Who We Are

Delta Institute works with communities throughout the Midwest to solve complex environmental challenges. We envision a region in which all communities and landscapes thrive through an integrated approach to environmental, economic, and social challenges. Since our founding in 1998, Delta Institute has worked throughout the Midwest, in both urban and rural communities.

Delta Institute’s two primary drivers to enact environmental and economic change in our home region are centered on Thriving Landscapes and Communities.

We maximize our impact, and for every grant dollar we raise, we invest more than four times the amount of funding into our partner communities and geographies.

Environmental and economic issues hit communities of all sizes through disinvestment, inequity, and policy decisions. Disproportionate consequences have been borne by communities that have not historically had a voice, capacity, or resources to change or challenge the environmental and economic problems they face—and that have likely been imposed upon them.

Delta Institute was founded to support and collaborate with communities to improve their environment, increase economic opportunity, and rebuild neighborhood vitality to promote the health and wellbeing of residents. In the year ahead Delta will work with more than 200 partners at the municipal and community levels so that together we achieve our vision for a thriving Midwest.

We maximize our impact, and for every grant dollar we raise, we catalyze more than four times the amount of funding into our partner communities and geographies. Cumulatively, Delta has directed more than $165 million of investment throughout the Midwest over the past 20 years.

What We Do

Our team collaborates with and serves communities, counties, watersheds, citizen groups, fellow nonprofits, and individual families through our efforts.

Since our founding we have worked with hundreds of communities in eight states, impacting more than 2M residents.

Some of our programmatic impact has included:

Millions of gallons of stormwater are more efficiently managed annually through our Green Infrastructure efforts, saving residents from more severe flooding while reducing water pollution.

Communities with closed coal plants and vacant properties have received technical consulting to regain tax revenue with a more sustainable future.

We have diverted nearly 68,000 tons of waste from landfills into reused and recycled materials.

Our conservation efforts have expanded regenerative and soil health practices on more than 50,000 acres of working and natural lands.

Please spend a moment with our project map illustrating project locations throughout the Midwest.

Google Maps

In chronological order is Delta Institute’s recent local, regional, and national media coverage. Questions? Please contact Sidney Freitag-Fey.

September 2, 2021: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Wolf’s carbon-cutting plan ‘in the public interest,’ review board finds

Delta Institute is canvassing communities for strategies to support them in economic diversification and environmental justice efforts as part of our Pennsylvania Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative strategy/assessment undertaking.

July 31, 2021: Curious City, WBEZ, Chicago NPR Affiliate

10 Things To Know About Chicago’s New Waste Strategy

Delta Institute’s CEO Bill Schleizer and Chicago’s Chief Sustainability Officer Angela Tovar participated in a interview covering the 2021 City of Chicago Waste Strategy.

July 20, 2021: Reset, WBEZ, Chicago NPR Affiliate

Reset: New Study Offers Ideas For Improving Recycling In Chicago

Delta Institute’s CEO Bill Schleizer and Chicago’s Chief Sustainability Officer Angela Tovar participated in a interview covering the 2021 City of Chicago Waste Strategy.

July 15, 2021: Chicago Tonight, WTTW, Chicago PBS Affiliate

Chicago Tonight: Results of Waste Management Study Have Chicago Thinking Outside the Black and Blue Cart

Delta Institute’s CEO Bill Schleizer and Chicago’s Chief Sustainability Officer Angela Tovar participated in a live interview hosted by Brandis Friedman covering the 2021 City of Chicago Waste Strategy on the July 15, 2021 episode of Chicago Tonight.

July 14, 2021: WBBM News Radio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

City to take another whack at recycling, waste disposal

Coverage of the 2021 City of Chicago Waste Strategy, emphasizing municipal education on recycling to the general public and equity considerations.

July 14, 2021: WTTW, Chicago PBS Affiliate

Results of Waste Management Study Have Chicago Thinking Outside the Black and Blue Cart

Local PBS coverage of the 2021 City of Chicago Waste Strategy, authored and prepared by Delta Institute with more than 90 collaborators.

July 14, 2021: City of Chicago Office of the Mayor

2021 Waste Strategy

City of Chicago Waste Strategy homepage, with all related materials, learnings, and recommendations.

June 3, 2021: WCBU 89.9FM Radio

Regenerative Ag Advocates: Carbon Markets and Farmers Alone Will Not Fix the Climate Crisis

Delta Institute’s CEO Bill Schleizer was interviewed about how independent farmers and carbon markets are one of many regenerative agriculture mechanisms needed to address climate change.

April 26, 2021: ESSENCE

United Airlines New Diversity Officer Unveils Roadmap For Racial Equality

Features United Airline’s commitment to environmental justice and racial equality; references CSR goals and first-time partnership with Delta Institute as part of their Chicago-market environmental justice efforts.

April 5, 2021: Albuquerque Journal

Capitalism for a cause: Symposium speakers explore ‘socially responsible’ investing

Coverage includes a spotlight on Vanessa Roanhorse, CEO of Roanhorse Consulting, a current Board Director and former staff member of Delta Institute.

April 5, 2021: Chicago Sun-Times

City signs three-year, $79.6 million contract with Lake Shore Recycling

Delta Institute is working with the City of Chicago on waste strategies, including recommendations to increase the gross volume of recycled materials; Delta’s analysis and strategy creation is referenced in this article.

March 25, 2021: The Columbia Chronicle

Sustainability takes a larger role in film production

Delta Institute staff member Megan (Walton) Conway participated in a panel discussion on sustainability in filming, with an emphasis on waste reduction.

December 11, 2020: South Side Weekly

With the Competition for the Chicago Prize Behind Them, Community Organizations Keep Doing the Work

Coverage of continued efforts by Chicago Prize Finalists; Delta Institute and our long-term partner the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) have a Finalist project.

November 6, 2020: Chicago Sun-Times

Changes coming to improve Chicago recycling program stuck at 8% to 9%

Coverage of Delta’s Chicago Waste Strategy efforts, providing the city with recommendations to expand recycling, composting, and reuse.

October 18, 2020: Crain’s Detroit Business

Hair without harm: 2 UM graduates use invasive plant species to create healthier extensions

Coverage of Lillian Augusta, a start-up supported in part by a 2019 BOOST award.

February 24, 2020: Minneapolis Star Tribune

Grants seek market-based reductions of Great Lakes pollution

Delta received funding from the EPA for watershed efforts in Allegan County, Western Michigan, with direct impact on water quality in Lake Michigan.

February 19, 2020: Western Pennsylvania Tribune-Review

Residents urged to weigh in on future of Neville Island’s former Shenango coke plant

Delta’s helped facilitate the Shenango Reimagined Advisory Council, a coalition of regional economic development agencies, community groups, grassroots advocates, and public officials to create recommendations for site redevelopment at the closed Shenango Coke Plant on the Ohio River.

February 18, 2020: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Community group wants ideas for repurposing Shenango Coke Works site

Delta’s helped facilitate the Shenango Reimagined Advisory Council, a coalition of regional economic development agencies, community groups, grassroots advocates, and public officials to create recommendations for site redevelopment at the closed Shenango Coke Plant on the Ohio River.

January 7, 2020: Huron Daily Tribune

Sebewaing officials looking for community input on zoning changes

Delta provided Sebewaing with community master planning services with proposed zoning updates to account for regional flooding risk.

December 18, 2019: The Chicago Crusader

Tammi Davis appointed to Regional Board of Directors

Delta welcomed civic leader and civil rights advocate Tammi Davis to our governing Board.

December 17, 2019: Block Club Chicago

This vacant Little Village fire station could be transformed into a commercial kitchen for street vendors

Coverage of Delta and project partner LVEJO’s economic justice efforts in the Little Village neighborhood, which was a Chicago Prize Finalist project.

December 14, 2019: Huron Daily Tribune

Local farmers win conservation awards

Delta’s pay-for-performance approach to agricultural conservation invested in local Michigan farmers.

November 26, 2019: South Bend Tribune

South Bend council approves Pete Buttigieg climate plan, while activists urge going further

Delta provided the City of South Bend with climate action planning.

November 14, 2019: ABC57

South Bend working to mitigate impacts of climate change with new plan

Delta provided the City of South Bend with climate action planning.

November 8, 2019: Chicago Tribune

Nature to erase toxic past at Gary stocking factory

Delta and our partners are using phytoremediation to remove toxins from the soil at the former Bear Brand Hosiery site in Gary, Indiana.

November 7, 2019: NWI.com

Community-boosting projects coming to Gary thanks to $270,000 grant

Delta’s partnership with the Sojourner Truth House on Steel City Boxtown, an initiative that will house our Steel City Salvage.

November 4, 2019: South Bend Tribune

Buttigieg administration tackling global climate change locally

Delta’s climate planning directly informed the City of South Bend’s emissions efforts.

October 22, 2019: Free Spirit Media

Joint environmental proposal could see creation of commercial kitchen, food cart storage in Little Village

Coverage of Delta and project partner LVEJO’s economic justice efforts in the Little Village neighborhood, which was a Chicago Prize Finalist project.

October 17, 2019: Successful Farming

Growers Edge partners with Delta Institute on financial products to rebuild soil health

Delta’s regenerative agriculture efforts have focused on creating new financial options/access for farmers while expanding conservation and soil health-focused practices regionally/nationwide. Growers Edge is one of our many current/long-standing partners.

September 24, 2019: Yale Climate Connections

Communities find new uses for retired coal plant sites

CEO Bill Schleizer is quoted, referencing Delta’s longstanding work to help communities diversify their economy after the closure of local coal plant(s).

Our partners, stakeholders, and donors deserve full transparency on the impact, financial standing, and organizational health of Delta Institute. Please review our financial and transparency documents, and contact us with any questions you may have.

Feel free to grab a cup of coffee and visit our Guidestar charity overview to learn why Delta Institute is a top-rated charity committed to transparency. You may also download our charity summary.

501c3 Nonprofit Letter
Delta Institute Articles of Incorporation
Current Strategic Plan for FY2018-2022
IRS 990
Annual Reports

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