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.

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, August 1, 2014 for review at our November 2014 board meeting 
Friday, April 3, 2015 for review at our July 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

24 Jul
Summing up what we did during our 3-day Calumet board meeting a couple weekends ago. Thanks for following along!

16 Jul
How to use your org's data to illustrate impact; Illinois Cultural Data Project 7/21/14 Data+Stories=Impact

16 Jul
Thanks for following along this past weekend during our board meeting. Stay tuned for a follow-up blog this Friday.

14 Jul
Hiking within the morainal forest @HeinzeTrust in Valparaiso, Indiana.