Philanthropy, Voluntarism, and Grantmaking

The Tibet Fund

New York, NY


Founded in 1981 under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, The Tibet Fund is the primary funding organization for the health, education, refugee rehabilitation, cultural preservation and economic development programs that enable Tibetans in exile and in their homeland to sustain their language, culture and national identity.

Notes from the Nonprofit

Message from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Honorary Patron, The Tibet Fund:

"Since its establishment in 1981, the Tibet Fund has contributed to the building and development of a robust Tibetan community in exile. Over three and a half decades, it has assisted the Tibetan leadership in exile in its work on infrastructural development, refugee rehabilitation, and cultural preservation, while also backing education, healthcare and other capacity-building programs. Through such support, we have been able to strengthen our cultural institutions and undertake projects essential for the preservation of the Tibetan cultural heritage that is the very core of our civilization."

Ruling Year



Mr. Lobsang Nyandak

Main Address

241 E 32nd St 3rd Floor

New York, NY 10016 USA


Tibet, humanitarian, education, refugee assistance, health, development, Tibetan





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Private Grantmaking Foundations (T20)

Ethnic/Immigrant Services (P84)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

The very survival and sustenance of Tibet's identity, culture and religion are at stake both in Tibet and in exile—the former because of China's imposition of authoritarian Tibet policies that violate fundamental human rights and freedom of Tibetan people and the latter owing to the need for humanitarian financing and other assistance to help sustain Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Humanitarian Aid

Education and Scholarships

Cultural and Religious Preservation

Other programs

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Total number of fields trips

Population(s) served


Related program

Humanitarian Aid

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success


Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

The Tibet Fund's mission is to preserve the distinct cultural and national identity of the Tibetan people. The Tibet Fund aims to promote self-reliance and sustain the cohesiveness of the Tibetan community in exile, and to assist the most impoverished and marginalized Tibetans in Tibet.

The Tibet Fund plays a key role in connecting sources of funding, primarily from the U.S., to programs that support the Tibetan people, primarily in the education, health, and livelihoods sectors.

Key strategies in the education sector are increasing access to higher education, both in South Asia and in the U.S., through scholarship programs, test preparation coaching, and counseling; improving the quality of education in more than 75 Tibetan refugee schools through teacher professional development and training, early grade reading skills improvement, student leadership training, and science education investments; and Tibetan education system capacity strengthening.

In the health sector The Tibet Fund's key strategy is strengthening capacity of the Tibetan health system in exile, which delivers essential health services for over 107,000 Tibetans through a network of more than 50 primary health centers, clinics, and hospitals administered by the Central Tibetan Administration Health Department in India and Nepal. Capacity strengthening focuses in particular on TB prevention and treatment, maternal and child health, community health education, health information systems, and health system financing.

Key strategies in the livelihoods sector are enterprise development and training for small and aspiring entrepreneurs; employable skills training for unemployed youth; improved agro techniques, farming technologies, crop varieties, and marketing support for disadvantaged farmers; and capacity strengthening for local implementing partner organizations.

With its head office in New York and a field office in India, The Tibet Fund has a highly qualified staff that enables the organization both to communicate the needs and priorities of the Tibetan people with a high degree of effectiveness, and to successfully manage complex working relationships between supporters in the U.S. and key implementing partner organizations in the field, most prominently the Central Tibetan Administration. 80% of The Tibet Fund's staff is Tibetan and its management team has more than 77 years of combined senior leadership and management experience, including extensive expertise administering federal grants totaling over $61,448,402 million from the U.S. State Department and USAID.

The Tibet Fund utilizes proven methods for monitoring and evaluating the results of the programs it supports. Qualitative and quantitative monitoring data is collected and analyzed to measure progress against indicators that focus primarily on 1-3 year outcomes as well as longer term impact. Our progress as an organization is measured both by the effectiveness of our programs in meeting our program indicator targets, and in the reported perceptions of our beneficiary communities, local partners, and donors that The Tibet Fund is significantly contributing to its mission goals of preserving the distinct cultural and national identity of the Tibetan people, promoting self-reliance and sustaining the cohesiveness of the Tibetan community in exile.

For more than 30 years The Tibet Fund has been the primary funding organization for education, health care, livelihoods improvement, cultural preservation, refugee protection and rehabilitation, elder care, and community development programs, serving more than 100,000 Tibetan refugees living in India and Nepal each year.

Through our education, health, and livelihoods programs we have positively impacted the life of every Tibetan in exile, either as a direct beneficiary, a beneficiary's family member, or both. Through our refugee protection program, since 1990 The Tibet Fund has directly impacted the life of every refugee that has arrived in exile from Tibet, providing more than 64,000 men, women, and children with food, shelter, clothing, health care, legal and physical protection, and safe transition support to enter refugee schools, monasteries, and nunneries after arriving from Tibet. By helping to sustain and strengthen the self-reliance of the Tibetan community in exile, The Tibet Fund has contributed to the preservation of the distinct cultural and national identity of the Tibetan people as a whole.

We have yet to accomplish these goals, or achieve the same depth and breadth of impact, for Tibetans living inside Tibet.

External Reviews


The Tibet Fund

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.


This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity