July 2015- Volume XIII, Number 6

Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

Have a great summer!!

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS
  • EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

FUNDING

CT Scanner Replacement Initiative  Letter of Intent (Required): Jul 17, 2015, Application deadline: Aug 28, 2015.   Offers funding to Critical Access Hospitals in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming for the purchase of a new 32 slice or higher CT scanner.  Sponsor: Helmsley Charitable Trust

USDA is accepting applications to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Eligible applicants include groups of cooperatives, cooperative development centers and individual cooperatives that serve socially-disadvantaged groups. These grants will help socially-disadvantaged business owners develop the tools and skills they need to grow their enterprises and succeed at creating jobs and expanding economic opportunities in rural areas. Deadlines: electronic applications 7/14/2015; mailed applications must be postmarked by 7/20/2015. Click here for guidelines.

THE NOTAH BEGAY III FOUNDATION’S Promising Program Grants support Native organizations working to improve nutrition and access to healthy foods for their children and communities. Preference will be given to organizations from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin; however, applications will be accepted from organizations throughout the U.S. The goal is to strengthen existing programs focused on childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes prevention through healthy nutrition and access to healthy foods. An additional focus is to assist communities and organizations in building their capacity to evaluate their programming and implement policy change. Grants of up to $40,000 will be awarded. U.S.-based Native American-controlled nonprofit organizations, tribal governments, and Native American community-based groups with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor are eligible to apply. Deadline: 7/20/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website he re to download the Request for Proposals.

The National Endowment for the Arts has issued a program solicitation for an organization to run the new Our Town Technical Assistance Pilot Program that will provide grantees with capacity building support to more effectively execute their creative placemaking projects. The purpose of this solicitation is to select an organization (Cooperator) to implement the Our Town Technical Assistance Pilot Program. Deadline: 7/21/2015. Click here to learn more about this opportunity.

The National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants to arts organizations, local arts agencies, arts service organizations, local education agencies, and other organizations that can help advance the goals of the Arts Endowment. The program seeks to support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. Deadline: 7/23/2015. Click here to visit the website for details.

–The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS) of the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting applications for the Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program to provide financial assistance to improve the economic condition of rural areas through cooperative development.  The solicitation appeared in the Federal Register (80 FR 34129, June 15, 2015). The text of the RBCS solicitation notice can be found at the following link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-06-15/pdf/2015-14676.pdf  Completed applications must be submitted by close of business on July 27, 2015 (electronic) or July 30, 2015 (paper). 

Headwaters Foundation for Justice: The Fund of the Sacred Circle supports grassroots communities working to create social, economic, environmental, and racial justice. The Fund of the Sacred Circle, administered by the Headwaters Foundation, supports American Indian organizations throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin that address issues such as language and cultural revitalization, land and environmental restoration, sovereignty and treaty rights, and self-determination and civil rights. The Fund provides Planning Grants up to $5,000 and Implementation Grants up to $10,000 for projects that focus on systemic injustice affecting American Indian communities. Deadline: 8/3/2015. Visit the Headwaters Foundation’s website here (or here) to review the online application instructions.

Christopher Reeve Foundation Quality of Life Grants Grants to nonprofit organizations that provide services to individuals with paralysis, with special consideration given to wounded military and their families.  Application deadline: August 3, 2015.  

Applications are now being accepted for the Eide Bailly Resourcefullness Awards.  Open to 501(c)(3) organizations, these awards provide recognition and support to nonprofits that have undertaken sustainable, creative and impactful revenue generation initiatives.  Select organizations in each state will be recognized with grand prize ($10,000), runner-up ($3,000) and honorable mention ($2,000) recipients. Application deadline for the awards is Wednesday, August 12 at 11:59 p.m. CDT.  To learn more about the awards go to:  http://www.eidebailly.com/industries/nonprofit/resourcefullness-award-home/ , application process or past winners, visit bit.ly/1eFNwJW or contact Katie Cloyd at kcloyd@eidebailly.com.

–USDA Rural Development has issued a NOFA for the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) which provides funding to help nonprofit housing and community development organizations support housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas. Deadline to apply: 8/13/2015. Click here to visit the website to learn more about this program.

­­–Union Pacific Foundation is offering grants to nonprofit organizations through its Community-Based Grant Program in communities served by the Union Pacific Railroad, primarily in the Midwestern and Western United States. The Foundation gives priority to requests that address the following categories: Community and Civic, and Health and Human Services. The majority of these grants are intended to help nonprofit organizations build their capacity, increase their impact, and operate more effectively. Deadlines: a preliminary application form must be submitted by 8/14/2015. Selected organizations will receive instructions on accessing the online final application form, which must be submitted by midnight CDT on 8/15/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website here for more information on the Community-Based Grant Program.

Minnesota Housing has up to $7.5 million in funds available for moderate rehabilitation of existing affordable rental housing in Greater Minnesota through the Rental Rehabilitation Deferred Loan (RRDL) Pilot Program.  Proposals with the following priorities are encouraged:

  • Preservation of affordable housing opportunities in Greater Minnesota where the lack of affordable workforce housing is a barrier to economic prosperity.
  • Preservation of properties that contain existing Federal Assistance or other critical affordable units at risk of loss.

RRDL funding is available for both Specific Project and Program Model activities. Applicants may simultaneously submit applications for multiple project or program activities.  Available resources include:

  • $1.9 million in zero-interest, deferred payment, 10% forgivable loan funds for owners completing Specific Project activities outside the 7-county metropolitan area and RRDL administrator areas.
  • $4.1 million in zero-interest, deferred payment, 10% forgivable loan funds for existing and prospective administrators completing Program Model activities.
  • $1.5 million in zero-interest, deferred payment, 100% forgivable loan funds for existing and prospective administrators completing Program Model activities.

Please visit the Minnesota Housing website for complete application materials and instructions. Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 24, 2015.  For more information, please contact Susan Haugen at 651.296.9848.

Healthy Eating Research – Building the Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity Letter of Intent (Required): Aug 26, 2015. Application deadline: Oct 7, 2015

Supports research on environmental and policy strategies designed to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity, especially among groups at highest risk for obesity: Black, Latino, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander children, and children who live in lower-income communities.  Sponsor: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines awards one urban and one rural community the Strong Communities Award. The award demonstrates the value that communities throughout the FHLB Des Moines district derive from small business and economic development projects. The award recognizes the results of these projects and their impact on creating stronger communities. Deadline: 8/31/2015. Two winners, one urban and one rural, will each receive a $15,000 stipend to be used for the project or other community economic development needs. One runner-up finalist in each category will be awarded $3,000. For more information on how to apply, click here.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has issued guidelines and application materials for Our Town, the NEA’s primary creative placemaking program, providing funding that supports local efforts to enhance quality of life and opportunity for residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place. Grants in 2016 will be available for projects in arts engagement, design and planning, and in knowledge building. Deadline to apply: 9/21/2015. Click here for application guidelines. To help applicants prepare competitive proposals, the NEA is offering two webinars; July 29 and August 5, 2015. Each session will be from 3:00 to 4:00 PM EDT. Click here to register for a webinar.

The Foundation for Rural Service provides grants for programs in rural communities served by the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) members. Grants are awarded in the areas of business development, community development, education, and telecommunications. Deadline: 10/1/2015. Click here to visit the program website for more information.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grants  support programs that work in the areas of childhood education, healthy children, secure families, racial equity, and civic engagement.  Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA is accepting applications for loans and grants to support business expansion, create jobs and increase economic opportunities in rural communities. Funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). Details about how to apply for this are found in the Federal Register here. Application forms may be obtained from any USDA Rural Development State Office.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

Build a Stronger Fundraising Plan for your Organization. The inaugural Minnesota Nonprofit Fundraising Conference will be held on Thursday, July 29 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center. Designed for the entire philanthropic community, this day-long event will help you add to your fundraising toolkit, broaden your organization’s development plan and build a strong network of like-minded peers. Highlights include a keynote from Farra Trompeter of Big Duck, 20+ breakout sessions, individual Ask the Expert question period and more! To learn more or register today, visit www.minnesotanonprofits.org/fundraising.

The Nonprofit Essentials Conference is designed just for you!  Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, the University of St. Thomas and over 250 nonprofit peers on Thursday, August 20 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN for an indispensable overview of the management topics essential to nonprofits. Offering a wide array of practical workshops, this information-packed conference will help re-focus staff on the core elements of working in and managing successful nonprofit organizations.  Register today and get back to the basics!

2015 National Rural Assembly will be held September 8-10, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.  Register here.

The Will Steger Foundation has launched a series of forums titled “Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions.” The forums aim to increase public awareness around local climate change impacts and build community resiliency through science, stories and place-based solutions. The remaining meetings will take place: Sept. 15 in Owatonna; Sept. 21 in Mankato; Sept. 24 in Virginia, Oct. 12 in Rochester; Nov. 2 in Brainerd; Nov. 2 in Detroit Lakes; Nov. 12 in Minnetonka; and January 2016 (date TBD) in Marshall. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources is an exhibitor and provides energy-related resources at the events. Read more.

The Minnesota Venture & Finance Conference is Minnesota’s premier event for entrepreneurs and investors Real Deals, Real Investors, Unbeatable Networking.  Save the date for the 29th Annual event on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. With hundreds attending each year, this event is one of the strongest in the country in terms of overall entrepreneur and investor attendance and capital raised by participants. Since 1987 the Annual Minnesota Venture & Finance Conference has been bringing together investors and entrepreneurs to engage, innovate, learn and network in order to nurture Minnesota’s innovation economy.  The full agenda and details will be announced in July 2015. For questions on opportunities to get involved contact Tonya Meyers (tmeyers@mhta.org).

I’m Home Conference Minneapolis will be held October 26−28, 2015

CFED sponsors this conference bringing together affordable housing developers, lenders, government agency staff, policymakers, industry experts, homeowners, community organizers, researchers, and funders to consider manufactured housing as a source of affordable housing and asset building for low- and moderate-income families.

— Save the Date! November 18-20 Annual Broadband Conference hosted by Blandin Foundation and the Office of Broadband Development – More information to come.

Save the Date for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference  Mark your calendar now to attend the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, Feb. 2-3, 2016, at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.

OPPORTUNITIES

Interested in discussing population health and the interface between health care delivery and public health practice? The Centers for Public Health Education and Practice at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health is looking to have a group discussion with community health and primary care leaders (including FQHCs, community health clinics, rural health centers, and other community-based primary care providers) on these topics. The overarching goals are to begin a dialog about experiences, foster or extend relationships between primary care and public health, and inform future education and training opportunities. The exact format, setting, and date of the discussion(s) will be determined by the group, with the aim of holding them between mid-July and mid-August. If you would like to learn more about this project or to sign up to participate, please contact Louise Stenberg at sten0197@umn.edu or 612-624-8470.

–The Center for Small Towns (CST) assists Minnesota’s small towns with locally identified issues. The Center prioritizes the voices of small town residents and leaders and develops projects in partnership with communities, faculty, staff, and students. CST reviews proposals three times per year. The deadline for fall project proposals is July 24; the deadline for spring project proposals is October 16. Submitting a project idea brief is the first step in the project development process. If you have questions or need assistance, contact Kerri Barnstuble at (320) 589-6467 or kbarnstu@morris.umn.edu

Help teachers bring STEM awareness to the classroom.  BestPrep is hosting Technology Integration Workshops on July 27 & 28 to help connect educators to the workforce through half-day job shadows with industry professionals and help them learn how they can best prepare and inspire students to pursue careers in STEM. Job shadow hosts, called Business Partners, are needed to make this a reality. READ MORE

Open Appointments – State Boards, Councils and Committees, applications due July 28th. Take a look at the full list of vacancies at the Secretary of State’s website and include:

  • Advisory Committee for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
  • Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage
  • Minnesota Board on Aging

Jim Meeks, PA-C, DFAAPA Memorial AFPPA Student Scholarship  Application deadline: September 1, 2015. Offers a scholarship to a physician assistant student who displays a commitment to family practice and rural health. 

MISCELLANEOUS

Foundation Grants to Rural Areas from 2005 to 2010: Trends and Patterns  ERS estimates that the value of U.S. foundation grants to benefit rural areas was 6-7 percent of total domestic grants in 2010. Since the rural population was 19 percent that year, this suggests an urban focus of foundation grants.

The Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) recently launched a new program that will allow it to work closely with farmers and rural small businesses to advance renewable energy projects. The newly funded program, Renewable Energy for Greater MN, will provide free on-site renewable energy assessments and custom project assistance to Minnesota farmers and rural small businesses. The effort is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Energy Audits–Renewable Energy Development Assistance grant program. Read more.

Crop Genetic Resources May Play an Increasing Role in Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change (Amber Waves feature article)  As agriculture adapts to climate change, crop genetic resources can be used to develop new plant varieties that are more tolerant of changing environmental conditions. The public sector plays an important role in collecting, conserving and distributing crop genetic resources, because private sector incentives for crucial parts of these activities are limited.

EPA’s Study of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources  provides access to information on an EPA study examining the relationship between hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and drinking water. Includes access to findings from the study, which addresses how rural communities’ drinking water may be impacted.

Helping Nonprofits Get a Handle on Succession Planning.   Nonprofits that are serious about their own sustainability will also be serious about planning for smooth and thoughtful transitions of leadership. While necessary for all successful organizations, the process can be a challenge for even the most forward-thinking of nonprofits.  The National Council of Nonprofits recently published tips and resources for nonprofits interested in learning more about succession planning in their organization. Succession Planning for Nonprofits includes planning tips for leadership transition, access to a Nonprofit-Executive Succession Planning Toolkit, and a list of resources available from various nonprofit state associations.  To learn more about how your organization can get a grasp on succession planning, visit the National Council of Nonprofits website.

Population & Migration  nonmetro areas in some parts of the country have experienced population loss for decades. However, 2010-14 marks the first period with an estimated population loss for nonmetro America as a whole. Opportunities for population growth and economic expansion vary widely from one nonmetro county to the next, and new regional patterns of growth and decline have emerged in recent years.

–Rural counties have 232,000 more jobs in April 2015 than April 2014 say the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  For more information go to: http://irjci.blogspot.com/2015/06/rural-counties-have-232000-more-jobs-in.html

Rural Transit Fact Book 2015 provides national and state-level statistics and information on rural transit in America. Includes rural demographic and travel behavior data. Also covers financial and operating statistics for agencies receiving section 5311 funding. Includes a section on tribal transit.

Care Coordination in Rural Communities: Supporting the High Performance Rural Health System  examines care coordination programs and processes to see how they impact rural people and places, to observe how different approaches to care coordination are working, and to make policy recommendations that support care coordination to help facilitate a high performance rural health system.

National Center for Mobility Management  provides information and resources for communities regarding transportation strategies and mobility options that enable people to live independently, and that promote health, economic vitality, and self-sufficiency. Includes a topic page specific to rural transportation.

Organization: Federal Transit Administration

AARP Small Business Administration Webinars  AARP and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) host new webinars and republish previous webinars to educate people who want to start businesses or expand existing ones.

IdentityTheft.gov This FTC site is the federal governments one-stop resource to help people report and recover from identity theft. It is also available in Spanish at www.robodeidentidad.gov.

–The Carolina Geriatric Education Center (CGEC) has an online Spanish version of the Falls Prevention Course for Community Health Workers. The course is based on the National Council on Aging curriculum which was developed in partnership with the Paraprofessional Health Institute (PHI). This course is free under the current CGEC grant.

HealthLandscape‘s customizable Population Health Mapper show county-level data for issues related to population health, including health status, healthcare services, health behaviors, demographics, socio-economic factors, and the physical environment.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Industry Job Opening in Austin The Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau is searching for a part-time tourism staff person to promote Austin as a tourism destination, host travel groups, conduct city tours, and prospect potential conventions and meetings.

We wanted to let folks know about two webinars coming up this week…

WEBINAR: Moving Back to Rural America: Why Some Return Home and Why It Matters
WEDNESDAY, July 8th at 1pm EDT

Hundreds of rural communities face the difficult challenge of adjusting to dwindling populations. High school graduates leave for college or good-paying jobs, and only a small number return. However, those who do return often bring spouses and young children back with them, along with education and skills gained elsewhere. Findings discussed in this webinar come from interviews with returnees and nonreturnees conducted at high school reunions in 21 rural communities. Decisions to return or not return to rural communities hinged heavily on family connections and evaluations of local school systems.

and

Free Blandin Webinar July 9: Creative Spaces, Creative Places
July 9 at 3:00-4:00
Register!

Does broadband promote creativity? Not alone it doesn’t but it can be an ingredient that spurs or supports a community effort. You also need people to make it happen. In this webinar we’ll hear from people who have promoted creativity in their community at least in some part through technology. We’ll learn about what they are doing, how they started it and what it has meant to the community.

Matthew Marcus and Aaron Deacon on Kansas City Startup Village: A community situated around the first neighborhood to get Google Fiber in KC but built by local entrepreneurs to be fertile ground to grow startups from KC and beyond. They community grew organically as if something was in the air. Hear their story and think about how we can replicate that here.

Fred Underwood on Duluth Maker Space: A sustainable multi-field community workshop for local artists, inventors, experimentors, teachers, learners (Makers!) of all ages. It opened last Fall. They have classes available and open space with cool tools for folks who want to use them.  Imagine a place in your community where makers can meet and collaborate.

Carla Lydon on East Central Regional Library: The library offers a range of services that make the library building a place to learn and use technology such as popular digital petting zoos, where patrons can get a chance to use various tablets. They also provide a range of remote services that make everyone in the community more creative – no matter where they are locates.

June 2015 – Volume XIII, Number 5

Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS
  • EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

ACROSS THE FIELD (from Ann Treacy this month)

I’m on a summer road trip! First stop was Kansas City – to see the Kansas City Startup Village (KCSV). It’s a hotbed of broadband (thanks to Google Fiber) and entrepreneurship (thanks to the KCSV)

Kansas City isn’t rural – but I learned a few things that I think might benefit rural communities

First lesson – broadband came first. There were a couple of entrepreneurs, but broadband brought them out of the woodwork and to the area. It’s a tired analogy, but broadband is the super highway. Get on it and you’re in – it doesn’t matter where you are, you’re online. That’s a boon for remote, rural communities.

Second lesson – entrepreneurs led the effort to promote and support entrepreneurship through the KCSV, which is a primarily volunteer-effort. Our tour guide, Matthew Marcus was a key founder. Entrepreneurs beget other entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs know what startup entrepreneurs need. For example early stage startups need free rent – like a Home for Hackers (free rent for entrepreneurs for up to 3 months). And entrepreneurs know what other entrepreneurs need. Part of the pull for entrepreneurs is the opportunity to network with each other. To bounce ideas off each other. To see if someone has a brand new key to fit your roller skate.

Third lesson – entrepreneurship starts at home. Both Matthew and I were lucky enough to have parents who supported entrepreneurship and recognized that a job isn’t for everyone

What does that mean if you’re a community or economic developer? Broadband is an investment worth making. Reaching out to local entrepreneurs and supporting them is a good way to draw out and in more entrepreneurs. Never too early to start that reach – grade schools and high schools are full of entrepreneurs in the making!

Ann Treacy

FUNDING

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants through the Assets for Independence (AFI) Demonstration Program. Deadline: 6/15/2015. AFI enables community-based nonprofits and government agencies to implement and demonstrate an assets-based approach for supporting low-income individuals and their families. View information about resources, trainings, and other assistance for grantees and potential applicants on the Assets for Independence Resource Center website here.

–The Tony Hawk Foundation is offering grants to nonprofit and public organizations for funding the construction of new, quality skateparks located in low-income communities throughout the United States. The Foundation primarily supports projects that can demonstrate a strong grassroots commitment, particularly in the form of planning and fundraising by local skateboarders and other community groups. Deadline: 6/17/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review grant criteria and submit an online application.

–The HOME DEPOT Foundation’s Veteran Housing Grants Program is offering grants to nonprofit organizations nationwide that address the development and repair of veterans housing. Grants are provided for single family or multifamily housing, permanent supportive housing, and transitional housing projects. Grants ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 are awarded solely for the physical construction or repair of housing for veterans. Organizations that have previous experience developing, and either currently manage or own, veteran specific housing are eligible to apply. Deadline: 6/23/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website here for online application instructions.

The Best Buy Community Grants Program provides support to community-based organizations that are located within 50 miles of a Best Buy facility. Grants promote programs that create hands-on learning opportunities for underserved teens to engage them in learning, experimenting, and interacting with the latest technologies to build 21st century skills. Eligible programs must build technology skills utilizing cutting-edge technology such as computers, digital cameras, video cameras, and professional software; deliver community-based youth programs for teens, ages 13-18, during out of school time; and serve a diverse population. Grants typically range from $4,000 to $6,000, and will not exceed $10,000. Public and nonprofit community-based organizations (e.g., community centers, schools, and libraries) are eligible to apply. Online proposals may be submitted until June 29, 2015. Visit the Best Buy website to review the program guidelines.

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Grants and Guaranteed Loans Provides financial assistance to agriculture producers and rural small businesses to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems. An example of a potential funded project may be the installation of solar panels for hospitals or clinics to improve energy costs.  Application deadline: June 30, 2015.

Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program Grants Application deadline: July 6, 2015. Provides grants to improve telemedicine services and distance learning services in rural areas through the use of telemedicine, computer networks, and related advanced technologies. Sponsor: USDA Rural Development.

USDA Housing and Community Facilities Programs is offering Rural Housing Preservation Grants (Section 533) to organizations that work to assist rural low-income homeowners and renters to repair and rehabilitate their homes. Deadline: 7/6/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

USDA is accepting applications to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Eligible applicants include groups of cooperatives, cooperative development centers and individual cooperatives that serve socially-disadvantaged groups. These grants will help socially-disadvantaged business owners develop the tools and skills they need to grow their enterprises and succeed at creating jobs and expanding economic opportunities in rural areas. Deadlines: electronic applications 7/14/2015; mailed applications must be postmarked by 7/20/2015. Click here for guidelines.

The National Endowment for the Arts has issued a program solicitation for an organization to run the new Our Town Technical Assistance Pilot Program that will provide grantees with capacity building support to more effectively execute their creative placemaking projects. The purpose of this solicitation is to select an organization (Cooperator) to implement the Our Town Technical Assistance Pilot Program. Deadline: 7/21/2015. Click here to learn more about this opportunity.

The National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants to arts organizations, local arts agencies, arts service organizations, local education agencies, and other organizations that can help advance the goals of the Arts Endowment. The program seeks to support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. Deadline: 7/23/2015. Click here to visit the website for details.

Headwaters Foundation for Justice: The Fund of the Sacred Circle supports grassroots communities working to create social, economic, environmental, and racial justice. The Fund of the Sacred Circle, administered by the Headwaters Foundation, supports American Indian organizations throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin that address issues such as language and cultural revitalization, land and environmental restoration, sovereignty and treaty rights, and self-determination and civil rights. The Fund provides Planning Grants up to $5,000 and Implementation Grants up to $10,000 for projects that focus on systemic injustice affecting American Indian communities. Deadline: 8/3/2015. Visit the Headwaters Foundation’s website here (or here) to review the online application instructions.

–USDA Rural Development has issued a NOFA for the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) which provides funding to help nonprofit housing and community development organizations support housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas. Deadline to apply: 8/13/2015. Click here to visit the website to learn more about this program.

Healthy Eating Research – Building the Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity Letter of Intent (Required): Aug 26, 2015. Application deadline: Oct 7, 2015

Supports research on environmental and policy strategies designed to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity, especially among groups at highest risk for obesity: Black, Latino, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander children, and children who live in lower-income communities.  Sponsor: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has issued guidelines and application materials for Our Town, the NEA’s primary creative placemaking program, providing funding that supports local efforts to enhance quality of life and opportunity for residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place. Grants in 2016 will be available for projects in arts engagement, design and planning, and in knowledge building. Deadline to apply: 9/21/2015. Click here for application guidelines. To help applicants prepare competitive proposals, the NEA is offering two webinars; July 29 and August 5, 2015. Each session will be from 3:00 to 4:00 PM EDT. Click here to register for a webinar.

The Foundation for Rural Service provides grants for programs in rural communities served by the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) members. Grants are awarded in the areas of business development, community development, education, and telecommunications. Deadline: 10/1/2015. Click here to visit the program website for more information.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) released the schedule of free webinars that will be provided as part of the Capacity Building Initiative’s “Financing Community Health Centers” series. The technical assistance webinars, held between June 2015 and July 2015, will provide Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) with best practices on successful financing from leading experts in the field. For the list of the webinars and how to register, click here.

The Will Steger Foundation has launched a series of 12 forums titled “Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions.” The forums aim to increase public awareness around local climate change impacts and build community resiliency through science, stories and place-based solutions. The remaining meetings will take place: Sept. 15 in Owatonna; Sept. 21 in Mankato; Sept. 24 in Virginia, Oct. 12 in Rochester; Nov. 2 in Brainerd; Nov. 2 in Detroit Lakes; Nov. 12 in Minnetonka; and January 2016 (date TBD) in Marshall. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources is an exhibitor and provides energy-related resources at the events. Read more.

The 11th annual Small Wind Conference will be held June 15–17, 2015 at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center in Stevens Point, Wis. The event brings together small wind installers, site assessors, manufacturers, dealers and distributors, supply chain stakeholders, educators, public benefits program managers, and advocates. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is a sponsor. For more information and to register, read more.

The Midwest Farm Energy Conference will be held June 17-19 at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, Minn. The conference offers strategies for implementing energy-efficient and renewable energy systems on farms, with tours available of renewable energy systems in the region. Stacy Miller, solar policy specialist with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, will participate in a panel on “Incentives, Grants, and Loans for Renewable and Energy-Efficient Systems.” For registration and more information, read more.

— Explore your ever-evolving role as a leader in your organization and community on June 24 at the 2015 Nonprofit Leadership Conference. Held at the McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota, this year’s gathering will prepare nonprofit leaders at all levels for Leadership 2025. Rather than spending the day examining past learnings, attendees will use our history as a point of reference to look forward.

Conference highlights include:

  • “Knowledge and Privilege Disrupted: Wake Up and Act”—a thought-provoking keynote from Dr. MayKao Hang, president and C.E.O. of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
  • 20 interactive breakout sessions on topics ranging from Transition Planning and Collaborative Budgeting to Understanding Demographics and Racial Equity Work
  • Presentation of the 2015 Nonprofit Leadership Awards

The conference is hosted by The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. To learn more or to register today, visit the conference website.

–The 2015 Minnesota Rural Health Conference will be held June 29-30, 2015 in Duluth.

2015 National Rural Assembly will be held September 8-10, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.  Register here.

The Minnesota Venture & Finance Conference is Minnesota’s premier event for entrepreneurs and investors Real Deals, Real Investors, Unbeatable Networking.  Save the date for the 29th Annual event on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. With hundreds attending each year, this event is one of the strongest in the country in terms of overall entrepreneur and investor attendance and capital raised by participants. Since 1987 the Annual Minnesota Venture & Finance Conference has been bringing together investors and entrepreneurs to engage, innovate, learn and network in order to nurture Minnesota’s innovation economy.  The full agenda and details will be announced in July 2015. For questions on opportunities to get involved contact Tonya Meyers (tmeyers@mhta.org).

OPPORTUNITIES

The National Rural Assembly Steering Committee is pleased to issue a call for session proposals for this year’s national gathering in Washington, D.C.  The 2015 Assembly will build upon the themes of the Rural Compact and take a cross-sector approach in seeking to address issues that disproportionately affect rural communities, such as persistent poverty; disinvestment by public and private institutions; lack of access to quality healthcare, education, and technologies; and the depletion of natural resources.

The content of this year’s gathering will inform the final day of the meeting, which will include a Congressional briefing and individual visits with policymakers.

Click here for more information about:

  • Your audience
  • Session criteria
  • Tactical tips for successful sessions
  • Proposal form

All proposals must be received by July 1, 2015, at 5pm Eastern. Presenters will be notified of their session’s status by July 15.  Please contact Whitney Kimball Coe, whitney@ruralstrategies.org, with questions.

The application and nomination period for the 2015 Tekne Awards is open! The awards celebrate the individuals and organizations that play a significant role in discovering new technologies that educate and improve the lives of Minnesotans and people around the world. The 2015 Tekne Awards have fourteen categories, including three new awards that recognize applied analytics, financial services, and the rapid growth of the Internet of Things. Applications are due July 10. LEARN MORE

Tekne 101 sessions to be held June 11 and June 25.  Applying for a 2015 Tekne Award and have questions? Come to Tekne 101 on June 11 and June 25 to learn more about important dates, award categories, and eligibility! The Tekne Awards celebrate the individuals and organizations that play a significant role in discovering new technologies that educate and improve the lives of Minnesotans and people around the world. REGISTER HERE

Help teachers bring STEM awareness to the classroom.  BestPrep is hosting Technology Integration Workshops on July 27 & 28 to help connect educators to the workforce through half-day job shadows with industry professionals and help them learn how they can best prepare and inspire students to pursue careers in STEM. Job shadow hosts, called Business Partners, are needed to make this a reality. READ MORE

Jim Meeks, PA-C, DFAAPA Memorial AFPPA Student Scholarship  Application deadline: September 1, 2015. Offers a scholarship to a physician assistant student who displays a commitment to family practice and rural health.  Sponsor: Association of Family Practice Physician Assistants.

MISCELLANEOUS

Factors Affecting Former Residents’ Returning to Rural Communities  The desire to raise children back home was among the most frequently cited reasons for returning to live in relatively remote rural areas. Most nonreturnees who considered returning cited limited career opportunities as the primary barrier.

Rural Poverty & Well-being The 2007-09 recession and subsequent slow recovery have resulted in substantial increases in poverty, especially among children, and rural children in particular. The ERS topic pages on poverty have been updated, with new information added about child poverty, including an update to the persistent child poverty counties.

“Opportunity for All: Fighting Rural Child Poverty” is the title of a brief issued by the White House. The paper examines trends in poverty in rural areas, including comparisons with urban areas, and provides a discussion of the impact of safety net programs that address poverty in rural areas. Get a copy by clicking here.

The Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) and M+R have released their new 2015 Nonprofit Benchmarks Study—a report highlighting nonprofit industry standards for online fundraising, advocacy and list building.  Based off survey data from 84 nonprofit organizations, the report details email, web and social media numbers from organizations in the Cultural and Domestic Hunger/Poverty sectors, along with the Rights, International, Environmental, Health, and Wildlife/Animal Welfare sectors featured in past studies. This year’s study also includes nonprofits from outside the U.S., including groups based in Canada, Australia and South Africa.  To learn more about the NTEN/M+R study and its findings, download the report today.

New Toolkit: Rural Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Toolkit – This new toolkit provides an overview of the importance of health promotion and disease prevention in rural communities. Find resources to help your community develop a health promotion program, building on the best practices of others.

Updated Topic Guide: Rural Hospitals – This guide has been updated with new FAQs. Visit the guide to learn about the characteristics of the different rural hospital designations, challenges they face, available funding, and more.

Child Health USA 2014 A collection of data on the physical, mental, and emotional health of the Nation’s children. Addresses poverty, education, child care, and health service utilization and financing. Includes selected data by rural and urban residence.

Organization: Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

The Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) announced on April 22 a new program that will allow it to work closely with farmers and rural small businesses to advance renewable energy projects. The newly funded program, Renewable Energy for Greater MN, will provide free on-site renewable energy assessments and custom project assistance to Minnesota farmers and rural small businesses. The effort is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Energy Audits–Renewable Energy Development Assistance grant program. Read more.

USDA Rural Housing Service has announced a series of teleconference and/or web conference meetings regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing (GRRH) program, which are scheduled to occur during 2015 and 2016. Topics to be discussed include: updates on USDA’s Section 538 GRRH program activities; perspectives on the current state of debt financing and its impact on the Section 538 GRRH program; enhancing the use of Section 538 GRRH program financing with the transfer and/or preservation of section 515 developments; and the impact of the Low Income Housing Tax Credits program changes on Section 538 GRRH program financing. To register for the calls and obtain the call-in number, access code, web link and other information for any of the public teleconference and/or web conference meetings please contact Monica Cole, Financial and Loan Analyst, at (202) 720-1251, fax: (202) 205-5066, or email: monica.cole@wdc.usda.gov.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Industry Job Openings in Rochester & Mankato  The Rochester CVB and Visit Mankato CVB are seeking qualified candidates to fill open positions.

The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, an innovative nonprofit that helps discover new uses for agricultural resources in order to fuel economic growth throughout Minnesota, seeks a full-time Executive Director. With an estimated budget of approximately $5 million in fiscal year 2015, the Institute provides research, development, and innovation networking services to help businesses create new products and processes using agricultural commodities. The Executive Director reports to a nine-member board and has overall strategic and operational responsibility for the Institute’s staff, programs, and execution of the mission in a manner that optimizes resources. Qualifications for the position include a bachelor’s degree broadly related to agribusiness systems and practice, several years of progressive leadership experience in an outcomes-based organization, exposure to working with a board of directors, experience in strategic planning and operations, effective communication skills, and general knowledge of laws, nonprofit practices, and the legislative and political process.  Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree broadly related to agribusiness systems and practices, understanding of Minnesota’s agricultural environment and producer commodity groups, value-added product development and the agricultural processing industry, knowledge of rural economic development, and experience in negotiating business partnerships and collaborations.  AURI offers a competitive salary and benefits package.  The work location will be determined upon hire. Resumes are due by June 14, 2015.

May 2015 – Volume XIII, Number 4

Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

–ACROSS THE FIELD
–FUNDING
–TRAINING/MEETINGS
–OPPORTUNITIES
–MISCELLANEOUS

Across the Field:

FUNDING

U.S. Bank Foundation provides grants to organizations that support: the preservation, rehabilitation and construction of quality affordable housing that assists low- and moderate-income populations and programs that provide home buyer counseling and related financial education to low- and moderate-income individuals and families. Deadline: varies by state. Click here to determine the deadline in your area.  Click here for funding guidelines.

— The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering funding to schools, state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers, and nonprofits in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. Planning grant applications are due 5/20/2015. Click here for guidelines and instructions.

–The Corporation for National and Community Service is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies for an Americorps youth internship specifically targeting youth that have been adjudicated in the juvenile justice system. This program will give disconnected youth (at least 17 but under 25 years old) the opportunity to participate in a national service program and provide them with meaningful mentoring while they are serving. Deadline: 5/20/2015. Click here to visit the program website for details.

–The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering funding to nonprofits and public agencies through the Partnerships to Increase Coverage in Communities II Initiative. Funding is offered for programs to educate various uninsured populations who are eligible for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  These populations include racial and ethnic minority people and those that are economically or environmentally disadvantaged (such as limited English proficient and immigrant and refugee populations).  Programs would offer education about the Marketplace and assist with enrollment and completion of the application process to determine eligibility and obtain or purchase health coverage offered through the Marketplace. Deadline: 5/22/2015. Click here for funding guidelines and an application.

—-The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies that are eligible adaptive sports entities to plan, develop, manage, and implement programs to provide adaptive sports activities for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces. Deadline: 5/26/2015. Click here for grant guidelines.

–The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to fund demonstration projects that provide eligible individuals with the opportunity to obtain education and training for occupations in the healthcare field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand. Deadline to apply: 5/29/2015. Click here for funding criteria.

–The Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation supports nonprofit organizations and local municipalities undertaking high-need projects such as building renovations/upgrades, grounds improvements, technology upgrades, and safety improvements. Most grants range from $10,000 to $25,000. Deadline: 5/29/2015. Visit the company’s website here to take the eligibility quiz and submit an online application.

The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) has recently approved an additional round grant funding for artists and organizations located in Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine Counties in Minnesota (Region 7E).  The deadline for the following grant applications is 4:30 p.m. Monday, June 1, 2015.   Information regarding these additional funding opportunities and application forms can be found and downloaded at the ECRAC website: www.ecrac.org/grants

The U.S. Department of Justice is offering grants to nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Indian tribes with a demonstrable history of providing community-based reentry programs and services for Latino/a youth. The objective of this program is to provide Latino/a youth with supportive services based on and matched to their assessed risks and needs and to support their successful reentry to the family and community. Deadline: 6/1/2015. Click here for additional funding guidelines.

— The U.S. Department of Justice is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to provide an array of new and expanded mentoring activities. Deadline: 6/2/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

–The U.S. Department of Labor is offering grants to public or private nonprofit organizations through YouthBuild, a community-based alternative education program for youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are high school dropouts, adjudicated youth, youth aging out of foster care, youth with disabilities, homeless youth, and other disadvantaged youth populations. The YouthBuild program simultaneously addresses several core issues important to low-income communities: affordable housing, education, employment, leadership development, and energy efficiency. Funding available: $700,000 to $1,100,000 over 40 months. Deadline: 6/5/2015. Click here for application guidelines.

The U. S. Department of Education is funding programs for American Indians with disabilities who reside on or near federal or state reservations so that they may prepare for and engage in high quality employment that will increase opportunities for economic self-sufficiency. Deadline: 6/8/2015. Click here for application guidelines.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants through the Assets for Independence (AFI) Demonstration Program. Deadline: 6/15/2015. AFI enables community-based nonprofits and government agencies to implement and demonstrate an assets-based approach for supporting low-income individuals and their families. View information about resources, trainings, and other assistance for grantees and potential applicants on the Assets for Independence Resource Center website here.

–The Tony Hawk Foundation is offering grants to nonprofit and public organizations for funding the construction of new, quality skateparks located in low-income communities throughout the United States. The Foundation primarily supports projects that can demonstrate a strong grassroots commitment, particularly in the form of planning and fundraising by local skateboarders and other community groups. Deadline: 6/17/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review grant criteria and submit an online application.

–The HOME DEPOT Foundation’s Veteran Housing Grants Program is offering grants to nonprofit organizations nationwide that address the development and repair of veterans housing. Grants are provided for single family or multifamily housing, permanent supportive housing, and transitional housing projects. Grants ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 are awarded solely for the physical construction or repair of housing for veterans. Organizations that have previous experience developing, and either currently manage or own, veteran specific housing are eligible to apply. Deadline: 6/23/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website here for online application instructions.

The National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants to arts organizations, local arts agencies, arts service organizations, local education agencies, and other organizations that can help advance the goals of the Arts Endowment. The program seeks to support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. Deadline: 7/23/2015. Click here to visit the website for details.

MEETINGS/TRAINING

The Will Steger Foundation has launched a series of 12 forums titled “Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions.” The forums aim to increase public awareness around local climate change impacts and build community resiliency through science, stories and place-based solutions. The first two forums were held April 14 in Bemidji and April 15 in Crookston. The remaining meetings will take place: May 12 in Burnsville; May 18 in Duluth; Sept. 15 in Owatonna; Sept. 21 in Mankato; Sept. 24 in Virginia, Oct. 12 in Rochester; Nov. 2 in Brainerd; Nov. 2 in Detroit Lakes; Nov. 12 in Minnetonka; and January 2016 (date TBD) in Marshall. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources is an exhibitor and provides energy-related resources at the events. Read more.

The Midwest Solar Expo 2015 will be held May 13-14 in Minneapolis at the Downtown Hilton Minneapolis. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is a sponsor. Read more.

The Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will host free agritourism workshops in May. The workshop is intended for owners or event planners of agritourism operations, such as farm tours, pizza farms, apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Topics to be covered include: petting zoo safety, food licensing and handling requirements, and much more.  Two dates are scheduled for the upcoming workshop: Wednesday, May 13, at the Chanhassen Recreation Center, and Tuesday, May 19, at the Coon Rapids Civic Center. The event is free and includes a boxed dinner for registered attendees. Download a copy of the invitation here: 2015 Agritourism Workshop   Registration is open until Tuesday, May 12. Register for the 2015 Agritourism Workshop For more information, contact Joni Scheftel at joni.scheftel@state.mn.us or 651-201-5414.

EDAM Webinar: Business Finance-Putting Puzzle Pieces Together will be held online from noon to 1:15PM on May 21st. You may register up until the day of the event. Cost is free to EDAM members and $25 to nonmembers. For more information and to register, please go to http://z.umn.edu/vzr.

Creating an Arts Destination Workshop  The 7 Rivers Alliance is hosting the workshop “Creating an Arts Destination” at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona on Wednesday, May 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

MN CARH’s 24th Annual Conference and Meeting will be May 27-28 at Jackpot junction Casino in Morton, MN.  Registration is now open.

Please review the conference brochure and registration form or visit www.mncarh.org for more information.

Rural Arts and Culture Summit – June 2-4, 2015, University of Minnesota Morris MORE

EDAM Summer Conference will be held on June 3–5 in Duluth at the Duluth Entertainment & Convention Center.  For more information go to:  http://www.edam.org/events/event_details.asp?id=462051

The 11th annual Small Wind Conference will be held June 15–17, 2015 at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center in Stevens Point, Wis. The event brings together small wind installers, site assessors, manufacturers, dealers and distributors, supply chain stakeholders, educators, public benefits program managers, and advocates. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is a sponsor. For more information and to register, read more.

The Midwest Farm Energy Conference will be held June 17-19 at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, Minn. The conference offers strategies for implementing energy-efficient and renewable energy systems on farms, with tours available of renewable energy systems in the region. Stacy Miller, solar policy specialist with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, will participate in a panel on “Incentives, Grants, and Loans for Renewable and Energy-Efficient Systems.” For registration and more information, read more.

–The 2015 Minnesota Rural Health Conference will be held June 29-30, 2015 in Duluth. Get more info https://minnesotaruralhealthconference.org/

Use Social Media to Promote Your Festivals and Events  In this one-week online course from the University of Minnesota Tourism Center, students will learn about a variety of applications for social media usage before, during and after an event or festival.

OPPORTUNITIES

Apply now for the Humphrey School 2015-2016 Policy Fellows program

Applications are now available for the 2015-2016 Policy Fellows program, one of the country’s most respected leadership programs for emerging and mid-career professionals. Connect with a cohort of 35 people across the work and political spectrum who will broaden your perspectives and expand your network as you engage in a high-level professional experience. Gain practical skills and experience to take your own career and civic work to the next level.  Applications are due June 1, 2015. Click here for more information and application form.

The Environmental Quality Board and the Department of Employment and Economic Development are working on a water report including results of a survey of water-related organizations in Minnesota. The survey results will help develop an economic profile that quantifies the current employment and wages in water-related organizations. The survey will go to public and private sector entities involved in (but not limited to) the research, development, treatment, manufacture, assembly, management, sales, or distribution of water-related products or services. Link to survey.

The goal is to understand their present employment, revenue, and products in the sector. This will be combined with administrative datasets to build a profile of water employment and wages in the state. It follows a method laid out by MN Clean Energy Economy Profile. For more information, contact Anna Sherman, anna.sherman@state.mn.us., 651-259-7468. 

MISCELLANEOUS

A great tool Community Broadband Planning Tool: What you need before you think about financing

OCC’s HelpWithMyBank.gov Web site, which provides answers to 300 common banking questions covering such topics as credit cards, bank accounts, mortgages, consumer loans, insurance, identity theft, and safe deposit boxes. The site also includes links and references to financial information and an online consumer complaint form.

CFED has released “Building Financial Capability: A Planning Guide for Integrated Services”, an interactive resource to help a wide range of community-based and social service organizations integrate financial capability services into their existing programs (e.g., housing, workforce development or Head Start). CFED developed the publication in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Community Services (OCS), with input from a number of local, state and national partners that tested and reviewed its 13 tools. Get the resource guide here.

Advancing K−12 Financial Education: A Guide for Policymakers The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers this resource guide designed to encourage financial education in schools. The guide contains strategies for furthering the development and implementation of financial education.

AARPSBA Webinars  AARP and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) host new webinars and republish previous webinars to educate people who want to start businesses or expand existing ones.

–The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has published new healthy community design data. The CDC estimates that, for every dollar invested in community design projects, between $1.20 and $3.80 is saved as a result of reduced health care utilization and fuel consumption. View the data here.

Enterprise Community Partners has released its 2015 Green Communities Criteria. Enterprise created these criteria in 2004 as the first green national standard designed specifically for affordable housing. These updated criteria incorporate resilient design features as well as Active Design criteria to improve resident health. Click here for a copy of the guidelines.

–The nation’s older adult population has grown and is continuing to grow dramatically, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. The population 65 and older is expected to reach 73 million by 2030, an increase of 33 million over 20 years. The number of lower-income older adults is also increasing; from 2003 to 2013, the number of households aged 62 and older earning less than 50 percent of area median income (AMI) increased by 21 percent. To view the data, click here.

Frontier and Remote Area Codes Updated  The Economic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, has updated the Frontier and Remote Area (FAR) codes based on 2010 data. http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/chart-gallery/detail.aspx?chartId=52650

— At Main Street Project, the importance of women in the present and future of the agricultural system is recognized.  To read about this go to:  http://mainstreetproject.org/blog/2015/03/women-in-agriculture/

Minnesota ranked seventh for total wind-generated electricity in 2014 and was seventh in the nation for percent of its net electricity generated from wind power, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report, released April 15 by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). In 2014, Minnesota generated 9,060 thousand megawatt hours (MWh) of wind power that provided 15.9 percent of all in-state electricity production, enough to power 830,000 homes. Read more.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Otter Tail County Seeks Tourism and Economic Development Director

The position will serve in a dual role as the economic development/tourism liaison for Otter Tail County and as the executive director of the Otter Tail Country Tourism and Economic Development Authority.

April 2015 – Volume XIII, Number 3

Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

–ACROSS THE FIELD
–FUNDING
–TRAINING/MEETINGS
–OPPORTUNITIES
–MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING

— The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofits and public entities through the Assets for Independence program. The program supports innovative asset-building projects that enable low-income people to improve their economic status and become self-sufficient. Deadline: 4/20/2015. Click here to review funding guidelines. http://tinyurl.com/p8c2rko

–The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation has issued “Healthy Communities: Health Equity in Action Request for Proposals (RFP)” which supports the efforts of nonprofit organizations working to improve the health of their communities throughout the state. The Foundation will fund community solutions that help create the following: equitable systems, stable lives, social connections, and vibrant communities. Grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 for one to two years will be provided. Deadline: 4/20/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website here to download the RFP.  http://tinyurl.com/ontxzcc

Community Economic Development (CED) Healthy Food Financing Initiative Projects award funding to Community Development Corporations for projects designed to address food deserts and improve access to healthy, affordable foods. Bonus points will be given to projects that create jobs in a rural community. Application deadline: April 24, 2015. http://www.raconline.org/funding/3579

Community Economic Development (CED) Projects offers funds to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) for projects designed to address the economic needs of low-income individuals and families through the creation of employment and business opportunities, including expansion or construction of clinics and health centers. Bonus points will be given to projects that create jobs in rural communities. Application deadline: April 24, 2015. http://www.raconline.org/funding/2098

Newman’s Own Awards Program offers grants to volunteer and nonprofit organizations supporting military families. Eligible applicants must be comprised primarily of volunteers or be a nonprofit organization, and be working with the families of Active Duty, National Guard, or Reserve units and/or veterans. Deadline: 4/29/2015. Visit the program’s website here to submit an online application.

USDA is offering REAP grants for up to 25 percent of total project costs and loan guarantees for up to 75 percent of total project costs for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. The REAP application window has been expanded. USDA will now accept and review loan and grant applications year-round. Eligible renewable energy projects must incorporate commercially available technology. This includes renewable energy from wind, solar, ocean, small hydropower, hydrogen, geothermal and renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters). The maximum grant amount is $500,000, and the maximum loan amount is $25 million per applicant. Energy efficiency improvement projects eligible for REAP funding include lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, fans, automated controls and insulation upgrades that reduce energy consumption. The maximum grant amount is $250,000, and the maximum loan amount is $25 million per applicant. 2015 application deadlines are April 30 and June 30. For more information go to: http://tinyurl.com/pvb77l8

–National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), with generous support from Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., invites applications from nonprofits for capacity-building grants to protect, improve, and support responsible use of public land and water sites in the United States. Deadline: 4/30/2015. Click here to visit the website to learn more about these grants and the application process.

–The Foundation for Financial Planning will award grants to nonprofit organizations nationwide for pro bono activities that utilize financial planning practitioners in the delivery of services. Support is provided to organizations that provide services to specific target audiences that are underserved by the market, in need of financial guidance, or in a financial crisis. Online applications must be submitted by 4/30/2015. Grant guidelines and application information are available on the Foundation’s website here.

–The Lawrence Foundation is accepting proposals for program and operating grants from U.S. nonprofits working in the areas of the environmental, education, human services, disaster relief, and other issue areas. Deadline: 4/30/2015. Click here to visit the website for more information.

–The Department of Labor is offering grants to partnerships of private and public sector entities through the American Apprenticeship Initiative for innovative work-based learning and post-secondary earn-and-learn models. Deadline: 4/30/2015. Click here to review application information.

The Presbyterian Church is offering grants to nonprofit organizations addressing hunger and its causes in the United States. Grants ranging from $500 to $20,000 are provided in the following five categories: Development Assistance grants focus on creating a multi-faceted approach to the empowerment of poor people. Public Policy Advocacy grants encourage activities that advocate for political and economic policy changes that provide food for the poor. Lifestyle Integrity grants target programs that help the church to move toward sustainable lifestyles sensitive to the reality of the Earth’s limited resources. Education and Interpretation grants promote activities to educate the church and the public at large about the root causes of hunger. Direct Food Relief grants support programs that provide food to poor people in either acute or chronic conditions of hunger, with a focus on long-range solutions. Nonprofit organizations and Presbyterian congregations are eligible to apply. Deadline: letters of inquiry must be submitted by 4/30/2015. Visit the program’s website here to review the eligibility and criteria information.

–USDA is offering grants to nonprofit and public entities to implement farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. Deadlines: Training Grant Letter of Intent: 4/30/2015; application: 5/20/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

FARM AID is offering grants of $3,000 to $10,000 in the three program areas described here: Growing the Good Food Movement supports programs that build local and regional food systems, connecting farmers directly to consumers and creating new value-added markets for family farmers. Helping Farmers Thrive focuses on projects that provide farmers with the resources needed to get started on the land, access new markets, transition to more sustainable farming practices, produce renewable fuels, and stay on the land in the face of financial crisis and natural disasters. Taking Action to Change the System funds organizations that promote fair farm policies and grassroots organizing campaigns to defend family farm agriculture. Deadlines: Letters of inquiry 5/1/2015; full proposals must be submitted by 8/1/2015. Grant application guidelines are available on the Farm Aid website here.

Now is the Time Project AWARE – Community Grants support the implementation of the NITT-AWARE-C program, which will train teachers and a broad array of actors at the community level who interact with youth through their programs, including parents, law enforcement, faith-based leaders, and other adults, in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) or Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA). Rural specific training modules are available. Application deadline: May 1, 2015.

The Department of Health and Human Services is offering funding through the Refugee Individual Development Accounts Program that supports projects to establish and manage individual development accounts for low-income refugee participants. Applicants must have a partnership with a financial institution. Deadline: 5/4/2015.  Click here for funding details.

–The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is offering grants for projects that focus on grassroots advocacy efforts that help achieve specific state and local public transportation goals. Funded activities could include initiatives to support public transportation in economically challenging times, programs in partnership with local Chambers of Commerce or other business organizations that support public transportation and community mobility, efforts to educate decision-makers about policies favorable to public transportation, etc. Deadline: 5/15/2015. Visit the APTA website here to review grant guidelines.

–The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies that are eligible adaptive sports entities to plan, develop, manage, and implement programs to provide adaptive sports activities for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces. Deadline: 5/26/2015. Click here for grant guidelines.

–The HOME DEPOT Foundation’s Veteran Housing Grants Program is offering grants to nonprofit organizations nationwide that address the development and repair of veterans housing. Grants are provided for single family or multifamily housing, permanent supportive housing, and transitional housing projects. Grants ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 are awarded solely for the physical construction or repair of housing for veterans. Organizations that have previous experience developing, and either currently manage or own, veteran specific housing are eligible to apply. Deadline: 6/23/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website here for online application instructions.

MEETINGS/TRAINING

Rethinking Excellence in a Diverse Democracy: 2015 Minnesota Campus Compact Summit, Presidents’ Meeting, and Awards Ceremony will be held

April 16, 2015 at St. Catherine University in St. Paul. This annual convening focuses on key issues in our collaborative work and honors award recipients from across the state. A morning plenary will begin with powerful speakers, including Nekima Levy-Pounds, Professor of Law and Director of the Community Justice Project at the University of St. Thomas, and Andrew Seligsohn, the new president of national Campus Compact. Following the awards luncheon, afternoon breakout sessions will address:

  • Developing Cultural Agility in Ourselves, Our Students, Institutions, and Partnerships
  • Higher Education, Community Engagement, and the Changing World of Work
  • Skills for Conflict Resolution in Collaborative Work
  • Student Perspectives on Community Engagement and the College/University Experience
  • Supporting Low-Income Students’ Success: Transformative Systems Change

The full agenda is available here. With questions or to sign up as a sponsor, please contact Sinda.

Minneapolis to host International Biomass Conference & Expo April 20-22 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The event, the largest gathering for biomass professional in North America, unites current and future producers of biomass-derived power, fuels and chemicals with waste generators, energy crop growers, municipal leaders, utility executives, technology providers, equipment manufacturers, project developers, investors and policy makers. Read more.

Seminar: Public Benefit Corporation Structure – A New Option      Please review the conference brochure and registration form or visit www.mncarh.org for more information.

Rural Arts and Culture Summit – June 2-4, 2015, University of Minnesota Morris MORE–The 2015 Minnesota Rural Health Conference will be held June 29-30, 2015 in Duluth. Sign up to receive email updates.–Use Social Media to Promote Your Festivals and Events In this one-week online course from the University of Minnesota Tourism Center, students will learn about a variety of applications for social media usage before, during and after an event or festival.

OPPORTUNITIES

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, in partnership with The McKnight Foundation, is pleased to announce its first annual Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards. The Unsung Hero Awards recognize individuals who have had a significant impact on the state of Minnesota and its communities, and yet have not been widely recognized in the past.Two Minnesotans (one from the Twin Cities metro and one from greater Minnesota) will each receive $10,000 in recognition of the significant impact they have had on the state and will be publicly celebrated at MCN’s 2014 Annual Conference. Nominations are currently being accepted with an application deadline of April 20, 2015. Nominate today » Eligibility and criteria details are also available online. For questions about the Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards, please contact 651-642-1904 or info@minnesotanonprofits.org.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation seeks applicants to its Healthy Communities: Health Equity in Action program. Applications due April 20. Board Members and Grant Reviewers Needed! The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) is currently accepting applications from individuals wishing to serve on the board or on grant review panels. ECRAC is the primary funding source for artists and arts organizations in east central Minnesota, awarding about $300,000 in grants each year. Serving on the board or on a grant review panel gives an individual the opportunity to learn about arts activities in the region; to increase their knowledge of grant writing and the review process; to network with other artists and arts professionals; and to have input into matters that affect arts funding in the region.ECRAC is looking for individuals with knowledge of various art forms and perspectives. Active artists working in all disciplines; artists from communities of color; arts supporters/collectors; or individuals with knowledge of the regional arts community and arts organizations are all encouraged to apply. ECRAC meets the third Tuesday evening of each month at its office in Braham. Board members and panelists serve as volunteers, but can be paid a small stipend and mileage reimbursement for attending meetings. The deadline for submitting an application is April 30, 2015. Interested individuals may contact the ECRAC office at info@ecrac.org or call 320.396.2337 to receive a nomination form. You can also find the application online at:   Applications are now available for the 2015-2016 Policy Fellows program, one of the country’s most respected leadership programs for emerging and mid-career professionals. Connect with a cohort of 35 people across the work and political spectrum who will broaden your perspectives and expand your network as you engage in a high-level professional experience. Gain practical skills and experience to take your own career and civic work to the next level. Applications are due June 1, 2015.       

Southern Minnesota CVB Job Opportunities CVBs and Chambers in Owatonna, Northfield and Lanesboro are seeking qualified candidates to fill open positions.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

New Wind Vision Report charts a robust wind energy future. With more than 4.5% of the nation’s electricity supplied by wind energy today, the U.S. Department of Energy has collaborated with industry, environmental organizations, academic institutions, and national laboratories to develop “Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States.” The report documents the contributions of wind to date and envisions a future where wind continues to provide key contributions to the nation’s energy portfolio. Read the report.

The University of Minnesota has compiled an assortment of biomass assessment tools, fuel pricing and project databases, wood energy videos, and information about State Wood Energy Teams. The Community Biomass Handbook and Wood Energy Financial App can quickly calculate the financial viability of wood heating projects, help screen project ideas, and answer initial project development questions about proven technologies. Read more

The Rural Assistance Center (RAC) has issued a new topic guide: Education and Training of the Rural Health Care Workforce.

MISCELLANEOUS

Click here for more information and application form.

Apply now for the Humphrey School 2015-2016 Policy Fellows program

http://ecrac.org/news/regional-arts-council-seeks-board-members-and-grant-reviewers 

MN CARH’s 24th Annual Conference and Meeting will be May 27-28 at Jackpot junction Casino in Morton, MN. Registration is now open.

The Midwest Solar Expo 2015 will be held May 13-14 in Minneapolis and will feature two days of educational and networking events that will provide solar companies with the tools to grow their businesses in the Midwest solar market. The Expo kicks off at the Solar Arts Building in downtown Minneapolis with a reception, dinner and keynote address on May 13 followed by a day of plenaries, breakout sessions, networking breaks, and North American Board of Certified Energy Professionals (NABCEP) and product trainings and exhibits at the Downtown Hilton Minneapolis. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is a sponsor. Read more.

Mark Your Calendars for the 2015 PedalMN Bicycle Conference The 2015 PedalMN Bicycle Conference will be May 4-5, 2015, in the third-most bicycle-friendly city in the nation, Minneapolis. http://www.smart-trips.org/event/2015-pedalmn-bicycle-conference/

Community Economic Development Symposium: Addressing the Income Gap Through Job CreationMay 1, 2015, Hamline University MORE

“Supporting the Desire to Age in Place: Important Considerations for the Aging Population,” a free statewide virtual conference, will take place May 1. The webinar will feature experts from the University of Minnesota and St. Cloud State University. Details and registration on the Minnesota Gerontological Society website.

Showcase Your Invention at the 
 Inspire™ 2015 Innovation Expo! Make Connections to Fuel Your Product Entry 
into the Marketplace. The event will be held April 30 – May 1 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. For more information see: www.inspireexpo.org

Could a public benefit corporation structure help you harness the power of your business to make a social impact? On April 21st a 1-hour free seminar co-hosted by Wilder Research and Gray Plant Moody law firm will explain a new structure for socially-minded for-profit businesses. 8:00 a.m. at Wilder Center, Saint Paul. 

Minnesota is a great place to live, work and play, and repeatedly ends up on top ten lists for quality of life. What has made the state so great? The 10,000 lakes? Sure. Serving as the lutefisk capital of the United States? Maybe.

One thing is certain. Minnesota’s greatness is due to its communities, and the people that serve them.

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, in partnership with The McKnight Foundation, is pleased to announce its first annual Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards. The Unsung Hero Awards recognize individuals who have had a significant impact on the state of Minnesota and its communities, and yet have not been widely recognized in the past.

Two Minnesotans (one from the Twin Cities metro and one from greater Minnesota) will each receive $10,000 in recognition of the significant impact they have had on the state and will be publicly celebrated at MCN’s 2014 Annual Conference.

Nominations are currently being accepted with an application deadline of April 20, 2015. Nominate today » Eligibility and criteria details are also available online. For questions about the Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards, please contact 651-642-1904 or info@minnesotanonprofits.org.

We are going to post time-sensitive items between newsletter as time-sensitivity dictates…

ECRAC is offering 10 free early bird registrations, a $100 value each, to the Rural Arts and Cultural Summit on this year’s theme “From the Ground Up: Cultivating Creative People and Places” at the University of Minnesota, in Morris, from June 2-4. 

Early bird registration for this offer is open until April 10. These registrations will fill quickly so respond to this email now. You must live in Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, or Pine County to be eligible. Travel costs such as lodging and mileage will also be available for scholarship recipients. 

Here is what you need to do. Respond to this email,  by clicking here. Put “FREE ECRAC Registration” in the subject line and give us your name, email, phone number and address. If chosen you will be given further directions on how to register on the Rural Arts and Cultural Summit website.  

More information about the Rural Arts and Cultural Summit may be viewed by clicking here:  http://www.ruralartsandculturesummit.com/

 

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