What is BWB?

Burners Without Borders (BWB) is a grassroots, volunteer-driven, community leadership program 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 & community resilience. projects, BWB is known for the unbridled creativity they bring to every civic project they do. Read more about us

How do I make a donation to BWB?

Before you mail your check, make sure that you make it out to Burning Man Project, and add BWB in the memo and in the letter accompanying your donation. For complete information on how to do it right:

Is BWB a part of the Burning Man Project?

BWB began in 2005 and operated for 10 years as an independent operation. In 2015 BWB was incorporated into the Burning Man Project, as the Burning Man Project transitioned to a nonprofit organization. BWB is now a program within the Civic Activation department of BMP.

Who runs BWB?

BWB is a grassroots network with independent, decentralized leadership in BWB projects and the chapter network. Check out our map graphics to learn about individual projects and their leadership. BWB grant programs are operated by BWBHQ in collaboration with local and/or relevant community members around the world.

Do I need to be a “burner” to volunteer or work with BWB?

Definitely not! What does it really mean to be a “burner” anyway (You definitely don’t need to have been to the Gerlach Regional event to be a burner!)? As long as you identify with the 10 principles and our community values, we’re happy to be in connection with you. BWB’s foundational belief is that all communities have an inherent capacity to thrive by encouraging innovative approaches to disaster relief and grassroots initiatives that make a positive impact.

Does BWB only help other burners?

NO! BWB helps facilitate/channel the enthusiasm, the resources, and the people-power of the burning man community- and supports hyper local civic activation in communities around the world, year round. We work with burners to support their communities (regionally) and we support emerging project leaders in succeeding in their civic activations. We also support emerging leaders who feel aligned with the Burning Man Community- even if they have never been to the thing in Nevada.

How Do I Get Involved?

There are many different ways to get involved with Burners Without Borders. If there’s already a chapter or working group in your region, you can join that group to start participating in actions. If there is no chapter, you can start a group! You can build a community of practice with your friends! If you’re not interested in starting a group, you can still lead a BWB project- we’re excited to connect with you and see how we can amplify your work. To join the conversation, connect with us during one of our weekly Community Roundup COVID-19 calls, join us on facebook for official announcements or on our community driven page, send us an email, or join our slack workspace. If you run a theme camp, check out our Theme Camps //Resource Partners webpage- because that’s for you.

Does BWB Offer Funding/Grants?

  Burners Without Borders runs two micro grant programs (granting up to $1500 per project):
  • Our BWB Community Micro Grant Program runs once per year, usually in the spring. Follow our newsletter and social media to be in the loop when the dates are announced.
  • BWB Civic Ignition Micro Grants are regionally focused, and selected in a consensus driven workshop with participants who are directly connected to the region as well. To learn about open opportunities, and read about past Civic Ignition cycles, visit the Community Initiatives on our website.

How Do I Stay Up To Date With BWB?

Join our Announcement- Based Facebook Page to stay up to date about projects, grants, community announcements and more: Join our newsletter for quarterly updates + offerings: Join our community driven volunteer facebook page to connect with peers and meet like minded collaborators:
Following the 2005 Burning Man event, several participants headed to the Gulf Coast to help survivors rebuild their devastated communities. While the rest of the world’s attention was focused on New Orleans, the small group decided to head towards Biloxi, which had been hit just as hard but was receiving little help. The group named themselves the Temple to Temple Crew since many of the volunteers had built the Temple at Burning Man.   As the volunteer numbers grew, they focused their initial efforts on rebuilding a destroyed Vietnamese temple. After several months and a job well done, they moved to another needy Mississippi community, Pearlington, to continue to work hard — gifting their time — to help those in need.  And a new name, Burners Without Borders, was born.   Over the course of eight months, BWB volunteers gifted over $1 million dollars worth of reconstruction and debris removal to the residents of Mississippi due to the donation of a brand new front loader and excavator.  BWB was the only volunteer group on the Gulf Coast to receive a donation of heavy machinery, which enabled them to put Pearlington three years ahead of the relief effort in their region.   But, we did more than just clear people’s homes, we started burning sculptures made from the debris we gathered while doing our work. Soon, the community began bringing their own sculptures and many experienced a powerful, cathartic moment as they were finding the courage together to let go of the past and rebuild their futures.   After Katrina-From Disaster Response to Civic Engagement   After witnessing the incredible creativity that the Burning Man community brought to Katrina, Tom Price and Carmen Mauk returned to San Francisco with a desire to continue to grow BWB beyond the scope of natural disasters. They wondered what would be possible if  the kind of participation and creativity they experienced in Katrina could be turned into our every day lives in communities around the world.   As a first step in encouraging community participation, they decided to host a beach cleanup at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, on May 5th. By engaging  the Burning Man network and former Katrina volunteers, this cleanup spread to five countries  and the first annual Cinqo de Playa cleanup was born. This program ran for seven years and continued to grow to more than twenty cities around the world.