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
  • 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, 2022

Grant-making  (individual, collaboration) was based on attendance at “The Future of American Buddhism” conference that we co-hosted with Naropa University, June 2-5, 2022.  Grant proposals aligned 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 were accepted between June 12 and August 15, 2022 (now closed).  Preference was given first to those who attended the in-person conference and second to those who attended the livestream of the conference.  This was one of many criteria used in considering grant applications, with emphasis on the overall quality of the grant proposal.  

We also favored grants that promoted collaboration.   We  considered larger grants to collaborating organizations when and if the collaborators determined this was a win-win.  All past and current grantees as well as new grantees who attended the conference were eligible to apply for a collaboration grant.

Women in Buddhism and Pay It Forward  grants were  unaffected.

Grant-making, 2023

After The Future of American Buddhism conference, we received 56 grant proposals with requests totaling over $1M.  We decided to allocate our 2023 grant budget to assist in covering these grants.  Even with applying our 2023 grant budget, we still had a shortfall of almost $.5 million.  We reached out to other foundations who had co-sponsored the conference or had strong interest in the subject matter and asked for their help in funding post-conference grant requests.  As a result, we received funding assistance from BESS Foundation, Hemera Foundation, Kalliopeia Foundation and Kataly Foundation as well as the Fetzer Institute, Pema Chodron Foundation and Owsley Brown III Foundation.  

We are deeply grateful for the collaboration and support from other foundations that enabled most grant requests to receive a solid amount of funding.  

Our 2023 new grant pipeline is closed for the first three quarters of the year.  We will consider new grant proposals starting in September of ’23 for consideration in 2024 and will post guidelines on this website closer to that time. 

Thank you for your interest in the Lenz Foundation.