Community Foundation Awards $150,000 in COVID Grants

This week the Outer Banks Community Foundation announced its fourth round of COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants, awarding over $13,000 to three more nonprofits. These latest grants will support artists in Dare County, a diaper drive for families with young children, and essential upgrades for our community’s free health clinic.

In total the Community Foundation has awarded over $150,000 in COVID Grants since March 13 to sixteen local nonprofits, supporting their efforts to provide for the basic, urgent needs of Outer Bankers during the Coronavirus emergency.

“Since mid-March, our local nonprofits have been on the front lines of this crisis, keeping our families secure and healthy through this pandemic,” said Lorelei Costa, the Community Foundation’s executive director. “This extraordinary work is despite our nonprofits suffering from over $1.1 million in revenue losses because of the COVID crisis, due to canceled fundraisers, decreased donations, and lost opportunities for earned income.”

“The Community Foundation has been honored to help begin to fill this funding gap for our indispensable nonprofits. We’ve been so inspired by their tireless determination to serve our community’s basic needs through the COVID-19 crisis, and we are honored to assist in their efforts.”

The fourth, most recent round of Rapid Response Grants funded new needs related to the Coronavirus pandemic. Recognizing the important role that the “creative class” of artists, musicians, and performers play in Dare County — and the impacts that the COVID shut-down has had on their livelihoods — the Community Foundation awarded Dare County Arts Council a grant of $5,000 to support new digital revenue platforms for Outer Banks artists. The grant will support virtual concerts, online classes, an online store of local artists’ wares, and digital art exhibits.

Funding for this grant was from a bequest from the late Dorothy Luedemann, a local artist whose Legacy Gift to the Community Foundation established a forever fund to award grants to arts organizations across Dare County

Children and Youth Partnership for Dare County also received a Rapid Response Grant in May: $5,000 to address an area of unmet need—diapers for families of young children. The cost and lack of availability of diapers and wipes have put a significant strain on families already struggling to pay rent, provide food, and afford other basics. The Children and Youth Partnership is planning drive-through diaper distribution events on Roanoke and Hatteras islands in the near future, so families can conveniently and safely receive these vital necessities.

The Community Care Clinic of Dare also received a Rapid Response Grant in May to upgrade their facility, to allow for better sanitation, social distancing, and telemedicine. The clinic provides free primary medical care, medication assistance, and health and wellness education to approximately 550 uninsured and underinsured patients each year who live or work in Dare County.

Since March, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $70,000 to local food assistance programs to meet increased needs through the COVID crisis, from Kitty Hawk to Hatteras Island to Ocracoke. Rapid Response Grants have helped the Beach Food Pantry, Food for Thought, the Lifeline Outreach in Salvo, Bread of Life Food Pantry in Ocracoke, and the Buxton Food Pantry. Hatteras Island Meals and the Albemarle Development Corporation also received assistance to serve prepared meals to homebound seniors and adults with special needs.

Other Rapid Response Grants have provided financial assistance to Dare County residents who are out of work due to Coronavirus closures. Interfaith Community Outreach and Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men are using grant money to help families that are most affected by unemployment or underemployment, by assisting with rent, mortgage, utilities, medical bills, and more.

Dare County and Ocracoke students benefited from more than $15,000 in grants, used to fund wireless access and adaptive equipment for special needs students. The goal of these grants was to allow students to successfully participate in remote learning and online classes through the mandated school closures. The Community Foundation was also able to award a wireless access grant for Currituck County students through a donor-advised fund.

“We have been blessed at the Community Foundation to receive several bequests, major donations, and legacy gifts over the years to endow our community grant-making,” said Ms. Costa. “These gifts, made over many years, have given us the flexibility to rapidly respond in times of crisis. We are more grateful than ever to our donors. Their legacy gifts continue to allow us to be innovative in meeting community needs as they arise.”

How is the COVID Crisis Affecting Your Nonprofit? Please Respond to Our Survey by Wednesday, May 6

We need to hear from you! The COVID-19 crisis has profoundly affected the Outer Banks, including our nonprofit sector, and we’d like to learn more about your organization’s challenges, your programs, and how we can help.

Click here to respond!

Have you expanded your services? Furloughed staff? Received a PPP Loan? Lost any revenue? Please share your experiences to help us shape the Community Foundation’s response.

Your time is valuable. Please know this nine-question survey will take just a few minutes. Also, we would appreciate only one response per nonprofit, so please make sure the appropriate person from your group gets this email.

We kindly ask that you please respond to our survey by Wednesday, May 6. Any questions or ideas? Please email me; I’d love to hear from you.

Please note: This survey is confidential. No information about any individual organization will be released without your permission. Also, participation in this survey is optional: neither your choice to participate (or not), nor any of the information you choose to provide, will be used in the consideration of any grant application, now or in the future, to the Community Foundation.

Thank you again for your time and for your thoughtful response to our survey!

Click here to respond.

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Reminder: The next deadline for our next COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Cycle is Tuesday, May 12 at 5:00 pm. Decisions will be announced on Wednesday, May 20. Before applying, please read the details on our website, gather your ideas, and call me to discuss your project. Find more information at www.obcf.org/grants.

Stay well and healthy!

Lorelei Costa, Executive Director

Outer Banks Community Foundation

Mailing Address: 13 Skyline Road, Southern Shores, NC 27949

Please note: Our physical office is temporarily closed to visitors. Instead, please reach us by phone or email.

t: 252-261-8839

f: 252-261-0371

c: 252-455-1404

LCosta@obcf.org

www.obcf.org

Community Foundation Awards $46,788 in COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants to Three Nonprofits

In a third round of COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants, the Outer Banks Community Foundation has announced $46,788 in emergency funding to local nonprofits, supporting their efforts to address food insecurity, educational needs for students with disabilities, and crisis support for individuals who have lost their jobs.

The Community Foundation awarded $25,000 to fund an innovative, coordinated food-buying program that will provide basic food staples to all food pantries across the Outer Banks. The Beach Food Pantry is the fiscal sponsor of this collaborative grant.

According to Pat Regan, a retired food industry executive and community volunteer who is helping to coordinate the project on behalf of the Beach Food Pantry and the Community Foundation, food pantries across the Outer Banks are seeing a surge in clients. Another challenge, he said, is food supply chain disruption, due to restaurant closures and the subsequent, increased demands on grocery stores. Some food manufacturers, he stated, cannot easily shift production away from products that are sold to restaurants over to products sold in grocery stores, creating shortages.

“These times call for exceptional, creative responses,” said Mr. Regan, “and we feel a coordinated approach to supplying local pantries so they can meet urgent food needs is the most practical, expedient, and economical solution.”

Addressing other community needs, a Rapid Response Grant of $6,788 to the Dare Education Foundation will provide students who have exceptional needs with tablets and other assistive technology. These students in the Exception Children program have challenges with remote learning and with navigating digital devices independently. The adaptive equipment and tablets will help these students—and their families—complete a difficult semester of learning at home with greater success.

Finally, Interfaith Community Outreach was awarded a grant of $15,000 to address a significant increase in clients who need financial assistance due to the COVID crisis. The Rapid Response Grant will be used to help unemployed and underemployed Dare County residents pay rent, utility bills, and other essentials until the local economy recovers.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation has now awarded over $140,000 in COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants. While the Community Foundation has received some recent donations for these grants, most of the funding is from the Community Foundation’s endowment, which was contributed over generations from various donors as legacy gifts.

“Our ability to fund these COVID grants is a perfect example of the power of a planned gift,” said Community Foundation Executive Director Lorelei Costa. “Our community is in crisis, and many of our current donors are not in a position to give at this moment. This is when we rely, more than ever, on the legacy contributions that were donated over the years through bequests and planned gifts. Those legacy gifts, invested as endowments, are providing us with the continuous funding that can sustain our grants program even when other sources of support dry up.”

The Outer Banks Community Foundation continues to accept applications for its COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program. The fourth Rapid Response Grants deadline is Tuesday, May 12, at 5:00 pm, with award decisions being made on Wednesday, May 20.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation’s Community Enrichment and Special Focus grant applications are due this Friday, April 24, at 11:59 pm, with decisions announced on June 4. More information about all of these programs, and how to apply, is online at www.obcf.org/grants.

For more information on how to make a legacy gift to the Community Foundation, call MaryAnn Toboz at 757-754-4486, or send her an email at maryann@obcf.org.

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 $20 million across 190 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 $10 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students. 

Sustaining Your Nonprofit Through the COVID Crisis: April 15 Webinar Handouts and Resources

April 16, 2020

Resources for Outer Banks Nonprofits

As promised, here are a whole bunch of additional resources for sustaining your nonprofit, as referenced on the April 15 Community Foundation webinar:

In addition, here are a few more resources that should be exceedingly helpful:

Would your nonprofit like a volunteer’s assistance with a CARES Act loan application? There are several financial whizzes in our community who have offered to help our local nonprofits with their loan applications. These folks won’t apply for your loan for you, but they are willing to: 1) answer your questions about the various programs, help you determine your eligibility, and help you determine which loan program is best for your nonprofit; 2) help you determine the maximum PPP loan amount for which you are eligible, and the PPP loan amount that may be forgivable; 3) help you identify or even prepare the documentation you will need to apply; 4) coach you generally through this process.

If you would like some help, email LCosta@obcf.org, and she’ll hook you up with one of our amazing volunteers! Thanks so much to Bob Muller, Chris Sawin, Craig Merrill, Loretta Michael, Rick Gray, and Noel Preston for their willingness to help!

Another resource: Jitasa, a nonprofit accounting and bookkeeping service that works exclusively with nonprofits, is offering free one-on-on consultations with experts about the SBA loan options for nonprofits. We have not worked with them and have no personal references or referrals to share, but you can schedule your 15- or 30-minute consultation through Jitasa’s online calendar. Their page also is a wealth of information on nonprofit eligibility for various SBA loans.

Grant opportunities. On the call, a couple of you asked for a list of grant opportunities. The best listing we have found for North Carolina is on the NC Network of Grantmakers’ website: https://www.ncgrantmakers.org/COVID-19-Resources-3. We have not been able to find much available locally, except for the Community Foundation’s grants program and the Albemarle United Way, which are both mentioned above. However, if you find something yourself and would like to share it with the group, please let us know, and we’ll add it to our resource page.

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April 13, 2020

Sustaining Your Nonprofit Through the COVID Crisis: A Webinar for Outer Banks Nonprofits

 Wednesday, April 15, 2020 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm

It’s a difficult time for our country and for the Outer Banks — and especially for our nonprofit community. But, there are resources to help you continue your good work.

From the CARES Act to the Community Foundation’s Rapid Response Grants, we want to help you identify potential sources of support to sustain your nonprofit through the Coronavirus crisis and beyond.

Join us on Wednesday, April 15 at 2:00 pm for an informative webinar on resources to help your nonprofit through the global pandemic and our local economic shut-down.

David Heinen, Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy for the NC Center for Nonprofits, will provide an overview of federal and state policy solutions to help nonprofits survive the COVID-19 crisis, including the CARES Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Then John Loyack, Vice President of Global Business Services for the Economic Development Partnership of NC, will dig into the details of two significant programs in the new CARES Act: the Paycheck Protection Program, which offers forgivable loans to small nonprofits and other businesses, and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans. He’ll walk you through the application process, help you understand the documentation you’ll need to apply, and give you essential tips for a successful application.

Finally, Lorelei Costa, Executive Director of the Outer Banks Community Foundation, will tell you about our COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program (more info below), and offer other survival tips from the nonprofit trenches.

We’ll also have plenty of time for Q&A at the end of the webinar.

This webinar is free for any staff or board member of an Outer Banks nonprofit! But space limited, so you must register in advance.

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Community Foundation Rapid Response Grants

The Outer Banks Community Foundation has awarded more than $140,000 in COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants, and we continue to accept grant applications from nonprofits to provide vital services to the Outer Banks through the Coronavirus crisis.

Our goal with these grants is to meet essential human needs in our area, with highest priority given to food and nutritional assistance. Other priorities may include medical care, shelter, other essential supplies and needs (e.g., face masks, sanitation supplies), support for essential workers, remote learning, and health and wellness programs, including mental health programs. Special emphasis may be given to at-risk populations, including the homeless, the elderly, people with financial need, essential workers, people with disabilities, and people with health risks.

Grant requests are being accepted on a rolling basis and will be reviewed promptly to ensure quick decisions and timely programs. The next application deadline is 5:00 pm on Tuesday, May 12 at 5 pm; decisions will be announced on Wednesday, May 20. Before applying, please read the information on our website, gather your ideas, and call Lorelei Costa at 252-455-1404 to discuss your project.

Complete instructions are online at www.obcf.org/grants/rapid-response-grants.

Stay healthy and well!

 

 

 

Lorelei Costa
Executive Director
Outer Banks Community Foundation

Community Foundation Awards $37,680 in COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants to Nine Nonprofits

In our second round of COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants, the Outer Banks Community Foundation has announced $37,680 in emergency funding to nine local nonprofits, supporting their efforts to provide for the basic, urgent needs of Outer Bankers during the COVID-19 crisis.

“As this pandemic deepens, our nonprofit partners are rising to overcome serious obstacles, and are determined to continue ensuring that their clients have access to basic services,” said Lorelei Costa, the Community Foundation’s executive director. “These leaders are acting with courage, perseverance, and selfless generosity, and we are honored to be able to help support our partners who are meeting the most essential needs of our community.”

The Community Foundation awarded almost $30,000 to local food assistance programs across the Outer Banks. Grantees include the Beach Food Pantry, the Bread of Life Food Pantry in Ocracoke, Hatteras Island Meals, Lifeline Outreach in Salvo, and Food For Thought. These organizations are all serving record numbers of clients through the COVID-19 crisis. Rapid Response Grants will restock pantry shelves, purchase additional refrigeration, support home-delivered meals for at-risk seniors, deliver grocery hampers, and provide food vouchers for families in need.

Rapid Response Grants are helping our community’s homeless. Room in the Inn, a nonprofit that organizes shelter for the homeless through the winter months, is now able to extend their season, thanks in part to a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation. The Rapid Response Grant will allow them to continue sheltering homeless adults for at least another month through the COVID crisis, following CDC health and safety guidelines for emergency shelters.

The Community Care Clinic of Dare was awarded $939 in support of new telemedicine services. The grant will purchase blood pressure cuffs and no-patient-contact thermometers, so that clinic staff may safely provide quality care for their patients with chronic conditions through telemedicine.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation has now awarded over $90,000 in COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants. Although priority for these grants has been given to meeting basic human needs through the crisis, especially food and nutritional assistance, the Community Foundation has also been able to utilize special funds to help with other projects. For example, dedicated funds to help animals will support the Coastal Humane Society, Feline Hope, and Friends of Felines in supplying dog food, cat food, and cat litter at local food pantries, helping people care for their pets during this difficult time.

Dedicated funding to help people with disabilities is supporting Easterseals UCP in purchasing “sensory bags” for their clients with intellectual disabilities from Dare and Currituck Counties. The bags will include items that clients can use at home during this socially isolating time to support language development, cognitive growth, motor skills, problem-solving skills, and social interaction.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation continues to accept applications for its COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program. Grant requests will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed every two weeks to ensure quick decisions and timely programs. The third application deadline is 5:00 pm on Thursday, April 16; decisions will be announced on Tuesday, April 21.

To be eligible for a COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant, programs must be related to the Coronavirus crisis, either directly (e.g., care for patients) or indirectly (e.g., assistance to out-of-work residents). Priority has been given to meeting essential human needs, especially food and nutritional assistance. Other priorities may include medical care, shelter, other essential supplies and needs (e.g., face masks, sanitation supplies), support for essential workers, remote learning, and health and wellness programs, including mental health programs. Special emphasis may be given to at-risk populations, including the homeless, the elderly, people with financial need, essential workers, people with disabilities, and people with health risks.

To apply for a Rapid Response Grant, nonprofits should first call the Community Foundation at 252-261-8839 to discuss their programs and their funding needs. From there, requests can be submitted via an emailed one- or two-page letter in PDF format, briefly describing the nonprofit’s mission, the project at hand, the dollar amount requested, the local need it would meet, and the beneficiaries of the proposed program. You can find more information about all of these programs, and how to apply, at www.obcf.org/grants.

Community Foundation Awards $56,050 in Covid-19 Rapid Response Grants to Eight Nonprofits

The Outer Banks Community Foundation has announced $56,050 in COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants to eight local nonprofits, supporting their efforts to provide for the basic, urgent needs of Outer Bankers during the COVID-19 emergency.

“The Coronavirus has created an unprecedented crisis for our community,” said Lorelei Costa, the Community Foundation’s executive director, “but our nonprofits, including the Community Foundation, are rising to the occasion in unprecedented and astounding ways.”

“Many amazing community groups, volunteers, and donors are providing food, financial assistance, internet connectivity, and medical care to help those who are out of work or otherwise under-resourced,” she said. “The Community Foundation is honored to assist these efforts, and we are ready to do more in the coming months and weeks.”

The Community Foundation awarded more than $21,000 to local food assistance programs, from Kitty Hawk to Hatteras Island to Ocracoke, including the Beach Food Pantry, the Bread of Life Food Pantry in Ocracoke, and the Buxton Food Pantry. The Albemarle Development Corporation also received assistance to serve daily prepared meals to at-risk seniors from the Baum Center in Kill Devil Hills.

More than $22,000 was awarded to provide financial assistance to Dare County residents who are out of work due to Coronavirus closures. Interfaith Community Outreach and Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men will use this grant money to help families that are most affected by unemployment or underemployment, including local seasonal workers who are affected by closures, or those workers without sick time or paid leave. These grants will help families afford rent, mortgage, utilities, medical bills, and more.

The Community Clinic of Dare received $3,608 to upgrade their facility to allow for better sanitation, social distancing, and telemedicine. The clinic provides free primary medical care, medication assistance, and health and wellness education to approximately 550 uninsured and underinsured patients each year who live or work in Dare County.

The Ocracoke Youth Center was awarded $4,225 to provide internet hotspots for Ocracoke students who do not already have internet at home. In addition, earlier this week, Dare Education Foundation, in partnership with Dare County Schools, received $4,500 to provide home internet access to under-resourced families in Dare County. The goal of these grants is to allow students to participate in remote learning and online classes through the mandated school closures.

“We have been blessed at the Community Foundation to receive several bequests, major donations, and legacy gifts over the years to endow our community grant-making,” said Ms. Costa. “This has given us the flexibility to rapidly respond to quickly-changing community needs as they emerge. We are so grateful to our donors that have allowed us to be innovative in meeting community needs during this uncertain time.”

The Outer Banks Community Foundation will continue accepting applications for its COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program. Grant requests will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed every two weeks to ensure quick decisions and timely programs. The second application deadline is 5:00 pm on Thursday, April 2, with decisions announced on Friday, April 3.

To be eligible for a COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant, programs must be related to the Coronavirus crisis, either directly (e.g., care for patients) or indirectly (e.g., assistance to workers without child care). To apply for a COVID-19 Grant, nonprofits should first call the Community Foundation at 252-261-8839 to discuss their programs and their funding needs. Requests can be submitted via a one- or two-page letter, briefly describing the nonprofit’s mission, the project at hand, the dollar amount requested, the local need it would meet, and the beneficiaries of the proposed program. You can find more information about all of these programs, and how to apply, at www.obcf.org/grants.

Community Foundation Awards $67,400 in Grants

The Outer Banks Community Foundation awarded $67,400 in Community Enrichment Grants last week, supporting arts, children, animals, historic preservation, people battling cancer, and more. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, local nonprofits have funding for projects that will positively impact residents and visitors across the Outer Banks.

The Chicamacomico Historical Association was awarded $25,000 to expand their protected historic site through the purchase of adjacent land. The additional acreage will ensure the continued preservation, integrity, and beauty of the site, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Chicamacomico is the most complete remaining Life-Saving Station in the United States, and enjoys more than 10,000 visits each year.

Coastal Family Church was awarded $5,000 for After Prom OBX, an annual event that promises to “rock the socks off” students with free food, music, scholarships, dorm packages, cash prizes, gift certificates, and much more. After Prom, a non-religious event that is open to any high school prom-goer from Dare County, encourages students to “make good choices on prom night, while making memories with their friends.” The event is in its twelfth year; in 2019, nearly 500 students participated in After Prom.

The Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series received $7,500 for a residency program for Dare County schools by Latin Ballet of Virginia. Based in Richmond, Latin Ballet’s mission to “create and strengthen connections to Hispanic/Latin American cultures through innovative, immersive, dance-inspired education and performance that effect positive and sustainable change in people’s lives.” The residency in the Dare County Schools will include classroom workshops, master classes, a Latin Cultural Event, and a public performance.

Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation was awarded $3,600 for a new website and a new laptop for their volunteers. The Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation is an all-volunteer organization that raises and disburses funds to financially assist those on Hatteras Island who are fighting cancer. Since 2001, the HI Cancer Foundation has gifted more than $900,000 to deserving individuals.

Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA) received $5,000 for new audio equipment for the SoundStage, a facility that is used by RIHA for Children’s Theatre Performances, Youth Theatre Arts Camps, Theatre Academy for Teens, and more. The space is also used in the off-season by other community groups, like the Dare County Arts Council and Theatre of Dare, among others.

Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (NEST) was awarded $8,800 for two ATVs to increase volunteer beach patrols to find, monitor, and care for sea turtle nests. NEST was established in 1995 and has nearly 300 active volunteers that patrol the beaches for sea turtles from Oregon Inlet to the Virginia State Line. They estimate that tens of thousands of sea turtles and hatchlings have been rescued by their group.

NC Coastal Federation received $7,500 for their Restaurant-to-Reef Oyster Shell Recycling Program. Established in 1982, the NC Coast Federation will use our grant to purchase large storage bins to collect oyster shells from restaurants. The shells will then be used in shoreline and offshore reef restoration in Dare and Hyde counties.

Outer Banks Children’s Museum was awarded $5,000 for signage, educational materials, and exhibit artwork for a new children’s museum in Kitty Hawk. The new museum plans to open in Spring 2020. It will feature several themed, hands-on learning exhibits, including a classroom/event room, outdoor garden, mining exhibit, and water table features.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is now accepting applications for its Community Enrichment, Special Focus, and COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Programs. You can find more information about all of these programs, and how to apply, at www.obcf.org/grants.

Community Foundation Announces Availability of COVID-19 Grants

The Outer Banks Community Foundation has announced several actions to support the Outer Banks through the Coronaviris crisis.

Specifically, the Community Foundation has initiated a COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants Program, including its first grant to provide home internet access to every student in the Dare County School System. The Community Foundation has also extended its online scholarship application deadline by one week, to March 29, to allow students with disrupted internet access ample opportunity to apply.

According to Lorelei Costa, the Community Foundation’s executive director, while there has yet to be a confirmed local case of COVID-19, the Outer Banks — and especially the local nonprofit sector — has been deeply affected by the crisis.

“Local closures and cancellations are profoundly impacting businesses, students, and families,” said Ms. Costa, “and our nonprofits are leading the community response, working to continue, adapt, and even expand their programs to help residents through this tumultuous time.”

Nonprofits are already increasing their financial, educational, and nutritional assistance programs, she said, to families affected by community closures — while protecting their own volunteers, employees, and clients from potential exposure.

“Should the COVID-19 virus spread to the Outer Banks, our nonprofit community will really be on the front lines, providing medical services, food, and critical care for our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Ms. Costa.

To support local charitable programs as they evolve, the Community Foundation has initiated the COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants Program, which will help nonprofits provide vital services to the Outer Banks through the Coronavirus crisis. Those services could include child care, elder care, medical care, emergency response services, financial assistance to people out of work, nutritional assistance, and beyond. Grant requests will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed every two weeks to ensure quick decisions and timely programs.

The first Rapid Response Grant has already been announced: $4,500 to the Dare Education Foundation, in partnership with Dare County Schools, to provide home internet access to under-resourced families with school-age children who don’t already have home wi-fi.

To apply for a COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant, nonprofits are encouraged to first call the Community Foundation at 252-261-8839 to discuss their programs, their contingency plans, and their funding needs. To be eligible for a Rapid Response Grant, programs must be related to the COVID-19 crisis, either directly (e.g., care for patients) or indirectly (e.g., assistance to workers without child care). Requests can be submitted via a one- or two-page letter, briefly describing the nonprofit’s mission, the project at hand, the dollar amount requested, the local need it would meet, and the beneficiaries of the proposed program. Complete instructions are online at www.obcf.org/grants/rapid-response-grants.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, as long as the COVID-19 crisis continues, with funding decisions every two weeks. To be considered in the first round, applications must be received by 5:00 pm on Thursday, March 19, for a decision on Friday, March 20. The second round application deadline is 5:00 pm on Thursday, April 2, with decisions announced on Friday, April 3. Subsequent deadlines and guidelines will be announced as local needs evolve.

“For our first COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant, we were honored for the opportunity to partner with the Dare Education Foundation and the Dare County Schools,” said Ms. Costa. “This grant will ensure that every child in Dare County has online access to participate in the Dare County Schools’ new Remote Learning program, which commences on March 23 through school closures.”

The grant will also ensure that graduating seniors have home internet access to apply online for college, for scholarships, and/or for employment. To give equal opportunity to all scholarship seekers, the Community Foundation extended its own scholarship deadline by one week, to Sunday, March 29. The extra week will make certain that all students have internet access at home in order to apply, through the aforementioned program.

The Community Foundation administers 55 scholarship programs and expects to award $173,000 this year in scholarships. Students may apply online by clicking here.

Community Foundation Statement on Coronavirus

Like so many members of our community, the staff and board of the Outer Banks Community Foundation are closely monitoring COVID-19. Internally, we are taking necessary steps in our office and business affairs to limit the potential for spreading any illness, and for protecting the health and safety of our employees, visitors, and constituents.

Just as important, our thoughts turn to our neighbors, both here and afar.

Your Community Foundation is ready to support the Outer Banks if and when local needs arise. This is an uncertain time, and we are working to connect with our nonprofit partners to learn of their contingency plans, to encourage local readiness, and to ascertain local needs as they begin to surface and evolve.

Should the Coronavirus spread to the Outer Banks, our nonprofit community will doubtless be on the front lines of the outbreak, providing medical services, nutritional assistance, financial support to people in need, and critical care for our most vulnerable neighbors. As ever, your Community Foundation will be here to help.

If your nonprofit has special needs related to the outbreak, contingency plans to share, or concerns for our community, please call our Executive Director, Lorelei Costa, at 252-261-8839. We want to hear from you.

We also recommend this page of relevant state, national and international links and resources, compiled by the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits: https://www.ncnonprofits.org/resources/pandemicresources

Our prayers are with our friends across North Carolina, the United States, and the World.

Lorelei Costa with Dare County Board of Commissioners

Executive Director Lorelei Costa presented to the Dare County Board of Commissioners on Monday, March 2 to share an update on Hurricane Dorian Relief and the Community Foundation’s Vision 2020 Grants. Chairman Bob Woodward gives an introduction at 2:38 minutes into this video; at 33:30 minutes, Lorelei gives a brief update on where the Community Foundation’s disaster relief funding has been applied, to date, and announces the Vision 2020 Grants Program—the result of an anonymous, six-figure donation that will be used to move the needle on a significant, pressing, and current community need. Application for Vision 2020 will be released on Monday, March 23.