At Burning Man Project, we are immensely grateful to our community for stepping forward to help save Burning Man and make it possible for us to gather again in our desert home. During this season of uncertainty, we have been listening to you, our community, as much as possible. You have asked both how we are pivoting our focus (see this newly published piece on what we are doing in a year without Black Rock City), and for continued insight into our financial situation (see this piece for a detailed report from April 2020).
As we are gearing up for a busy season of virtual events together as well as fundraising opportunities to ensure we can build Black Rock City together again, we wanted to share with you a brief update on our financial footing.
During this unimaginable time, you’ve been unimaginably supportive. More than 9,000 of you have donated to Burning Man Project this year. That’s amazing! Thank you for helping us weather this unforeseen storm!
- Over 6,000 DGS and FOMO ticket buyers donated all or a portion of their 2020 ticket purchases back to Burning Man Project, resulting in $3 million in donations to the nonprofit.
- In addition to the donations resulting from ticket refunds, we have raised almost $1 million from over 3,000 generous community members.
- Messages of support have been pouring in from Burners all over the world sharing the importance of Burning Man in their life.
- Theme camps, volunteer groups, and ambitious individuals have hosted fundraisers to benefit Burning Man Project and continue to do so, including DA’s MOOPATHON, Cosmic Ranch’s F*nd Your Burn event, and several others.
Note: The financial figures in this article are unaudited financial information as of July 22, 2020. The projections for cash balances, budgeted expenses, and donations received represent our best estimates. Audited financial information from 2020 will be available in 2021.
While our community has been stepping up to give to Burning Man Project, we have been dramatically reducing organizational expenses. We’ve made staff layoffs, instituted pay cuts, canceled seasonal and temporary contracts, and are currently operating on a leaner budget for the rest of the year. Based on our best estimates, we have saved $24 million in expected 2020 expenses compared to our initial organizational budget created at the start of the year.
We still have a long way to go to pave the way for the next Black Rock City. Our goal is to raise an additional $7 million by the end of 2020.
So how can you contribute? It will take all of us to return to Black Rock City. This is our primary focus — everything that we are doing now is aimed at accomplishing this goal. We are all bringing our gifts of talents, time, creativity, and, yes, financial resources to help make this possible.
One thing you can do is to participate in one of the amazing virtual events in the Kindling Multiverse. And, if you were going to attend Black Rock City this year, consider donating the price of a Burning Man ticket!
We are also gearing up for a grassroots community fundraising campaign. You’ll hear more details from us soon!
To make up for some of our financial deficit, we have 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 — so we understand all too well that not everyone is in a position to make a financial contribution right now. But whether you can help us get the word out about our upcoming community campaign, organize a fundraiser with your camp, or make a gift to Burning Man Project directly, our hope that each and every member of our community will participate in one of the many fundraising opportunities during this challenging, yet transformational year for Burning Man.
You have our deepest gratitude for staying with us and continuing to keep the fire burning bright. We can’t return to Black Rock City without YOU!
Top photo: Transformoney Tree by Dadara (Photo by Scott London)