About SYL Foundation

Sheng-Yen Lu Foundation was founded by H.H. Living Buddha Lian Sheng in 2008.

SYL Foundation is driven by the belief that the practice of compassion is an essential part of Buddhism and of life. Although the Foundation is motivated by Buddhist principles, its mission and reach encompass people of all faiths.

SYL Foundation is a non-profit public charity supported by the True Buddha School community, where many community members are immigrants to the United States.


Sheng-Yen Lu Foundation strives to combine compassion and philanthropy with strategic grant making to advance and promote quality health and education for all.

Who We Serve

Sheng-Yen Lu Foundation primarily focuses on serving low-income immigrant and refugee communities in Washington’s King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Our grants benefit all people regardless of religion, race, age, national origin, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.

What We Believe

Immigration is a source of strength and vitality for the United States.
Education and healthcare are basic human rights and should be accessible to all.
Solutions to systemic inequities must be rooted in the affected communities. We proudly support immigrant and BIPOC leadership, invest in community-based systems change efforts, and practice trust-based philanthropy.
Embracing different approaches to new and ongoing problems can foster transformative innovation.
Accountability and transparency are fundamental to our operations.
Connectedness, embracing one’s compassion through acts of charity, and the combined power of human goodwill are the cornerstones to effecting positive change.

Our Commitment To Racial Equity


Because of institutional and systemic racism, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) disproportionately experience inequities in our country. For immigrants and refugees, language barriers, anti-immigrant bias, and discriminatory policies are contributing and compounding factors.


Race-based inequities result in disproportionately negative outcomes across multiple measures of well-being. BIPOC communities tend to have less access to quality health care and higher rates of disease and illness compared to their white counterparts. In the educational system, students of color are disciplined more, graded lower, and have fewer role models in the classroom than their white peers; support for English Language Learners is inadequate. Systemic inequities also mean more families of color live in poverty than white families.


Race-based inequities are created by past and present racism. It is imperative that we recognize, acknowledge, and address racism in order to make progress toward a society with equal opportunity for all—where people have homes and health care, students graduate, and families are financially stable.


At SYL Foundation, we confront systemic injustice and discrimination by addressing immediate needs as well as the root causes of disparities, and we support policy-making that dismantles racial inequities in our region. We seek to lift up BIPOC and immigrant leadership, to support solutions that are rooted in community, and to partner with those who are advocating for systemic change. We provide financial resources and the power of our voice to those organizations working to build wealth, challenge norms, and re-distribute power to create a more just and equitable society.


Financial Accountability

We value the trust and support of our donors and take the stewardship of every resource entrusted to us seriously.

→ We optimize our resources and look for ways to leverage funds for maximum impact.
→ We carefully monitor and review programs and costs.
→ We strive to keep our overhead rate low so that more funding can go to those in need.
→ Our investment policy reflects our ideals of social responsibility. We have divested from fossil fuel holdings and do not hold investments in the private prison industry.

We post our IRS Form 990 as they become available here.