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How to Apply for a Chicago Region Land Conservation Grant



  • You must be a 501(c)(3) public charity or unit of government.
  • You must have completed at least one full fiscal year of operations before applying.
  • You must have a demonstrated track record of advancing landscape-scale conservation. 


The following are not eligible:

  • Individuals
  • Religious activities, political campaigns, or legislative lobbying.
  • Stand-alone conferences, publications, films, events, websites, or videos.
  • Endowments, capital campaigns, or debt reduction.


Your complete proposal must be submitted online by 11:59pm Central Time on
- March 29, 2019 for review at our July 2019 board meeting
- July 26, 2019 for review at our November 2019 board meeting

It takes about four months from grant application deadline through board decision. After the board meeting, you'll hear from us within a couple weeks.



New applicant?

  • Review our strategy and the eligibility requirements above.
  • Please contact us before starting a new application.


Returning organizations

  • General operations grantee? Please complete the final report in your online account before submitting a new proposal, even if your current grant is still in process.
  • Project grantee? If you plan to apply for a new project, please call before starting a new application.

Online forms

Apply for a general operations grant.

Apply for a project grant.

Return to an application in-progress.


Should you receive a grant, you will be required to submit annual reports. Other requirements may be requested, as well. Deadlines are included in your grant award letter (sent via email). You can access and submit all requirements via your online account, approximately six weeks before they are due.

Program-Related Investments

We don't make grants for land acquisition. In certain circumstances, we may consider a Program Related Investment. PRIs may take the form of loans, guarantees, or credit enhancements. They may be offered as a stand-alone opportunity or in tandem with one or more grants or other kinds of technical assistance. Unlike grants, PRIs are expected to be repaid to the Foundation over a set period of time. Interest rates and fees are set below current market rates, offering affordable bridge financing to vital projects.

To be eligible for a PRI the project must meet the following requirements:

  • The project is a fit with one of the Foundation’s programmatic and geographic areas;
  • The Foundation has a funding history or a strong working relationship with the organization to which the PRI is to be made;
  • There is a viable plan for paying back the PRI (for loans and equity) or for the relinquishment of obligations secured by guarantees and credit enhancements.

Learn more about our PRI guidelines.


If you have questions about Chicago Region Land Conservation grants or PRIs, please contact Director, Grants and Communications, Susan Clark by email or at 312.977.2700.