International Paper in North America

Signature Causes and Guidelines

The majority of the Company donations and contributions to local non-profit organizations will support our signature causes and adhere to our giving guidelines.

International Paper Signature Causes

We continue to be a force for good in our communities. We mobilize our people, products and resources to address critical needs in the communities where we live and work. Most of the Company's donations and contributions and IP Foundation grants will support projects or programs focused on our Signature Causes – children’s education, hunger, health and wellness, and disaster relief.

As described below, the Company and Foundation will also provide limited grant support for other critical needs in the communities where our employees live and work, for organizations where our employees actively volunteer and for critical community environmental needs.

Children’s Education

We are looking for local, regional and national organizations to support projects and programs that improve educational opportunities for children.  Literacy, particularly from birth through 3rd grade, is a major priority because it forms the basis for all childhood learning.

Children’s Hunger

No child should go to bed hungry, and a hungry child cannot learn and grow to reach his or her full potential. We are looking for local, regional and national organizations to support hunger programs for children and families in the communities where our employees live and work – organizations that have proven results providing meals, access to healthy foods, or other hunger-alleviating programs.

Health & Wellness

We are looking for local, regional and national organizations that provide projects or programs that increase the general health and wellness of children.  Ideally, programs will empower people, employ creative responses to problems, address root causes rather than symptoms, or offer measurable improvements in health and wellness.

Disaster Relief

We support programs that save lives, reduce suffering or help communities recover from a natural disaster.  Examples could include: 

  • Disaster preparedness efforts to help communities plan and prepare for future disasters 
  • Emergency assistance to organizations helping communities impacted by a natural disaster
  • Community recovery assistance to organizations supporting clean-up and repair efforts in situations where other organizations have already addressed immediate needs.
Limited Company and Foundation funds are available in the following areas:

Critical Community Needs

All communities are different. A critical need in one community may not be a critical need in a different community. International Paper personnel at facilities located throughout the United States are in the best position to know local needs, and are tasked with ensuring that donations and contributions are allocated based on the most critical of needs. A project or program does not necessarily need to benefit the community at large, but it should impact an underserved sector of the population or a critical need. Examples might include an English-language program in a predominately Hispanic community, or a program building wheelchair ramps in a community with a large disabled or elderly population.

Significant Environmental Needs

At International Paper, our entire business depends upon the sustainability of forests. We will continue to lead the world in responsible forest stewardship to ensure healthy and productive forest ecosystems for generations to come. We also continue to find ways to reduce our environmental footprint. The Company and the IP Foundation will bolster this commitment to by supporting organizations working on forest, water and air issues.

Employee Involvement

The Company and the International Paper Foundation endorses employees’ community involvement efforts by considering applications from charitable organizations supported by our employees. Organizations that are supported by full-time employees who either serve on the entity’s Board of Directors or who have been supporting the organization for at least six months are eligible to apply for funding.


 International Paper generally does not provide funds for:
  • Individuals
  • Salaries, stipends and other forms of compensation.  Limited funding for temporary labor may be available if the organization’s mission falls within one of the Foundation’s Signature Causes and if the temporary labor is critical to the funded project.
  • Mortgage, rent or utilities
  • Academic scholarships
  • Endowments
  • Capital expenses (building funds, real estate purchases, equipment, etc.,). Limited funding for equipment may be available if the organization’s mission falls within one of the Foundation’s Signature Causes, and the equipment is critical to the funded project.
  • Veterans, labor groups, religious, political groups or organizations that have as their primary purpose attempting to influence legislation
  • Organizations that discriminate on the basis age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, military or veteran status, national origin, race, sexual orientation, religious belief or any other classification protected by law.
  • Donations or contributions to primarily benefit employees or families of International Paper, or pay for services, subscriptions, tuition, or memberships
  • Sponsorships or advertising
  • Multi-year commitments (except in special circumstances approved by the Foundation Board of  Directors)
  • Travel or lodging for groups or individuals
  • More than 20 percent of a charitable organization’s total income