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  • The Lenz Foundation Community 7:41 pm on August 18, 2012 Permalink |  

    Dawn Mountain’s SOMI Report 

    As grantees of the Lenz Foundation, Dawn Mountain’s staff was offered training in the Soul of Money program created exclusively for grantees. Here is what they reported:

    We are proud and humbled to let you know what your $2,500 gift to Dawn Mountain, which brought with it the brilliant year of Soul of Money training, has done for our shared vision and mission. You have helped us open new doors for our work, which is much like your work, translating and transmitting Buddhist principles and practices in ways harmonious with the people we serve in Houston and beyond.

    This is what we did with the Soul of Money training: We used your gift toward starting a Spirit in Art program. Last November, we invited Prof. Robert A. Thurman to initiate the program. Dawn Mountain partnered with the prestigious Museum of Modern Art in Houston to present two talks by him.

    Approximately four hundred people attended Dr. Thurman’s talks-thereby learning about Buddhism, about Dawn Mountain, and greatly increasing our visibility in Houston. The Museum also invited me to give my own two talks on the theme of Spirit in Art last March. Again, about 400 people attended, and Dawn Mountain’s name became more familiar to a very significant sector of the Houston community; a core, well educated demographic that is both new and receptive to Buddhist learning. Fliers for these talks went out to 11,000 households.

    This was an extremely effective use of funds, getting us wide exposure, letting the community know about meditation and our work in Houston to present a rich set of possibilities for the community.

    The Soul of Money training has proven to be a boon beyond boons and completely transformed us at many levels. What a brilliant idea to offer this to your grantees.

  • Heartist 5:16 pm on May 11, 2012 Permalink |  

    Immense Gratitude and Successful Fundraising 

    Dear Wonderful Lenz Foundation,

    From me, on just a very individual and personal level, I would like to express the incredible and deep gratitude I have for all of you and for what you have done for me and for Pema Karpo Meditation Center. You have all been so instrumental in helping me be successful doing something that creates my heart’s desire and is, for me, the most important thing there is to do anytime, anywhere. In addition to the needed funding, you have given us relationships, ideas, examples that we can grow into, people we can call on for help, and knowledge. Generations to come will benefit from your wisdom and generosity.

    In the end, Pema Karpo Meditation Center recently raised $84,617 in cash and a land donation, which was enough to win a matching grant for $10,000 from the Lenz Foundation. Also, we just fundraised over $5,000 when Garchen Rinpoche came to teach in Memphis last weekend, April 29 and 30, 2012! Plus, our Go Green to Get Green E-Bay sales project is going like gangbusters and wonderful things are happening as a result.  (If you would like to visit our on-line store, put the following address in your “favorites” and come back often to browse all the new merchandise we get as we declutter mind and environment —  We are so happy and so grateful to both the Lenz Foundation and Soul of Money for all the help we have received.

    I hope you will plan a trip to the Memphis area one day soon to see us and the Center. I would love to introduce you to the joys of Memphis barbecue…and some real Southern hospitality!

    Much Love and Gratitude to You All,

  • The Lenz Foundation Community 12:19 am on May 8, 2012 Permalink |  

    Brooklyn Zen Center Sit-a-Thon and New York Times Article 

    We are so thrilled to report a lot of good news from the Brooklyn Zen Center and the Awake Youth Project! First, we have made our goal for the Lenz Foundation and the Soul of Money Institute grant! At last count, we have raised $32,804 via the Sit-a-thon site, and an additional $15,000 grant from an outside foundation, placing us over our SOMI goal of $40,000! The Sit-a-thon is less than a week away and we are so excited.

    Second, the Awake Youth Project and the Sit-a-thon was featured in the New York Times yesterday!

    As well as in L Magazine today:

    And finally, a Sangha member shot this very short video featuring the teens speaking about the program:

    Such exciting developments! Thank you so much for all of your generosity in supporting this work. It is truly transforming the lives of young people in Brooklyn, as well as our entire community.

    All the best,
    Yael Shy

  • The Lenz Foundation Community 5:10 am on March 10, 2012 Permalink |  

    Brooklyn Zen Center's Brooklyn Sit-A-Thon 

    Here is an update regarding the Brooklyn Sit-a-Thon!

    We are about a month away from the event (April 21st) and things are going wonderfully. We already have 31 people pledged to sit for the whole day, 4 teams, and over 200 people who have donated to these Sitters, and we anticipate those numbers to keep climbing rapidly. We have already raised nearly $11,000 through online donations, with an additional $25,000 from offline donors. We have prize donations from restaurants and cultural institutions from all around Brooklyn and New York City — it’s shaping up to be an extremely successful, community-wide event and we are so excited!

    You can see the profiles of our sitters and their moving descriptions of WHY they are participating – as well as lots of other news, pictures, and blog entries – at

  • The Lenz Foundation Community 6:10 am on February 8, 2012 Permalink |  

    SOMI & The Institute for Jewish Spirituality 

    I want you to know that the work you enabled us to do with the Soul of Money Institute is becoming more and more a part of our fundraising efforts. We revised the organization’s mission and values specifically for our development program. We are planning four new point of entry events for 2012, looking to regions that are strategically important: Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Portland. And, we have taken to heart the SOMI definitions of donors and stakeholders, joining with staff, board and volunteers to inspire and educate people who have been donors to become stakeholders. It’s really thrilling and we are grateful to you for the opportunity to learn these approaches. — Lisa Zbar

  • The Lenz Foundation Community 1:37 am on January 20, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: collaboration   

    The Interdependence Project – Coalition Building 

    Our coalition-building is further establishing us with the community we serve the most. With your guidance, we are collaborating with organizations both in NYC and further, to best share resources and maximize our “skillful means”. At our final holiday event this year we met our goal taking in close to $11,000. Kristi from SOMI attended (as did Chodo and Koshin from the NY Zen Center for Contemplative Care) and was keenly instrumental with fund-raising strategies for the evening. To date, we are partnering with the remarkable Garrison Institute for a major Transformation Activism Symposium in March. New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman and other luminaries are lending substantial influence and visible profile to this important effort. Also, environmentalist, entrepreneur and long-time zen practitioner Paul Hawken has very kindly invited me to use home this January 2012 as an IDP headquarters while pursuing Major Gifts in the Mill Valley area. The last week of the year IDP was represented at Shantigar’s 400 acre retreat center in Rowe MA, with whom we are teaming up to share expenses and revenues for an exciting Arts-in-Service program. Further collaborators include: “Off the Mat,” Harvard Graduate School of Education Project Zero research team, NYU’s Anne Waldman, and many more. The coalition-building is on!

    Interdependence Project Holiday party 2011: Kristi, MV, Chodo, Peter, Koshin, Kat

  • The Lenz Foundation Community 9:59 pm on December 2, 2011 Permalink |  

    Fundraising Success — Rama Meditation Society 

    The Rama Meditation Society (RMS) held a fund-raising event on November 7, 2011 in San Francisco.  We used the principles we learned from Lynne to frame the ask from our first email invitation.  We held a free, two-hour reception – a suggestion from Lynne.  During the event, we had six brief presentations (an idea from Lynne), with almost every one repeating the ask.  Two of our speakers — Diane Mailey of Zen Hospice and Chris McKenna of the MBA project — provided education on how the Lenz Foundation has helped them in their work.   They contributed greatly to an interesting and upbeat reception.

    We put together the event very last minute — about 3.5 weeks from first announcement to execution.   We raised close to $11,000 — adding to the total we have raised to date of $55,000!

    We’re grateful to SOMI and the Lenz Foundation for introducing us to fundraising tools and for the chance to meet so many great grant recipients.

    — Rama Meditation Society






  • The Lenz Foundation Community 9:47 pm on December 2, 2011 Permalink |  

    Fundraising/Community-building success! Zen Life & Meditation Centenr 

    Hello Norman,

    Wanted to share with you our great results on the first Ask Event we’ve held as a result of the super training we received from the Soul of Money folks and made possible by the Lenz Foundation grant to the Zen Life & Meditation Center.

    We held a free Fundraising Luncheon on Nov. 13th and raised a little over $25,000 in pledges over 3 years!  We followed the Benevon Model plus enriched by the year-long training, we plunged ahead with this luncheon. We plan to institute monthly Point of Entry events in January followed up by a second Luncheon in May.

    We are very excited about this process and see that it’s such an excellent way to go in terms of fundraising.

    Thank you very much for your help in making this possible!!!  Please also share this email with Norm Marcus and Lisa Lewinson.

    June Tanoue
    Questions on details arose during the planning of the event just after the conference – we had just 7 weeks to plan the luncheon.  Kristi Scarpone really was great to “hold my hand” through this having never done it before.  Terry Axelrod’s book didn’t cover all of the details.

    The year-long training was most helpful in terms of

    • building a foundation of sufficiency and self-confidence that it is a spiritual and sacred path to ask people to support our work and that people would give because they want to build a world where the community profits
    • being introduced to the Benevon Model by Lynne
    • the one on one with Kimberley was also helpful in being able to see that our Annual Meeting for our Members should be transformed into a free Luncheon fundraiser and take advantage of our move into our first commercial space lease.
    We’re also sending out an end of year email direct ask per Kristi’s suggestion to all the people who did not yet give and gear it for the needs of the new space.
  • The Lenz Foundation Community 2:37 am on November 7, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: Fund raising approach   

    Reciprocity Foundation Fund Raiser 

    Come and celebrate the grand opening of the Reciprocity Foundation’s
    new Holistic Center for Homeless Youth.

    When: Wednesday November 9th, 2011
    Where: 255 W36th Street, Suite 1204 (btwn 7/8th Avenue)

    Drop in anytime between 5-9 pm for a chance to sit in meditation, view a film, receive a massage and engage in conversation with diverse members of the Reciprocity community.

    Bring a friend. Come ready to be inspired. Make a pledge to join our community.

  • soulofmoney 6:41 pm on October 12, 2011 Permalink |  

    Soul of Money Park City photos 

    Here are some more photos of the inspiring conference in Park City.  Enjoy!

  • The Lenz Foundation Community 11:48 pm on October 5, 2011 Permalink |  

    MBA Collaboration with Prison Dharma Network 

    Collaboration continues to arise from the community you all put together –

    here’s MBA doing a webinar for Prison Dharma Network last night:


    — Chris McKenna

  • Heartist 4:47 am on September 30, 2011 Permalink |  

    Good Morning Everyone from lovely Memphis Tennessee I… 

    Good Morning Everyone from lovely Memphis, Tennessee!.

    I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to the Lenz Foundation for bringing together the many groups in its circle of influence, and to the Soul of Money Institute and Consulting Firm for the thoughtful and caring fundraising training it provided so expertly to the members of this circle. For many years, I have known of these groups, read their publications, even visited their websites and perhaps caught sight of the photos of some of the principal staff. But actually having an opportunity to talk with, know and become friends with so many has been a remarkable experience. There is so much commonality among us. The experience of this fundraising work has been both transformative and miraculous – thank you Lenz Foundation and Soul of Money!

  • carolornstein 5:03 am on September 28, 2011 Permalink |  

    Thank You! 

    Many thanks to the Frederick Lenz Foundation and to the Soul of Money Institute for all of the fundraising classes and workshops!!

  • The Lenz Foundation Community 6:58 pm on September 27, 2011 Permalink |

    From Joanne A. Schneider
    Dawn Mountain Tibetan Temple, Community Center, and Research Institute
    Houston, TX

    Dear Norman, Norm, Lynn, Kay, Kristi S., Kristi N., Katiyana, and Kimberly,

    I would like to thank you from the deepest part of my heart for the revelations you unveiled to me at the Lenz SOMI Conference.

    While I participated in almost all of the webinars, this was my first conference. I have returned home from this transformational experience viewing fundraising in an astonishing new way – that there are no “askers” and “donors,” only partners sharing a passion for my organization who will participate in its development in ways that match their respective circumstances. Of course, Lynn’s Soul of Money philosophy of giving from the heart provided the wisdom that framed everything we heard and did. The five K’s provided their own juicy nuggets of wisdom that will maintain their freshness over time. And the two Normans demonstrated deep wisdom in speculating that the Lenz funds invested in SOMI training – rather than funding some short-term initiative at each of our organizations – would provide us with tools for self-sufficiency yielding a much more significant payback into the future. In particular, I thank them for their vision and the risk they assumed in funding this 18-month journey that has yielded deep insights, inspiration, motivation, and, I do believe, future life cycle benefits.

    There were several major insights that I gained from the collective wisdom the SOMI “posse” had to impart. One is the centrality of one’s organization’s values running like strong threads through the fabric composing its infrastructure – vision, mission, strategic plan programs, and leadership. And that they also must be reflected in a parallel structure for fundraising. The second was the educational, shared context of fundraising from the heart for social profits/prophets that gives others opportunities to be vested in an improved future. And the third is the emergence of a powerful network of participants, not just of individuals but organizations, that can keep mentoring each other in our respective strengths in on-going collaboration – a non-competitive learning community! There were many more things I could list as well. For example, I think the Benevon Program is an incredibly powerful tool for cultivating and maintaining partners that we will be putting in place this fall. Kristi Scarpone was immensely helpful to us in working out the questions we brought with us and allowed us to see how we can move forward with implementing it now. And, Katiyana patiently recorded on an iPhone several videos for my Dawn Mountain team which convinced me to upgrade my first generation iPad to an iPad 2 with HD video.

  • The Lenz Foundation Community 6:54 pm on September 27, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: Fund raising successes   

    From Gerry Wick of Great Mountain Zen Center:

    I want you to see a short video we compiled from our fund raising
    event using techniques we learned at the SOMI conferences. You can see it at:

  • The Lenz Foundation Community 6:50 pm on September 27, 2011 Permalink |

    More Park City Photos, click on thumbnail to enlarge

  • The Lenz Foundation Community 4:40 am on September 27, 2011 Permalink |

    Great photos from Park City, tx to Eileen Torpey 

    width=”150″ height=”100″ class=”alignnone size-thumbnail wp-image-45″ />

  • The Lenz Foundation Community 4:10 am on September 27, 2011 Permalink |


    I got up this morning with the thought that one could not ever thank you and the Frederick P.Lenz Foundation enough for the extraordinary gift The Lineage Project has been given to be part of the learning community you created under the leadership of the Soul of Money Institute.

    So…I decided to just thank you one more time..

    Beth Navon, The Lineage Project

  • The Lenz Foundation Community 4:09 am on September 27, 2011 Permalink |

    Gratitude and Transformation 

    With our Soul of Money diplomas in hand, every organization who came to Park City and those who did not can now keep the momentum going with the generous and loving atmosphere created by Lynne Twist and the four K’s. This blog supports videos, links, photos, group notifications and more. Looking forward to lots of posts and great news! Lisa — Lenz Foundation

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