Charity and the New Tax Law (Yes, You Can Still Give and Be Smart!)

By Lorelei Costa

Note: This article first appeared in the February 14, 2018 edition of the Outer Banks Sentinel.


If you’re anything like me, you’ve just started the tedious task of collecting your paperwork for tax season. Not my favorite chore, but a necessary one. Maybe, like me, among your papers are a few letters from various charities telling you that your donations last year were tax-deductible. And maybe you are wondering, will the new tax bill change that in the future? Will there be any tax benefit to giving in 2018?

At the Outer Banks Community Foundation, we are getting these exact questions from donors. Nonprofits are calling us, too, wondering whether they should expect a huge drop in donations starting this year. There has been so much confusion about philanthropy and the new tax bill, that I thought I’d try to address some of the biggest issues here. Keep in mind, too, that most of the changes go into effect in 2018, so the return you’re completing now for 2017 will be very similar to previous years.

First and foremost: Yes, for 2018 you will still be able to deduct your charitable donations! This vital part of our tax system will continue to benefit many folks who choose to give to charity.

That said, next year some tax-payers will find greater advantage in choosing the standard deduction, rather than itemizing charitable gifts and other deductions. That’s because the new tax law has essentially doubled the standard deduction for most Americans.

Will charities see a dramatic decline in donations? Hard to tell, but I will say this: about two-thirds of all Americans contribute to charity, and at least half of them do so without itemizing their donations. I believe people give when a charity touches their heart, when they see a nonprofit doing good things for the world. Here on the Outer Banks, we are a generous community, and I think people here often give for no benefit, without recognition, just because they want to help people.

Now, no one wants to pay more taxes than they have to, so even if you don’t think you’ll itemize on your 2018 return, there are still some nifty strategies that may help your tax bill. Talk to your accountant now to see if you should use any of these strategies this year.

IRA Rollover Contributions: This is a good one. If you are age 70½ or older and you have an IRA, consider donating to your favorite charities directly from your IRA. This is a fantastic strategy whether you are itemizing or not; that’s because if you donate directly from your IRA to charity, the money is never even added to your income to begin with, yielding a much better bottom line on your tax return. Donating from your IRA might even reduce your income enough to put you in a different tax bracket—meaning a lower overall tax rate! Best of all, donations from your IRA count toward your required minimum distribution, which is great news if you don’t need your IRA for income right now, but are forced to take a distribution because of your age. Remember, for this strategy to work, your IRA has to write the check directly to your charity.

Gifts of Stock or Real Estate: If you are blessed to have a portfolio that includes a variety of resources, consider gifts of appreciated assets, like securities or property. Donating your appreciated assets may help you avoid the capital gains tax (which, incidentally, did not decrease one iota with the new tax law), which is true even if you don’t itemize. Ask your accountant if you’d benefit from shifting some of your donations from cash to stocks or real estate.

Gift Bundling: Perhaps you contribute annually to charity, and perhaps your budget is somewhat flexible. Consider bundling the donations you might have made over two or more years into one gift in one year. By combining them into one tax period, it’s possible they could qualify for itemization. The new tax bill gives you greater accommodation to do this; the law now allows you to deduct up to 60% of your adjusted gross income for cash gifts, which is up from 50% in 2017. (Half of those gifts—up to 30% of your AGI—can be made with appreciated securities, which avoids capital gains tax as well.) And remember that if your contributions exceed this limit, you can still carry them forward and apply the deduction over five years.

If the bundling strategy appeals to you, consider using those combined donations to start a Donor-Advised Fund with the Outer Banks Community Foundation. Donor-Advised Funds are legacy endowments that you can use to benefit your favorite charities for many years to come. We set up a special fund in the name of your choosing (it can be your name, the name of your family or business, or the name of a loved one), and you recommend grants from your fund each year. It’s like a private foundation, but with no excise tax, lower administrative fees, and a much more affordable minimum.

There’s one last major change to the tax law that may affect your philanthropy, and that’s the doubling of the estate tax exemption, from $5.6 million per person to $11.2 million. Additionally, the threshold for triggering a gift or generation-skipping tax has increased, as has the annual gift tax exclusion. This may sound like mumbo-jumbo, but this is a big deal for some families.

If this could affect your estate, be sure to meet with your advisors to discuss your plans accordingly. And if you’re redoing your plans, now’s the time to consider how a reduced tax bill could enable your family to make a planned gift that will help your community forever and establish your philanthropic legacy.

So, should you still give, in light of the new tax bill? Absolutely. For some donors, there are new giving strategies to consider that will take best advantage of the new tax law. And for all donors, please continue to support the charities that inspire you, that are making your community a better place to live, work, and play.

A Legacy of Caring

Story by Kip Tabb

As Bonnie Pfennighaus and Louise Baraw reflect upon their lives, an extraordinary story of giving back, of caring for others emerges. But for the longtime friends a lifetime of caring for people is not enough. Now retired and living in Southern Shores, they want to ensure their legacy will continue.

“We were modifying our wills, and our attorney, John Graham, said, ‘You were nurses for a long time, why don’t you use that money for a nursing scholarship,’ ” Bonnie recalled.

The result was a fund at the Outer Banks Community Foundation that will be endowed by their wills. “It will be a renewable scholarship,” Bonnie explained, “for a BS in nursing.”

The friends went beyond setting up an endowment for a nursing scholarship. They also have created legacy endowments through the Community Foundation in their wills for Food for Thought and the Outer Banks SPCA.

“That (endowments) was something that never crossed my mind,” Louise added.

Louise had been a pediatric nurse, Bonnie a critical care nurse when they lived in Boston. They came to their profession from different places, but for both, it was the opportunity to help others that seemed to motivate them.

“I knew I wanted to help take care of people,” Louise said. “I went to nursing school in Hannover, New Hampshire. Part of my affiliation was in Children’s Hospital in Boston. There was no question what I was going to do. I wanted to take care of kids. It was a heartbreakingly wonderful job. You had to remember that you could cry with the parents. You were still human.”

Bonnie seemed to almost stumble into nursing, finding an interest in medicine when her father forced her to take a job at age 17 in her hometown of Warren, Ohio. After sabotaging every option he suggested, he took her to the local hospital where an aunt worked.

There was no getting out of that, but to her surprise, “I loved it,” she recalled.

In 1980 they retired from nursing and began second careers as deputy sheriffs in Vermont.

“My dad got us into that. My dad was a deputy sheriff and my mom was a deputy in the courts,” Louise explains.

For the friends, after years of dealing with life and too often death, the new job was a relief.

“It was nice. We got kids in there we had to take care of and I knew that they weren’t going to die on me,” Louise said.

Although as deputies there were certain things they were supposed to do in certain ways, according to them, some rules were bent.

Often tasked with transporting patients to the state mental hospital, the regulations called for them to handcuff the person being transferred. The first person they transported after graduating from the police academy seems to have established how they were going to go about their job.

The assignment was on the Fourth of July and it was an elderly lady.

“We had to pick her up and drive her from St. Johnsbury to Waterbury, which is the mental hospital,” Louise said. “So they asked us, ‘Do you have the handcuffs?’ I said, ‘Yes, I have them right here.’ We put the handcuffs on her, got out of the driveway and took off the handcuffs.”

As they were driving they came to Montpelier. “Oh,” said the elderly woman. “Could we watch the fireworks?”

“We did stop in Montpelier so we could watch the fireworks,” Bonnie said.

“We had such a good time with her,” Louise said.

The stories they tell of their time as deputies are filled with small kindnesses, of treating people as individuals and with dignity.

“You cannot act like somebody you’re not,” Louise said.

In 1996 the friends retired and moved to the Outer Banks. Over the years they have volunteered for a number of community causes, including the Southern Shores Volunteer Fire Department, their church, Kitty Hawk United Methodist, and Food for Thought, a volunteer organization that packs lunches for Dare County school children.

The act of giving back—of assuring that their legacy of caring will continue—has become important to the two of them.

“If I should die tomorrow, God forbid, I want something that says, ‘Here it is. Let’s do this,’ ” Louise said.


The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a public charity that connects people who care with causes that matter. The Community Foundation manages $17 million in 175 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards grants to local nonprofits, administers 50 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 $8 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students.

Anyone can start a legacy fund with the Outer Banks Community Foundation. For more information about starting a fund, please see For more information about planned gifts, see


Annual Meeting 2018!

Thank you for registering for the Annual Meeting of the Outer Banks Community Foundation!

The luncheon meeting will be held on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel at 1701 South Virginia Dare Trail in Kill Devil Hills.

If you have registered in advance, please arrive at 11:30 am to socialize and browse some special art projects from the Dare County Arts Council’s “Power of Art” program. After a delicious lunch, we will conduct some brief membership business, watch the winning videos from our annual nonprofit video contest, and announce our 2018 Champion!

Registration has now closed. If you are interested in attending, please call us at 252-261-8839 to check on availability or click here to be placed on our waiting list. We will advise you if space becomes available.


Photo caption: Dare County Arts Council, first place winners of our 2017 Video Contest, receiving a check for $2,000. Photograph by Biff Jennings, Shooters at the Beach.

OBCF Awards $750,000 in 2017 and Opens 19 New Charitable Funds

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 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.

A Family Tradition of Giving

Story by Kip Tabb

The Inez Daniels Austin Scholarship is one of the largest scholarships awarded to graduating seniors from Hatteras Island. A merit-based award, it is named after a devoted teacher who believed in the potential of education and community.

And Inez’s scholarship is growing; a surprise bequest from her daughter, Josephine Oden, who passed away in 2017, has just been added to the Inez Daniels Austin Scholarship Fund through the Outer Banks Community Foundation.

Inez Daniels Austin was bit of a trailblazer, although she probably did not think of herself in that way. Born in 1890 in Wanchese, Inez went away to college at a time when women did not yet have the right to vote.

“She went to UNC around 1915 and studied for two years,” her grandson Jeff Oden said. “Even though at that time she did not receive her degree, she took a test given by the county back then and was deemed capable of teaching. She ultimately ended up teaching in Frisco, which is where my grandfather met her.”

For more than 40 years, she taught school on Hatteras Island, mostly primary grades.

“That was the old schools back then. She taught four or five different grades,” Jeff said. Almost every family who lived in Hatteras Village or Buxton had Mrs. Austin as a teacher.

Inez was a formidable woman, according to Jeff.

“She was pretty intimidating,” he said. “She was no nonsense. That’s what I remember most about her.”

If she was intimidating, she was also inspiring and driven.

If there was any doubt about how important education was to Inez, it was resolved in 1966 when, at age 76, she enrolled in UNC to complete her degree.

She was not, however, able to complete her degree.

“Unfortunately cancer intervened, and she passed at the age of 79,” Jeff said.

He remembers his grandmother still actively involved with the children of the community through her final illness. “She taught a kindergarten class at the local church in Hatteras until her death,” he said.

The community spirit was always there, and was passed down from mother to daughter. Inez instilled in her daughter, Josephine, the same love of learning and independent spirit.

“My mom was big into education. She started out at Greensboro Women’s College. Then she went to UNC. Went to their journalism school,” Jeff said. “Worked at the (Elizabeth City) Daily Advance before she came home and married her childhood sweetheart, my dad.”

The couple settled into life in Hatteras Village, raised their family, and built the Sea Gull Motel in 1955, which they managed for many years before they retired.

Josephine seems to have learned the lessons her mother was teaching, and the lessons she taught were not just in the classroom. Josephine was the first woman to serve on the Board of Directors for the Outer Banks Community Foundation, and, like her mother, was active in her church and community, volunteering at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum when she was well into her 90s, and working to give back to the place she called home.

The Inez Daniels Austin Scholarship, funded through a perpetual endowment by the Outer Banks Community Foundation since 1983, was the Community Foundation’s first scholarship and one their first permanent endowments. It was started by Josephine and her family: sisters Sybil Skakle and Ramona Hunter, and sister-in-law Ruby Moser.

The scholarship, though, predates the Community Foundation. Research has found the first Inez Daniels Austin Scholarship was a $200 award given in 1976. By moving the scholarship to the Community Foundation to manage as a perpetual endowment fund, the family was assured there will always be a scholarship to award.

Already one of the more generous Outer Banks scholarships, a bequest from Josephine Oden, who passed away in July of 2017, will add substantially to the endowment.

“My mom has been very generous to the community. It’s where she grew up,” Jeff explained. “It’s about my mom, and it’s about my grandmom,” he added.

With her bequest to the Inez Daniels Austin Scholarship endowment, Josephine Oden is creating a family legacy that treasures education, what it can mean for a community and the individuals who live there.

“The scholarship’s for women. Not exclusively, but preferably. That’s where she saw the need,” Jeff said.

It is a legacy that Jeff seems eager to pass along, saying, “I’m proud of the fact that she has done that over time. One thing my mom said was: ‘Be generous.’ ”

When Carissa Rausch was awarded the 2016 Inez Daniels Austin Scholarship, the $2600 scholarship meant the graduating senior knew she could pursue her lifelong dreams.

“That scholarship meant I was one step closer to becoming a nurse,” she said.

“As a kid I knew I wanted a career that would help others,” the second-year nursing student said. “What is important about nursing to me is that when I graduate I’ll have the opportunity to help people, and use my skills to better their lives.”

Community Foundation Now Accepting Grant Applications for 2018

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: The first deadline of the year is Friday, January 26.

The Community Enrichment Grants Program is the Community Foundation’s largest and broadest funding opportunity. In 2017 the Community Foundation awarded over $225,000 in Community Enrichment 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 & culture; animal welfare; children & youth; education; the environment; disaster relief & prevention; health; historic interpretation & preservation; and other human services.

Most Community Enrichment Grants will support the direct costs of a charitable project or program. In 2017, for example, the Community Foundation sponsored playground equipment for the safehouse at Outer Banks Hotline, new vehicles for the Corolla Wild Horse Fund to care for the historic equine herd, new/additional parking spaces for visitors to the Nags Head Woods Nature Preserve, restoration of the historic 1911 building at the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station, and the development of new, outdoor performance and exhibit space for the Dare County Arts Council at the historic courthouse in Manteo.

Community Enrichment Grants are also 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 to GEM Adult Day Services for new computers and software, to Interfaith Community Outreach for a strategic planning facilitator, and to Ocracoke Community Radio for a new website.

Additionally, the Community Foundation is now also awarding 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 summer camp, educational offerings, or after-school programs. For example, a grant last year to the Bryan Cultural Series allowed that organization to offer free tickets to students for a performance of HMS Pinafore, and a grant to Mane and Taill allowed that nonprofit to offer need-based scholarships for horsemanship lessons to children with disabilities.

In 2018 the Community Foundation will be continuing its newly-expanded grants criteria. Specifically, in prior years, preference for Community Enrichment Grants was given exclusively to new initiatives and new projects; the goal was to make best use of limited grant money by encouraging nonprofits to find diverse sources for on-going funds. Today, however, with over 200 nonprofits serving the Outer Banks, it’s not always the case that a new program is needed to meet a community need. Therefore the Community Foundation expanded its focus in 2017 to better serve local needs, dually emphasizing both new programs as well as established programs that are filling a gap and/or meeting a vital, urgent need.

Community Enrichment Grants are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed quarterly. Any applications received by Friday, January 26 will have a decision by March 8. Before submitting an application for any grant, prospective applicants should first review the grant guidelines and FAQ online, and then contact Lorelei Costa at 252-261-8839 to discuss their projects.


Photograph by Bonnie Brumbeloe, Children & Youth Partnership for Dare County. A Community Enrichment Grant to the Partnership in 2017 brought the Paperhand Puppet Production to Dare County for Kids Fest — to the delight of many children.

Summer Job Opportunity for Scholarship Recipient

Announcing the 2018 Milton Jewell Internship

Are you a college student who’s looking to build your résumé, and make some money this summer? Are you interested in a career in the nonprofit sector, and eager to get your foot in the door? Or maybe you are hoping to hone your skills in archival research and/or database management?

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is now accepting applications for our prestigious Milton Jewell Internship Program, and IF you are one of our past scholarship recipients and you are still enrolled in school, YOU are invited to apply for this awesome opportunity.

This summer our Milton Jewell Intern will be managing our grants and scholarships database, digging deep into historical archives to complete our electronic records. We are looking for an enthusiastic, self-motivated individual with fastidious attention to detail and creative problem-solving skills. Time permitting, the intern will also be completing our board member records, and redesigning and updating our database of local nonprofit organizations. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested in the nonprofit sector, and also for history majors and/or information science majors.

The intern will work 20 hours per week from our Southern Shores office on the Outer Banks, with flexible hours to accommodate additional employment. The position pays $12.50 per hour. Start and end dates will depend on the intern’s college schedule; however, a 12-week commitment is expected. The Milton Jewell Intern will report to the Executive Director and will also work closely with our other two staff members.

Job Duties:

  • Complete our database of thirty-five years of grants and scholarships, totaling an estimated $8 million in monetary awards.
  • Meticulously check electronic records against various historical archives, including old paper files, board meeting minutes, financial statements, and annual reports.
  • Add any missing information, including student names, award dates, and geographic area served, using creative problem-solving skills to find clues in unexpected places.
  • Enter, analyze, and summarize data in Microsoft Excel for eventual import into an Access-built database.
  • Create charts and tables to illustrate strategic data trends for our board and executive director.
  • Time permitting, redesign our database of local nonprofits in Excel and within an online platform, using ingenuity to create a more functional system for a variety of needs.
  • Update nonprofit records, compiling and de-duping a multitude of electronic spreadsheets, and utilizing the Internet and the good old-fashioned telephone to update contact information.
  • Time permitting, update our board member records by delving into 35 years of board meeting minutes, adding dates of service and creating a user-friendly timeline.
  • Assist with other administrative duties as assigned.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a current undergraduate college student. Preference may be given to current sophomores and juniors; however, current freshmen and seniors are also invited to apply.
  • Must be a current or past recipient of an Outer Banks Community Foundation scholarship, including any of our scholarships given in partnership with other entities. (If you you received a Community Foundation scholarship and you are still enrolled in school, you qualify! If you’re not sure, call us at 252-261-8839 to check.)
  • Preference may be given to students with a strong career interest in the nonprofit sector.

Essential Qualities:

  • Exceptional attention to detail.
  • Superior and enthusiastic work ethic. Reliability, maturity, and self-motivation.
  • Strong computer skills, including proficiency with MS Word.
  • Good written and oral communication skills.

Preference may be given to candidates with:

  • Strong skills in Microsoft Excel, including experience entering, sorting, manipulating, analyzing, and charting data.
  • Experience in database management and design.

To Apply:

  • Email your cover letter, résumé, list of three references, and writing sample to no later than December 22, 2017. Please specify “Internship Application” in the subject line of your email.
  • Your list of references should include professional and/or academic contacts, with at least one current or past employer. For each reference, include his/her name, title/affiliation, telephone number, and email address.
  • In your cover letter, please describe your career interests, and any experience you have managing or creating spreadsheets and databases.
  • Your writing sample should be between 750 and 5,000 words. It should be wholly written and edited by you. It may be an excerpt of a longer work.
  • Finalists may be invited to interview the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

About the Community Foundation: Founded in 1982 and based in Southern Shores, the Outer Banks Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity that helps meet local needs across Dare County and the entire Outer Banks. The Community Foundation manages $17 million across 175 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, providing tailored services to help donors pursue their charitable interests. With these funds the Community Foundation awards charitable grants to local nonprofits, and educational scholarships to local students through 50 diverse scholarship programs. Since its inception in 1982, the Community Foundation has awarded an estimated $8 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students. Learn more at

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. It is our policy to make all hiring and other employment decisions without regard to an individual’s sex, race, national origin, religion, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, or physical or mental disability.

Local Nonprofits Build Forever Funds through the Community Foundation

The challenge has been met! Seventeen local nonprofits undertook the Outer Banks Community Foundation’s Matching Fund Challenge, issued earlier this year, to raise $2500 each for permanent endowment funds.

And all seventeen groups met or exceeded the challenge, raising needed funds to sustain their organizations in perpetuity.

The Community Foundation matched the dollars raised, $2500 per group, and also offered marketing grants to help the organizations publicize their funds to the public.

The endowments will provide vital, perpetual support for a wide range of local causes, from health care to the arts, fire protection to animal welfare, children’s needs to historic preservation.

“The goal of our challenge was to help diverse local nonprofits establish and build endowments for their organizations’ future,” explained Lorelei Costa, the Community Foundation’s executive director. “An endowment can be so helpful to a nonprofit, because it is invested to provide the organization with sustainable, easy funds each and every year.”

The successful participants in the Matching Fund Challenge were: Beach Food Pantry, Chicamacomico Historical Association, Children & Youth Partnership, Community Care Clinic, Dare County Arts Council, Dare County Boat Builders Foundation, Food for Thought, Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation, Hatteras Village Civic Association, Interfaith Community Outreach, NC Lions VIP Fishing Tournament, Ocracoke Fire Protection Association, Ocracoke Community Radio, Outer Banks Hotline, Outer Banks Relief Foundation, and Outer Banks Sporting Events.

Five additional organizations received marketing grants to publicize their funds: Dare Education Foundation, Elizabethan Gardens, First Flight Society, Ocracoke Youth Center, and Outer Banks SPCA.

“Here on the Outer Banks, the competition for grants, donations, and business sponsorships has become so incredibly fierce,” said Ms. Costa. “An endowment, on the other hand, is invested to provide dependable funding for a nonprofit for countless years ahead.”

“In establishing endowments, these nonprofits are investing in their future and creating ideal vehicles for donors who wish to give them sustaining support,” added Ms. Costa.

Anyone can contribute to any of the endowments created through the Matching Fund Challenge, or to any of the 40 other nonprofit and church endowments managed by the Community Foundation. Donors are encouraged to donate online at, or by contacting the Community Foundation at 252-261-8839.

Mike Kelly Continuing Important Legacy with Community Foundation

Story By Kip Tabb

Kelly’s Outer Banks Tavern and Restaurant, Mike Kelly’s signature restaurant, closes for good soon, the land sold for development of a supermarket. But with Mako Mike’s and Pamlico Jack’s restaurants still open, as well as the company’s catering service, Kelly is still very much a part of the Outer Banks community.

Known for his generous contributions to the local area, Kelly has worked almost exclusively through the Outer Banks Community Foundation to target his giving, much of the funds coming from his annual golf tournament.

After the 24th Kelly Hospitality Group Annual Charity Golf Tournament wrapped up, Mike had a chance to reflect upon this year and tournaments past, and what it has meant to him and his family to be able to give back to the local community.

“We’ve raised a little over $300,000 in the golf tournaments,” he said. “We’ve given away $300,000 and because of the growth and because of the money we’ve put into it, we still have a little more than $300,000 in it (the fund). That’s amazing.”

Click here to read more about this family, their fund, and giving back to the Outer Banks in the Outer Banks Voice.


Community Foundation Expands Grants Criteria, Announces Last Deadline of 2017

The Outer Banks Community Foundation has announced two expansions of its grants criteria. Effective immediately, the Community Foundation is now funding “Program Scholarship Grants,” and additionally is now giving equal priority to both new programs, and to established programs that are filling a gap and/or meeting a vital, urgent need.

“This is great news for Outer Banks nonprofits,” said Lorelei Costa, the Community Foundation’s executive director. “If your organization has hesitated in the past to apply for a grant, we invite you to read our new criteria on our website, and call our staff to discuss your needs. Your projects may now be a perfect fit for our grants program!”

Program Scholarship Grants are the latest category of grants that the Community Foundation will be offering on a quarterly, competitive basis. These are grants to enable a nonprofit to offer “scholarships” for enrichment programs to individuals and families with financial need or other hardship. The scholarships should offset or reduce the registration fees that the nonprofit would normally charge for programs such as summer camp, educational offerings, or after-school programs.

“The goal of Program Scholarship Grants,” explained Ms. Costa, “is to enable local nonprofits to provide life-enriching opportunities to members of the community who would otherwise not be able to participate. These grants are offered in addition to our regular Project Grants and Capacity-Building Grants.”

But perhaps the most significant expansion of the Community Foundation’s grants criteria is its new, expanded focus on established charitable programs. Specifically, the Community Foundation will now support existing programs that are filling gaps in the community and/or meeting a critical community need.

“In our 35 years of grant-making, the Community Foundation has traditionally emphasized ‘seed grants,’ and the funding of new programs and organizations,” explained Ms. Costa. “This was at least partly because the local nonprofit sector was in its infancy, and the Community Foundation needed to make best use of its limited grant funds by helping to initiate new projects that the community could sustain through other sources of funding.”

The Community Foundation has a long history of launching new programs that endure to this day, including Food for Thought, Earth Fair, Mano al Hermano’s Family Literacy Program, 211, the Children and Youth Partnership, the Ocracoke Village Thrift Shop, Hatteras Radio, the Veteran’s Writing Program at the Arts Council, the Water’s Edge Village Charter School in Corolla, and much more.

“Today there are over 200 nonprofits serving the Outer Banks,” remarked Ms. Costa, “and nowadays it’s not always the case that a new program is needed to meet a community need. There are many established programs that are already serving vital needs — programs that simply require additional support. And so the Community Foundation is expanding to meet the changing demands of our community.”

“With our broader criteria, the Community Foundation will continue to play an essential role as the ‘venture capitalist’ of our local nonprofit sector, investing in new initiatives and innovative ideas, while also helping established, vital programs with their direct funding needs,” Ms. Costa said.

The Community Foundation’s final grant application deadline of the year is Friday, October 27. Any nonprofit serving the Outer Banks (Dare County, Ocracoke, and/or the Currituck beaches) is eligible to apply, including groups that work in arts and culture, animal welfare, children/youth, disaster relief and prevention, education, the environment, health, historic interpretation and preservation, and other human services.

“This cycle we have dedicated funds remaining for arts programs, health and wellness projects, environmental projects, and programs in Ocracoke and/or Hatteras,” said Ms. Costa. “If you are interested in applying for a grant, please review all of our information online first, and then call me at 261-8839 to discuss your ideas.”

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a public charity that connects people who care with causes that matter. The Community Foundation manages $15 million in 175 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards grants to local nonprofits, administers 50 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 $8 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students.