Frequently Asked Questions

We do not accept unsolicited proposals or requests for funding. To see if your organization’s priorities align with ours, you may learn more about our Foundation under the About SEF page. If you’d like to share more information about your organization with us, please submit an inquiry through the Contact Us page addressed to the Grants Manager.

Grants are given to groups whose mission and primary work align well with our Foundation’s mission, current focus areas and priorities. From the start, we want to make our grantmaking approach as relationship-based and intentional as possible so as to help prospective grantees benefit most from our funding. Following several conversations and potential visits, we will invite interested organizations to submit a formal proposal. 

You may share a brief introductory letter or materials with us through the Contact Us page. Please note that less than 10% percent of unsolicited inquiries will be invited to submit a formal proposal each year. The time between an initial inquiry and a possible invitation to submit a proposal varies (a year or more) depending on a number of factors such as our geographical target, your project/program needs, funding capacity, and overall fit with our Foundation’s current priorities.

Our Foundation’s grantmaking operates on a funding schedule and our Board of Directors reviews grant proposals several times per year. However, we do not have a set funding cycle or deadlines. Recently, we have been working to align grant schedules with the grantee’s programmatic services and operational calendars. All information needed to accompany proposals will be outlined in our proposal guidelines, which we will send to prospective grantees at the time when we invite proposals.

Generally, grant sizes vary between $5,000-$50,000 per year. At the time of proposal invitation, the Grants Manager will communicate with the prospective grantee about the grant size and its limits so as to keep our grantmaking as transparent as possible. 

Various factors are taken into account when determining the grant size including whether a grant is supporting our programmatic endeavors or not. Although we do not require that all of our grantees support or take part in our sponsored programs, we may invite our grantees to our programs as thought partners, leaders or resources as opportunities arise.  

In addition, our Foundation provides small sized discretionary funds up to $3,000 per organization per year. These discretionary funds may be used as a bridge fund before we establish a relationship with prospective grantees and/or to support small scale endeavors that are aligned with our mission, focus areas and priorities. For more information about the discretionary funds, please contact Grants Manager from the Contact Us page.

While there are some exceptions made to grantee organizations that support our Foundation’s programmatic endeavors (such as the Shinnyo Fellowship Program), we are typically interested in relatively small sized and geographic-specific organizations with an operational budget of approximately 1 to 2 million.

While our Foundation’s grantmaking is primarily focused around the Shinnyo-en USA Temple communities (Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle), we may consider organizations within the same Shinnyo-en USA Temple state or nearby states since each Shinnyo-en USA Temple serves a geographically large community.

No, our Foundation does not award funding to organizations based outside of the U.S. or U.S.-based organizations providing services internationally.