many of you are going through similar challenges in your own lives. If you can’t afford to donate, there are other ways to help. Please share this campaign with your friends, family and community, so we can get the word out. Perhaps your company offers a nonprofit donation matching program? Make the inquiry. Many larger companies do match, and we’ve seen some significant boost in this regard. Maybe consider organizing a fundraiser with your camp? Our hope is that each and every member of our community will participate in some way to help Burning Man survive this challenging and yet transformational year.

Ways to Give
The easiest way to make your gift to the Save Black Rock City community campaign is using your credit card or PayPal. This includes international donors. If you prefer to make your gift by check, wire transfer, stock, or cryptocurrency, please contact the Philanthropic Engagement team at giving@burningman.org.

In Gratitude!


Burning Man Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Your donation is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.