The Outer Banks Community Foundation awards grants to nonprofit organizations to help meet local needs and to enrich the quality of life for all people in the Outer Banks.

Currently, the Community Foundation awards four types of grants:

  • Rapid Response Grants  (awarded periodically in times of crisis, on a competitive or proactive basis after an organization applies)
  • Community Enrichment Grants  (awarded quarterly on a competitive basis after an organization applies)
  • Special Focus Grants  (awarded annually on a competitive basis after an organization applies)
  • Donor-Advised Grants  (awarded periodically based on donor recommendations; no open application process)

Rapid Response Grants

Periodically, in times of crisis, the Community Foundation may initiate a Rapid Response Grant Program to support nonprofit organizations on a proactive and/or competitive basis, as urgent needs arise. Rapid Response Grants may follow a natural disaster (e.g., Hurricane Dorian) or may be initiated during other times of need (e.g., COVID-19 crisis).

Community Enrichment Grants

The Community Foundation awards quarterly Community Enrichment Grants to qualifying nonprofit organizations on a competitive basis. Community Enrichment Grants can be used for any kind of charitable project benefiting the Outer Banks, including animal welfare, arts and culture, children/youth, disaster relief/prevention, education, the environment, health, historic preservation, and other human services.

Nonprofits must submit an online application in order to be considered for a Community Enrichment Grant. Application deadlines are typically the last Friday of January, April, July, and October. For more information about Community Enrichment Grants, please visit our guidelines page and our FAQ page.

Special Focus Grants

The Community Foundation has separate, dedicated funding sources for several areas of special focus:

  • Animal Welfare
  • Aviation Education
  • Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Please note that organizations working in these areas are welcome to apply for a Community Enrichment Grant in any grant cycle; however, projects within these focus areas are especially encouraged in our second grant cycle each year, when we make grant decisions for the aforementioned dedicated funding sources.

The application deadline for our Special Focus Grants is usually the last Friday of April, with grants awarded on the first Thursday of June. For more information, please visit our page for our Special Focus Grants.

Donor-Advised Grants

The Outer Banks Community Foundation also awards grants to qualifying nonprofit organizations upon the recommendation of donors with donor-advised funds.

Donor-advised grants are not limited to the Outer Banks geography, nor by our Community Enrichment Grants criteria, so long as the recipient is a 501(c)3 organization. We may also award donor-advised grants to other tax-exempt organizations for charitable projects that meet a public need, in accordance with IRS guidelines.

Currently, none of the Community Foundation’s donor-advised funds are accepting unsolicited applications.