Guidance for Grant Seekers

Please scroll down this page to find specific information about Hidden Leaf’s grantmaking process and submitting letters of inquiry.

As mentioned previously, Hidden Leaf provides grants to expand inner awareness within social change organizations in order to enhance the effectiveness of the progressive movement. Specifically, we provide grants to:

  • Progressive social change organizations that use awareness practices to enhance their work,
  • Leadership development and training organizations that help progressive non-profits integrate awareness practices into their work, and
  • Field-building organizations that develop and deepen transformative social change work by conducting research, convening allies, mobilizing funders, and developing new models.

Hidden Leaf provides funds to groups across the progressive spectrum addressing issues such as racial equity, forest protection, health care reform, climate change, workers’ rights, and reproductive justice. The awareness practices currently used by grant recipients include contemplative meditation, deep listening and other interpersonal communication tools, work that helps align values and actions, somatic movement, and improved wellness and organizational sustainability practices.

In the present circumstances, no one can afford to assume that someone else will solve their problems. Every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged.

— His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

We currently provide approximately $800,000 in grants each year to about 30 organizations.

We do not fund the following:

  • Organizations that provide social services (as opposed to promoting systemic change);
  • Organizations that do not have a 501(c)(3) tax-exemption (unless they have a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor); and
  • Individuals, even if their work is aligned with our mission.

Grantmaking Process

Given the specialized nature of our funding, we require potential grant applicants to first submit a Letter of Inquiry rather than a proposal to allow us to determine whether there is an appropriate match. Because we have a small part-time staff, we do not accept unsolicited proposals.

Hidden Leaf Foundation provides both general support and specific “Transformative Change Grants” which we award to frontline or advocacy groups engaging awareness practices to further their mission. This “Transformative Change Grant” falls somewhere between a general support grant and a project grant. Our grantees use these special grants for some form of personnel or organizational development work, with an emphasis on transforming the way they operate.

We typically award grants between $5,000 and $50,000 (although we occasionally give larger grants). Once we develop a solid relationship with effective organizations in our field of interest, we may consider multi-year proposals.

We accept Letters of Inquiry throughout the year. We award grants once a year in the fall. LOIs received before August 1st will be eligible for consideration for our annual proposal deadline (September 1st).

Submitting a Letter of Inquiry

If you are interested in the possibility of applying for Hidden Leaf funding, please send a letter of no more than two pages via email to: The letter should include:

  • Contact person, address, telephone, email, and web address.
  • A one-paragraph introductory description of your organization and how your work fits within the mission of Hidden Leaf Foundation.
  • A brief description your mission and your programs.