Endowment Marketing Mini-Grants (EMMGs) are intended to help our nonprofit partners promote their endowment funds to potential contributors. If your 501c3 organization has a permanent endowment with the Outer Banks Community Foundation, you can apply for up to $2,500 for marketing support. We are especially interested in helping nonprofits publicize the legacy and planned giving opportunities associated with their funds.
An EMMG can cover almost any aspect of your endowment marketing campaign. For example, an EMMG can pay for the planning, design, production, printing, and/or distribution of brochures, mailings, videos, web pages, print publications, social media, and advertisements, so long as those pieces focus primarily on your organization’s Community Foundation endowment fund. Once awarded, EMMGs are good for one year and paid on a reimbursement basis, after your nonprofit completes our reimbursement form with the required documentation attached.
To qualify for reimbursement, your marketing piece(s) must be cobranded with the Community Foundation’s logo. Final drafts of all marketing piece(s) must be reviewed by the Community Foundation before printing/distribution to ensure accuracy of information and integrity of cobranding.
To apply for an EMMG, first please call our staff at 252-261-8839 to discuss your project and confirm your eligibility. Once you’ve spoken with our staff, you can apply online for an EMMG by clicking here (link will be updated when the 2019 application is available). Application deadlines are the last Fridays of January, April, July, and October. (In 2019, those dates are January 25, April 26, July 26, and October 25.) Applications are reviewed by our board on a quarterly basis, with decisions on the first Thursdays of March, June, September, and December.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
My organization has a current Community Enrichment Grant and/or wants to apply for one in the future. Can we also apply for an Endowment Marketing Mini-Grant?
Yes. EMMGs are considered separately from our Community Enrichment Grants. Thus your participation in either grant program will not affect your eligibility for the other. The same is true of our Special Focus Grants.
Do I need to raise matching funds in order to receive an EMMG?
No. The EMMG can cover the entirety of your marketing costs, up to $2,500. Beyond $2,500, however, you will need to find other funding sources.
My organization received a Marketing Mini-Grant in the past. Can we apply again for additional funding?
Yes. If you have more ambitious marketing plans and wish to do more publicity for your endowment, we will certainly consider your application for support. That said, if we receive more requests than we are able to fund, we may give preference to organizations that have not yet received any marketing support.
What financial statements are required with the application?
None, except for your project budget. These are mini-grants, with a maximum award of $2,500; the application is therefore proportionally minimal.
Do we need to have a formal marketing plan in order to apply for this grant?
You don’t need an elaborate marketing plan, but you should have a budget for your project, as well as specific ideas for your target audience and marketing activities/outputs (e.g., events or materials). If you have no concrete ideas for how to publicize your endowment, you may wish to work with a nonprofit communications consultant as part of your marketing project.
Do we need to have drafts of our marketing pieces in order to apply for this grant?
No; in fact, part of your grant request can include money to write and/or design your marketing pieces. That said, if you already have drafts of marketing materials, the grant application has space for you to upload those optional attachments.
Is a final report required for an Endowment Marketing Mini-Grant?
It is not required. However, we would encourage your organization to complete a final report, if possible, to help us evaluate this grant program. Our grantees’ feedback always helps us improve our grant-making.
My organization does not yet have an endowment fund with the Community Foundation. How can we learn more about establishing one?
Thanks for your interest! Start by perusing this information sheet about nonprofit funds. Then, please call our staff at 252-261-8839 to set up an appointment to learn more.
Can we use an EMMG to promote a nonendowed fund with the Community Foundation? What about a self-managed endowment?
Our EMMGs are only available for permanent endowments held by the Outer Banks Community Foundation.
Can we use an EMMG to promote a scholarship fund held by the Community Foundation?
At this time, EMMGs are not available for scholarship funds.
Can churches, faith-based organizations, and/or advocacy organizations participate?
We proudly manage endowments on behalf of many local churches, religious charities, and policy-focused charities. However, because our discretionary grant dollars are contributed from the wider community, we are not able to award EMMGs to organizations that primarily seek to promote religious beliefs, and/or that are primarily engaged in lobbying or policy advocacy. Faith-based organizations that address the needs of the wider community, irrespective of a client’s religion, are certainly eligible for an EMMG. Please call our staff if you have questions about your organization’s eligibility.
Do you have sample language we can use for our marketing products?
Yes. Click here for sample language for your website; this text can easily be adapted for print publications, as well. That said, when it comes to marketing, one size does not fit all. That’s why we are offering EMMGs to our nonprofit partners. We hope these grants will give you the resources you need to develop the customized marketing pieces that fit your organization’s specific needs.
Beyond the EMMGs, what other tools does the Community Foundation offer to help nonprofits promote and grow their endowments?
In the fall of 2017 we offered our first free seminar on Legacy and Endowment Fundraising. The training included an introduction to endowments, an introduction to basic planned giving concepts (e.g., bequests, trusts), and ideas for starting the “Legacy Conversation” with your supporters. If you missed that workshop, you can download the presentation here. We plan to offer more workshops in the future on Legacy and Endowment Fundraising, so stay tuned. We are also happy to provide similar presentations for your board. Just contact our staff, and we’ll set a date.
Beyond training resources, the Community Foundation is always available to provide technical support for any planned gift to your fund, including help with bequest language, trust documents, gifts of life insurance or real estate, and more. There are no fees for our planned giving services. Additionally, anyone can contribute to your fund at any time through the Community Foundation, and we process all such gifts, cover any applicable processing fees, and mail all required tax receipts.