Apply Your Passion for Design to the Greater Good Through the “Ideas that Matter” Grant Fund

Ideas that Matter

Do you believe that design can change the world? The people behind Ideas that Matter, a grant program that supports the designers who donate their time to charitable causes, certainly do. Since 1999, the Ideas that Matter grant program, founded by Sappi Fine Paper North America (the maker of McCoy, Opus, Somerset and Flo) has funded more than 500 nonprofit projects, contributing $11 million worldwide to causes that enhance our lives, our communities and our planet through the power of design.

Check out the Ideas that Matter Website to explore the ways that design projects have had major social impact due to its funding. After watching stories like that of Michael Osborne of Michael Osborne Design who earned a grant to fund Joey’s Corner, a nonprofit design firm specializing in projects for other nonprofits, I’m feeling inspired to donate my design time toward the greater good. “The older I get, the more I realize that we have a craft and a skill that most people do not have– and that craft has power,” says Osborne. The end result of what we’re doing, and I’m talking graphic designers, architects, product designers, across disciplines, the result is more meaningful in a huge way.” (Watch the video with Osborne below).

Ideas that Matter remains “the only grant program of its kind in the industry,” and is judged by a prominent list of design industry professionals. This year’s panel includes Allan Chochinov of Core77, Dawn Hancock of Firebelly Design, Kit Hinrichs of Studio Hinrichs (formerly of Pentagram), graphic designer Oliver Munday, and graphic designer Petrula Vrontikis.

The Ideas that Matter grant program is accepting proposal ideas until July 15, 2011. To apply for a grant, you may be an individual designer, a group of designers, a design firm or agency, an in-house corporate design department, an in-house nonprofit design department, design instructor, design student or student design group. Click here for more information.

(Below) Kit Hinrichs and Maurice Woods of Studio Hinrichs
Grants Received:
Kit Hinrichs- 2009 // Public Architecture
Maurice Woods 2009//Inneract Project

(Below) Watch Michael Osborne, founder of Joey’s Corner
Grants Received: 2009 // San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center

Joey's Corner



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Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

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