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BWB NEWS 04/16/2015

Burners Without Borders to Become Program of Burning Man Project

San Francisco, Calif., April 13, 2015 — Burning Man announced today that Burners Without Borders — a grassroots group that supports community organizing and disaster relief worldwide — will transition June 1 to become the cornerstone of Burning Man’s Civic Engagement initiatives.

“We’re very excited to bring Burners Without Borders into the Burning Man fold,” said Burning Man co-founder Harley Dubois. “This incredible group has an outstanding track record of facilitating grassroots volunteerism that truly represents what Burning Man is all about. This functional reorganization allows Burning Man culture to flourish through the civic efforts of Burners everywhere, in their local communities.”

BWB came into being after Hurricane Katrina when Burning Man participants left the event to help with the disaster cleanup effort. The organization has a 10-year history of supporting disaster relief and local grassroots volunteer initiatives around the world through its annual grants program and direct on-the-ground assistance. It’s expected this transition will have no major immediate effect on existing projects, grants or grant applications. “We want to thank the community for its unwavering support of BWB over the past decade — we are continually inspired by the impact this community makes every day,” said Carmen Mauk, Burners Without Borders’ Executive Director. “I am looking forward to the future where we can continue to grow and thrive.”

BWB’s international projects include relief efforts in Pisco, Peru after that city was hit by a magnitude 8.0 earthquake in 2007, relief efforts in the remote Tohoku Prefecture of Japan following the Fukushima disaster, delivering relief supplies to Haiti, supporting communities in the Philippines after Typhoon Yolanda, and providing relief to New Jersey communities not receiving adequate assistance following Hurricane Sandy.

About Burning Man
Burning Man Project is a 501(c)3 public benefit corporation whose mission is to facilitate and extend the culture that has issued from the Burning Man event into the larger world. Black Rock City is the seminal manifestation of the 10 Principles-based culture known as Burning Man. The gathering, which last year included participants from all 50 states and 40 countries around the world, happens the last week of August in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. For more information, visit

About Burners Without Borders
Burners Without Borders (BWB) was born in Biloxi, Mississippi during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort where Burning Man participants had instinctively gathered to fill in where government relief efforts were falling short. Since then, BWB has emerged as a grassroots, volunteer-driven, community leadership organization whose goal is to unlock the creativity of local communities to solve problems that bring about meaningful change. Supporting volunteers from around the world in innovative disaster relief solutions and community resiliency projects, BWB is known for the unbridled creativity they bring to every civic project they do. To get involved, visit the Burners Without Borders website.



What’s happening to Burners Without Borders?
Burners without Borders is becoming an official program of Burning Man, and the cornerstone of the nonprofit’s Civic Engagement initiative.  BWB is excited to be the newest member of the Burning Man eco-system and looks forward to having more support and resources in pursuit of their mission going forward.

Is this a merger?
Legally speaking, it is an acquisition. Burners Without Borders is becoming a program of Burning Man Project. The two organizations are combining their resources to create the cornerstone of Burning Man’s Civic Initiatives program.

What are the benefits of doing this?
BWB will enjoy the advantages of Burning Man’s organizational infrastructure, while maintaining enough independence to stay nimble in the pursuit of their mission. Ideally, this will benefit project leads and volunteers, and ultimately create more projects being initiated around the globe.

What is the timeline for this to take place?
We’ve already started the process and the legal transaction will be completed in the very near future.  The full transition and restructuring is expected to occur this year sometime between June 1st & December 31st.

What happens to the BWB Board?
The BWB Board members are planning to step down after the transaction is complete.  We express our utmost gratitude for their dedication and service. The previous board members are invited to sit on a newly formed advisory committee to help steward BWB’s future within Burning Man.

How does this affect current BWB staff?
Current BWB staff will continue to administer former BWB programs and projects through their new roles at Burning Man.

How will decisions on grants be made?
Burning Man and BWB grant programs will continue to award grants based on the same criteria as before. While we will create some additional efficiency by merging these programs and sharing tools and other resources, we don’t anticipate making immediate changes to our grant criteria or decision-making bodies.

How are current BWB projects being affected?
We don’t expect the transition to have any major immediate effect on existing projects, grants or grant applications. They will be completed within the framework of BWB in collaboration with Burning Man.

What if I want to make a donation to BWB moving forward?
You can still donate here:

What will happen to the BWB website, newsletter and other communication channels?
BWB will continue to maintain their own website, social media, and regular communication channels. Burning Man’s communication channels will also be sharing information about the activities and opportunities of BWB.

I’ve got a great idea for a BWB project!  How can I get the Project’s support?
Check out our ‘Start Your Own Project’ portal on the BWB website:
If you have further questions email:


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