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

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.

The Foundation does not make grants for the acquisition of capital assets such as land, buildings and remodeling of facilities.

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, 2021-2022

2021 — Grant-making for 2021 was closed on October 21, 2020. Grants during 2021 focused on assistance to organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The list of COVID-19 grant recipients is here. All existing grant commitments for 2021 were honored, and the Pay It Forward recoverable grant program continued.

2022 — Grant-making  (individual, collaboration) will be based on topics related to the six themes of “The Future of American Buddhism” conference that we are co-hosting with Naropa University, June 2-5, 2022.  Grant requests for 2022 should only be submitted after the conference.  Preference will be given first to those who attend the in-person conference and then to the livestream grantee audience.  Please note that all past and current grantees as well as new grantees will be eligible to apply for a grant.

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

For more information and to stay current on conference planning, please see our Events page. To get a head start on the core themes, we encourage your attendance at the online webinars from March 29-May 3, that will precede and inform the conference.

Letters of Interest

The Lenz Foundation considers Letters of Interest only from tax exempt 501(c3) public charities located in the United States that are compatible with the mission and vision statements of the Foundation.

The grant-making committee will review requests and the recipient will be informed via email with the required additional information to be submitted.

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.