Grant Policy

Every year since 2003, The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism has made grants to a variety of organizations that support the Foundation’s mission and vision.  As meditation and mindfulness have become increasingly accepted in American society, we have been able to further expand the scope of our philanthropic activities. 

General Policy on Grant Making

The Lenz Foundation makes grants to United States based 501c3 tax exempt public charities for programs in the United States.  The Foundation does not make grants for the acquisition of capital assets such as land, buildings and remodeling of facilities or to individuals.

Over the past two decades of grant-making, we have honed our focus and approach. We currently make grants in these categories:

  • Buddhist Scholarship
  • Buddhist Media and Technology
  • End of Life Care
  • BIPOC, Disadvantaged Communities
  • Prisons, Law and the Justice System
  • Meditation and Mindfulness – Buddhist
  • Mediation and Mindfulness – Schools K-12
  • Meditation and Mindfulness – Other
  • Women in Buddhism

The Foundation favors grant applications devoted to programs that have the potential to beneficially impact the broadest American audience and which primarily rely on financing from other sources with potential for sustainability.

Foundation grants tend to range from $2,500 – $25,000.

Larger “recoverable” grants up to $100,000 are available under the Pay it Forward Program.

Grant-making, 2022

2022 — Grant-making  (individual, collaboration) will be based on attendance at “The Future of American Buddhism” conference that we co-hosted with Naropa University, June 2-5, 2022.  Grants must align with one or more of the following six themes of the conference.

  1. Tradition & Innovation
  2. Leadership, Power, & Empowerment
  3. Dharma for the Environmental Crisis
  4. Engaged Buddhism
  5. BIPOC Wisdom & Skillful Means
  6. Digital Dharma & Virtual Sangha

Grant requests for 2022 will be accepted between June 12 and August 15, 2022.  Preference will be given first to those who attended the in-person conference and second to those who attended the livestream of the conference.  This is one of many criteria we will use in considering grant applications, with emphasis on the overall quality of the grant proposal.  

Please note that we will also favor grants that promote collaboration.  If you find a grant application described here that is similar to your proposed program, please feel free to reach out to that organization.  We understand that collaboration requires more up-front preparation but have also seen that the impact and knowledge-sharing can be greater.  We will consider larger grants to collaborating organizations when and if the collaborators determine this is a win-win.  Samples of past collaboration grants can be viewed here. Please note that all past and current grantees as well as new grantees who attended the conference will be eligible to apply for a grant.

If you are interested in applying for a grant, please contact us at in order to receive a link for the updated formal grant application.

We are no longer requiring a Letter of Interest (LOI).

Women in Buddhism and Pay It Forward  grants are unaffected with continued availability as is.

Current Grantees

After 2022, if a current grantee seeks the extension of a grant previously made by the Lenz Foundation, the grantee should contact us directly.  The Foundation will consider the following:

  • The Foundation seeks to avoid being a permanent source of any grantee’s funding;
  • The Foundation will review the success of the current grant and take that into account, particularly if there has been only one grant cycle funded thus far;
  • The Foundation will review whether the organization has generated interest from other revenue sources and has a long-range funding plan to keep the program sustainable beyond relying on the Foundation;
  • The Foundation will review whether the percentage of its support for the program is going up, down, or remaining the same;
  • The Foundation will review if additional funding is sought for a larger demographic impact or a wider audience.