We Are Building American Buddhism


As of July, 2019, we completed our grant making allocations for 2020. Accordingly, we are unable to accept Letters of Interest or grant requests for 2020 in any grant category.  Due to the COVID 19 health crisis, we are moving our national conference described below to June 2 - 5, 2022 to the Garrison Institute in New York. This opens up 2021 grant making to our former and existing grantees that may need financial operational assistance in 2021. Letters of Interest may be 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 of $100,000 to $200,000.  Please click on this link to submit the Form.  In addition, all existing grant commitments for 2021 will be honored, and the Pay It Forward recoverable grant program continued. All other grant making for 2021 described below will be suspended.

Update 9/24/20 -- Please note that although we don’t have a specific cut off date for 2021 grant request submissions, we already have requests far exceeding our available funds, and once our funds are exhausted after we allocate them, grant making for 2021 will be closed. Accordingly, if you are planning  to make a submission and have not yet done so, you should do so as soon as possible in order to be timely considered.  

For 2022, 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, 2022. For more information and to stay current on conference planning, please see our Events page.  Grant requests for 2022 will be considered following this conference and or as part of the on line training and teaching program which will precede 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. 

New Grantees

In order to receive a grant from the Lenz Foundation, you must first submit a Letter of Interest by clicking on this link. We do not accept unsolicited Letters of Interest via email or phone.  This Offer is suspended for 2021 as described above due to the current crisis and our intention to direct 2021 grant making to our current grantees which might be in financial distress.

The Lenz Foundation accepts 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, 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.

We make grants in these categories:

Buddhist Scholarship

Prisons, Law, and the Justice System

Buddhist Media and Web Platforms

Retreat Centers

Eco Dharma

Meditation and Mindfulness -- Buddhist

End of Life Care

Meditation and Mindfulness – Schools K1 - 12

Support of Veterans, At Risk Youth or    Communities

Meditation and Mindfulness -- Other

Support for Veterans and People of Color

Women in Buddhism

Please note:

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

Current Grantees

If a current grantee seeks a new grant, the Foundation will consider the following for 2021 only: we will make operational grants ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 to existing grantees payable in 2021 which have in light of the current health crisis, an urgent need to stabilize its organization and preserve its sustainability and core programs. Letters of interest will be considered on and after September 21, 2020. Normal grant making will resume in 2022 with the bullet points guideposts set out below in conjunction with the themes of our Garrison national conference.

If a current grantee seeks the extension of a grant previously made by the Lenz Foundation, 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.