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

Reflections on the Donnelley Board

The success of our Foundation is no doubt due in part to the unusual structure of our board for a family foundation: Family members work closely with others from Chicago and the Lowcountry, helping to guide our mission and strategies. Read More »

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 »

Recent Tweets

23 Nov
Meeting time @HobcawBarony a 16,000 acre research center. Learn more about this historic property

23 Nov
Great morning on #Winyah Bay: #Lowcountry #conservation history tour from @SCDNR &

23 Nov
Sandy Island: Conservation victory story #Waccamaw #NWR @selc_org @scccl @brookgreensc @nature_org @USFWSSoutheast

23 Nov
Learning the conservation history of #Winyah Bay from @SCDNR , heading up the #PeeDee River.