Past Winners

Thank you to all those who have participated over the years with an aim to make a difference

Since 1999, over 500 programs have been funded, for a total of $13 million worldwide in support of causes that change our lives, our communities, and ultimately, our planet. Click here to view the full 2017 Press Release: Sappi North America Announces Recipients of the 18th Ideas that Matter Grant.

2017 Back to top

2016 Back to top

2015 Back to top

2015 Judges
Joan Barlow

Creative Services Officer Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

2014 Back to top

2014 Judges
Cheryl Heller

Chair and Partner MFA Design for Social Innovation and CommonWise

New York, New York

Mark Randall

Principal Worldstudio

New York, New York

Lana Rigsby

Founder & CEO Rigsby Hull

Houston, Texas

Christine Gaspar

Executive Director Center for Urban Pedagogy

Brooklyn, New York

Chris Rubino

Director/Creative Director

New York, New York

2013 Back to top

2013 Judges
Michael Lejeune

Creative Director Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Los Angeles, California

Jennifer Kinon

Founding Partner Original Champions of Design

New York, New York

Erin Huizenga


Chicago, Illinois

Bill Drenttel


Hamden, Connecticut

Alyssa Walker


Los Angeles, California

2012 Back to top

  • The Wright Family Foundation of The Dayton Foundation Visual Marketing Associates, Inc.

  • Windham Harm Reduction Coalition, Inc. University of Connecticut

  • Cahaba River Society University of Alabama at Birmingham and Alabama Innovation Engine

  • University of Notre Dame, Kgosi Neighborhood Foundation Sedlack Design Associates & Pellegrino Collaborative

  • Kestrel Educational Adventures Return Design

  • Wellspring Joey’s Corner

  • New Urban Arts Imaginary Office


  • Global Studio, Center for Sustainable Urban Development, Columbia University Global Studio

  • 826 Seattle Fantagraphics Books

  • The Dill Pickle Club The Dill Pickle Club

  • The Los Angeles School District Designmatters at Art Center School District

  • The Ecology Center David Rager Studio

2012 Judges
Tracy West

Creative Director 50,000feet

Chicago, Illinois

Sam Shelton

Principal, Creative Director and Founding Partner Kinetik

Washington, D.C.

Rich Hollant

Principal, Strategist and Design Director CO:LAB

Mike Weikert

Founder & Director Social Design & Center for Design Practice at Maryland Institute College of Art

Mariana Amatullo

Cofounder and Leader Designmatters at Art Center College of Design

2011 Back to top

2011 Judges
Petrula Vrontikis

Vrontikis Design Office

Los Angeles, California

Oliver Munday

Oliver Munday (group)

New York, New York

Kit Hinrichs

Studio Hinrichs

San Francisco, California

Dawn Hancock

Fire belly Design

Chicago, Illinois

Allan Chochinov

Partner Core77

New York, New York

2010 Back to top

2010 Judges
Armin Vit


Austin, Texas

Matt Rollins


Atlanta, Georgia

Doug Powell

Schwartz Powell

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Jessica Helfand

Partner Winterhouse

Casey Caplowe

Co-founder GOOD

2009 Back to top

2009 Judges
Scott Santoro


New York, NY

Tim Bruce

Lowercase, Inc

Chicago, IL

Gaby Brink

Tomorrow Partners

San Francisco, CA

Bill Grant

Grant Design Collaborative

Atlanta, GA

Anne Willoughby

Austin, TX

2008 Back to top

2008 Judges
Phill Hamlett

Academy of Art

San Francisco, CA

Scott Stowell


New York, NY

Marcia Lausen

Studio Lab

Chicago, IL

Cedomir Kostovic

Missouri State University

Springfield, MO

John Bielenberg

C2 & Project M

San Francisco, CA

2007 Back to top

  • The Innocence Project Masood Bukhari LLC

  • Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health & Wellness Center Pure + Applied / Art Center College of Design

  • ABC Prison Literacy Howard Design Group

  • Cook County Bureau of Health Services University of Illinois at Chicago, City Design Center

  • Community Blood Center of the Ozarks Missouri State University Department of Art & Design

  • Academy for Educational Development AED Social Change Design

  • Visual Aid Artists for AIDS Relief Stuart McKee

  • Girls First The H Agency

  • Adolescents in Recovery (AIR) Savage Good

  • Franciscan Workers of Junipero Serra Full Steam Marketing

  • Worksight NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault

  • Community Health Partnership of Illinois University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Art & Design

  • National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence School of Visual Arts

  • BFriend Inc./Creative Pitch Brainforest, Inc.

  • Pacific Beach Town Council The Art Institute of California, San Diego

2007 Judges
Lita Talarico

School of Visual Arts

New York, NY

Hans Neubert

VSA Partners

New York, NY

Adam Larson


Boston, MA

Steven Heller

School of Visual Arts

New York, NY

Laura Des Enfants


New York, NY

2006 Back to top

2006 Judges
Laura Des Enfants

Des Enfants, Inc.

New York, NY

Keith Helmetag

C&G Partners

New York, NY

Steffanie Lorig

Art with Heart

Seattle, WA

Kim Baer


Santa Monica, CA

Brian Collins

Ogilvy & Mather

New York, NY

2005 Back to top

2005 Judges
Deb Aldrich

Harvest Consulting

New Orleans, LA

Doug Herbert

Savage Design Group

Houston, TX

Bobby Martin Jr.

Jazz at Lincoln Center

New York, NY

Pat Samata


West Dundee, IL

Michael Osborne

Michael Osborne Design

San Francisco, CA

2004 Back to top

2004 Judges
DK Holland

DK Holland, llc

New York, NY

Rick Valicenti


Chicago, IL

Robynne Raye

Modern Dog Design Co.

Seattle, WA

John Clark


El Segundo, CA

David Cannon


Atlanta, GA

2003 Back to top

  • Facing Forward Foundation, UCLA Craniofacial Reconstructive Surgery Center Mainframe Design

  • Designers Without Borders Sydnee MacKay and David Stairs

  • Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Division of Adolescent Medicine Elizabeth Azen Andia and Caitlin Smith

  • Centro Cultural Chicano, Inc. Casa Valencia

  • Boomtown Café Modern Dog Design Co.

  • Arizona Commisson on the Arts Karyn Clark Ricci

  • AIGA National Design Center, Design for Democracy Studio/lab

  • Southern Tier AIDS Program Iron Design

  • Red Feather Development Group Studio Vertex

  • Great Vancouver Food Bank Society Signals Design Group

  • University of Texas Health Center, Neonatal Program Savage Good

  • Friends for Life Animal Sanctuary Motive Design

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology Undergraduates Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Make-A-Wish Foundation, IL Lowercase

  • Gilda's Club of Chicago Brainforest, Inc.

  • Abyssinian Baptist Church of the City of New York Bobby C. Martin, Jr.

2003 Judges
Michael Weymouth

Weymouth Design, Inc.

Boston, MA

Jurek Wajdowicz

Emerson, Wajdowicz Studios, Inc.

New York, NY

Stefan Sagmeister

Sagemeister Inc.

New York, NY

Fred Ritchin


New York, NY

Ron Jeffries

The Jeffries Association

Santa Monica, CA

2002 Back to top

2001 Back to top

2000 Back to top

  • World Studio Foundation World Studio, Inc.

  • The International Dyslexia Association Visual Language LLC

  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital, The ARVD/C Program Sprout Interactive

  • The Cultural Survival Winter Bazaar Rick Rawlins/Work

  • Children's Museum of Manhattan The Pushpin Group, Inc.

  • AIDS Foundation, Houston Pennebaker

  • The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Von Design Company

  • Art 180 The Martin Agency

  • Make a Better Place Liska & Associates, Inc.

  • Amnesty International James Victore, Inc.

  • The Beacon Hill Elementary School Design Scout, Inc.

  • The Talk Chart The Design Center, Robert Busch School of Design at Kean University

  • Opera House Arts at the The Stonington Opera House Black Lamb Studio