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.
Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, we moved our national conference described below from June of 2021 to June 2 – 5, 2022 at the Garrison Institute in New York. This opened up 2021 grant-making to our former and existing grantees that needed financial operational assistance in 2021. Letters of Interest were submitted and considered on and after September 21, 2020 for grants payable in 2021 ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 drawn on a special Foundation emergency fund. Because of the great demand, we raised the emergency fund from $100,000 to $200,000.
Grant-making for 2021 was closed on October 21, 2020. We received a substantial number of grant submissions that far exceeded our available grant-making fund allocation. The list of COVID-19 grant recipients is here. All existing grant commitments for 2021 have been honored, and the Pay It Forward recoverable grant program continued.
For 2022, we will make grants (individual, collaboration or Pay it Forward) based on topics related to the themes of the June, 2022 conference, “The Future of American Buddhism,” that we are co-hosting with Naropa University. Grant requests for 2022 will only be considered following this conference. 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 attending the online programs from March through April, 2022.that will precede and inform the conference.
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.
In order to receive a grant from the Lenz Foundation, you must first submit a Letter of Interest.
The Lenz Foundation considers Letters of Interest only from tax exempt 501(3) public charities located in the United States that are compatible with the mission and vision statements of the Foundation. LOIs are accepted at specific times during the year and/or in conjunction with specific events, as announced at the top of this page.
Once a Letter of Interest has been accepted and the grant-making committee has issued a request for a proposal, the recipient will be informed via email with the required information to be submitted.
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.