Outer Banks Community Foundation now accepting 2020 grant applications

A Community Enrichment Grant in 2019 to the Nature Conservancy North Carolina Chapter funded “The Land Speaks: Stories of Nags Head Woods” audio tour along the Roanoke Island Trail. [photo courtesy of the Nature Conservancy North Carolina Chapter.]

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is now accepting applications from nonprofits for its Community Enrichment Grants Program.

Applications must be submitted online via the Community Foundation’s website, www.obcf.org. The first deadline of the year is Friday, January 31.

The Community Enrichment Grants Program is the Community Foundation’s largest and broadest funding opportunity. In 2019 the Community Foundation awarded $280,000 in discretionary grants to 35 local nonprofits.

The grants are offered on a competitive basis for any kind of charitable project that benefits the Outer Banks, or any part thereof.

Areas of interest include: arts and culture; animal welfare; children and youth; education; the environment; disaster relief and prevention; health; historic interpretation and preservation; and other human services.

Most Community Enrichment Grants will support the direct costs of a charitable project or program.

In 2019, for example, the Community Foundation sponsored pet resuscitation masks for Dare County fire departments through the Coastal Humane Society, furnishings for the Monarch Beach Club’s day programs, renovations and new appliances for the Roanoke Island Food Pantry, and tower gardens for the Cape Hatteras Elementary School through OBX Go Far.

Some limited Community Enrichment Grants are also available to nonprofits for program staff wages. For example, a grant in 2019 is allowing the Community Care Clinic to retain a Spanish language translator and interpreter to provide medical care to low-income, uninsured, and under-insured patients.

Community Enrichment Grants also are awarded for capacity-building projects, with a goal of enhancing a nonprofit’s long-term effectiveness, financial stability, and/or program quality. For example, grants were awarded last year for software for the Outer Banks Relief Foundation and for computer equipment for Interfaith Community Outreach.

Additionally, the Community Foundation awards program scholarship grants, which are grants to enable a nonprofit to offer “scholarships” to individuals and families with financial need or other hardship. The scholarships offset the registration fees that the nonprofit would normally charge for any kind of enrichment program, such as an educational offering or after-school program. For example, a 2019 grant will provide scholarships to help Dare County children with financial need attend summer camp at the Roanoke Island Aquarium.

Community Enrichment Grants will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout 2020, and will be reviewed and awarded quarterly. Any applications received by Friday, January 31 will have a decision by March 12.

Before starting an application for any grant, prospective applicants should first review the criteria online at www.obcf.org, and then contact Lorelei Costa at 252-261-8839 to discuss their projects.