Sappi calls for entries for its 2017 Ideas that Matter competition with July 7 deadline

Sappi North America has officially opened its 2017 Ideas that Matter 18th annual grant program that enables social good through creative design. A leading producer and supplier of diversified paper and packaging products, Sappi is once again inviting designers to show the world how design – specifically print – can play an important role in changing lives for the better. Sappi established the Ideas that Matter grant program to fund designers who apply their creative talents to causes that address significant issues facing our society. Over the program’s 18 years, Sappi has witnessed first-hand how the creative and integrated work of designers can change society. “We remain committed to the belief that good ideas inspire people to take action, and great ideas change the world. With so many media choices available, print is at the heart of influential and effective messaging and a perfect complement to promote positive social causes,” said the company.

Patti Groh.
Patti Groh.

“Over the course of the Ideas that Matter program, Sappi has financed more than 500 charitable programs designed to better our lives, our communities and our planet. The breadth, quality and impact of projects we’ve supported have made a meaningful difference in people’s lives across the globe,” said Patti Groh, Marketing Communications Director for Sappi North America. “Social design impacts society in a positive way, so we’re honoured to annually provide support for the work of designers and non-profits.” This year’s panel of judges will include: Dana Arnett, Founding Partner and Vice Chairman, VSA Partners; Randy J. Hunt, Vice President of Design at Etsy; Matthew Manos, Founder and Managing Director of verynice; and De Nichols, Director at  Civic Creatives.

Ideas that Matter is the only grant program of its kind in the paper industry and is a key part of Sappi’s corporate social responsibility efforts. Since 1999, the program has provided nearly $13 million to support causes that change lives, communities, and ultimately, the planet. Submitted proposals are evaluated on creativity, potential effectiveness and practicality by an annually selected, independent panel of judges who are influential in the design industry. The call for submissions is open to individual designers, design firms, agencies, in-house corporate design departments, design instructors, individual design students and design student groups. Only applicants in North America may apply. Grant awards range from $5,000 to $50,000 (USD) per project. Each application must include an IRS 501 (c) 3 letter, or Canadian equivalent of the applicant’s non-profit organization status. Applications for the 2017 program must be postmarked no later than Friday, July 7, 2017. Judging will take place in August, grants will be announced in September, and awards will be distributed in October.

For more information and to submit entries, please visit


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.