Application Guidelines



The IP Foundation provides grants to nonprofit charitable organizations classified under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Service Code. Organizations must be classified as public charities under Internal Revenue Code section 509(a)(1), (2) or (3), or exempt operating foundations. International Paper Foundation does not support private foundations. In addition, certain municipal, county, state and federal entities are eligible, such as school districts and fire departments. A fiscal conduit letter is acceptable for such charitable non-profits that do not have an IRS tax-exempt status.


The Foundation will not review a proposal unless the tax-exempt organization takes full legal, fiscal and administrative responsibility for the request.


Grants are ONLY considered in the communities where International Paper has a significant employee presence and within a locally determined radius of facility operations. If your organization does not have an International Paper location in the community, you are not eligible for grant funding. 





The two primary areas of support are environmental education and literacy. 


Environmental Education

International Paper has been and continues to be one of the most environmentally responsible companies in the world. We support programs that help both younger and older generations understand a sustainable approach balancing environmental, social and economic needs. Given the vast nature of this subject area, the Foundation has decided to focus on:


·         National Geographic Kids Magazine subscriptions at schools in local communities

·         Earth’s Birthday Project kits for children

·         Science-based programs targeting children

·         Outdoor classrooms at schools or in communities

·         Outdoor science programs tied to forestry, air or water

·         Education-based programs that promote recycling, tree planting and composting initiatives




International Paper has a strong belief in the value of education and made improving literacy one of our top priorities. Our support of the National Geographic Explorer magazine, which aids in developing literacy skills for children in grades 4-5, is an example of this commitment. Additionally, we support:


·         Programs that enhance availability of reading materials at school and community libraries

·         Programs that enhance reading skills of children and adults

·         Programs that teach English as a Second Language (ESL)



Limited Foundation funds will be granted in the following secondary areas:


Employee Involvement

The IP Foundation endorses the company’s commitment to employee involvement by accepting grant applications from a charitable organization and on behalf of an IP employee volunteer.  These requests may fall outside of the Foundation’s primary focus areas, but must still meet the complete list of criteria for basic eligibility and adhere to Foundation restrictions.  Non-profits may be eligible for employee involvement funds if:


  • The organization is 501(c)(3) tax-exempt 
  • They have a volunteer apply who is a full-time employee of International Paper.
  • The employee is a member of the organization’s board of directors and/or is actively involved with the organization for a minimum of six months

·         The employee volunteer qualifies for funds benefitting only one nonprofit organization per year.

  • The request does not exceed $5,000

New Critical Community Need

The Foundation will provide limited consideration for funding to new critical needs in communities where International Paper Company has operations. Consideration will be given to one-time, non-recurring needs, which are demonstrated by a gathering of the local community in a concerted effort that benefits the community at large. These needs address   The Foundation generally does not fund capital, economic development or multi-year projects. The Foundation will consider providing “seed” money on a one-time basis for requests that identify a community-wide need and provide details of sustaining the initiative within the community beyond IP funding.


·         The project must be a new “critical” community initiative.

·         The proposal should provide a benefit to the community at large.

·         Organization meets criteria for eligibility as a charitable 501(c)(3) organization

·         Request adheres to restrictions outlined for IP Foundation

·         Sources of potential future funding must be identified.





The Foundation generally does not provide funds for:

·         Individuals

·         Salaries, stipends and other forms of  compensation

·         Mortgage, rent or utilities

·         Academic scholarships

·         Endowments

·         Capital expenses (building funds, real estate purchases, equipment, etc.)

·         Multi-year commitments

·         Veterans or labor groups, religious, political groups or organizations that have as their primary purpose attempting to influence legislation

·         Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or national origin

·         Grants to primarily benefit employees or families of International Paper, or pay for services, subscriptions, tuition, or memberships

·         Sponsorships or advertising

·         Travel or lodging expenses for groups or individuals

·         Team sponsorships or athletic scholarships

·         National conferences, sporting events and other one-time events

·         Expansion of educational programs, or summer programs outside of the identified focus areas

·         More than 20 percent of a charitable organization’s total income





Local Grant Deadlines: The local IP facility will provide information about community informational meeting(s) and/or grant deadline(s) via the local media and news outlets. All proposals will be routed to the local IP facility (available locations listed in drop down menu) and must be submitted on or before the designated deadline(s) for initial consideration. Local deadline(s) will vary by location. Please contact the nearest IP facility for local submission deadline(s) and community guidelines. 


Eligibility Pre-Quiz: All non-profit organizations applying for funding are required to complete the eligibility pre-quiz prior to accessing and registering to complete the online grant application. You will be immediately routed through the pre-quiz by visiting and clicking on “Apply for a Grant.”


Registration & Completing the Grant Application: A representative from eligible 501(c)(3) organizations takes full legal and administrative responsibility for completing the online grant application in its entirety. All grant applications must be complete and formally submitted before substantive review.  Any grant application that does not contain all of the required information requested in the online grant application will not be considered. For technical assistance with logging in and/or completing the online grant application, organizations should use the “Need Support?” link at the bottom of every page. This will connect you with Cybergrants Customer Support for further assistance.


Local Facility Review: As a preliminary check for alignment with the Foundation’s program areas and to ensure completeness, all grant proposals are routed to the nearest IP faciltiy for initial review. If approved, all grant applications received by the local submission deadline will be reviewed by the facility Foundation liaison and local grant review committee. If approved at the local level, grant application will then be routed to the corporate office for secondary review in consideration of the quarterly corporate deadlines.


Corporate Review: The IP Foundation Corporate Office reviews all grant applications recommended by the local facility and received at the corporate office on a quarterly basis. If approved, you will be notified by your local facility directly.


Grant applications are reviewed each fiscal year based on submissions. Proposals funded in any one year are not automatically guaranteed for future support.  Please submit a new and updated request each year to be considered for renewed funding.





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