Hastings Business Law Journal


Yuan Ji


Burning Man is a temporary city of over 50,000 citizens that exists for one week every year in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. It is best known in popular culture for its celebration of interactive art, gift economy, and ritualistic burning of a large wooden structure in the shape of a man. The case study of Burning Man illustrates that an altruistic, not profit driven, organization can thrive in a for-profit legal form without abandoning its mission. Nevertheless, this article discusses the theories on nonprofit formation and suggests rationales for Burning Man’s conversion to a nonprofit structure. This articlealso makes specific recommendations for better organizational accountability and transparency in Burning Man’s current and future operations.