Avoiding Scholarship Displacement

Students and parents, this post is to help you keep every local scholarship dollar awarded. The over-arching message is: communicate with your school’s finance office and understand their offer to you. Make sure all additional scholarships are added to your school’s financial aid package, and follow through when bills arrive.

Scholarship displacement is when a college or university reduces a student’s financial assistance by the amount of a new, “private” scholarship, rather than adding the new scholarship to the student’s aid package.

If you receive one or more “private” scholarships (that is, a scholarship from anyone other than your college), we urge you to make sure that your awards are added to the aid that your college promises you. None of your local scholarships—including any Community Foundation scholarships—should be replacing or reducing the grants or scholarships you were offered by your college. 

Here are our tips on how to avoid scholarship displacement:

  1. Read your financial aid letters. Once you’ve been accepted by a college or university, if you apply for financial aid, you should receive a financial aid offer letter from each school. Your aid package may include a mix of loans, work study, grants (including a Pell Grant), and other scholarships. Keep these financial aid letters, read them, and understand them.
  1. Choose your college according to your aid package, and how they would handle any local scholarships you receive. Once you have picked your top two or three schools, talk to them about the aid they have offered you. Call the financial aid offices and ask them how they’d apply any local scholarships you receive to the financial aid package that they have offered you.  Make sure you understand every single part of your aid package:
    • What’s a loan, and what’s not a loan.
      • You want your scholarships to remove the loans (and work study) off your package, or “unmet need”
    • What’s guaranteed to renew, and what’s not guaranteed.
        • What are the renewal conditions (e.g., GPA, particular major, enrollment status)?
        •  Are they guaranteed across all four years of college?

Take notes during your call. Get that person’s name and number. You may want to base your final college selection not only on the aid they have offered you, but on how they will treat any local scholarships you receive.

  1. If you receive a local scholarship, make sure it is ADDED to your school’s financial aid. Once you have selected your school and receive your first bill/statement, make sure that it shows all the local scholarships you were awarded. Then, make sure that your local scholarships are used to reduce your loans, work study, or any unmet need. Compare your bill to your original financial aid offer letter, and make sure and make sure your scholarship was applied against your loans or work study or “unmet need.” Check that none of the scholarships or grants from your college were reduced due to local scholarships. Call them back if you have doubts about this or if they if they do reduce your scholarships or grants, and politely ask them to fix it. For example, they can spread out your local scholarships over several semesters or years to ensure that you benefit from every dollar you earn.

With a little extra care at the front end, you can ensure all of your hard-earned scholarship awards actually give you the full benefits you deserve.

Community Foundation Now Accepting Applications for Focus Grants

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is now accepting applications for Focus Grants. Focus areas include Animal Welfare, Aviation Education, Health/Wellness, and Opportunities for People with Disabilities. Applications must be submitted by Friday, April 30, 2021.

Aviation Education grants will be drawn from the Aviation Education Fund. Requests for $500 or less may be made through a simple, one-page letter that explains the project and how the grant money will be spent. Applicants must also submit proof of tax-exempt status (e.g., 501c3 letter from the IRS). If an organization has a larger project in mind, it can apply for matching funds through the Community Foundation’s online application (www.obcf.org/grants).

Animal welfare grants support efforts to protect, rehabilitate, and care for animals, both domestic and wild. Animal welfare grants will be drawn from the All God’s Creatures Fund, the Adams Family Fund for Animals, and the Schiffman Fund for Animals. In this category, requests for $1000 or less may be made through a one-page letter that explains the project and how the grant money would be spent. Proof of tax-exempt status must be attached. If an organization has a larger project in mind, it can apply for matching funds through the online application.

Health and wellness grants will be made from the Annual Advice 5K Turkey Trot Fund to improve and support the health and wellness of all people of the Outer Banks. Here, health and wellness is defined broadly, to include initiatives that attend to physical, social, emotional, and environmental health, and including projects that focus on prevention, education, and direct care. To be considered for a health and wellness grant, organizations must submit an application online.

Finally, in the area of opportunities for people with disabilities, the Community Foundation will utilize three funds: the David Aycock Loy Memorial Fund, the Pauline Wright Endowment for Currituck County, and the Pauline Wright Endowment for Dare County. While the Loy Endowment focuses on children with developmental and/or learning disabilities, with a priority for children with autism, the Pauline Wright Endowments may give priority to programs for adults with Down syndrome. Grants from the Pauline Wright Endowments are available to nonprofit organizations, schools, and government agencies, serving Currituck and/or Dare residents. To be considered for a Loy or Wright grant, organizations must submit an application online.

In addition to these Focus Grants, the Community Foundation is also accepting applications for its Community Enrichment Grants Program, which is open to any nonprofit for any kind of charitable project that benefits the Outer Banks. This includes: arts & culture; children & youth; education; the environment; disaster relief & prevention; historic interpretation & preservation; and other human services.

Most Community Enrichment grants will support the direct costs of a charitable project or program (e.g., art supplies, educational materials); however, Community Enrichment Grants are also awarded for capacity-building projects, with a goal of enhancing a nonprofit’s long-term effectiveness, financial stability, and/or program quality (e.g., computers, office equipment, strategic planning).

Program scholarship grants are also available; these are grants that enable a nonprofit to offer scholarships for its programs to participants in need. These scholarships would offset or reduce the participation fees normally charged for any sort of enrichment program, such as a day camp, educational offering, and/or after-school program.

Before submitting an application for any Focus or Community Enrichment Grant, prospective applicants should first review the criteria at www.obcf.org/grants, and then contact Bob Muller at 252-261-8839 to discuss their projects. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 30. Grant decisions will be announced on Thursday, June 10.

Exciting Opportunity to be the President and CEO of a Community Foundation Meeting Community Needs on the Outer Banks of North Carolina

The Outer Banks Community Foundation (OBCF) seeks an experienced, engaging, and tech-savvy nonprofit leader to become its next President and CEO.  OBCF is a 501(c)(3) organization that serves the Outer Banks area and was created to help meet local needs in Dare County and across all Outer Banks communities, from Corolla to Ocracoke Island.  OBCF provides leadership in the field of philanthropy, supporting a diverse field of nonprofit agencies with grants, education, and guiding numerous donors toward their charitable goals.  In addition, the Community Foundation brings financial market expertise and access to the local non-profit community. The President and CEO will be an advocate for improving community inequities and will have a passion for meeting community needs.

About the Outer Banks Community Foundation:

The Outer Banks Community Foundation, based in Southern Shores on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, was organized in 1982 as a public charity and accomplishes its mission by increasing charitable giving in the area, by managing charitable funds for individuals and agencies, and by targeting grants toward the community’s most pressing needs and promising opportunities.

Through its discretionary grants, the Community Foundation is the venture capitalist of the charitable sector in the Outer Banks, supporting the most exciting and most urgent projects which best meet today’s needs. The Community Foundation is the only funding source that reaches all community service organizations on the Outer Banks, in the arts, education, health and human services, historic preservation, and the environment. The Community Foundation is a catalyst, helping the nonprofit sector evolve to take on new challenges and opportunities as they arise. The Community Foundation’s endowments are a resource for future generations to meet the challenges of their times.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation manages a collection of undesignated assets, charitable funds, and scholarship funds, created by different donors at different times for various purposes. Donors may create funds during their lifetimes or by bequest, for general charitable purposes, or for a particular purpose that they specify. The Community Foundation provides tailored services to help individuals, families, businesses, and other groups pursue their charitable interests easily, effectively, and with maximum tax benefit.  The Community Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors, composed of leading local citizens who serve without compensation. The Board also administers all of the funds of the Community Foundation and approves all grants.

Through the Outer Banks Community Foundation, people who love and appreciate the Outer Banks are able to give something back to the community to help meet the pressing needs of today, while at the same time building a source of support for the future.

More information about the Foundation can be found at https://www.obcf.org/.

About the Position:

Because of its aspirations to significantly increase the Community Foundation’s resources during the next decade to meet community needs, the Board plans to elevate the position from Executive Director to President and CEO at its March 11 meeting. Reporting to a 12-member Board of Directors, and working cooperatively, the President and CEO of OBCF will be responsible for providing leadership in the overall operation and development of the Foundation, including strategic direction, program development, operations, financial management, personnel management and community relations. With a staff of five, the President and CEO will manage $22,335,506 of total assets including $20,164,646 of endowed funds as of 12/31/2020. Endowed fund types include scholarships, donor-advised, organizational, designated, field of interest, unrestricted grant-making, and unrestricted funds. A leader with strong fiscal skills in multi-fund management is essential. Specifically, the President and CEO will work with the Board to match nonprofit and individual needs with grants that align with the Foundation’s strategic priorities.  Simultaneously, the President and CEO will be the driver for resource development to achieve the Board’s aspirations by increasing current and future endowment funds through her/his work with current and prospective donors on taxwise outright and estate gifts. Networking and collaboration through extensive community relations, education, and public relations implemented by effective communication management and measurement of outcomes by objective program evaluation will be essential responsibilities of the CEO.

Key Priorities for the Next President and CEO:

  • Evaluate operations, staffing, and programs to work with Board on Community Foundation strategic priorities.
  • Network with community partners and stakeholders to establish relationships in order to continue seamless matching of Community Foundation resources and needs.
  • Support staff to have passion for the OBCF vision, meet high standards of performance, work together in a unified fashion, and collaborate with partners to meet strategic goals.
  • Assess facility needs and make appropriate recommendations to Board.
  • Review current strategic plan and launch the new one with Board champions.
  • Increase the growth of fund resources through a variety of means including memberships, donor advised funds, corporate and foundation grants, and other creative means.

Qualifications: To be considered, candidates must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution; a master’s degree is preferred. The Board prefers 7-10 years of progressive nonprofit experience, including three in a leadership role, along with demonstrated successful fundraising track record and program management experience.

The Successful Candidate:  

  • has a successful track record in program assessment and development, resource development, varied fund management experience, membership management, donor relations, and board relations;
  • works with staff to ensure a passion for the mission, offering opportunities for training and development to support continuity of service, engagement, and retention;
  • appreciates and embraces the unique coastal characteristics of the communities served while leveraging opportunities from new ventures;
  • builds awareness of the Community Foundation, advocates for and is effective in explaining services of the agency to regulatory bodies and programmatic partners, and effectively builds commitment with community stakeholders, nonprofit organizations, and nonprofit consumers for the programs being offered/ sponsored;
  • creates and implements a development plan to raise funds from individual and corporate donors, as well as to secure grants from other funding sources;
  • creatively and adeptly ensures the marketing and communication of programs to eligible nonprofits and consumers through various means;
  • is experienced in developing, managing and coordinating all financial operations, including endowment and operating funds, and ensures all investments and expenditures are handled and maintained according to Board policy and direction;
  • is collaborative, entrepreneurial and innovative with programming design and development;
  • possesses excellent verbal and written communication skills with demonstrable ability to effectively facilitate meetings, present publicly, and provide professional and appropriate business level written information utilizing various media;
  • possesses well-developed interpersonal skills and abilities, diplomatically communicating and working with diverse personalities and populations;
  • is resilient in the face of challenges and seeks innovative solutions to problems; and,
  • is disciplined and values accountability with high expectations of self and others while also being an effective and respected leader.

Salary and Benefits: The salary range is $80,000-105,000 with a median of $89,000.  Generous benefits are offered to include health, vision and dental insurance, retirement, and a paid leave program.

About the Community: The Community Foundation office is located in Southern Shores, NC while serving all of the Outer Banks communities across 200 square miles of barrier islands.  Regular travel in and around the service area will be a requirement of the position.  Relocation to the area within a negotiated period of time is an expectation of the Board.

To confidentially apply for this position, To apply, go to https://agency.governmentjobs.com/developmentalassociates/default.cfm and click on the President and CEO – Outer Banks Community Foundation link. To learn more about the selection process, visit Client Openings (or copy and paste into your browser: https://developmentalassociates.com/client-openings/).  All applications must be fully completed and submitted online via the Developmental Associates application portal – NOT to the OBCF website, nor any other external website; it is not sufficient to send only a resume. Resumes and cover letters can be uploaded with the application.  Application review begins April 5, 2021.  Finalists will participate in virtual interviews and skill assessments on May 11-12, 2021.   Interviews with the Board will follow at a subsequent time.   All inquiries should be emailed to hiring@developmentalassociates.com.

Developmental Associates, LLC is managing the recruitment and selection process for this position.

College Senior Christian Eberhard: “Apply Now for More Security, and for Future Schooling and Career Options”

Christian Eberhard (FFHS Class of 2017) will graduate from American University this spring with a bachelor’s degree in Physics. He has been helped with a renewable scholarship, the Sawyer Scholarship, which provided $5,000 per year for each of his four years; a total of $20,000. Christian also received a $1,000 Outer Banks Association of Realtors scholarship for his freshman year. In addition to his Applied Physics studies, Christian runs workshops for students on the use of 3D printers, laser cutters, and other technical machines. His love for the arts continues, and he’s making short films and doing comedy sketches in his free time.

“Applying and receiving a multi-year scholarship has been a tremendous help in my academic career. It has allowed me to venture out of North Carolina in pursuit of higher education… out of state schooling has given rise to incredible experiences and relationships, domestic and international, that I might not have had before. Also, because of this scholarship, I have been able to take out significantly fewer loans, resulting in less hesitation about future schooling/career options and more security.”

The Sawyer Scholarship provides needs-based scholarships to Dare County, Currituck County, and Ocracoke graduates. This scholarship is renewable for up to four years, so long as the student maintains full-time enrollment and a 2.7 GPA. The Sawyer Scholarship is just one of 55 scholarship funds at Outer Banks Community Foundation; this spring, one application will allow students to apply for as many scholarships as they wish.

High school students, our scholarship application process is open through March 20. Here is the link:

Parents, Outer Banks Community Foundation has awarded more than $2 million in nearly 2,000 scholarships to deserving students since 1983. Scholarship funds started generations ago are still making gifts today, and will continue supporting local students, far, far into the future. Scholarship funds can be named in your honor, in the honor of a loved one, or for a cause or career you care about. We invite you to make your mark, by making a lasting gift, such as new scholarship fund, donor-advised fund, or other fund. New funds can be activated now, or in the future by bequest. Call us if you would like more information.

Community Foundation Now Accepting Scholarship Applications

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications online. The scholarship application deadline (for both applications and letters of recommendation) is Saturday, March 20, 2021 11:59 PM EDT. We have 55 different scholarships available, and about $178,000 to give away this year. We look forward to getting your application!

How to Start: CLICK HERE to begin your application. This link will take you to our singular common application. We use a “common application” for ALL our scholarships, so you only must complete our application once.

Create an Account: You must create a (free) account in the system in order to apply. By creating an account, you can save an incomplete application, and log back into the system later to complete it. To log back into the system to finish your application, go to www.smarterselect.com, click login, enter the email and password for your account, and you will see your application, including it’s status incomplete, pending, and submitted.

Common Application: Students complete one common application for all Community Foundation scholarships. This singular application includes all your financial information, academic information, extracurricular information, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. You will need to upload your most current transcript into our application form. Ask your guidance counselor for an electronic copy. You may use an “unofficial transcript” for this purpose.

Letters of Recommendation: We require two letters of recommendation. The application form will prompt the applicant to identify two people to submit letters. The system will automatically email your recommenders once you enter their email addresses. It is the applicants’ responsibility to ensure that their recommenders upload their letters by the March 20 deadline. We regret that late letters cannot be accepted.

Need-Based Awards: Though many of the Community Foundation’s scholarships are merit-based, the majority of awards consider financial need. For the need-based awards, students should complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and upload the resulting Student Aid Report into their application. Students whose citizenship status prevents their completion of a FAFSA (e.g., DACA students) may still be considered for need-based awards, they can, in place of a SAR, upload a document that outlines their financial need. Please reach out to us or your guidance counselor for further instructions.

Students start your applications today! Our application closes on Saturday, March 20 at 11:59 pm. Unfortunately, late applications are never accepted. All scholarship winners will be announced at their school’s Senior Awards Night in May or June.

Click here for more information in English.

Haga clic aquí para más información en español.

Community Foundation Now Accepting Applications for Dorian Long-Term Recovery Grants

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is now accepting applications for grants to nonprofit organizations assisting individuals and households impacted by Hurricane Dorian. Applications are due by Friday, February 26 at midnight. The primary goal of these grants is to enable nonprofits to directly assist Dorian-affected individuals, families, and households who have continued long-term recovery needs in Dare County and/or on Ocracoke Island. Funding from the American Red Cross for making it possible for Outer Banks Community Foundation to administer these grants.

Nonprofit organizations serving Ocracoke and/or Dare County with 501(c)3 public charity status may apply—including those organizations that already have an active grant with the Community Foundation. Local organizations may be given priority for funding. Schools and government agencies may also apply. Churches and faith-based organizations are eligible to apply if they are assisting the wider community (i.e., not just members of their own faith or congregation), and if their outreach does not include the promotion of religious beliefs. Grantees must provide services on a nondiscriminatory basis.

Long-term Recovery Grants are intended to help nonprofits provide assistance to residents of Dare County and Ocracoke who have been affected by Hurricane Dorian. Grants can pay for food, building supplies and materials, appliances, equipment, educational materials, and other tangible goods and direct expenses.

Expenses associated with home repairs for permanent residents are eligible for funding, including measures to mitigate future storm damage (e.g., elevation of homes). This includes usual and customary fees charged by contractors for their work. Special emphasis may be given to efforts that help the most vulnerable and/or the most people.

Contract help and/or additional program staff may also be eligible if used for extra person or personnel hours to meet the need after Dorian. Grants may be used to fund program staff only; administrative and management staff time are not eligible. Overhead and indirect costs are not eligible for grant funding.

Repair of public infrastructure or facilities is not eligible for funding (e.g., road or school repair).

All grants will be paid on a reimbursement basis. Grant expenses must be substantiated by third-party documentation (e.g., vendor receipts, statements, and invoices). There are exceptions; if your grant will include financial assistance to individuals or households, please contact us for instructions.

Before applying, please call or email Bob Muller (252-207-5287 or bob@obcf.org) to discuss your project.

Applications must be submitted online via the Community Foundation’s web portal. The Community Foundation’s Community Enrichment Grant FAQ provides tips on using our online grant application. Grants will be announced by the end of March.

Community Foundation Honors 2020 Champions, Elects 2021 Board at Annual Meeting

The Outer Banks Community Foundation announced its 2020 Champion Award recipients, elected five board members, and celebrated $1.8 million in grants and scholarships in 2020 at the organization’s Annual Meeting, held virtually on February 16.

The Annual Meeting featured an 18-minute video which highlighted several grant and scholarship recipients, including Beach Food Pantry, the YMCA, Pea Island Preservation Society, and Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men.

Community Foundation membership unanimously elected David Clawson, Finance Director for Dare County; Michael Lewis, Executive Director for Outer Banks Hotline; and Jason Waughtel, Senior Vice President, Regional Executive for the Coastal Region for Southern Bank and Trust to the board of directors. Additional board terms for Lynda Hester, US Coast Guard (retired), and David Shufflebarger, Senior Partner at Alexander Haas were unanimously approved by membership.

The Community Foundation awarded its most prestigious honor to two over-arching groups, in recognition and appreciation of two years of unwavering generosity following Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 epidemic. “The entire community” was honored for their generosity through these years of hardship; another group, “anonymous donors” were thanked and recognized for their behind-the-scenes support, which often was significant. Three groups were additionally honored for their tireless efforts and extraordinary contributions in 2020: Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men, Interfaith Community Outreach, and Ocracoke Firehouse Committee.

Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men, one of the Community Foundation’s 2020 Champion Award recipients, is a group of volunteers who consistently provide critical services to their neighbors.  They run a food pantry, they help when there is financial hardship, they elevate and repair homes, and more.  They are there for their community immediately after a storm or crisis, but also in the months following. When conferring the award, Community Foundation Executive Director Lorelei Costa said, “This is one of the most professionally run organizations…they’re thoughtful, they’re careful, they’re well organized, and they’re amazing.”

Ocracoke Firehouse Committee is another of the Community Foundation’s 2020 Champion Award recipients. “We didn’t have a partner on the island with the capacity to get the money out to storm victims,” said Costa, when presenting the award. “You need a checking account, case managers, help for folks to Identify what they need…we went down to Ocracoke and spoke with the folks from the Fire Department. Our meeting took place a week after Dorian, and the Ocracoke Firehouse Committee, all volunteers, stepped up to help. Many had significant damage to their own homes, or had family members with significant damage, but they stepped up.”

Interfaith Community Outreach (ICO) also is a Community Foundation 2020 Champion Award recipient. ICO staff and volunteers help people in our community with a variety of financial needs. Residents who are in need go to them for help after hurricanes, fires, losing a job, accidents, illness and more. Extraordinarily, ICO partnered with the Community Foundation in 2019 by going to Ocracoke and helping with case management. They helped our community again in 2020 during the COVID-19 school closures.

“I called Jenniffer earlier last year (during COVID), when the board identified the need to help working families with childcare…we needed a partner that would help families pay for whatever childcare they could find,” said Costa, when conferring the award. “Interfaith Community Outreach stepped up.”

Board members who completed their terms in 2020, Scott Brown and Nancy Sugg of Martins Point and Greg Honeycutt of Ocracoke were genuinely thanked for their years of outstanding service and leadership.

Finally, 2021 Community Foundation board president Clark Twiddy offered thanks to membership and requested feedback to improve our meetings. He concluded the meeting by addressing all, saying “We look forward to seeing you after our vaccines, in the office, and around the Outer Banks. Take a moment to think about your Community Foundation, and how you can make sure it remains our Community Foundation for decades to come.”

This video captures the one-hour meeting in its entirety, including board member elections; honoring Champion Award recipients Interfaith Community Outreach, Ocracoke Fire Protection Association, and Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men; and recognizing outgoing board members for their service.

American Red Cross Grant to Community Foundation Supports Disaster Recovery

The American Red Cross has partnered with nonprofit and faith-based organizations to provide Hurricane Dorian recovery services in communities impacted and has awarded a grant to Outer Banks Community Foundation in support of disaster recovery efforts. The grant is funding a part-time Disaster Relief Coordinator position at the Community Foundation, who oversees the Community Foundation’s continued long-term recovery work following Hurricane Dorian and leads efforts to develop a strategic plan for future relief projects. Bob Muller, the Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Coordinator, can be reached at bob@obcf.org.

The grant also provides additional mental health services for Ocracoke residents. Earle Irwin, a psychiatric and mental health clinical nurse specialist, is serving in this capacity through the end of March. Irwin is available for islanders to talk with one-on-one; her contact information is eirwin@oirrt.org.

About the Community Foundation:

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization that connects people who care with causes that matter. Based in a historic flat top cottage in Southern Shores, the Community Foundation manages $22 million across 200 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards grants to local nonprofits, administers 55 scholarship programs, and provides tailored services to help donors pursue their charitable interests. Since its inception in 1982, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $11 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students. 

About the Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or on Twitter at @RedCross.


Southern Shores Philanthropist Establishes Disaster Relief Fund

Helen Wiegel, a Southern Shores retiree and philanthropist, has created a new fund with the Outer Banks Community Foundation to help local residents in the aftermath of hurricanes and other natural disasters. The Wiegel Disaster Relief Fund is an endowed field-of-interest fund that will provide our community with additional support in times of crisis.

Mrs. Wiegel approached the Community Foundation in late November about establishing the fund, wishing to create a lasting benefit to a community where she and her late husband Joe had found so much happiness together.

“I haven’t been through hurricanes here, but I can just imagine…” she said. “I want to let people know there’s help out here after a disaster. I’m hoping this new fund will be a source of support for people who need help, and I hope they will not be afraid to ask for it. Especially after a disaster…it boggles my mind to think you have nothing.”

The endowed Wiegel Disaster Relief Fund will indeed be a source of support for families for generations to come. As with any endowment, the fund’s principal is invested, and only a portion is used for grant-making. That way, Helen’s initial gift — and all future earnings and gifts to the fund— are a perpetual source of community capital, helping do good work today and in the future.

“In 2019 we saw a tremendous need for help and support after Hurricane Dorian,” said Community Foundation Executive Director Lorelei Costa. “We are extremely grateful to Helen for creating an important source for support. It’s not a question of “if,” but “when” we will need to provide disaster relief again.”


Community Foundation Announces Executive Director Transition

The Board of Directors of the Outer Banks Community Foundation has announced a leadership transition for the Foundation’s staff. Long-time Executive Director Lorelei Costa is departing the Outer Banks to become the next Executive Director and CEO of the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts in Virginia. The Community Foundation’s Board is launching a search for the next Executive Director, and Bob Muller will act as Interim Director during the search.

“We are very grateful to Lorelei for her eight years of unwavering and dedicated devotion to the people of the Outer Banks in general, and to our Community Foundation, specifically,” said Clark Twiddy, President of the Community Foundation.

During Lorelei’s tenure, the Outer Banks Community Foundation nearly tripled in size, in both its annual grant-making and in its endowment. Most recently, Lorelei led significant relief efforts in the Outer Banks during the COVID pandemic, helping hundreds of families with childcare and educational needs during remote learning, and in 2019 after Hurricane Dorian, raising over $1.5 million in the weeks after the storm, rebuilding hundreds of households across Ocracoke and Hatteras.

“Lorelei has left an indelible legacy,” said Clark. “She leaves the Outer Banks Community Foundation poised to create more positive change for people and places on our beloved Outer Banks than at any time in our 39-year history.”

“I can hardly begin to express how blessed I feel to have served the Community Foundation over the past eight years,” said Lorelei. “Although my new position is an amazing opportunity for my career and my family, I am so grateful for every day that I’ve worked with the Foundation.”

The Suffolk Center for the Cultural Arts is the premier visual and performing arts venue for Suffolk. Located in the restored Suffolk High School in the heart of downtown, it boasts a theater, art galleries, and classrooms, housing both world-class and community-based art. Lorelei will be filling the shoes of Susan Babiy Lawrence, who was hired as the Suffolk Center’s first employee in 2001 and is retiring from the Center after serving as Executive Director and CEO since 2018.

Lorelei’s last day with the Community Foundation will be Friday, March 12. Bob Muller, who is currently serving as the Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Coordinator, will become Interim Executive Director on March 15. Bob is no stranger to the Community Foundation; he served on the Foundation’s Board of Directors from 2011 to 2016, acting as Treasurer in 2013 and 2014, and as President in 2015.

“We are very grateful to Bob Muller for stepping in as Interim Executive Director while a search is underway,” continued Clark. “Bob’s experience with our Community Foundation spans more than a

decade and includes involvement at many levels. He was instrumental in our efforts after Hurricane Dorian, and understands a great deal of our Community Foundation’s operations. We are fortunate to have his guidance as we transition to new leadership.”

Developmental Associates of Chapel Hill has been retained to lead the search for the Community Foundation’s next Executive Director. Developmental Associates has been providing talent identification, talent development, and management consulting services for over 20 years. The search firm will work with the Community Foundation’s internal search committee, comprised of board, staff, and organization stakeholders. The search committee will be led by Board member David Shufflebarger.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization that connects people who care with causes that matter. Based in a historic flat top cottage in Southern Shores, the Community Foundation manages $22 million across 200 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards grants to local nonprofits, administers 55 scholarship programs, and provides tailored services to help donors pursue their charitable interests. Since its inception in 1982, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $11 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students.