Burning Man, an experimental large-scale annual event in the Black Rock Desert, is a non-profit entity. The money earned on tickets covers the event’s logistics and other related expenses. However, many participating organizations incorporate fundraising elements into their art installations and projects. And that’s where QR codes come in handy. They are valuable for engaging participants and drawing their attention to the fundraiser. 

In this article, we will explore a successful example of using a QR code at Burning Man. Also, we will overview the specifics of using QR codes for other charity purposes.

What is Burning Man? A Brief Overview of the Event

Burning Man is an annual, week-long event in late summer in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, USA. The project was founded in 1986. At that time, it was a small meeting of friends on Baker Beach in San Francisco. But it eventually evolved into one of the most experimental and unique cultural phenomena.

Every year, tens of thousands of participants, known as “Burners,” come to build the temporary Black Rock City that can accommodate over 70,000 people. In 2022, approximately 75,000 attended the event (Black Rock City Census, 2022). Visitors can witness impressive art performances, theme parks, and interactive installations. The event follows the ten core principles, with radical self-expression, inclusion, gifting, ​​and decommodification among the most notable ones. The event’s culmination is the ritual burning of a giant wooden effigy – “The Man.”

Remaining distinctive and extraordinary, Burning Man attracts people worldwide, inspiring other similar events with a strong focus on self-expression, openness, and sustainability.

How QR Code Was Used at the Burning Man Event

A non-profit charity organization implemented QR codes at the ‘The Hedgehog Temple’ art installation during Burning Man festival, running from Sunday, August 27, to Monday, September 4, 2023. They raised funds for evacuation vehicles to save lives during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The campaign started on July 18, 2023, and is still running in December 2023.

Oleksandr Slobodianyk / Kurenivka.ua; Givebutter.com / Hedgehog Temple

The Art Installation with the QR Code

The impressive installation was dedicated to the soldiers who fell during the war in Ukraine. It was a 7-meter- (23-feet-) high sculpture of a hedgehog that took around 2.7 tonnes (6,000 pounds) of steel. The “temple” features 100 anti-tank barriers (“hedgehogs”) and camouflage nets.

The Charity Organization that Used the QR Code

Leleka Foundation is a US-based non-profit organization raising funds to support charity projects in Ukraine, including medical and social help. The organization was founded in 2014 by several Ukrainian volunteers in the US. Since then, the Leleka Foundation has gathered donations for critical first-aid supplies to Ukrainian paramedics, emergency crews, and hospitals. It continued these activities since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.


To support Ukraine and help save more lives, please consider donating to the Leleka Foundation. You can support the Hedgehog Temple fundraiser here.

Art Group Involved in the Installation of QR Codes at Burning Man

Kurenivka is a non-profit organization of Burners from Ukraine that established a Ukrainian-themed camp at the festival. Every year, the group participates in the event to showcase the spirit of Ukraine at Black Rock City.

During the Burning Man event from August 27 to September 4, 2023, the members of Kurenivka teamed up with the Leleka Foundation. They presented “The Hedgehog Temple” installation with QR codes linked to the fundraising page.


Other Uses of QR Codes at Burning Man

Implementing QR codes in “The Hedgehog Temple” installation is not the only use of QR codes at Burning Man. These versatile and engaging tools have also been adopted during the festival for other purposes. 

For instance, every ticket for vehicle permits should include a valid QR code. Since the traffic problem makes the event organizers limit the number of cars entering the event, it’s crucial to identify the vehicles registered for driving to and from Black Rock City in advance.

Besides, all legit Burning Man tickets include unique QR codes to verify their authenticity. This way, the organizers and attendees can prevent fraud since fake tickets for popular events like the Burning Man festival aren’t unique (Burning Man Help Center, 2019).

Other Companies that Used QR Codes for Fundraising

Apart from the example described above, QR codes have become valuable for many non-profit organizations to use in their fundraising campaigns. In 2022, most donations were made via mobile devices (goDonate, 2022), making QR codes a perfect way to attract more people to a charity initiative.

Here are some notable examples of how different companies used QR codes for fundraising.

  • Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea made donating easy, supporting those impacted by cancer. All you have to do is scan the QR code linked to the fundraiser’s appeal donation form.
St Brigid’s Primary School
  • UNICEF modified the organization’s iconic orange box used for charity donations during Halloween, adding a QR code to it. Now, people can choose to put their change into the box or donate digitally by scanning the code (UNICEF, 2022).
  • JustGiving placed a QR code directly on the website, making it possible to donate in no time. Once supporters of a particular initiative scan the code, they are taken to the charity profile page.

Empower Your Charity Campaign with MyQRCode

Regardless of the type and purpose of your charity campaign, you can always rely on MyQRCode. Create a QR code for special events linked to any content, from a website URL, application, or social media page to a video, image, business page, and more. With QR Code Generator for fundraising events, you can easily edit your code’s embedded content and change the details it links to for a better customer experience. Moreover, our tool allows you to adopt the data-driven approach, tracking the number of scans by location or platform. 

Try our advanced QR code generator and create a QR code for your needs today!