What is Outer Banks Forever?
History: Outer Banks Forever was established in 2019 to provide additional support to our Outer Banks national parks through philanthropy. We are a branch of Eastern National, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that promotes the public’s understanding and support of America’s national parks and other public trust partners by providing quality educational experiences, products, and services. Eastern National has operated the bookstores in our parks for many years. The creation of our organization was a step towards providing additional support for our parks.
Mission: We are the official nonprofit fundraising partner of our three Outer Banks national parks – Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial – helping to protect and enhance these special places through public engagement, programming, and project support.
Vision: Our Outer Banks national parks protect much of what we all love most about being here. With your support, we will ensure that future generations can continue to learn, grow, and create memories here in our parks through the study of history, conservation, and the celebration of innovation. Together, we will support our parks by engaging our local community and visitors through philanthropy, education, volunteerism, and local, regional, and national partnerships.
Our Team: We operate with a small but mighty staff and a dedicated Board of Directors comprised of local business and community leaders, as well as dedicated long-time Outer Banks visitors. Click here to meet our team!
Why do our Outer Banks national parks need a nonprofit fundraising partner?
For decades, private donations have helped expand and sustain “America’s Best Idea”: our national parks. Dedicated individuals have helped enrich existing education, conservation, and trails programs in national parks around the country while also allowing for growth and engagement through new projects.
Our parks receive a budget from Congress that covers basic operating expenses, but it often falls short of park and community needs. Philanthropy is what allows our parks to thrive. By diversifying our parks’ funding sources through nonprofit fundraising, our parks are better equipped to innovate, respond quickly to community and visitor needs, and achieve the margin of excellence we’ve come to expect when we think of these treasured places.
How does Outer Banks Forever support our Outer Banks national parks?
Prior to 2019, our parks did not have access to the support of a dedicated philanthropic partner. Since our launch, we have raised nearly $300,000 to support projects like the new mobility-friendly Oregon Inlet Kayak Launch, symbolic adoption programs like Adopt A Pony and Adopt A Sea Turtle Nest that directly support Cape Hatteras National Seashore, a live-feed webcam on the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, virtual learning experiences that help keep visitors connected to our parks year-round, and more!
How does Outer Banks Forever decide which park projects to fund?
Guided by our parks’ needs and priorities, we fund projects and programs that protect natural and cultural resources, enhance park experiences for our local community and visitors, and engage the next generation in our parks. Our partnership gives park visitors of all ages and backgrounds an opportunity to give back to these extraordinary places that belong to all of us. Each year, National Park Service leadership here in the Outer Banks submits requests for support to us which are then vetted by our Project Committee and approved by our Board of Directors.
To learn more about our current park projects, click here.
How do I donate to Outer Banks Forever, and how is my donation used?
Your donation today can support any of our current park projects and programs listed on our Protect page or can support our General Operating Fund, which allows us to cover our operating expenses and gives us flexibility to support projects that can be harder to raise specific funds for. Check out the list below for some more ways you can give back to our parks!
- Give a one-time or recurring donation: Click here to visit our donation page and select either “one-time gift” or “recurring gift” to get started. As a donor, you will receive our monthly e-newsletter with behind the scenes looks at what’s happening in our parks, and you will also be invited to special events and experiences in our parks as a thank you for your support. Donations may also be mailed to:
Outer Banks Forever
P.O. Box 1635
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
- Adopt a Sea Turtle Nest: With a minimum donation of $100, you can symbolically adopt a sea turtle nest at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Your support of our Adopt A Sea Turtle Nest program will fund projects and programs that protect and enhance the Seashore. Please note: Our 2022 Adopt A Sea Turtle Nest season opens in May! To learn more about this program, click here.
- Adopt a Pony: Legend has it the Ocracoke Banker ponies arrived in the Outer Banks with shipwrecked explorers in the 16th or 17th century, and they’ve called Ocracoke Island home ever since. When you adopt a pony or support the herd with a gift of $45 or more, you will receive an adoption certificate and a picture of your pony or the herd to keep. To learn more about this program, click here.
- Give a memorial or honorary gift: Remember or honor the special people in your life who shared or share your love of our parks. (Click here and choose the “Donation Dedication” option.) A special acknowledgement will be sent to the family or the honoree notifying them of your thoughtful gift.
- Build your Outer Banks legacy: Consider including Outer Banks Forever in your estate plans to protect our parks for future generations. Contact Jessica Barnes at (252) 423-4545 or JessicaBarnes@obxforever.org for more information.
- Become an Outer Banks Forever Local Partner: If you own or work for a local Outer Banks business and would like to show your customers and clients your commitment to our Outer Banks national parks, consider becoming an Outer Banks Forever Local Partner. If your local business would like to host a give back night or donate a portion of proceeds (or get creative!) to us, we will list you as an official Outer Banks Forever Local Partner on our website and feature any events or specials you plan in our monthly e-newsletter, on our social media channels, and on our online events calendar.
- Shop for a cause: We are is a proud member of the America’s National Parks family of brands. Your purchase from our online store (or from one of our park stores!) will ensure that future generations continue to experience all that our parks have to offer
Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes! We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit and all monetary donations are tax deductible. If you have questions about Qualified Charitable Distributions through your IRA or estate planning gifts, please contact your financial advisor and then contact our Director for more details.
How do I connect with Outer Banks Forever?
- Jessica Barnes, Director: JessicaBarnes@OBXForever.org (You can also schedule a virtual chat with Jessica by clicking here!)
- Rachael Graf, Community Engagement Coordinator: RachaelGraf@OBXForever.org
- Facebook: Outer Banks Forever
- Instagram: @obxparksforever
- Twitter: @OBXparksforever
- YouTube: Outer Banks Forever
Write to us:
Outer Banks Forever
P.O. Box 1635
Kill Devil Hills, NC
How do I sign up for Outer Banks Forever emails?
How do I learn more about our Outer Banks national parks?
To learn more about our parks, begin by visiting their websites:
Known for its stunning and ever-changing shoreline, America’s first national seashore welcomes millions of visitors annually. Many visitors return year after year to the pristine beauty of Hatteras, Bodie, and Ocracoke Islands to create a lifetime of memories. Here, along the 70-mile expanse of beach, marshes, sand dunes, and woodlands, park visitors can enjoy hiking, swimming, fishing, boating, surfing, kite flying, lighthouse climbing, and more.
The mystery of the disappearance of the first attempted English settlement in the “New World” remains unsolved. Visitors to the park can observe the reconstructed earthen fort, learn more about Roanoke Island’s first inhabitants, the Carolina Algonquian peoples, and see the First Light of Freedom Monument, which honors the freed African Americans who settled there, creating the Freedmen’s Colony.
The first national memorial developed on the Outer Banks celebrates the ingenuity, determination, and courage of Orville and Wilbur Wright, two brothers from Dayton, Ohio. The brothers’ keen imagination, combined with practical experience in their bicycle shop in their home state, helped them to complete the first successful heavier-than-air flight over the sands of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903. Park visitors can view reproductions of the 1903 camp buildings, see a replica of the 1903 flyer, reflect at the Wright Brothers monument, and enjoy the newly remodeled Visitor Center.
To stay in the know on the go, you can also sign up for Outer Banks national parks text alerts by texting NPSOBX to 333111! Subscribers to the text alert service can easily unsubscribe from receiving text messages by texting STOP to 333111. Standard text message and data rates may apply.