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Chicago Land Conservation Grant

Grants to Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin Nonprofits and
Agencies for Land Resources Stewardship and Preservation

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation (GDDF)

Deadline Date:

07/26/19 11:59 PM CT


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Grants to Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin nonprofit organizations and government agencies to support landscape-scale stewardship and preservation activities throughout the Chicago region. Funding may be requested for both projects and general operating support.

This program supports efforts throughout the Chicago region with a current emphasis on five priority landscapes: Calumet, Forest Preserves of Cook County, Grand Kankakee, Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge, and Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.

To Protect and Restore:
There are nearly 10 million people living in Greater Chicagoland, making it the third largest metropolitan region in the country. Nevertheless, there is a long tradition of preserving land. Currently, more than 550,000 acres of woodlands, wetlands and prairie lands are permanently protected. The Chicago Wilderness has a goal to expand, buffer and connect those protected lands further still. The ultimate goal is to achieve a thriving, interconnected network of approximately a million and a half acres. Occasionally, when opportunities arise to preserve lands of exceptional strategic significance, the Foundation offers Program Related Investments to existing grantees.

To Grow Stronger:
Protecting more land is a big job. Stewarding it long-term is an even bigger job. That’s why the Foundation offers general operating grants to sustain land conservation organizations, as well as capacity-building grants to help them meet expanded land conservation opportunities. The Foundation also encourages partnerships and collaborations to accelerate and enhance the Chicago region's conservation goals.

To Advocate Change:
Some land conservation happens with easements or acquisitions. Some with volunteers armed with loppers. Some occur at the policy level. For this reason, the Foundation supports advocacy efforts to align regional planning and on-the-ground results with established land conservation goals.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181406

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

-You must be a 501(c)(3) public charity or unit of government.
- You must be in compliance with your Secretary of State.
-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 Foundation’s Chicago Region includes:
-Wisconsin: Walworth and Kenosha Counties
-Illinois: McHenry, Lake, Kane, Cook, Dupage, Kendall, Will, and Grundy Counties
-Indiana: Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties

The following are not eligible:
-Religious activities, political campaigns, or legislative lobbying
-Stand-alone conferences, publications, films, events, websites, or videos
-Endowments, capital campaigns, or debt reduction.

Pre-Application Information:

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

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

Contact Information:

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

To apply online:

If you have questions about Chicago Region Land Conservation grants or PRIs, please contact Director, Grants and Communications, Susan Clark, by email at or at 312.977.2705.

Chicago Office
35 East Wacker Drive
Suite 2600
Chicago, Illinois 60601-2102
312.977.2700 tel
312.977.1686 fax

Grant Coverage Areas:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Illinois: McHenry, Lake, Kane, Cook, Dupage, Kendall, Will, and Grundy Counties;   Indiana: Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties;   Wisconsin: Walworth and Kenosha Counties