DVA US Centers Project Circle of Compassion Grant Program
What is the Circle of Compassion Grant Program?
The Circle of Compassion Grant Program is a Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA) US Centers Project program. DVA is the world’s only international Buddhist animal advocacy/rights organization. This program provides a financial incentive for Buddhist centers in the US that have made (in the last six months) significant changes to their menu or food policy by transitioning their menu towards a “Circle of Compassion Menu.”
We offer three different levels for our grants:
- Leaf ~ For an entirely vegan menu that does not contain animal products, such as animal flesh, and foods that include dairy, eggs, or honey, and you’re committed to serving only 100% plant-based products at all events. You are eligible for the $1,000 Leaf Grant.
- Root ~ For an entirely vegetarian menu and you are committed to serving no animal flesh and fewer eggs, honey, and dairy products in the future. For this level, your center must offer an equivalently appetizing vegan option for every meal. You are eligible for the $750 Root Grant.
- Seed ~ For an entirely vegetarian menu: if you are committed to serving no animal flesh and preferably fewer eggs, honey, and dairy products in the future. (For this level, we hope you have some vegan options available at least occasionally.) You are eligible for the $500 Seed Grant.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR THE GRANT?
- You are a US Buddhist Center that serves meals to yogis.
You can still qualify for a grant even when meals are potluck style, food is donated, or meals are catered.
- You have recently adopted (within the past six months) a
- 100% vegan menu
- Vegetarian menu with vegan options
- 100% vegetarian menu
- You don’t serve animal flesh at your center or use animal flesh as an offering.
If you currently (or have within the past six months) served either animal flesh or foods containing any dairy, eggs, or honey within the past six months, you may qualify for one of our grants if you transition your menu towards more plant-rich meals free of animal flesh.
WHO DOESN’T QUALIFY FOR THE GRANT?
- If you serve any animal flesh at your center or use animal flesh as an offering.
- If you do not promote the teachings of the Buddha.
- You are a Buddhist center with a stated vegetarian or vegan food policy or menu older than six months or have never served animal flesh or any other animal products. We can’t thank you enough! Although we don’t have a grant available because of your compassionate policy we would like to support your center in other ways, such as partnering with you to promote your center with our strong US and international reach and in any other way possible. To learn more, please get in touch with us.
Thank you for being a voice for animals. Our grants aim to incentivize non-vegan centers to remove all animal flesh and reduce or remove all animal products from their menus.
What is a Circle of Compassion Menu?
A Circle of Compassion menu is free of animal flesh and includes ‘A LOT OF PLANTS’ :). It requires the funds spent on food for your guests at retreats, events, and fundraisers to be free of animal flesh and ideally/aspirationally only made from plants. Adopting a Circle of Compassion menu aligns your center’s meals with the Buddha’s teachings and your mission of compassion towards all sentient beings.
How to Adopt a Circle of Compassion Menu
Adopting a Circle of Compassion menu is easy!
Follow these simple steps, and remember that we’re here to help.
- Check to see if your organization already qualifies for a Grant! You must have either adopted a new policy eliminating all animal flesh from your menus within the last six months or create a new policy eliminating all animal flesh from your menus. We would be happy to help you do that and have several resources we can offer.
- If you have already adopted a new policy in the last six months eliminating all animal flesh and some or all animal products, congratulations, you already have a Circle of Compassion menu. Please apply for a grant.
- If not, decide if you’d like to eliminate all or just some animal products from your menu and determine what grant you’d like
- Contact Carrie, the Director of DVA’s US Centers Project, if you would like support with recipe selection, menu planning design, and food procurement support to help make your menu transition match your compassion. She can connect you with our nutrition consultants at Balanced if you want free help and several plant-based doctors if you have any questions.
- Implement the changes at your center
- Apply for a grant
HOW WE CAN HELP YOUR ORGANIZATION
- As part of our Circle of Compassion Grant Program, we can connect you with our nutrition consultant partners at Balanced. They can help you with recipe selection, menu planning design, and food procurement support to help you transition to your new plant-forward/rich menu.
- We can connect you to several doctors who can answer any questions about the health benefits of a plant-based diet.
- We can promote you on our social media, website, and e-newsletter. Yogis constantly ask us where they can find retreats at centers that align with the precepts and their values.
- To help with writing a policy, please request our Plant-Rich Menus Guide. This guide provides additional resources, tips, tricks, and tools, to help your center align closer to the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha’s teachings.
- Adopt a Circle of Compassion menu that is
- 100% Vegan
- Vegetarian with Vegan Options
- 100% Vegetarian
You will need proof that your center has adopted a new menu or has adopted one within the past six months. It can either be:
- A policy that is written on your organization’s letterhead and signed by your Executive Director or board.
- A policy statement on your website.
- Any other documentation showing that you have made a menu change in the last six months.
Carefully read over the grant criteria. Then, apply for the Circle of Compassion Menu Grant.
Once submitted, Carrie Thompson, The Director of Dharma Voices for Animals US Centers Project, will contact you to schedule a Zoom or phone call. She will ask you questions about your organization and the grant application.
Our staff will review your application, and we will contact you with a decision.
If approved, Dharma Voices for Animals will mail your organization a check or can pay you via credit card.