Ending yet another record-breaking year, the Outer Banks Community Foundation announced over $750,000 in grants and scholarships in 2017 and 19 new permanent endowment funds.
Dozens of local nonprofits received grant support throughout the year, benefiting every type of charitable cause, from Ocracoke to Hatteras to Roanoke Island to Corolla, and every Outer Banks neighborhood and town in between.
Additionally, 80 local students received college and continuing education scholarships through the Community Foundation last year.
In its most recent grant round in December, the Community Foundation awarded seven Community Enrichment Grants totaling over $103,000; these are grants given on a competitive basis to nonprofits that apply for funds.
The grants included $50,000 pledged to the Dare County Arts Council for development of new, outdoor performance and exhibit space in the courthouse courtyard in Manteo. The historic courthouse is the location of the Arts Council’s current gallery and arts center. Issued as a challenge grant, the Community Foundation’s support of the courtyard project is intended to inspire additional grants and donations from other philanthropists for this exciting project.
Other Community Enrichment Grants issued in December were: $26,300 to the Nature Conservancy for parking lot upgrades at the Nags Head Woods Nature Preserve, $10,000 to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund for 4×4 vehicles for care of the vulnerable equine herd, almost $7,000 to the Outer Banks Relief Foundation for computer and software technology, $5,000 to Coastal Family Church for After Prom, $3,000 to Outer Banks Hotline for a new playground at the organization’s safehouse, and $2,000 to Ocracoke Community Radio for a new website.
Additionally, the Community Foundation awarded more than $28,000 in grants in December from its donor-advised funds. Donor-advised funds are managed on behalf of individuals and families, who recommend the grants that are awarded. Local recipients of donor-advised grants included the Beach Food Pantry, Mano al Hermano, Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church, Community Care Clinic, Room in the Inn, NC Coastal Federation, the Veterans Writing Project, Roanoke Island Volunteer Fire Department, Interfaith Community Outreach, Roanoke Island Historical Association, GEM Adult Day Services, Dare County Special Olympics, Roanoke Island Food Pantry, and Food for Thought.
But according to Lorelei Costa, the Community Foundation’s executive director, the most exciting news from 2017 was the growth of charitable funds for the future. “We started 19 new endowments last year,” she said, “and that means more grants and scholarships for the community in 2018 and beyond.”
She added: “All of these new endowments will become permanent sources of community source for generations to come.”
Two new scholarship funds were created in 2017: the Jeannette U. McOwen Scholarship Fund, which will help local college-bound students, and especially future teachers and educators from Manteo High School; and the Lillian W. Riddick Scholarship Fund, which will be available to students from Dare County and Ocracoke who are studying nursing.
Several other funds were established in 2017 to award grants to nonprofits on a competitive basis. Two of them — the Adams Family Fund, and the Diane and Nelson Henderson Fund — are for general grant-making and will add to the Community Foundation’s funding pool for Community Enrichment Grants. Two others — the All God’s Creatures Fund, and the Adams Family Fund for Animals — are specifically to make grants to organizations helping animals. Those grants will be awarded on a competitive basis in the spring.
Also new this year were several endowments created by and for specific nonprofits. Most of these were established as part of the Community Foundation’s Matching Fund Challenge, whereby local nonprofits were encouraged to raise $2,500 each for endowment funds for their specific organizations, which was matched dollar-for-dollar by the Community Foundation.
“An endowment can be so helpful to a nonprofit,” said Ms. Costa, “because it is invested to provide the organization with sustainable, easy funds each and every year. Endowments are also natural vehicles for planned gifts for that nonprofit.”
The organizations that started new endowments in 2017 were the Children & Youth Partnership, Community Care Clinic, Dare County Boat Builders Foundation, Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation, Hatteras Village Civic Association, NC Lions VIP Fishing Tournament, Ocracoke Fire Protection Association, Ocracoke Community Radio, Outer Banks Hotline, and Outer Banks Sporting Events.
Anyone can contribute to any of the Community Foundation’s new or long-held charitable funds, including the Community Fund, its largest and broadest grant-making endowment that provides the majority of dollars for Community Enrichment Grants. Donations may be made online at www.obcf.org/donate and are fully tax-deductible. Checks may also be mailed to 13 Skyline Road, Southern Shores, NC 27949.
Photo Caption: Board members of the Outer Banks Community Foundation celebrate $750,000 in grants and scholarships. From left to right: Back row: Scott Leggat, Teresa Osborne, Scott Brown, Nancy Caviness, Bruce Austin, Chris Seawell, Greg Honeycutt, Ray White; front row: Jane Webster, Nancy Sugg, Loretta Michael. Board member not pictured: Clark Twiddy. Photograph by Biff Jennings, Shooters at the Beach.