International Paper in North America

Focus Areas

IP Foundation contributions to local nonprofit organizations are aligned with well defined focus areas of support and closely adhere to our grant-giving guidelines. 

International Paper Focus Areas

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

Environmental Education

International Paper wants our communities around the world to recognize us as neighbors as well as community and environmental stewards. 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 improving literacy is one of the Foundation’s 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 on behalf of an IP employee volunteer. These requests may fall outside of the Foundation’s primary focus areas, but used funds 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 
  • The volunteer 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 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 benefit the community at large. 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 International Paper 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, wages, temporary labor, 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