Making grants to organizations is the primary way we fulfill our mission of Land Conservation, Artistic Vitality, and Regionally Significant Collections in the Chicago region and Lowcountry of South Carolina. 

Guidelines and applications vary by program and geographic area, but the following apply to all applicants:

  • Organizations must be 501(c)(3) public charities.
  • Organizations must have completed at least one full fiscal year of operations before applying.
  • We do not support:
    • Individuals, religious activities, political campaigns, or legislative lobbying.
    • Fiscal sponsorships or fiscal agents.
    • Stand-alone conferences, publications, films, events, websites, or videos.
    • Endowments, capital campaigns, or debt reduction.

​For guidelines and applications specific to the program and geographic area for which you're applying, use the menu at left. 

Please call if you have any questions before submitting a complete proposal, as we do not have an open Letter of Intent (LOI) process. Full proposals are reviewed twice a year. Your complete proposal must be submitted online by 11:59pm Central Time on the following deadlines:

Friday, April 3, 2015 for review at our July 2015 board meeting
Friday, July 31, 2015 for review at our November 2015 board meeting

Questions? Please Contact Us.

Application process, grant procedures, deadlines, or reporting requirements: 
Susan Clark, Grants Manager or 312-977-2700

Chicago region land conservation or collections:
Arthur Pearson - Director, Chicago Region Program 312-977-2709

Chicago region arts:
Ellen Placey Wadey - Program Officer 312-977-2707

Lowcountry programs: 
David Farren - Executive Director; contact his assistant Mary Jo at 312-977-2708

From the Blog

Calumet Field Notes

Notes from our three day immersive board meeting in the Calumet region. Read More »

Begin Here

What has five syllables, is difficult to pronounce but is an easy way to learn more about the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation? Read More »

Remembering Life Director Elliott R. Donnelley

We are saddened to share that Elliott Ranney Donnelley, eldest son of Gaylord and Dorothy, passed away Friday, April 11, 2014. Elliott was the first of Gaylord and Dorothy’s children... Read More »

Recent Tweets

29 Oct
Big #MillenniumReserve news @nwi: Public recreational access coming to Lake Calumet

28 Oct
Landscape scale conservation in photos MT @NatGeoMag: New issue reveals the wildness of South Carolina's #ACEBasin

25 Oct
Chicago! RT @ABPPNPS: Arnold Randall of @FPDCC and @chiwilderness discusses challenges in urban landscape. #NWLLC2014

24 Oct
Dr. Mamie Parker bringing it home at #NWLLC2014 ! We're all "a piece of work!"