In 1999, Sappi received a suggestion that we start a cause-related program for designers and end-users. The goal of the program was to recognize design on paper that benefited worthy causes.
Not only would this new program help bring attention to the power of design and communication on paper, but it would also reinforce Sappi’s commitment to designers by supporting their choice of causes in their own communities. And, ultimately, the program would help raise top-of-mind awareness and funds for important social issues. We still have that original proposal. And, while some of the ideas in it have now grown much larger, looking back to 1999—before anyone else was involved in cause-related marketing—it remains a forward-thinking and ground-breaking idea. Cheryl Heller was the visionary who led the charge and presented this idea to Sappi. Her concept became the Sappi Ideas that Matter grant for designers who create and implement communication projects for nonprofit organizations in North America. The program has now been running for 15 years and we’ve provided grants to important causes totaling to more than $12 million dollars. Wow. Cheryl has gone on to create and chair the MFA Design for Social Innovation Program at the School of Visual Arts in NYC and is a partner at CommonWise, among other design initiatives. This month she receives the highest honor in the graphic design field, the 2014 AIGA Medal, in recognition of her exceptional achievements, service and contribution to the field of communication design. Here at Sappi, it is our highest honor to say that Cheryl was truly the “first inspiration behind Ideas that Matter.” Cheryl really did have an idea that mattered and continues to matter to the design community, to nonprofits across the country and to all of us here at Sappi. We’re proud to still be running the program, we’re proud of what the grant winners have done, and we’re proud of Cheryl Heller and her accomplishments. We’ve just opened the call for entries for the 15th year of this program. Do you have an Idea that Matters? 2014 Sappi Ideas that Matter Call for Entries are open until July 11. For more information on the grant program, please visit our website: http://www.sappi.com/ideasthatmatter Grants range from $5000-$50,000. You can also download a PDF application form directly from our website to submit your entry.
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