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

Field Notes from the Lowcountry

The coast north of Charleston, South Carolina is rich with extensive natural areas, which Foundation board and staff visited in November. Read More »

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 »

Recent Tweets

11 Dec
Congrats @sethbou of @acmchicago MT @jvonrhein: Putting new #classical music within reach of all #chicagomusic

6 Dec
Weekend plans? Visit the untamed #Lowcountry of the #ACEBasin - Maps & videos by @islandpacket for birding, hiking

5 Dec
Congrats #migratory bird conservation champions @BeidlerAudubon @nature_sc @DucksUnlimited @SCDNR & @USFWSSoutheast

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