Have a Will? Here are Ten Reasons to Revisit It Periodically

An Estate Plan typically consists of a last will and testament, durable power of attorney, living will/advance directive, a plan for passing on life insurance, retirement savings, and other assets, and a clear map to your finances. If you haven’t started with estate planning yet, our advice is to begin today. We offer a helpful, free Estate Planning Guide to help you get started.

There are a number of  reasons why you’d want to periodically update your plan, including the birth of one or more grandchildren, any changes in dependents status, divorce or marriage, the retirement of professional, financial or legal advisors, and more.

Here are ten timely reasons for the regular review of your estate plan documents.

Our goal is to provide you and your family with helpful information. And it’s a great time of year, with family gathering together, to have meaningful conversations.

We’d love to know any feedback you might have for us. If you have included Outer Banks Community Foundation in your estate plans, we hope you’ll let us know that, too. Fully one third of your Community Foundation’s assets exist because of bequests; these final gifts have made a huge difference to our community, in the forms of grants and scholarships, over the years.

Thank you for your interest and support. We are here to serve; let us know how we might best help you and the people and causes most important to you.

Save on Taxes by Using your IRA RMD for Good.

If saving on taxes at year-end sounds good to you, and if you’re over age 70 1/2 and have some extra income, here’s a tax-advantaged way to save–and give.

Many older adults are taking their annual Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) each year, and that income is included in their annual income.

Taking an IRA distribution this year might mean you’ll pay more in taxes, and even reach a higher tax bracket. Rolling over part of your IRA’s “required minimum distribution” (or “RMD”) to charity can help reduce your tax bill, while supporting Outer Banks charities.

If you are 70 ½ or older, you can make a gift of up to $100,000 this year from your IRA. Compare the impact of taking your RMD, versus the benefits of making an IRA charitable rollover gift to charity:

Taking Your RMD

  • You pay income tax on your distribution
  • You may not need the money
  • Your tax dollars go to Washington
  • You are limited by the RMD rules

Making an IRA Gift

  • You’ll pay no income tax on your gift
  • You can help support charities you love
  • Your gift can help build your charitable legacy
  • You can use your IRA in the way you want

An IRA charitable rollover gift can benefit both you and the Outer Banks. If you’ve ever considered creating an endowed fund that you can name and that can support causes you are passionate about, now and for future generations, your next IRA RMD might be the ideal opportunity. Contact your IRA administrator to get started with your gift. While you won’t receive an income tax deduction, you will not pay taxes on any distribution made to charity. Please inform us of your plans so that we can work with you to help you achieve your philanthropic goals.


Lifting Families Out of the Harm’s Way on Hatteras

Partners, donations, and boots on the ground create a firm foundation for the Allender’s—and more resiliency for our Outer Banks.

We believe that repetitive personal property losses in low-lying areas can be mitigated by raising more homes on stilts, a time-honored Outer Banks practice. We worked with Trusted Partners—Ocracoke Interfaith Relief and Recovery Team, Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men, and Interfaith Community Outreach, with help from generous Disaster Relief Fund donors, outside funders and volunteers, and county agencies, to help families face future with more safety and security, and fewer losses and displacements.

Some days will just stand out. For Sarah, Myles, and Ariel Allender, September 5, 2019 will live in their memories as the day that Hurricane Dorian made landfall on the southern Outer Banks and drove water up their street and into their home.

Sarah Allender lives with her two children, Myles (10) and Ariel (9) in Frisco. Her family has called southern Hatteras Island ‘home’ for decades—in fact, their family ancestry can be traced back for five generations on the island, to the 1800’s.

“My mom lives right down the street from me; an aunt and uncle are nearby, and my grandparents on both sides are here, too,” said Sarah.

When Hurricane Matthew struck in 2016, the family’s mobile home was damaged by sound-side storm surge. The cinderblock foundation withstood the flooding, but there was interior damage. The family knew they were at risk for future storms.

Fast-forward a few years, when Hurricane Dorian’s predicted trajectory had everyone on edge, in the hours leading up to its landfall.

“A friend at the top of our street let us stay with him,” recalled Sarah. “The water came up fast…there was several feet of storm surge, the most we’d ever seen. Our home was flooded with five inches of water.”

“We lost our A/C unit, all our flooring, all the lower cabinets in the kitchen, furniture…the walls were damaged, and worst of all, mold quickly covered everything,” Sarah said. “It was just awful. We had to move to my mom’s house, because we had nowhere else to stay.”

Fortunately, Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men (CHUMM) are on the island. This agency has served Hatteras Island for 43 years, providing a host of compassionate services, from running a food pantry to comprehensive help after disasters. “We’re not all men, we’re not all Methodist, and we don’t all live here,” said Dennis Carroll, CHUMM Director. “What we are is a group of dedicated volunteers whose main mission is to care for our islanders and for one another, without stipulation or discrimination.”

What CHUMM leaders found was that coordinating all the volunteers who showed up to help would prove to be a big task, but was, in the end, a good problem to have. “Even a surf club from down south came,” said Dennis.

Dare County Social Services helped the family detail the extent of the damage and secure assistance (they screened and prioritized need for all families applying for help on the island). CHUMM treated Sarah’s home for mold and further assessed the storm’s impacts and what help they could provide.

In the meantime, volunteers streamed south down Highway 12—the Baptist Men, other Methodist groups, Hatteras Island CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)—were particularly helpful, Dennis recalled. Volunteers helped move out the ruined items and furnishings, and demo’d the flooring, wet sheetrock, and insulation. By Thanksgiving, the mobile home was ready for renovations—but it would be several weeks before the next phase could begin. That’s because there were other families also needing longer-term help, and most of the outside volunteers were gone, or helping on Ocracoke. For a time, CHUMM volunteers were staging and executing work on many renovation projects, as quickly as they could.

“Going by our home was traumatic for the kids and me at first,” said Sarah. “It was just so sad to not be in our home, and to have so many of our personal possessions gone forever.”


“But over time,” she continued, “we were encouraged by all of daily activity—like the group of older ladies working with CHUMM under our trailer, tearing out insulation. And so many other helpers, too. Our sadness was replaced with gratitude for these strangers who cared about us and who gave us so much.”

CHUMM found temporary housing for the family in Avon, thanks to a friend at St. John United Methodist Church.

CHUMM volunteers helped Sarah apply for grants that would eventually pay to replace the flooring, roof, and A/C unit. Knights of Columbus, for instance, asked CHUMM to identify households with young children for their grants; the Allender’s were one of the families selected. Community Foundation grants to CHUMM supplemented other donations to pay for a new roof and make other repairs. CHUMM volunteers did a great deal of the actual labor. Sarah and her mom pitched in with repairs and painting where they could—they even painted the home’s exterior a beautiful sky blue. But none of it was easy. All the renovations happened in early 2020. Finally, the Allender’s home was ready for the last step of the rebuild—raising it up on pilings, so it would be out of harm’s way in future severe weather events.

At the same time all this work was going on, CHUMM members were considering ways they might be more proactive in resiliency projects, so that repetitive loss properties were better able to withstand the worst storms. They had helped several homeowners apply for FEMA grants to raise homes; manufactured homes, however, such as the Allender’s, did not qualify. CHUMM presented the idea of raising manufactured homes onto pilings to your Community Foundation. The board agreed this was an urgent need, and disaster relief funds were made available to raise twelve homes, including Sarah’s. The project was administered under a grant from the American Red Cross to Outer Banks Community Foundation. Local rebuild efforts were supplemented by some visiting volunteer groups, but most of the rebuild volunteers were focused on Ocracoke.

“CHUMM was blessed by a wonderful group from the Salem Church in Fredrick, MD who came for a week during the Dorian Rebuild,” said Dennis Carroll. “Sarah’s home was which we teamed up on. We made many friends during that long week. We still keep in touch.”

“We were blessed with other off-island friends, as well,” continued Dennis, “including volunteers we worked with on Ocracoke and Hyde County. Outside help on Hatteras Island was most intense immediately after the storm, and not during the rebuild phase. Ocracoke Island had the more urgent, ongoing volunteer needs.

“There was one CHUMM volunteer who worked morning, noon, and night here,” recalled Sarah, with a little bit of disbelief. “He parked his camper right on the property…he was out working after dark with a headlamp.”

“That’s Gil Brown, a retired NCDOT engineer and a former Frisco resident, who lives near family in Raleigh,” related Dennis. “He is always ‘on call.’ He comes with his camper, towing a tool trailer, and he stays until the work is done.”

Gil told Sarah, “I just want to see you and your kids back in your home, as soon as possible.”

“Being back in our new, improved home is security,” said Sarah. “It’s what I’ve wanted forever—to be able to be here for my family, when they need me, and not to have to worry for my safety or that of my children. It’s a lifelong blessing; there is no way in the world I could have ever done this by myself.”

“We’re all so grateful to everyone who made this miracle happen for me and my family,” she said.

We never know exactly where a storm will strike; this story is one of hundreds of Dorian stories, and it could have happened to any one of us. Thank goodness for the thousands and thousands of donations, totaling more than $1.6 million, that poured into the Disaster Relief Fund in fall and winter of 2019.

The Disaster Relief Funds is a critical source of support for the Outer Banks Community Foundation, and, in turn, for Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men and the people they help. The Community Foundation manages the Disaster Relief Fund for the Outer Banks, and it stands 100% at the ready for future disasters.

You can help us prepare for future storms by making a contribution to the Disaster Relief Fund today. Thank you.

Register for Virtual Duke U. Training Series for OBX Nonprofits

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is proud to announce its sponsorship of the Duke University Nonprofit Management Intensive Track training series for Outer Banks nonprofit leaders in early 2022.

The training explores eight key areas of nonprofit management through courses taught by instructors who are established practitioners and scholars from a variety of disciplines within the nonprofit arena. Participants are able to complete the requirements for the Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management in eight days through this opportunity.

The training is virtual and will be held from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm daily, with a break for lunch, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 and running through February 17:

Tuition is $2,000 for the eight-class course; a $500 savings over the regular program cost. In addition, the Community Foundation is offering to reimburse $1,500 to students sponsored by local nonprofits, upon completion of the program. With a net cost of $500, this represents an enormous bargain for top-rated nonprofit training.

This training is intended both for career nonprofit staff and volunteer nonprofit leaders. Anyone engaged in operating a local nonprofit will benefit from the series.

Classes include:

  • Nonprofit Board Development and Governance
  • Volunteer Engagement
  • Community Engagement and Collaboration
  • Nonprofit Fundraising
  • Grant Writing and Compliance
  • Nonprofit Financial Development and Management
  • Nonprofit Planning & Evaluation
  • Sustainable Strategic Planning for Nonprofits

Individual classes are not available; attendees are required to take the training in its entirety.

For more  details, and the registration link, please contact Bob Muller  at 252-207-5287 or bob@obcf.org.

The Best Time to Make a Will is Now

DID YOU KNOW: more than half of American adults do not have a will? Creating a will is easier now than ever, and having a properly executed will in place ensures that your estate will be distributed according to your wishes, and not according to court agents acting on behalf of your state’s probate laws.

There is no better time to think about your future. If you don’t have a will or estate plan, now is the time to create or update yours. When you do, you’ll find ways to:

  • Leave more for your family and the causes you care about
  • Create income for you, your spouse, and your family
  • Ensure you leave the legacy you want

We encourage you to plan for your future and honor your past. Fortunately, the process is fairly easy and very rewarding. With even a simple plan, you can protect your family and leave a legacy that reflects your life’s work. Visit our planned giving pages, and call or email us. We have tools and ideas to help you.

Praises for Interim Executive Director Bob Muller

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Bob Muller for serving as our Interim Executive Director this year. We are all very, very grateful to have had his help and leadership, during some extraordinary times.

For more than a dozen years, Bob Muller has helped our Community Foundation be more thoughtful, more inclusive, more creative, and more focused. He first came to us in 2008, looking for Duke University Nonprofit Management program scholarships for local nonprofit leaders. He was asked, a few years later, to join the board, and did; he was asked to serve as board Treasurer, and then as board Chair; he always answered in the affirmative, and consistently applied his positive, can-do, team approach to our board and staff’s best efforts. When Dorian made landfall, Bob volunteered at the office, calling to thank donors, answering phones, and helping wherever needed.

When Lorelei Costa decided to make a career transition in early 2021, Bob was her first choice to lead as interim executive director, knowing that staff and board would get a knowledgeable and pragmatic leader while a search was conducted. Fortunately for us, Bob decided to make the sacrifice and come out of retirement to help staff and board through the next several months. What’s more–in addition to serving as interim E.D., Bob has been the Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Coordinator; as such, he’s been instrumental in crafting policy and creating new tools to help us work more effectively with nonprofit disaster partners up and down our Outer Banks.

Bob knew the ropes, and his smarts and corporate knowledge, coupled with his generous encouragement, spot-on support, and sage advice on many issues, made all the difference for board and staff during the transition of Executive Director to President and CEO. 2021 is turning out to be a banner year, and one in which all the plates were kept spinning, thanks to Bob’s steadfast leadership. He worked persistently to help see us through, and we made it–thanks to Bob–with flying colors.

As Bob moves on to his next adventures, board and staff offer their sincere “thanks” and “job well done,” and wish him clear skies, fair winds, and safe and happy travels. And we’re hoping he won’t be a stranger.

Community Foundation Awards $29,000 in Grants to Five Nonprofits

Your Community Foundation awarded grants to five nonprofits during its third quarter grants cycle. The grants will help preserve our region’s history and culture, support the arts in education, afford scholarships for nonprofit leaders, and address food insecurity, disaster response, and homelessness.

Fair Haven United Methodist Church in Rodanthe received a Community Foundation grant for $8,070 to purchase a “Safe haven generator for community support.” The new generator will protect perishable food for food ministries and will ensure alternate power for sheltering disaster responders and residents seeking post-storm shelter.

OBX Room In the Inn was awarded a grant for $7,500 to help pilot a Transitional Housing Special Project for clients who are motivated to transition from homelessness to independence.

North Carolina Symphony received a grant of $7,500 to support a Music Education Residency for Dare County students during the 2021/2022 academic school year.

A $5,000 Community Enrichment grant award to the Frisco Native American Museum and Natural History Center will support the museum’s efforts to enhance their Native American Life on Hatteras Island gallery with features that include new lighting, sensory activators, and a storytelling center.

 The Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce received a grant of $1,000 to subsidize registration fees for nonprofit personnel to attend “Leadership OBX,” a professional development program, in 2022.

 “Behind each of these awards are compelling stories of the dedicated nonprofit professionals who work every day to meet needs in our community,” said Community Foundation President and CEO Chris Sawin. “We couldn’t be more proud to support their projects.”

Online applications for the fourth and final grant cycle applications is Friday, October 29, 2021 at 11:59 pm. Those interested in applying for a grant are encouraged to contact Chris Sawin at 252-261-8839 to discuss their project before applying.

PHOTO CAPTION: North Carolina Symphony will return to Dare County Public Schools in the 2021/2022 school year, with help from a Community Foundation grant. (Photo courtesy of Don & Catharine Bryan Cultural Series.)

Hanft McDevitt Scholarship Fund to help COA Graduates

The Hanft McDevitt Family Scholarship Fund was recently established by Roland McDevitt and Barbara Hanft for Dare County students graduating with an associate degree from College of The Albemarle with a desire to continue their higher education and a goal of obtaining a bachelor’s degree from a college or university. The donors recognize that a four-year degree is foundational for success in many professions. Scholarships will be awarded from this fund for further schooling in a variety of fields, including education, political science, and rehabilitation, as well as the literary, performing and visual arts.

The fund is endowed, so it will be awarding scholarship for many generations to come. You can make a donation to this fund here, and by searching in the “Other Funds” dropdown menu.

Are you interested in establishing and naming a fund to meet local needs and perpetuate a legacy of giving back to the Outer Banks? Your Community Foundation offers a variety of fund types, including scholarships, donor-advised, and field of interest, to match personal preferences in philanthropy. Find out more here, and reach out to us at 252-261-8839 if we can help you get started.

Bob Parker Memorial Fund will help special kids

A new fund has been created to honor the good works and kind spirit of a generous local man. Bob Parker, a U.S. Army veteran and general contractor, lived with his wife, Rhonda Tillett, in Kill Devil Hills. He worked hard, loved deeply, and was passionate about the outdoors. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, and he loved sharing his interests with others, especially children. He also volunteered at Special Olympics events, and was devoted to the young athletes there.

Bob left this world, too soon, after fighting a long and courageous battle with illness. Rhonda wanted to ensure that the selfless acts of charity and the love for special children that Bob shared with this world during his lifetime would continue, so she created the Bob Parker Memorial Fund, a field of interest fund, that will be used to award grants “to organizations that help individuals with special needs, with preference given to Special Olympics and other programs that serve children with disabilities.”

The fund is endowed, so it will be awarding grants to charities in Bob’s name for many generations to come. You can make a donation to this fund here, and by searching in the “Other Funds” dropdown menu.

Are you interested in establishing and naming a fund to meet local needs and perpetuate a legacy of giving back to the Outer Banks? Your Community Foundation offers a variety of fund types, including scholarships, donor-advised, and field of interest, to match personal preferences in philanthropy. Find out more here, and reach out to us at 252-261-8839 if we can help you get started.

Helping People Help Animals Fund

An anonymous donor has established the Helping People Help Animals fund to support Outer Banks nonprofits who assist any kind of animal, wild or domesticated, with scales, feathers, fur, or fins. The fund’s stated purpose is “to provide grants to charitable organizations, with preference given to those organizations staffed entirely (or nearly entirely) by volunteers; to protect, rehabilitate, and care for all animals, both domestic and wild.” This generous donor expressed an “admiration for all those who volunteer to help animals, and this fund is to help those who do the work and participate in the efforts” that support agencies’ missions.

The Helping People Help Animals Fund is an endowed, Field of Interest fund; the Community Foundation’s board of directors will base grant decisions on applications it receives. The Helping People Help Animals Fund is poised to make grants that will support local animal causes for generations to come. Since the fund’s principal is invested, the fund will grow and grant amounts from the fund will increase over time.

Our fund’s creator noted, “There aren’t that many people who devote effort to the care of animals…it’s not easy work.”

The Community Foundation is delighted to have this new fund that provides additional support to all creatures, great and small, and we are grateful to this donor for having the foresight and inspiration to address a need that deserves more attention.

Are you interested in establishing and naming a fund to meet local needs and perpetuate a legacy of giving back to the Outer Banks? Your Community Foundation offers a variety of fund types, including scholarships, donor-advised, and field of interest, to match personal preferences in philanthropy. Find out more here, and reach out to us at 252-261-8839 if we can help you get started.