Nonprofits Network At 2nd Annual Mission Mixer

The 2nd Annual Mission Mixer at the Outer Banks Brewing Station.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation and the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau hosted the 2nd Annual Nonprofit Mission Mixer at the Outer Banks Brewing Station on April 11.  The free event was an opportunity for local nonprofits to network with others who are making a difference in the community.

With over 75 people in attendance from numerous Outer Banks nonprofits, including OBX Room In The Inn, Outer Banks Dementia Friendly Coalition, The Elizabethan Gardens, Dare Education Foundation, Peace Garden Project, Community Care Clinic, Outer Banks SPCA, NC Coastal Federation, Outer Banks History Center, Outer Banks Health, Children & Youth Partnership for Dare County, Dare County Library Foundation, Pea Island Preservation Society, Outer Banks Relief Foundation, Coastal Humane Society, The Don & Catharine Bryan Cultural Series, Friends of Jockey’s Ridge, North Carolina Community Foundation, Network For Endangered Sea Turtles, The Creative Spot, and Outer Banks Forever, the Mission Mixer was a meaningful evening full of philanthropy.

“The nonprofit sector here on the Outer Banks is a force to be reckoned with,” said Outer Banks Community Foundation President and CEO Chris Sawin. “It’s incredible to see everyone come together for this event. Huge thanks to Outer Banks Brewing Station for hosting us!” 

Pictured L-R: Outer Banks Community Foundation President and CEO Chris Sawin, Owner of Lucky 12 Tavern Mark Ballog, and Outer Banks Visitors Bureau Executive Director Lee Nettles at the Mission Mixer.

The Mission Mixer’s keynote speaker was owner of Lucky 12 Tavern Mark Ballog. At the event, Mark took the audience through his recent collaboration with nonprofits and the creation of the 12 Bars of Christmas, which helped raise more than $28,000 for local organizations.

“Last year we wanted to figure out a way to do more passports, so we came up with the 12 Bars of Christmas,” said owner of Lucky 12 Tavern Mark Ballog. “Since Christmas is the season of giving, we wanted the event to give back to our community and the passports enabled us to mix nonprofits and for profit organizations so that everyone benefited. We had every restaurant pick an organization that they wanted to support, so it ended up being 12 restaurants/bars supporting 12 local nonprofits. It was really fun to see patrons, restaurant staff, and the nonprofits get into it! This year we are adding a kid’s passport to the event, so that kids can participate and learn about charitable giving too.”

Outer Banks Forever Director Jessica Barnes also spoke at the Mission Mixer, sharing her experience with the 12 Bars of Christmas and how non-profits can use Cause-Related Marketing to generate funds.

“We were thrilled when Casey from Two Roads Tavern reached out and asked if Outer Banks Forever would like to be their nonprofit partner for the 12 Bars of Christmas,” said Outer Banks Forever Director Jessica Barnes. “It was innovative and exciting to see these local business owners create something that not only helped their restaurants, but also helped our community. While the donation we received was needed and appreciated, the awareness that we gained for our organization and our mission was just as beneficial!”

As the Outer Banks moves into the summer season, the Community Foundation and the Visitors Bureau will continue to work together to educate residents and visitors on the importance of the local nonprofits and how to connect with them. Both organizations offer grant opportunities to nonprofits throughout the year.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation awards quarterly Community Enrichment Grants to qualifying nonprofit organizations to help meet local needs and enrich the quality of life for people on the Outer Banks. Community Enrichment Grants are awarded four times a year, with application deadlines on the last Friday of January, April, July and October. For more information, visit…/community-enrichment-grants-guidelines/.

The Dare County Tourism Board sponsors several grant opportunities each year to help fund and support various Outer Banks projects and events organized by non-profits and government entities. Event Grants are designed to support events that drive overnight visitation to Dare County during less-than-peak months (September 7 to June 15). In addition, the Board offers other funding opportunities through its Restricted Fund Grants, including Tourism Impact Grants and Long-Term Unappropriated Grants, supporting programs or services needed due to the impact of tourism. For guidelines, applications and a list of past Dare County Tourism Board grant awards, please visit

Planning is already underway for the 3rd Annual Mission Mixer, which will be held in the spring of 2025.