ICECF Capacity Building Grants

Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation

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Next deadline: Feb 23, 2021

Later deadlines: Aug 24, 2021

Grant amount: Up to US $40,000

Fields of work: Land/Habitat Conservation

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: General Operating Expense, Capital Project

Location of project: Illinois

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



ICECF Capacity Building Grants

The Foundation will consider projects designed to help increase the organizational capacity of nonprofit groups involved in protecting natural areas and wildlife habitat 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.

Typical grant projects 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.


  • Work plans are unique to fit the needs of the Grantee Organization.  
  • Grants are typically two years in length. 
  • 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 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. 


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. The additional resources that an applicant brings to the project as well as its plan for fundraising both during and after the project ends will be taken into consideration during proposal review. 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.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Applicants:
    • 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations
  • ALL applicants are required to provide a Federal Employer Tax ID/Employer Tax ID Number (FEIN/EIN).
  • This program is primarily for 501(c)(3) organizations.
    • 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. 


  • The Foundation does not offer assistance with re-occurring operational expenses under the Capacity Building program or any of its Natural Areas Funding Categories. 


This page was last reviewed December 15, 2020 and last updated December 15, 2020