Outer Banks Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: This community funder provides a variety of competitive community enrichment grants and special field of interest grants that accept unsolicited applications.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts and culture, animal welfare, children and/or youth, disaster relief and/or prevention, education, environment, health, historic preservation and/or interpretation, human services

IP TAKE: This is a community foundation with an informative website for grant seekers. Most funding comes from the community enrichment grant program, but grant seekers should take a look at the five special interest funds too.

PROFILE: The Outer Banks Community Foundation (OBCF) is based in Southern Shores, North Carolina. It seeks to “help meet local needs in Dare County and across all Outer Banks communities, from Corolla to Ocracoke Island.” OBCF was organized as a public charity in 1982 by a local author and historian named David Stick and six other residents of the Outer Banks.

The foundation awards three types of discretionary grants: community enrichment grants, special field of interest grants and donor-advised grants. It awards community enrichment grants on a competitive basis and accept online applications. The deadlines typically fall on the last Fridays of January, April, July and October. Topics of interest are arts and culture, animal welfare, children and/or youth, disaster relief and/or prevention, education, environment, health, historic preservation and/or interpretation, and other human services. It usually gives grants for direct costs, such as art supplies and medical equipment, but also awards program scholarship grants and nonprofit capacity building grants.

There are five special field of interest grant programs: the David Aycock Loy Memorial Fund, Pauline Wright Endowment for Currituck County, Pauline Wright Endowment for Dare County, Aviation Education Fund, and Schiffman Fund for Animals. Deadlines usually fall on the last Friday of April, with awards made on the first Thursday in June.

Donor-advised grants reach a broader geographic area and do not accept unsolicited applications. For the other two grant categories, the service area for this foundation stretches from Corolla to Ocracoke Island. However, community enrichment grants don’t go to projects for mainland Hyde or mainland Currituck.

The foundation recommends contacting the staff by phone prior to submitting a grant application to discuss your project and funding needs. Support has gone to the Albemarle Development Corporation, Beach Food Pantry, Dare County Special Olympics, and MANE & TAILL Therapeutic Horsemanship Academy. Learn about other recent grantees here.

The foundation has recently reported assets over $15 million, and manages over 175 funds. OBCF has given out over $8 million in grants through donor contributions for grants and scholarships on the Outer Banks. A list of donor-advised funds, designated funds, field of interest funds, giving circle funds, organizational funds, scholarship funds, and unrestricted grantmaking funds is here. Its website also provides recent financial information and annual reports.

General inquiries can be directed to the staff at 252-261-0371 or via online form. Lorelei Costa has been the executive director for the foundation since 2012. Shirley Hamblet is the program and operations manager, and Leslie Reed is the finance manager. The address is 13 Skyline Road, Southern Shores, North Carolina 27949.

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