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

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
• Meditation 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, 2023 – closed

Grant-making, 2024 – Closed

From May 4, 2023 through 12 noon on September 30, 2023, the Lenz Foundation accepted grant applications for its 2024 grant theme, Women Leaders in Buddhism, described below. We received over 70 applications covering a wide range of programs. 


In November of 2023, we awarded 60 grants that will be disbursed during 2024.  In order to support the quantity and quality of the programs offered, we combined our ’24 and ’25 grant pool for a  total of $670,000 in funding.  Starting in mid-2024, we look forward to sharing the innovative work of Women Leaders in Buddhism with fellow grantees and the public.

We are honored to support the diversity and vitality of Buddhist women’s empowerment.

Women Leaders in Buddhism 2024 Grant Theme

From the time of the Buddha to the present, women have played an important part in the flourishing of the dharma, but their stories have been lost and their contributions forgotten. Newly surfaced histories of Buddhist realized women practitioners, activist nuns, and a new generation of female teachers and leaders are creating an exciting wave of change. It is no longer a rarity to find Buddhist women leaders and role models, but is enough being done? How are female leaders inspired and cultivated? What kinds of Buddhist leadership do these women exhibit, and how do they serve sentient beings? How can this trend develop and grow?

“You cannot be what you cannot see.“ This phrase has been used to promote leaders in media and STEM fields. As contemporary women exemplify change and growth, develop educational and training programs, and uncover a vast historic library of powerful Buddhist females, the time is right for Buddhist women to see who they can be. They can deepen their practice, awaken their realization and lead their communities to the full flower of the dharma.

In 2024, Lenz Foundation grants will cover the emergent, broad-based field of women’s leadership in Buddhism, bringing women to the foreground in innovative ways and creating programming for empowering women.

Please visit the Women in Buddhism page to learn more about our foundation’s longtime roots in this topic.  Thank you for your interest in the Lenz Foundation.