Sappi and VSA Post Third Episode of ‘Off Register’ Satirical Video Series

“We believe design has the power to change the world and “Ideas that Matter” is an important way Sappi supports this goal,” said Jennifer Miller, executive vice president of strategic marketing and chief sustainability officer, Sappi Fine Paper North America. “For eleven years, “Ideas that Matter” grants have funded work created for local, regional and national organizations. Not only have the resulting projects accomplished their goals, but many have succeeded beyond their original mandate making an even bigger impact than expected.”

“Ideas that Matter” remains the only grant program of its kind in the design industry. Sappi, through this program, has awarded more than $11 million in grants worldwide to designers who are performing pro bono work for nonprofit organizations. Grants support projects designed to enhance our lives, our society and our planet for a wide range of issues reflecting the concerns and needs of the communities that designers live in and care about most.

For example, Jessica Helfand and Bill Drenttel from the Winterhouse Institute received a $30,000 “Ideas that Matter” grant to address the lack of affordable housing in the rural areas of Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. Their project, completed in collaboration with Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and HousingUs, used billboards and newspaper inserts in combination with bulk mailings to address the need for affordable housing. The project resulted in the first Incentive Housing Zone in Connecticut to proactively address the need for zoning that encourages affordable housing; a 2010 Communications Award from the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association; and more than 12,500 visits to the foundation’s website for HousingUs.

Individual designers, design firms, agencies, in-house corporate design departments, design instructors, individual design students and design student groups, who are performing pro bono work for a nonprofit organization can apply for an “Ideas that Matter” grant. Grant awards range from $5,000 to $50,000 per project and may be used to cover implementation and out-of-pocket costs. Applications for this year’s “Ideas that Matter” program must be postmarked by July 15, 2011. The winners will be announced in September 2011.

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