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Capacity Building Grant

Grants to Illinois Environmental Nonprofits
to Strengthen Organizational Capacity

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation

Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to $40,000 to Illinois nonprofit environmental and conservation organizations for organizational capacity building projects. Funding is intended for projects that increase the capacity of nonprofits that protect wildlife habitat and natural areas in Illinois. The objective of the grant program is to broaden and strengthen the Foundation's applicant pool and ultimately increase the amount of funding opportunities for projects that purchase and protect habitat.


The Foundation will consider requests that include limited support for staff if certain criteria are met. Funding typically provides access to outside technical experts to assist with activities such as:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Fundraising for a Land Acquisition Fund, a Defense Fund, or to become self-sustaining
  • Board Development
  • Organizational Development
  • Land Trust Alliance (LTA) organizational assessment and training
  • Implementation of LTA Standards and Practices


  • Board of Directors has previously adopted specific land acquisition and natural resource protection goals.
  • Application demonstrates the connection between increasing the organizational capacity and the protection of natural areas and wildlife habitat in the state.
  • Project work plan is clearly designed so that the Grantee Organization will be self-sustaining (if it is not already) and ready to bump up its habitat protection efforts at the conclusion of the proposed project.

Grant requests from applicants organizations with additional funds from other sources will be more competitive.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 151295

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Eligible applicants may apply for up to $40,000 for a two-year grant project. Rarely will the Foundation’s grant cover the full cost of the work proposed.
- Limited funding for staff may be considered during the second year of a grant provided that the Grantee organization is able to raise a match for these funds during the first year.

Term of Contract:

Grants are typically two years in length.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. ALL applicants are required to provide a Federal Employer Tax ID/Employer Tax ID Number (FEIN/EIN).

If you represent a college or a university and have an idea for a project that would build the capacity of conservation organizations and agencies to protect native wildlife habitat in Illinois, please call the Foundation before submitting an application.

Pre-Application Information:

- February 23, 2021
- August 24, 2021

A confirmation e-mail is sent after the application is received. The Foundation may follow up with additional questions for applicants.

The Foundation’s review process can take three months or longer. The grant award process is competitive. Some projects may be awarded at lower levels than requested; others may be declined altogether.

Most grant projects supported under the Capacity Building grant program focus on assisting a single organization. Contact the Foundation if you have an idea for a project that will build the capacity of multiple partner groups to advance land conservation in Illinois.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Contact: Frances Kane

Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation
2 N. LaSalle, Suite 1140
Chicago, IL 60602
P: (312) 372-5191
F: (312) 372-5190

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Illinois

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