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Standing Up for Mission and Values in These Challenging Times

Posted on December 19, 2017 by David Farren

As 2017 comes to a close, it’s an opportune time to reflect on this past year, and for the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, its past 65 years on this milestone anniversary. I am privileged to regularly witness the deep commitment of board and staff to the Foundation, our grantees, funding partners, and mission areas. In this spirit, I would like to share a three-minute long 65th anniversary video narrated by our board chair, Laura Donnelley, in which she eloquently shares about the family legacy that grounds our approach.

Also on the topic of the past year, we are sharing a press release that highlights some of our 2017 grantmaking and related endeavors. In particular, I’d like to call out the special grants totaling $1 million over the next two years to six organizations to defend federal policies that support land conservation outcomes in our two regions. Having previously worked as an environmental lawyer for a non-profit, I am disheartened by the shortsighted effort to dismantle the common sense programs that help protect the air, land, water and natural resources on which our communities depend. (A complete list of recent year’s grants is available on our web site.)

In these tumultuous times, it often seems that the core principles that underlie the rationale for our mission areas are under attack from Washington. Our board and staff have redoubled our commitment to the values that drive our passion to support land conservation, artistic vitality, and museum collections in the Chicago region and Lowcountry of South Carolina. As we continue to evolve, in collaboration with our grantees, co-funders, and other partners, we will continue to strive to do so with a commitment to honest inquiry, collaboration, and inclusive service to the field.

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