We Are Building American Buddhism



As of July, 2019, we completed our grant making allocations for 2020. Accordingly, and due to limited resources, we are unable to accept Letters of Interest or grant requests for 2019 or 2020 in any grant category. 

For 2021, we will make grants (individual or collaboration) based on topics related to the conference we are co-hosting with Naropa University, “The Future of American Buddhism,”  in June, 2021. For more information and to stay current on conference planning, please see our Events page.  Grant requests for 2021 will be considered following this conference.

Policy on Grant Making

The Foundation has established a grant-making committee which reports its findings and recommendations to the board of directors from time to time as convenient.

The grant-making committee seeks the advice and counsel of members of the board’s advisory committee and in its discretion, uses such other sources of information and research as the grant-making committee sees fit. The grant-making committee establishes its own agenda and timetables for the making of grants subject to the approval of the board of directors, and meets from time to time as it determines in its own discretion.


Submitting a Letter of Interest

The Foundation will not accept or consider unsolicited requests for grants, but will consider letters of interest to determine the Foundation’s interest in the programs and purposes of any tax exempt 501(c)(3) public charity organization compatible with the mission and vision statements of the Foundation. Inquiries should be limited to two pages describing the organization and the purposes for which the requested funds would be used.  Click here for the Letter of Interest form.

There shall be no funding of an entity other than those described above and funding shall be limited to programs and organizations serving the needs of those in the United States.  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.” 

The Foundation favors grant applications devoted to programs which have the potential to beneficially impact the broadest American audience, and which primarily rely on contributions from other donors with potential for sustainability.  Due to a limitation on the funds available for grant making, the Foundation is not inclined to make grants for the acquisition of capital assets such as land, buildings and remodeling of facilities.

Formal Grant Requests

Once a Letter of Interest has been accepted and the grant making committee has issued a request for proposal be presented, the recipient shall be requested to provide the following:

  • Grant Amount Requested;
  • A statement of the proposed project or program and its goals and the need being served;
  •  Detailed usage of grant funds and timing of proposed disbursements;
  • The commencement date and history of the organization;
  • Its stated objectives and purposes, and a description of the current services offered;
  • The geographic area served;
  • The organization's clients -- to wit, the targeted population;
  • Background on the staff together with the skills and expertise of the same;
  • Identification of the board members and their résumés;
  • Any information concerning the organization's reputation in the community in which it serves;
  • The organization's current and fiscal year-end balance sheets and income statements and budget and a summary of its fiscal management;
  • A statement of the capacity to implement the proposed plan of action and the anticipated means to finance the same with an identification of source of funds and other donors;
  • The percentage of funds the Foundation is being asked to contribute to the particular program or project;
  • To what extent the organization is able to utilize the writings, tapes and/or music of Dr. Frederick Lenz (Rama);
  • Current IRS Letter of Tax Status and IRS Schedule A to Form 990 or 990-EZ, Public Charity Status and Public Support (download form here)

Occasionally, a current grantee inquires about an extension of a grant previously made by the Lenz Foundation.  In making such a determination, the Foundation will consider the following:

  • The Foundation tends 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;
  • Is the Foundation percentage of support for the program going up, down or remaining the same;
  • Is the grantee seeking additional funding for a larger demographic impact or a wider audience.