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1. How does Shinnyo-en Foundation approach grantmaking?
Shinnyo-en Foundation gives grants to organizations with 501(c)(3) status (no individuals) and educational institutions that share our philosophical values and priorities. Grants are given by invitation only, and therefore go out to groups with whom we can create partnerships with. For more information on our values and priorities, please see About SEF. For more information on the kinds of projects or programs we support, please visit Grants. If you think your organization may be of interest to us, contact our Grants Manager, Francis Bencik ( with a brief introduction.

2. What are your criteria?
Our relationship with your organization is the key component to receiving funding. Grants are given to groups whose mission and primary work align well with our foundation’s mission and our current focus areas. Recent focus areas have included service learning; interfaith dialogue, action, and peacebuilding; and programs that address the root causes of suffering. Shinnyo-en Foundation is primarily interested in organizations and educational institutions with whom we can form collaborative learning relationships – those that are interested in working with us to achieve shared goals.

Lavender3. Where do your funds come from?
We are funded by an endowment and annual contributions from Shinnyo-en USA, a Buddhist Order.

4. What does Shinnyo-en mean?
When it is translated from the Japanese, it means “a borderless garden of truth.”

5. How do I approach the Foundation for funding?
Unfortunately, we cannot accept unsolicited proposals or requests for funding. To see if your organization’s priorities align with ours, first please review the information listed under About SEF and gauge the match between yours and ours. If you’d like to further inquire about the possibility of our funding, please contact our Program Director as listed above.

6. What is your funding cycle?
The Foundation does not have a set funding cycle. Recently we have been working to align grant schedules with the grantee’s timing. Our board reviews grant proposals several times per year but please refer to Guidelines for more information on the process and timing of awarding grants.