About Us


Our mission is to promote peace through service by nurturing future generations

Our History

Shinnyo-en Foundation was established in 1994 by Shinnyo-en, a lay Buddhist order, as a secular, philanthropic arm of Shinnyo-en USA whose members around the world are the source of our funding.  The Shinnyo-en Buddhist Order was established in 1936 by Shinjo Ito, following the principles of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism, one of Japan’s oldest forms of Buddhism. Founded on the commitment to universal truth, compassion and service, Shinnyo-en teaches that all people carry the seed of enlightenment within them and that by acting with sincerity and kindness, they may each bring that seed to fruition.

The Foundation has grown from humble beginnings to now having the privilege of touching many lives. We support community-based organizations and educational institutions that engage and inspire youth in meaningful acts of service in hopes of building a more caring, harmonious and peaceful world. By providing financial and in-kind support, and resources, the Foundation partners with our grantee and affiliate organizations to actualize our vision for bringing out the best in ourselves, our children and our communities.

Our Values

Hands holding a heart


We value meaningful acts of service and the interconnection between giving and receiving.

  • Acts of service enrich our lives as we are of service to others. We believe that the relationship between giving and receiving of service is fluid and reciprocal, and both are mutually beneficial in our daily life. Through service we experience joy and peace while learning about humility and compassion towards ourselves, others, and our community.
A branch with leaves


We value the synergy between acts of service and personal growth.

  • With self-discovery comes personal growth. We encourage each of us to reflect on how we can put our paths to peace into action, and how our effort can benefit those around us. When acts of service are aligned with our paths to peace, service can be better sustained and will lead to a lifetime of growth.


We value growth that leads to transformation of ourselves and others.

  • Service leads to growth and growth leads to transformation. As we serve others and reflect upon our service, we begin to learn more deeply about who we are and how we can use our lives in a positive way. This reflective process will promote our growth and lead to transformative experiences. We may have our own paths, but our lives are interconnected with many others. Our transformation could ripple out to others to make a greater positive impact in the world.

Our Focus Areas

2022-2023 Shinnyo Fellow Cohort

Grants & Programs

We provide financial and in-kind support to community-based organizations and educational institutions that encourage youth to engage with their community in meaningful ways. Areas of focus include service, youth leadership development, social-emotional learning, and interfaith collaboration. Additionally, our sponsored programs are offered to affiliates, grantees and Shinnyo-en youth members who in turn share their stories, build friendships, learn from each other, and explore future collaboration.

Family Service Event

Shinnyo-en USA Temple Support

Our grantmaking and programming are concentrated on five Shinnyo-en USA temple communities. We also support the temples by assisting with their community relationship building and collaborations with local organizations. 

Our targeted communities include:

  • The Bay Area in Northern California
  • Southern California
  • The Greater Seattle Area
  • The Greater Chicago Area
  • The Greater New York Area
IPTP Retreat Series

Shinnyo-en Youth Development Support

Our sponsored programs for Shinnyo-en youth (age high school to mid-30’s) are designed to promote personal growth. These include cross-cultural, interfaith, creative and performing arts programs, community engagement, service, service-learning, and volunteering experiences. Our newest program for Shinnyo-en youth is the Infinite Paths to Peace Leadership Retreat Series. It is designed to promote self-discovery, leadership development, service, and integration of the Shinnyo-en faith into their daily lives.

Visit Shinnyo-en Global Website for more information