Periodically, in times of natural disaster or crisis, the Community Foundation may initiate a Rapid Response Grants Program to support nonprofit organizations on a proactive and/or competitive basis, as urgent needs arise. Rapid Response Grants may follow a natural disaster (e.g., hurricanes) or may be initiated during other times of need.

To be eligible for a Rapid Response Grant, programs must be related to the disaster or crisis, either directly or indirectly. We will also consider grants that would allow a nonprofit to adapt its existing programs in the face of the disaster or crisis. In all cases, special emphasis may be given to efforts that help the most vulnerable and/or the greatest number of people in our community.

Eligible Organizations

Any nonprofit organization serving the Outer Banks is eligible apply — including those organizations that have an active Community Enrichment or Focus Grant with the Community Foundation. Local organizations may be given priority for funding.

Schools and government agencies may be eligible to apply, if it is demonstrated that financial support is not available from other sources.

Churches and faith-based organizations are eligible to apply for projects 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.

Eligible Projects and Grant Expenses

Rapid Response Grants will be awarded to support the direct costs of a charitable project or program (e.g., supplies, equipment, food, materials, program staff). Operating, overhead, and indirect costs are not eligible for grant funding.

Contract help and/or additional program staff may be eligible if used for extra personnel hired or augmented to meet a need related to a disaster or crisis. Grants are to be used for program staff only; neither administrative nor management staff time is eligible.

Grants will be paid on a reimbursement basis for actual costs incurred. Grant expenses usually must be substantiated by third-party documentation (e.g., receipts, statements, invoices). These documents should be generated from your vendor, not from your organization, with some exceptions, including grants for program scholarships, and grants to provide direct financial assistance to individuals. Please discuss this with our staff. Grants for staff time will be paid upon the furnishing of timesheets; you may download our timesheet template here.

Evolving Needs

Our Rapid Response Grants Program will evolve over time, every time the program cycle is initiated. During those times, we encourage nonprofit leaders to check back frequently with us if your needs change, to be apprised of new cycles and to see if our grants program can help.

If you have a need that does not seem to fit with our parameters, please contact us. As we learn about additional or changing community needs, we may adapt our grant parameters for better inclusivity.

We Welcome Your Feedback

The Community Foundation invites your feedback on our grants program. We welcome comments from any nonprofit in any stage of the grants process; whether you have received a grant, just applied for a grant, been declined, or are even just considering applying, we want to hear from you. To submit your feedback anonymously, please use our online questionnaire. Your comments, concerns, praise, and criticism will help us become a better grant-maker for our community. This survey will be open indefinitely, and you can respond multiple times, now and/or in the future. If you would rather give us feedback directly, please call our staff any time at 252-261-8839.