2019 in Review

As this decade come to a close, it’s a great opportunity to reflect on my 7 years as executive director of the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation. We have increased grantmaking in all programs across both regions, with an emphasis on multi-year, general operating support and broadening our grantee pool. I am privileged to lead a team committed to creating relationships based on trust and respect.
With that, I offer a few of the highlights of the past year…

With the addition of those approved at our board meeting a few weeks ago, we awarded over $7.5 million to 164 organizations, of which 75% were multi-year, general operating grants. See the full list here

We welcomed to our board Denise Gardner from Chicago and Wendi Huff from Charleston. Our Chicago staff team was joined by Juan Garcia, Staff Accountant and Rebecca Judd, Conservation Program Officer. Read more about all four here.

In Artistic Vitality, we celebrated the Year of Chicago Theater with social media posts highlighting our theater grantees, some of whom were written about in the Chicago SunTimes. A survey of those grantees was the focus of a Chicago Tribune article

In Land Conservation, in case you missed it in the spring, we released our report exploring new conservation tools, with partners Delta Institute, Lyme Timber, and Open Space Institute. Read more and download the report here.

In Collections we have wrapped up a year-long strategy exploration. Thanks to all that attended focus groups and workshops. Stay tuned in 2020 for more information about our new strategy and grantmaking guidelines.

We hosted racial equity trainings for grantees in both regions. Interested in attending in 2020? Sign up for more info by emailing Photo above is of Lowcountry conservation groups at a training in the fall.

Our 2020 grant deadlines are March 27, 2020 for review at our July 2020 board meeting and July 31, 2020 for review at our November 2020 board meeting.

Both offices are closed December 24 and 25 and January 1. A happy, healthy new year to you and yours! 

Best Wishes, 
David Farren, Executive Director


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