August 2016- Volume XIV, Number 7

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

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

FUNDING

–Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health. The Great Plains Center offers grant funding to both scholarly researchers and community organizations engaged in agricultural safety and health activities. Funding is available up to $15,000 for two types of projects. The purpose of the Community Outreach/Education Grant is to enhance delivery of evidence-based agricultural health programs. Community projects are typically submitted by non-profit community entities delivering agricultural safety and health programs. The purpose of the Academic/Scholarly Research Grant is to create new agricultural safety and health knowledge, and to assess and promote best safety and health practices. Scholarly research projects are typically submitted by students, staff, and faculty of academic institutions. Research projects will be judged for scientific merit. The application deadline is August 15th.

— The NFL Grassroots Program has issued a Request for Proposals. The Grassroots Program is a partnership of the National Football League Foundation (NFL Foundation) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which provides technical assistance and manages the program. The goal of the Program is to provide nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations with financial and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields. The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program provides grants of up to $250,000 for capital improvement projects. Deadline: 8/15/2016. Click here for application guidelines.

–Health Resources and Services Administration is offering funding to provide comprehensive primary healthcare services to an underserved area or population. Deadline: 8/16/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

Avon Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP) Funding to link medically underserved populations to breast health education and screening services. Application Deadline: August 19, 2016.

American Indian/Alaska Native Early Head Start (EHS) Expansion and EHS-Child Care Partnerships offer funding to expand Early Head Start programs for American Indian/Alaska Native populations or to create partnerships with local child care providers within a community, leveraging existing local resources to provide a comprehensive array of health, mental health, nutrition, and social services to infants, toddlers, and their families. Application Deadline: August 24, 2016. Sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families.

Early Head Start (EHS) and Migrant and Seasonal EHS-Child Care Partnership Grants offer funding to expand access to high-quality, comprehensive early learning services for eligible low-income, migrant and seasonal infants, toddlers, and their families. Application Deadline: August 24, 2016. Sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families.

Early Head Start and EHS-Child Care Partnership Grants offer funding to operate Early Head Start programming within a community, leveraging existing local resources to provide a comprehensive array of health, mental health, nutrition, and social services to infants, toddlers, and their families. Application Deadline: August 24, 2016. Sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families.

— Department of Labor has a major new grant program that offers funding for job training and education that leads to in-demand and industry-recognized credentials and degrees facilitating “regional workforce partnerships”. Maximum amount: $6,000,000. Eligible: workforce investment systems, community colleges, nonprofits and others that are part of a “regional workforce partnership.” Deadline: 8/25/2016. Click here to learn more about this new program.

Gannett Foundation Community Action Grants support local organizations with funding priority given to programs that focus on education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation, and cultural enrichment. Geographic coverage: Limited to certain areas of 35 states and U.S. territories, see sponsor’s website for more details. (Includes some of Minnesota.) Application Deadline: August 29, 2016.

–Chartwells in Partnership with KidsGardening.org is offering funding for schools seeking to enhance their curriculums and offer food and nutrition education through an edible garden program. K-12 public or private schools throughout the country that are planning a new or expanding an established garden program are eligible to apply. The program will provide 18 grants that include funds to purchase plants, soil, and garden tools, as well as additional gardening resources. Deadline: 8/31/2016. Visit the KidsGardening.org website here to learn more about the program.

–The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is offering funding to nonprofit organizations that nurture the participation of people living in poverty to change structures and policies that affect their lives. At least 50 percent of those benefiting from the applying organization’s efforts must be people experiencing poverty. Grants range between $25,000 and $75,000. Deadline: pre-applications may be submitted between 9/1/2016 and 11/1/2016. Visit the CCHD website here for more information.

–The National Endowment for the Arts has issued guidelines for 2017 Our Town funding, and they are now posted on the NEA website here. Grants will be offered in Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Design Projects as well as in Projects that Build Knowledge About Creative Placemaking. Deadlines: applications are due on 9/12/2016

–The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will make five Rural Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Grants of up to $2.5 million to national organizations with ongoing experience in rural housing and community development. Applications are due September 13.

–Dual-Training Grants Application Available Now! Employers can now apply for grants to help create or expand dual-training programs in advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services and information technology industries. Dual-training grants are part of the Minnesota PIPELINE Project, which was established by the Minnesota Legislature in 2014 to expand dual training and apprenticeship programs. This is the third round of grants released for this program. Thus far, 37 employers have received grants totaling $1,428,439 to support the training of 274 students/employees. Applications due September 23, 2016 at 5 pm CDT. LEARN MORE

–The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is requesting applications for the Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Program. The program provides funding to local nonprofit corporations that will use these funds to make loans to Minnesota businesses majority-owned and operated by minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans, and/or persons with disabilities.  The Request for Proposal

Proposals must be received by DEED no later than 4:00 pm. on September 30, 2016. Late proposals will not be considered.  For more information contact Bob.Isaacson@state.mn.us or 651-259-7458

–The Target Field Trip Grants program provides funds for K-12 field trips in order to give students throughout the country the opportunity to explore more of the world outside the classroom. Grants of up to $700 each will be awarded to educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, and classified staff who are employed by accredited K-12 public, private, or charter schools. Deadline: online applications will be accepted through 10/1/2016. Visit the Target website here to learn more about the program.

Wrigley Company Foundation Community Service Grant provides funding to dental hygienists for projects aimed at improving oral health or providing oral health education. Application Deadline: October 1, 2016.

–Border to Border Grants.  The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Office of Broadband Development, will be soliciting proposals from qualified organizations for Minnesota Border to Border Broadband Development Grants. The application deadline is 4:00 p.m., Monday, October 3, 2016. Details are available http://wp.me/p3if7-3CQ as are updated maps. http://wp.me/p3if7-3Cw

–The Tourism Marketing Grant Program is designed to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the state of Minnesota, increase the number of resident and nonresident travelers to our state, grow travel-related sales and employment in Minnesota, generate increased sales tax revenue from travel-related industries, and develop industry partnerships to expand marketing reach. Grants are offered to Minnesota non-profit organizations formed for the primary purpose of tourism promotion and to scenic byway groups incorporated as a non-profit organization. Grants are to be used for marketing and promotional projects or to conduct research to help in this endeavor. To request tourism marketing grant funding, applicants must complete the Grant Request Form and return it to your regional representative by October 14, 2016. Grant guidelines and applications can be found at: www.exploreminnesota.com/industry-minnesota/ways-to-get-involved/

–The Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) grant program, administered by the Minnesota Department of Health, distributes grants annually to providers of clinical medical education. The next application cycle is expected to open in late August 2016 and will be due on October 31st. For more information, contact Diane Reger at 651-201-3566.

—  USDA Rural Development is soliciting applications through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides guaranteed loan and grant financing for rural small businesses and agricultural producers to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. USDA reminds eligible applicants that set-aside funding is available for grant requests less than $20,000 and may offer priority scoring for projects located in underserved areas and/or benefiting underserved populations. USDA also guarantees loans for a minimum of $5,000 and maximum of $25 million. Applicants are encouraged to apply through the loan guarantee program for larger-scale projects. Grant and guaranteed loan combinations are also available. The next application deadline for grants under $20,000 is October 31, 2016. For details on how to apply, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn, contact USDA Rural Development State Energy Coordinator for Minnesota Ron Omann at ron.omann@mn.usda.gov or (651) 602-7796, or see page 78029 of the December 29 Federal Register.

— The Laura Jane Musser Fund is offering funding to encourage collaborative and participatory efforts among citizens in rural communities that will help to strengthen their towns and regions in a number of civic areas including, but not limited to, economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements and education. Programs in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota and Wyoming may apply. The applicant community must have a population of 10,000 or fewer and must be able to demonstrate the rural characteristics of their location. Deadline: 11/2/2016. Click here to review further guidelines and to apply.

–THE HOME DEPOT Foundation Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using volunteers to improve the physical health of their communities. Proposals for the following community improvement activities will be considered: repairs, refurbishments, and modifications to low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities (schools, community centers, senior centers, etc.); weatherizing or increasing energy efficiency of low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities; engaging veterans as volunteers to help other veterans in their community through service projects focusing on the renovation, repair, and improvement of homes and other properties serving veterans; and planting trees or community gardens or landscaping community facilities that serve veterans. Requests will be accepted through 12/31/2016. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.

–2016 MiM solar thermal rebates are available to Minnesotans statewide.  The Minnesota Department of Commerce has opened rebate opportunities for solar thermal systems to all Minnesota residents, businesses, nonprofits, and government entities as part of its 2016 Made in Minnesota Solar Energy Incentive Program. Applications for solar thermal rebates will be reviewed and funded through 2016 on a first-come, first-served basis until funds have been fully reserved. Read more.

–Explore Minnesota is excited to announce a new pilot grant program for New Event Funding. The New Event Grant Program was developed to increase the economic impact of visitors on state and local economies, increase spending by visitors, generate media awareness of Minnesota, and enhance the quality of life for Minnesotans. The program provides funding to secure and operate new major events throughout the state. This pilot program creates a coordinated approach for funding events in Minnesota, including (1) competitive bidding/sponsorship and (2) operating/hosting new events that have the potential to generate significant economic impact for the host community. Questions on the New Event Grant program: Email or call Lori Peterson at 651-757-1876 or Lori.A.Peterson@state.mn.us

Grant Guidelines and applications can be found at: http://www.exploreminnesota.com/industry-minnesota/ways-to-get-involved/

–USDA is offering funding to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to participate in the Community Facilities Re-lending Program. Through the program USDA provides low-interest, direct loans through the program to re-lenders: high-impact, community-based lending institutions with a track record of mission-driven lending in high poverty areas. Re-lenders can use the funds to make loans for community facilities projects like health clinics, schools, libraries, food banks, municipal buildings, and child care centers. Deadline: open. Click here to visit the website for funding guidelines and forms.

–Green project idea? Get a MPCA environmental assistance loan. The MPCA offers low-interest loans for capital projects that improve the environment. Apply for the Environmental Assistance (EA) loan program if you’re considering a project in green chemistry, pollution prevention, source reduction, recycling, or composting collection. Capital costs are limited to the costs of machinery and equipment, including freight and installation, and related improvements. Eligible applicants include small to medium-sized businesses and political subdivisions of Minnesota. There is currently funding available. Since the amount available fluctuates, it is recommended to contact the program with questions on fund availability.

The EA loan program has two types of loans. Participatory loans provide up to $100,000 at zero percent interest with a dollar-for-dollar match from a participating financial institution. In addition to the interest rate charged by the institution on its matching funds, there may be additional administrative fees. Overall though, these loans generally have a very low interest rate. Direct loans are limited to businesses/entities and up to $50,000 at four percent interest or one half the prime rate, whichever is greater. Direct loans must be matched by one dollar from the applicant for every two dollars received. Start-up businesses are not eligible for direct loans.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Visit the MPCA Environmental Assistance Loan Program for more information.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

–Blandin Community Broadband Program Webinar: Growing and Keeping Tech Talent will be held on August 11. http://wp.me/p3if7-3Ah

–“Immigrant Family Economic Success in Rural Communities” is a webinar series offered by The Aspen Institute. “Hello! Please Come In!” that’s the typical welcome sign as you enter rural communities across the United States. But some rural towns and businesses now add signs that read “¡Bienvenidos!” (Spanish) and “Zoo siab txais tos!” (Hmong), among others. That’s because growing numbers of immigrants and refugees are moving into rural communities-from 2012 to 2014, 31 percent of net new rural residents were foreign-born. To learn more about this growing population of rural Americans and to learn what rural practitioners can do to support them participate in an upcoming Aspen Institute webinar series: Immigrant Family Economic Success in Rural Communities. Sessions are scheduled for August 18, 2016, August 25, 2016 and September 1, 2016. Click here to register for any or all of these sessions.

 

–Upcoming Workshops for Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Program.  The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is currently requesting applications for the Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Program. The program provides funding to local nonprofit corporations that will use these funds to make loans to Minnesota businesses majority-owned and operated by minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans, and/or persons with disabilities. Three workshops will be held to discuss the RFP and answer questions about the application process.

August 22, 2016

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation

CTC Room

224 West Washington Street

Brainerd

 

August 23, 2016
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Intergovernmental Center
Minnesota River Room
10 Civic Center Plaza
Mankato

August 26, 2016
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
Minnesota Room
332 Minnesota St, Suite E200
St. Paul

The times and locations of the workshops are subject to change so attendees should confirm times and locations by visiting DEED’s calendar or by contacting Bob Isaacson, Bob.Isaacson@state.mn.us or 651-259-7458. The DEED calendar will display any additional workshops that are scheduled.

–Health disparities of immigrant workers in agriculture webinar. This webinar will focus on the health and safety of immigrant workers in agriculture. It will explore disparities in health and safety outcomes for immigrant workers compared to non-immigrant workers, and attempt to describe some reasons for those disparities. Case studies as well as descriptive and analytic data will be presented. The focus will be on immigrant workers in the U.S., but the same phenomena exists in developed and developing countries around the world. The webinar will be held August 24, 12-1 pm CDT. It is free but you must register.

–DEED is pleased to be partnering with the Council of Development Finance Agencies

to bring a special one-day conference to Minnesota!  Join the CDFA Minnesota Financing Roundtable for the inaugural conference on Thursday, August 25. This event will feature a number of economic development finance experts from around the state discussing development finance tools, authorities, resources and approaches, and how these can affect the Minnesota economy going forward.

The conference will take place at the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot in downtown Minneapolis and is supported by dozens of the state’s finest development finance leaders.

Register today to reserve your spot at the 2016 CDFA Minnesota Financing Roundtable Conference.

–Blandin Broadband Conference: Sep 13-14.  You’re invited to the Fall Broadband conference, Border to Border Broadband: Advancing the Vision on September 13-14 at the Greysolon Ballroom in Duluth, MN. It is an opportunity to continue the work from last year’s conference where attendees crafted the well-received state broadband vision. http://wp.me/p3if7-3Cu

–Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits for our 2016 Annual Conference on October 6 – 7, 2016 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Learn more and register.

— The Heartland Center for Leadership Development will offer “Helping Small Towns Succeed” October 11-13, 2016, at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

–Save the date for the 30th Annual Minnesota Venture Conference — Minnesota’s premier event for entrepreneurs and investors! It will be held Thursday, October 13, 2016 from 7:15 am – 5:45 pm at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  For more information go to: https://www.mhta.org/event/mvc/

–Broadband Communities Conference http://wp.me/p3if7-3xR (Minneapolis) will be held October 18-20.

–The annual Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held November 3-4 in Bloomington.

–The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) recently announced that its 2016 Midwest Gateway to Solar Conference will be held Nov. 15-16 at the Hilton Airport/Mall of America in Bloomington. Information on registration and early bird rate is available.

— The 2016 Tekne Awards will be held on November 16th at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  You can learn more and find the full list of Tekne recipients at tekneawards.org. Applications and nominations are now open!

OPPORTUNITIES

–The Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) for primary care providers practicing in rural and urban health professional shortage areas in Minnesota is open for applications. For the 2016 cycle, applications must be faxed or postmarked by August 19. For more information, contact Deb Jahnke at 651-201-3845.

— Submit an Abstract for the 2017 Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference.  The Community Affairs Officers of the Federal Reserve System invite paper submissions for the tenth biennial Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference, a unique event that aims to bridge the gaps between research, policy, and practice on key issues facing the country. High-quality and emerging research is presented in a dialogue with policymakers and community practitioners who can utilize the lessons gleaned from the research. The 2017 conference seeks to inform a robust public conversation on the theme of Strong Foundations: The Economic Futures of Kids and Communities. Submissions for plenary, concurrent, and poster sessions are invited in three broad categories:

  • The context for child and youth development;
  • The role of community development and key partners; and
  • Implications for the economy and workforce.

Abstracts are due August 19, 2016. View the full text of the Call for Papers and submit your paper/abstract. Please direct any questions to CDConference@mpls.frb.org or 612-204-6785.

Rural Health Fellows Program is a year-long, intensive program designed to develop a community of rural health leaders. Application Deadline: September 1, 2016.

–Nominations for 2016 Community Health Awards.  Nominate someone you think deserves a Community Health Award. The awards will be presented by Commissioner of Health Ed Ehlinger on September 28th during the Community Health Conference. For more information, contact Megan Drake-Pereyra at 651-201-3640.

— Bush Foundation Fellowships. Deadline: September 29, 2016. MORE

–Nominations for Nurse of the Year. The March of Dimes is honored to pay tribute to the nursing profession by recognizing extraordinary nurses throughout the community. The Nurse of the Year event will be held October 14. For more information, contact Jonathon McCarthy at 612-326-9441.

–The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) to be Minnesota host of SBIR/STTR programs. MHTA has been named the host of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) Program for the state of Minnesota. FAST is designed to stimulate economic development with outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-driven small businesses, with a particular emphasis on socially and economically disadvantaged firms, helping them to compete in federally-funded research and development through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. LEARN MORE

Public Health Student Volunteer Program provides a one-semester internship experience for students enrolled in a public health program. Geographic coverage: Nationwide. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

MISCELLANEOUS

–Research Indicates Rural Still Behind Broadband Access. The FCC’s reports that 39 percent of rural areas lack access to the newly defined broadband, while only 4 percent of urban areas lack it. http://wp.me/p3if7-3Ce

Vulnerable Rural Counties: The Changing Rural Landscape, 2000-2010 A study of how rural counties were impacted by the 2008 recession, specifically focused on an increase in poverty levels, shifts in population, and loss or reduction of healthcare services and facilities. Includes county-by-county maps with data such as poverty and unemployment rates, elderly population, educational level, non-white population, health insurance coverage, availability of primary care and other specialties, and change in number of hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Appendices include tables comparing urban and rural/remote county statistics. See also: Key Facts in Rural Health: Vulnerable Rural Counties, the Changing Rural Landscape, 2000-2010 (Fact Sheet).

–“Working Across Generations to Move Rural Families Forward” is the title of an article in the Aspen Institute’s online newsletter. In 2014, nearly 25 percent of children in nonmetropolitan areas were poor, compared to about 21 percent in metropolitan areas. According to the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy, 64 percent of rural counties experienced high child poverty (20% in poverty or greater) in 2010 compared to 47 percent of urban counties. Research shows that children raised in poverty are less likely to succeed as adults. So how can rural families and communities buck this trend and build on local assets like their resourcefulness, relationships, and creativity to ensure the long-term success of local children? Read the blog post from the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group, advocating for a two-generation approach to addressing rural child poverty here.

Social Determinants of Health for Rural People This topic guide has been updated with new frequently asked questions and updated statistics. It focuses on the health inequities that rural residents experience. Learn how income-level, educational attainment, race/ethnicity, housing quality, and other factors impact health.

Disparities in the Health and Well-Being of Children and Youth in Rural Areas

Recording of a May 21, 2016 DataSpeak webinar. Topics addressed include trends in rural children’s health, rural child mortality, and challenges facing American Indian children. Speakers included Janice Probst of the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center, Alana Knudson of the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, and Steve Holve of Indian Health Service. Length: 59:00.

–An article in Governing titled “With Hospitals in Critical Condition, Can Rural America Survive?” explores the reality that nearly 30 percent of the country’s rural hospitals are at risk of closing in the next two years. Though rural hospitals have faced closure threats before, this time the challenges run deeper, and call into question whether rural areas themselves can survive in the absence of hospitals. Read the piece here.

–An article in the Center for Rural Affairs Rural News states that Latinos and immigrants are not only bringing population growth to rural America, they are also bringing economic growth. It goes on to say that the income growth that tends to accompany Latino population growth in rural counties is even greater where native-born, non-Hispanic populations have otherwise been shrinking. Read the article here.

–USDA Rural Housing Service (RHS) has released a suite of investment data to increase transparency and better educate stakeholders and appropriators about RHS program investments. The data suite includes information about loans, loan guarantees, and grants invested through RHS Single Family Housing, Multi-family Housing, and Community Facilities programs. Read the full announcement with links to access the data here.

–How Housing Matters 2016 is the published results of a survey by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and Melville Charitable Trust which finds that nearly seven out of ten (68 percent) Americans believe it is difficult to obtain affordable housing. Get the report here.

–HUD has published early findings from its large-scale random assignment study on the benefits of housing counseling for first-time homebuyers. These findings indicate promising results, including improved mortgage literacy, homebuyer outcomes and loan performance. HUD hopes this study will confirm that first-time homebuyer education and counseling helps borrowers make better choices and expands access to credit. Download a copy of the report here.

–HUD has announced the release of the Maximizing Investments Toolkit. The Toolkit includes tools and guidance to help grantees identify local housing and community development needs and determine how to most effectively use their resources to address those needs. The tools are designed to help grantees set appropriate goals for their investments and to identify ways to maximize their positive impacts. Access it here.

–“Meet Liberty, the Uber-like service built for rural America” is the title of an article in the Silicon Prairie News about a new transportation network company working to improve mobility in rural areas by connecting existing public transportation providers with planning agencies, medical centers, and organizations serving people with special needs. Read the article here.

July 2016- Volume XIV, Number 6

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

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

FUNDING 

 $35 Million in State Broadband Grants Applications Open July 22! The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will begin taking applications on July 22 for funding to expand broadband infrastructure in Minnesota. DEED will pay for up to 50 percent of project development costs in unserved and underserved areas of the state. A maximum of $5 million per grant will be available. http://wp.me/p3if7-3B6 For more details, check out the materials from a recent webinar http://wp.me/p3if7-3AG on the topic or plan to attend a future session. http://wp.me/p3if7-3zY

–USDA has announced the availability of funds under the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) for Fiscal Year 2016. Applicants must provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the Federal grant. These grants will be made to qualified intermediary organizations that will provide financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development that will support the community. Deadline: 7/22/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

USDA is requesting proposals from applicants who will provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. The Agency is encouraging applications that direct grants to projects based in or serving census tracts with poverty rates greater than or equal to 20 percent. Eligible applicants include Cooperatives, Groups of Cooperatives and Cooperative Development Centers. Deadline: 8/1/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies that desire to help refugees resettle in the United States, acclimate to American culture, and find meaningful work. Deadline: 8/1/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.   

–U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is offering funding for projects to facilitate community involvement in area-wide planning approaches to brownfields assessment, cleanup and reuse. Deadline to apply: 8/10/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health. The Great Plains Center offers grant funding to both scholarly researchers and community organizations engaged in agricultural safety and health activities. Funding is available up to $15,000 for two types of projects. The purpose of the Community Outreach/Education Grant is to enhance delivery of evidence-based agricultural health programs. Community projects are typically submitted by non-profit community entities delivering agricultural safety and health programs. The purpose of the Academic/Scholarly Research Grant is to create new agricultural safety and health knowledge, and to assess and promote best safety and health practices. Scholarly research projects are typically submitted by students, staff, and faculty of academic institutions. Research projects will be judged for scientific merit. The application deadline is August 15th.

The NFL Grassroots Program has issued a Request for Proposals. The Grassroots Program is a partnership of the National Football League Foundation (NFL Foundation) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which provides technical assistance and manages the program. The goal of the Program is to provide nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations with financial and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields. The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program provides grants of up to $250,000 for capital improvement projects. Deadline: 8/15/2016. Click here for application guidelines.

Health Resources and Services Administration is offering funding to provide comprehensive primary healthcare services to an underserved area or population. Deadline: 8/16/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

Avon Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP) Funding to link medically underserved populations to breast health education and screening services. Application Deadline: August 19, 2016.

American Indian/Alaska Native Early Head Start (EHS) Expansion and EHS-Child Care Partnerships offer funding to expand Early Head Start programs for American Indian/Alaska Native populations or to create partnerships with local child care providers within a community, leveraging existing local resources to provide a comprehensive array of health, mental health, nutrition, and social services to infants, toddlers, and their families. Application Deadline: August 24, 2016. Sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families.

Early Head Start (EHS) and Migrant and Seasonal EHS-Child Care Partnership Grants offer funding to expand access to high-quality, comprehensive early learning services for eligible low-income, migrant and seasonal infants, toddlers, and their families. Application Deadline: August 24, 2016. Sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families.

Early Head Start and EHS-Child Care Partnership Grants offer funding to operate Early Head Start programming within a community, leveraging existing local resources to provide a comprehensive array of health, mental health, nutrition, and social services to infants, toddlers, and their families. Application Deadline: August 24, 2016. Sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families.

Department of Labor has a major new grant program that offers funding for job training and education that leads to in-demand and industry-recognized credentials and degrees facilitating “regional workforce partnerships“. Maximum amount: $6,000,000. Eligible: workforce investment systems, community colleges, nonprofits and others that are part of a “regional workforce partnership.” Deadline: 8/25/2016. Click here to learn more about this new program.

Gannett Foundation Community Action Grants support local organizations with funding priority given to programs that focus on education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation, and cultural enrichment. Geographic coverage: Limited to certain areas of 35 states and U.S. territories, see sponsor’s website for more details. (Includes some of Minnesota.) Application Deadline: August 29, 2016.

–The National Endowment for the Arts has issued guidelines for 2017 Our Town funding, and they are now posted on the NEA website here. Grants will be offered in Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Design Projects as well as in Projects that Build Knowledge About Creative Placemaking. Deadlines: applications are due on 9/12/2016, with funding available on 8/1/2017. Two webinars will be hosted to offer support for the application process: 1. How to Apply on 7/20/2016, with a presentation on the FY 2017 Our Town grant guidelines, and an overview of the review process. Click here to register. 2. Tips and Tricks for Success, on 7/17/2016, with a presentation to assist applicants in crafting a compelling creative placemaking project application. Click here to register.

Wrigley Company Foundation Community Service Grant provides funding to dental hygienists for projects aimed at improving oral health or providing oral health education. Application Deadline: October 1, 2016.

–The Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) grant program, administered by the Minnesota Department of Health, distributes grants annually to providers of clinical medical education. The next application cycle is expected to open in late August 2016 and will be due on October 31st. For more information, contact Diane Reger at 651-201-3566.

—  USDA Rural Development is soliciting applications through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides guaranteed loan and grant financing for rural small businesses and agricultural producers to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. USDA reminds eligible applicants that set-aside funding is available for grant requests less than $20,000 and may offer priority scoring for projects located in underserved areas and/or benefiting underserved populations. USDA also guarantees loans for a minimum of $5,000 and maximum of $25 million. Applicants are encouraged to apply through the loan guarantee program for larger-scale projects. Grant and guaranteed loan combinations are also available. The next application deadline for grants under $20,000 is October 31, 2016. For details on how to apply, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn, contact USDA Rural Development State Energy Coordinator for Minnesota Ron Omann at ron.omann@mn.usda.gov or (651) 602-7796, or see page 78029 of the December 29 Federal Register.

The Laura Jane Musser Fund is offering funding to encourage collaborative and participatory efforts among citizens in rural communities that will help to strengthen their towns and regions in a number of civic areas including, but not limited to, economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements and education. Programs in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota and Wyoming may apply. The applicant community must have a population of 10,000 or fewer and must be able to demonstrate the rural characteristics of their location. Deadline: 11/2/2016. Click here to review further guidelines and to apply.

THE HOME DEPOT Foundation Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using volunteers to improve the physical health of their communities. Proposals for the following community improvement activities will be considered: repairs, refurbishments, and modifications to low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities (schools, community centers, senior centers, etc.); weatherizing or increasing energy efficiency of low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities; engaging veterans as volunteers to help other veterans in their community through service projects focusing on the renovation, repair, and improvement of homes and other properties serving veterans; and planting trees or community gardens or landscaping community facilities that serve veterans. Requests will be accepted through 12/31/2016. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.

2016 MiM solar thermal rebates are available to Minnesotans statewideThe Minnesota Department of Commerce has opened rebate opportunities for solar thermal systems to all Minnesota residents, businesses, nonprofits, and government entities as part of its 2016 Made in Minnesota Solar Energy Incentive Program. Applications for solar thermal rebates will be reviewed and funded through 2016 on a first-come, first-served basis until funds have been fully reserved. Read more.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

TD Charitable Foundation is offering grants of up to $1,000 to community-based organizations wishing to send one or more employees to an approved class/course that enhances their job performance. Deadline: rolling. Click here to visit the website to review application requirements.

MRHA’s New Advocacy Certificate Program.  Beginning July 19th, the Minnesota Rural Health Association (MRHA) will offer an eight-month certificate program in Rural Health Advocacy. This new venture by MRHA stems from strategic planning that identified the need to build more effective capacity among rural health advocates to make a difference on rural health policy issues. For more information visit the MRHA website. To register, email Steve Gottwalt at steve@mnruralhealth.org

Webinar: Diversity in Rural Design will be held Thursday, July 21, 2016 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EDT). Co-hosted with the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™, this free webinar showcases rural communities that have effectively engaged diverse voices in shaping community design projects. Speakers will share how they identified and engaged diverse perspectives, whom they partnered with, and what doors have opened as a result. Register now »

–The Minnesota Council of Nonprofit Nonprofit Fundraising Conference to be held July 21, 2016 in Brooklyn Center.  For more information, go to: http://www.minnesotanonprofits.org/events-training/nonprofit-fundraising-conference/fundraising-conference

The Joint International Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development will be July 24-27, 2016.  The 2016 theme is Sustaining Community Change: Building Local Capacity to Sustain Development Initiatives.  Minnesota last hosted this international gathering in 2001 in Duluth.  The location in 2016 is the Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport hotel near the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.  For more information go to: www.comm-dev.org

–The Nonprofit Essentials Conference will be on Tuesday, August 9 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis. This get a back-to-basics overview of the many management topics essential to nonprofits, and re-focuses staff on the core elements of working and managing nonprofit organizations. Register

Blandin Community Broadband Program Webinar: Growing and Keeping Tech Talent will be held on August 11.

–Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits for our 2016 Annual Conference on October 6 – 7, 2016 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Learn more and register.

The Heartland Center for Leadership Development will offer “Helping Small Towns Succeed” October 11-13, 2016, at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Save the date for the 30th Annual Minnesota Venture Conference — Minnesota’s premier event for entrepreneurs and investors! It will be held Thursday, October 13, 2016 from 7:15 am – 5:45 pm at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Broadband Communities Conference http://wp.me/p3if7-3xR (Minneapolis) will be held October 18-20.

–The annual Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held November 3-4 in Bloomington.

The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) recently announced that its 2016 Midwest Gateway to Solar Conference will be held Nov. 15-16 at the Hilton Airport/Mall of America in Bloomington. Information on registration and early bird rate is available.

The 2016 Tekne Awards will be held on November 16th at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  You can learn more and find the full list of Tekne recipients at tekneawards.org. Applications and nominations are now open!

OPPORTUNITIES

THE LOCAL CROWD, a Laramie, Wyoming, based company has announced a Request for Proposals for Crowdfunding Demonstration Sites in U.S. rural communities. Communities selected as Demonstration Sites will receive use of a customized crowdfunding platform, at no charge for the first year, that would be a fundraising tool that: supports local and small business capital needs; raises money for civic projects; provides needed funding sources for local nonprofits and charities; and connects the community’s economic development resources with the people that need them. Deadline: 8/29/2016. To review the RFP, click here. For more information about the program and process, The Local Crowd is offering a 30-minute pre-submission webinar July 15 at 11:00 AM EDT. Register by clicking here.

— The Minnesota Department of Commerce has launched the 2016 Clean Energy Community Awards to recognize the good work of Minnesota communities in helping to achieve the state’s clean energy goals. Award information and the online application form are availableApplications will be accepted until July 15, 2016. Please direct questions about the awards program to energy.info@state.mn.us.

Who can apply: Communities eligible for the awards can be any group united in implementing clean energy initiatives. Units of government (city, county, tribal nation, or other jurisdiction) must be among the participating members, and participation from nonprofits, service organizations, and businesses will strengthen the application. To qualify for the award, the community’s clean energy program must have been in operation during the last 12 months. Projects from communities of all sizes are welcome.

Award benefits:Finalist communities (up to 10) will have their initiatives featured as part of an exhibit at the Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair. Award recipients (up to five) will receive: a stipend to send community members to the award celebration and news conference during Energy Awareness Month in October; statewide media coverage; award and signage suitable for public display; and recognition on the Commerce Department website.

Apply to be a part of the Tekne Awards, which shine a spotlight on innovations in Minnesota’s science and technology industry every year. The awards ceremony draws over 900 attendees from across the state and technology sectors including advanced manufacturing, information technology, healthcare, agricultural technology and more. The 2016 Tekne Awards have 13 categories, and the application deadline is July 15th. APPLY TODAY

Seeking Volunteers to help welcome attendees and host at various conference activities throughout the Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016.  Email Jane Leonard at jane.leonard@state.mn.us if you are interested in short stints as Mobile Learning Workshop chaperones, conference greeters, and other hosting experiences.  It’s a great way to experience the conference and a great way to show our visitors Minnesota’s excellence in hospitality.

The CDFI Fund is calling for interested Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) or CDFI partners to submit ideas for the fiscal year (FY) 2016 CDFI Prize Competition. Up to $1 million is available for awards through the competition. Awards will be for either: an innovative idea or strategy, implemented within the past two years, that helped increase CDFI investments and access to capital in underserved rural areas; or for an innovative idea or strategy that has not yet been implemented, but is reasonably expected to increase CDFI investments and access to capital in underserved rural areas. Deadline: 7/29/2016. Click here to review competition guidelines.

Request for Applications for Competitive Grant Award To Establish a USDA RIDGE Center for Food and Nutrition Assistance Research. USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in collaboration with USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), invites applications for a competitively awarded grant to establish a research center to administer the Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Program. ERS anticipates that $600,000 will be awarded in fiscal year 2016 to support this activity. This publication describes the RIDGE Center responsibilities and application requirements. The deadline for submission of applications is August 1, 2016.

A host community is being sought for the 2017 Minnesota Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener. The purpose of the event is to focus on Minnesota’s hunting heritage, cultural traditions and the economic impact of the activity, as well as to generate associated travel and tourism. The event, scheduled for Nov. 2-5, 2017, will be the 15th consecutive Minnesota Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener and will follow this year’s event in the Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point area. The deadline for submitting a proposal is August 5. For detailed event information, contact Bri Stacklie at the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association at 218-259-1368 or bri@mndeerhunters.com.

Explore Minnesota Seeking Proposals for the 2017 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener Explore Minnesota is seeking proposals to host the 2017 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener.

Request for Proposals: 2017 Nonprofit Communications & Technology Conference. The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits seeks your proposals for breakout sessions at the 2017 Nonprofit CommTech Conference (Tuesday, February 21, 2017). The deadline for submitting your proposal is 10 p.m. on Tuesday, August 9, 2016.

We’re looking for a broad array of session topics that fit within the conference tracks (tracks listed on website) and seek sessions to fit all of these areas and at all levels–from beginner to advanced. Learn more and submit a proposal.

Rural Hospital Leadership Award provides an educational stipend to a small or rural hospital administrator or chief executive officer to attend an AHA Annual Meeting or Health Forum Leadership Conference. Application Deadline: August 12, 2016.

Submit an Abstract for the 2017 Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference.  The Community Affairs Officers of the Federal Reserve System invite paper submissions for the tenth biennial Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference, a unique event that aims to bridge the gaps between research, policy, and practice on key issues facing the country. High-quality and emerging research is presented in a dialogue with policymakers and community practitioners who can utilize the lessons gleaned from the research. The 2017 conference seeks to inform a robust public conversation on the theme of Strong Foundations: The Economic Futures of Kids and Communities. Submissions for plenary, concurrent, and poster sessions are invited in three broad categories:

  • The context for child and youth development;
  • The role of community development and key partners; and
  • Implications for the economy and workforce.

Abstracts are due August 19, 2016. View the full text of the Call for Papers and submit your paper/abstract. Please direct any questions to CDConference@mpls.frb.org or 612-204-6785.

Rural Health Fellows Program is a year-long, intensive program designed to develop a community of rural health leaders. Application Deadline: September 1, 2016.

Nominations for 2016 Community Health Awards.  Nominate someone you think deserves a Community Health Award. The awards will be presented by Commissioner of Health Ed Ehlinger on September 28th during the Community Health Conference. For more information, contact Megan Drake-Pereyra at 651-201-3640.

Bush Foundation Fellowships. Deadline: September 29, 2016. MORE

–Nominations for Nurse of the Year. The March of Dimes is honored to pay tribute to the nursing profession by recognizing extraordinary nurses throughout the community. The Nurse of the Year event will be held October 14. For more information, contact Jonathon McCarthy at 612-326-9441.

MISCELLANEOUS

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) have announced the availability of the 2016 list of distressed or underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies, where revitalization or stabilization activities will receive Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration. View the list here.

— A new publication affirming the benefits of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in terms of safe and sound lending to underserved communities. All of us get these questions periodically so we hope this is a good tool for you to use. See the publication here<http://www.ncrc.org/images/ncrc_cra_affirmation_final.pdf>.

— The Michigan State University Land Policy Institute, in collaboration with the MIplace Partnership Initiative, has released a comprehensive guidebook on placemaking, drawing from the best works available. “Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool” is designed to assist neighborhoods and communities by showing how effective placemaking can enhance community and economic development. Click here to order a free copy.

Revisit Your Community’s Unique Assets: Connecting Asset-Based Economic Development to Community Transformation Strategies” is an article from Main Street America that discusses community economic development based on a community’s assets. Read the piece here.

Housing Assistance Council has released “Aging Veterans in the United States: A Snapshot of Older Veterans and Their Social, Economic, and Housing Characteristics.” The report cites information about the disproportionate number of older veterans in rural areas and the need for housing and other support services to help them and includes data and statistics regarding both urban and rural veterans. Get the report here.

–A national report from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition on states’ “Housing Wages” shows Minnesotans need to earn $17.76 an hour in order to afford a fair-market two-bedroom unit while not spending more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing. Looking at the county level, the Minnesota Housing Partnership finds a minimum-wage worker needs to work 53 to 83 hours a week year round, depending on where they live, to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

New projections suggest that Minnesota’s older adult population (65+) is expected to outnumber the school-aged population (5-17) by 2020.

Minnesota remains less racially and ethnically diverse than most other states, but our pace of change is relatively quick. We’ve seen 17 percent growth in our population of color since 2010, compared with 11 percent growth rate nationally.

How the Great Recession Changed U.S. Migration Patterns Examines changes in county-level net migration due to the recession and housing crisis. Compares net migration during the pre-recession years, 2004-2007, to those during the recession, 2007-2010. Also compares the recession period to the post-recession years, 2010-2014. Includes maps showing migration trends by county. Figure 4 looks at migration by metro/non-metro status. Part of the publication series Population Trends in Post-Recession Rural America.

Update Your Lodging Listings for the 2017 Minnesota Travel Guide Now’s the time to ensure your lodging property, or those in your community, are all up to date on exploreminnesota.com.

May-June 2016- Volume XIV, Number 5

Hello Everyone!  MRP Rural RoundUp is back in your In-box!

After wandering in the wilderness for the past few months because we didn’t have the $$$ to pay for fee-for-service listservs, we are back online, thanks to a free service that we decided to try.

Let us know what you think, if you want to stay on the list or get off, and if you do want to stay, help us spread the word that those Rural Round-Up gals are back, pulling a herd of rural resources together once a month and delivering them, plus a few nuggets of thought, into the one-stop ring called the Minnesota Rural Partners Round-Up. Get back to us at minntwin@comcast.net (yes — that is a Minnesota Twin — yours truly, Jane Leonard, a real-life twin who also happens to be from Minnesota).

After over 20 years of existence, Minnesota Rural Partners, Inc. does still exist, primarily now to provide this e-newsletter. We’ve had folks tell us how much they enjoy the newsletter, and even though we don’t have any funding and are now all-volunteer, we decided to keep ‘er going. The Round-Up still seems to be the only such monthly compendium of as much helpful info as possible for those of you working in and interested in rural development and the rural-urban partnerships that help people & places across Minnesota thrive.

ACROSS THE FIELD: Community Development world gathering in Minnesota this July! by Jane Leonard

Join me at my favorite professional development conference for those of us who practice multi- and interdisciplinary community, rural, and economic development —  the Community Development Society (CDS) and International Association for Community Development (IACD) Conference in Bloomington, Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016.

The Conference theme of “Sustaining Community Change – Building Local Capacity to Sustain Community Development Initiatives” will also address the recently adopted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Over 300 participants from around the world are expected for this grand intersection of people and their ideas that strengthen community. We already have over 150 people registered, half international and half from the United States. And reserved seats for the local initiatives showcase, the Mobile Learning Workshops, for Monday, July 25, are going fast!

This is the first time in 15 years that Minnesota has hosted the CDS conference, and the first time in several years when it’s been combined with IACD annual meeting, too. This will further enrich — with a world-view — the community capacity-building, community-based leadership development aspects of the conference program.

Register before June 20 and receive the $50 early bird discount: http://comm-dev.org/2016-conference?1

SPECIAL NOTE TO MINNESOTANS working in community development fields in rural Minnesota: Preconference workshops on Sunday, July 24 (http://www.comm-dev.org/2016-conference/preconference-workshops  ) include one to organize a network of newer professionals in the MN (and border areas) CD Field.

It’s designed for early career professionals (at least one year but less than eight years of experience) who are working in community development organizations in Minnesota. It is the first educational and networking event of an exciting initiative led by leaders and managers from the Blandin Foundation, the Initiative Foundation, Extension, and Regional Development Commissions. The project intends to develop ways for all community development organizations in rural Minnesota to engage in professional development opportunities together.  The goal is to strengthen skills in the field and build a stronger network of organizations working in community development throughout the state.

This kick-off event will include:

  • A discussion of the experience, learning, and concerns of new professionals in the field of community development
  • The history of community development in the State of Minnesota —  organizations, funders, and networks
  • Reflections of leaders and managers of community development organizations for the next generation
  • World Café Discussion:  Special topics (selected by participants themselves) for discussion as colleagues
  • The role of the Community Development Society in supporting new professionals.

While learning, the group will also consider ways that they can strengthen the network of young professionals in the field of community development, and will share their ideas for developing the MN Network CD initiative.

–FUNDING
–TRAINING/MEETINGS
–OPPORTUNITIES
–MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING

The U.S. SBA Office of Veterans Business Development Service – Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program has a total of $300,000 in funding is available for this program in FY 2016. SBA expects to make up to six (6) awards; minimum award of $50,000, maximum award of $150,000. Eligible applicants demonstrate a history of providing quality entrepreneurship and/or business management training to aspiring or existing veterans, service-disabled veteran small business owners and Reserve Component members that results in new business starts, business expansions or diversifications, as well as jobs created and/or retained. The closing date is June 19th.

Here is the funding announcement.

USDA is accepting applications for grants to help rural cooperatives develop new markets for their products and services. Funding is being provided through the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) Program. Under this program, USDA provides grants to non-profit groups and institutions of higher learning. These entities use the funding to help individuals or businesses create, expand or operate rural cooperatives.

A recipient may receive a grant of up to $200,000 and is required to provide matching funds equal to 25% of total project costs. For information on how to apply for RCDG grants, contact your Rural Development state office or see page 16127 of the March 25 Federal Register. The first round of applications is due June 20, 2016.

USDA announced it is accepting applications for the Value Added Producer grant (VAPG) to help fund activities related to feasibility studies, business plans, capital expenditures for processing, and marketing value-added agricultural products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the goals of this program. Electronic Applications: June 24, 2016.  Paper Application: July 1, 2016. For more information go to: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/value-added-producer-grants

–HUD is soliciting applications for the FY2016 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants program. The Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants support the implementation of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans. Deadline: 6/28/2016. Click here to review program guidelines.

Fuel Up to Play 60 Grants offers funding to schools for the purchase of equipment that will enhance the long-term implementation of a lunch or breakfast program. Application Deadline: June 30, 2016.

USDA is offering money through Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) program. The purpose of SECD is to advance projects which support long-term community and economic growth strategies that reflect both multi-jurisdictional stakeholder collaboration and capitalize upon the unique strengths of the rural area. Through this provision, USDA Rural Development is empowered to work further with rural communities to align resources with long-range and multi-jurisdictional challenges and needs by leveraging federal, state, local, or private funding. Deadline to apply: 6/30/2016. To review funding guidelines, click here.

The Wells Fargo Housing Foundation is offering funding through The Foundation’s Homeownership Grant Program to nonprofit housing organizations nationwide that help create sustainable homeownership opportunities for low- to moderate-income families. The program focuses on homebuyer counseling, homebuyer education, and foreclosure prevention activities. The average grant size for this program is around $7,800. Funded programs must serve owner-occupied low- to moderate-income homebuyers only. Deadline: 6/30/2016. Visit the Wells Fargo website here to review the application guidelines.

–The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering funding to identify, address, and improve community health in revitalizing Brownfield/Land Reuse sites. Projects must pay particular attention to identifying and addressing health issues prior to redevelopment and assessing changes in community health associated with revitalization. Application deadline is 7/5/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

–U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies for programs that provide temporary shelter and counseling services to youth who have left home without permission of their parents or guardians, have been forced to leave home, or other homeless youth who might otherwise end up in the law enforcement or child welfare, mental health, or juvenile justice systems. Deadline: 7/5/2016. Click here to review application guidelines.

Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs has announced its annual grant program titled Energy and Mineral Development Program (EMDP). This grant is designed to provide technical assistance to Tribes that have the desire to develop their mineral and/or energy resources. Deadline: 7/8/2016. Click here to review program guidelines.

–USDA has announced the availability of funds under the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) for Fiscal Year 2016. Applicants must provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the Federal grant. These grants will be made to qualified intermediary organizations that will provide financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development that will support the community. Deadline: 7/22/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

The NFL Grassroots Program has issued a Request for Proposals. The Grassroots Program is a partnership of the National Football League Foundation (NFL Foundation) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which provides technical assistance and manages the program. The goal of the Program is to provide nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations with financial and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields. The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program provides grants of up to $250,000 for capital improvement projects. Deadline: 8/15/2016. Click here for application guidelines.

Gannett Foundation Community Action Grants supports local organizations with funding priority given to programs that focus on education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation, and cultural enrichment. Geographic coverage: Limited to certain areas of 35 states and U.S. territories, see sponsor’s website for more details. (Includes some of Minnesota.) Application Deadline: August 29, 2016.

–The National Endowment for the Arts has issued guidelines for 2017 Our Town funding, and they are now posted on the NEA website here. Grants will be offered in Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Design Projects as well as in Projects that Build Knowledge About Creative Placemaking. Deadlines: applications are due on 9/12/2016, with funding available on 8/1/2017. Two webinars will be hosted to offer support for the application process: 1. How to Apply on 7/20/2016, with a presentation on the FY 2017 Our Town grant guidelines, and an overview of the review process. Click here to register. 2. Tips and Tricks for Success, on 7/17/2016, with a presentation to assist applicants in crafting a compelling creative placemaking project application. Click here to register.

—  USDA Rural Development is soliciting applications through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides guaranteed loan and grant financing for rural small businesses and agricultural producers to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. USDA reminds eligible applicants that set-aside funding is available for grant requests less than $20,000 and may offer priority scoring for projects located in underserved areas and/or benefiting underserved populations. USDA also guarantees loans for a minimum of $5,000 and maximum of $25 million. Applicants are encouraged to apply through the loan guarantee program for larger-scale projects. Grant and guaranteed loan combinations are also available. The next application deadline for grants under $20,000 is October 31, 2016. For details on how to apply, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn, contact USDA Rural Development State Energy Coordinator for Minnesota Ron Omann at ron.omann@mn.usda.gov or (651) 602-7796, or see page 78029 of the December 29 Federal Register.

THE HOME DEPOT Foundation Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using volunteers to improve the physical health of their communities. Proposals for the following community improvement activities will be considered: repairs, refurbishments, and modifications to low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities (schools, community centers, senior centers, etc.); weatherizing or increasing energy efficiency of low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities; engaging veterans as volunteers to help other veterans in their community through service projects focusing on the renovation, repair, and improvement of homes and other properties serving veterans; and planting trees or community gardens or landscaping community facilities that serve veterans. Requests will be accepted through 12/31/2016. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.

2016 MiM solar thermal rebates are available to Minnesotans statewide. The Minnesota Department of Commerce has opened rebate opportunities for solar thermal systems to all Minnesota residents, businesses, nonprofits, and government entities as part of its 2016 Made in Minnesota Solar Energy Incentive Program. Applications for solar thermal rebates will be reviewed and funded through 2016 on a first-come, first-served basis until funds have been fully reserved. Read more.

USDA Rural Development is currently accepting applications for low-interest loans to assist individuals and families interested in purchasing or improving a home. Also known as the Section 502 Direct Loan Program, the Single Family Housing Direct Home Loan program assists low-income applicants with obtaining decent, safe and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas by providing payment assistance to increase an applicant’s repayment ability. The Section 504 Home Repair program, or Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants program, provides loans for low-income individuals to make essential home repairs or improvements and grants to homeowners over the age of 62. More information can be found at www.rd.usda.gov/mn

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is working in partnership with communities and bicyclists from Grand Portage to St. Paul to identify, designate and promote a new bicycle route: U.S. Bicycle Route 41. Once completed, the bicycle route will connect existing roads and trails between Saint Paul and Grand Portage State Park. Join MnDOT at the following open houses to refine the draft route, name the route, engage in conversations about bicycling and more. There will be a brief presentation followed by a workshop with activities to gather input. Kid’s activities and light refreshments will be provided.

  •         Tuesday, June 7, 4-6 p.m.at Hinckley Community Room, 106 First St. SE, Hinckley
  •         Thursday, June 9, 4-6 p.m.at the White Bear Lake Police and Fire Building, 4700 Miller Ave, White Bear Lake
  •         Tuesday, June 14, 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Duluth Central Library, Gold Room, 520 West Superior St., Duluth
  •         Thursday, June 16, 4-6 p.m. at Bluefin Bay On Lake Superior, Tofte Room, 7192 West Highway 61, Tofte 

Following the open houses, MnDOT will develop a draft route map and schedule a second round of public workshops for final review. MnDOT anticipates the route will receive official designation by fall 2016.

Tribal Supportive Housing Webinar Series. June is National Homeownership Month and USDA Rural Development hosts a series of webinars as a platform to encourage innovation, and replication of, permanent supportive housing for Native American families and children. The two remaining webinars are:

Webinar II: June 15, 2016, 1:00-2:30 pm Eastern Time –Promising Practice in Permanent Supportive Housing: Principles in Action. Link to webinar with audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/xj8h6wpb66q7&eom

Webinar III: June 21, 2016, 1:00-2:30 pm Eastern Time – Federal Financial Resources to Build Tribal Supportive Housing. Link to webinar with audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/dkwr5fzh61zc&eom

— Registration is now open for the 2016 Minnesota Rural Health Conference: Cultivating Resilient Communities, June 20-21 in Duluth. Visit the Minnesota Rural Health Conference registration page to register. Make sure you are aware of important conference information by subscribing to receive email updates.

–SAVE THE DATE for Minnesota Council of Nonprofit Nonprofit Fundraising Conference to be held July 21, 2016 in Brooklyn Center.

The Joint International Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development will be July 24-27, 2016. The 2016 theme is Sustaining Community Change: Building Local Capacity to Sustain Development Initiatives. Minnesota last hosted this international gathering in 2001 in Duluth. The location in 2016 is the Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport hotel near the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. For more information go to: www.comm-dev.org

–Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits for our 2016 Annual Conference on October 6 – 7, 2016 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Learn more and register.

Save the date for the 30th Annual Minnesota Venture Conference — Minnesota’s premier event for entrepreneurs and investors! It will be held Thursday, October 13, 2016 from 7:15 am – 5:45 pm at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) recently announced that its 2016 Midwest Gateway to Solar Conference will be held Nov. 15-16 at the Hilton Airport/Mall of America in Bloomington. Information on registration and early bird rate is available.

The 2016 Tekne Awards will be held on November 16th at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  You can learn more and find the full list of Tekne recipients at tekneawards.org. Applications and nominations are now open!

OPPORTUNITIES

Apply to be a part of the Tekne Awards, which shine a spotlight on innovations in Minnesota’s science and technology industry every year. The awards ceremony draws over 900 attendees from across the state and technology sectors including advanced manufacturing, information technology, healthcare, agricultural technology and more. The 2016 Tekne Awards have 13 categories, and the application deadline is July 15th. APPLY TODAY

Seeking Volunteers to help welcome attendees and host at various conference activities throughout the Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016. Email Jane Leonard at jane.leonard@state.mn.us if you are interested in short stints as Mobile Learning Workshop chaperones, conference greeters, and other hosting experiences.  It’s a great way to experience the conference and a great way to show our visitors Minnesota’s excellence in hospitality.

A host community is being sought for the 2017 Minnesota Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener. The purpose of the event is to focus on Minnesota’s hunting heritage, cultural traditions and the economic impact of the activity, as well as to generate associated travel and tourism. The event, scheduled for Nov. 2-5, 2017, will be the 15th consecutive Minnesota Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener and will follow this year’s event in the Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point area. The deadline for submitting a proposal is Aug. 5. For detailed event information, contact Bri Stacklie at the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association at 218-259-1368 or bri@mndeerhunters.com.

Rural Hospital Leadership Award provides an educational stipend to a small or rural hospital administrator or chief executive officer to attend an AHA Annual Meeting or Health Forum Leadership Conference. Application Deadline: August 12, 2016.

Submit an Abstract for the 2017 Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference. The Community Affairs Officers of the Federal Reserve System invite paper submissions for the tenth biennial Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference, a unique event that aims to bridge the gaps between research, policy, and practice on key issues facing the country. High-quality and emerging research is presented in a dialogue with policymakers and community practitioners who can utilize the lessons gleaned from the research. The 2017 conference seeks to inform a robust public conversation on the theme of Strong Foundations: The Economic Futures of Kids and Communities. Submissions for plenary, concurrent, and poster sessions are invited in three broad categories:

Rural Health Fellows Program is a year-long, intensive program designed to develop a community of rural health leaders. Application Deadline: Sep 1, 2016.

Bush Foundation Fellowships. Deadline: September 29, 2016. MORE

ExploreMinnesota.com offers free website listings to tourism businesses. The official state tourism website gets more than 4 million visits each year. To keep the site fresh and accurate, we depend on businesses and organizations to provide us with current information. When new businesses open, we’d love to work with them to create a new listing. If there are new hotels, restaurants, attractions or other eligible businesses in your community, please let them know that this opportunity is free and easy. Refer them to http://www.exploreminnesota.com/industry-minnesota/ways-to-get-involved/website-listings/ to submit a request by clicking on the “Submit your business” link.

SolSmart launches to assist, recognize solar cities and counties.  The Solar Foundation recently announced that SPARC (Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities) is relaunching as SolSmart. Cities and counties nationwide can now apply to receive official national designation—at either a Bronze, Silver, or Gold tier—for taking action and reducing the cost of solar locally. Funded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, SolSmart will provide national recognition to leading solar cities and counties and empower new communities to become solar leaders through no-cost technical assistance. One component of the technical assistance is the SolSmart Advisors program. SolSmart Advisors are program-funded staff that will provide in-person technical assistance to about 40 communities nationwide. Reducing solar soft costs is the main goal. Read more.

MISCELLANEOUS

Immigration in Minnesota: A changing story. For more than 100 years, immigration has greatly influenced the economic and cultural development of our state. But the backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences of Minnesota’s immigrants have changed considerably over time, and differ from the nation as a whole. Read now.

Updated profiles for your local area. Compass just completed updating data for:

  • 113 Minneapolis-Saint Paul neighborhoods
  • 10 Duluth neighborhoods
  • 352 towns and cities throughout Minnesota (pop.1000+)
  • 40 counties, school districts, and cities in the IRRRB service area (northeastern Minnesota)
  • Visit profiles now.

Aging: Between 2010 and 2030, the number of adults age 65+ is projected to nearly double, while the number of younger residents will increase only modestly. In fact, around 2025, Minnesota’s 65+ population is expected to surpass the 5-17 school-age population for the first time. So how are older adults faring? Economically, they mirror the nation. While adults age 65+ have a lower median household income compared with most other age groups, they also experience the lowest poverty rates. In Minnesota, more than 3 in 4 older adults own their home, higher than Minnesota’s overall homeownership rate. Learn more about older adults in MinnesotaCheck out our updated profile on Minnesota’s older adults

Income Inequality: A Growing Threat to Eliminating Rural Child Poverty. A new USDA Economic Research Service report shows that while there are overall improvements in the rate of rural child poverty, the issue of income inequality, a contributing factor, is growing and needs to be addressed.

Earning a high school diploma: Lower-income students fare worse. For the past several years, Minnesota graduation rates have been on the rise. But, lower-income students consistently fare worse. In 2015, 90% of higher-income students graduated on time, while just 67% percent of lower-income students received their diplomas on time. View trend.

–The March edition of Rural Voices magazine Housing Assistance Council (HAC) focuses on the unique challenges of homelessness in rural areas and the communities around the country working to address them. This special edition of Rural Voices examines homelessness in rural communities through varying scenarios including what homelessness is like for veterans in rural areas, how vulnerable populations like farm workers experience homelessness, how communities can provide supportive services as part of its affordable housing plan and what schools in rural communities know about children experiencing homelessness. Download the issue here.

–HUD has made its first allocation of nearly $174 million through the nation’s Housing Trust Fund. The Housing Trust Fund is an affordable housing production program primarily focused on increasing and preserving the supply of decent, safe and sanitary affordable housing for extremely low- and very low-income households, including families experiencing homelessness. All states and territories received a minimum of $3,000,000-a list of state allocations is included in the press release here.

–A new report from USDA, “Running a Food Hub: Assessing Financial Viability”, provides modules and best practices for food hubs to maximize profits and control costs. The report provides technical assistance for food hubs at different stages of development. Download the report here.

— Mobile-only broadband household rate is growing. Americans are abandoning their wired Internet for a mobile-data-only; if the trend continues, it could reflect a huge shift in the way we experience the Web. http://wp.me/p3if7-3vm

FCC Takes Next Steps in Expanding Rural Broadband Access. The FCC has established rules of the road for allocating over $2 billion in funding for rural broadband networks over the next decade.

–The Center for Rural Affairs recently released a report entitled Respect and Restore: Reassessing Local Wind Energy Standards, which examines issues being overlooked in county and township wind energy ordinances.

AWEA 2015 report: Minnesota is seventh in total wind power generation.  Wind turbines in Minnesota generated 3,235 megawatts of electricity in 2015, the seventh highest wind-generated electricity total for states in the nation, according to the 8th annual U.S Wind Industry Annual Market Report Year Ending 2015, released April 12 by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Minnesota produced 17 percent of its electricity from wind power in 2015 (up from 15.9 percent in 2014), ranking it sixth best for wind energy as a percent of total state electricity generation. Minnesota generated 9.8 million megawatt hours (MWh) of wind power in 2015, enough to power 896,000 homes. Minnesota now employs more than 2,000 people in wind industry. Xcel Energy, serving Minnesota and multiple states, was the top investor-owned utility for wind power purchases, with 6,545 MW of total wind capacity in 2015. More than 200 MW of new wind is in development this year in Minnesota for Xcel Energy, including the 200-MW Odell Wind project in Cottonwood, Jackson, Martin, and Watonwan counties. More information on the AWEA report is available.

Rural LISC has developed an innovative new financing tool to provide low-interest loans to qualified commercial real estate projects in rural America. The Growing Rural Communities Fund will finance real estate acquisition and construction costs to spur job creation and economic revitalization in distressed communities. Eligible borrowers include nonprofits, sole proprietors, LLCs, or corporations. Loan amounts are from $250,000 to $2 million.  Questions? Contact Kristin Blum at Rural LISC at kblum@lisc.org.

–USDA has launched the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund, which has the potential to invest as much as $100 million into rural food and agricultural businesses with high growth potential. It’s the fourth Rural Business Investment Company that USDA has launched since 2014. The fund will invest in companies with high-growth potential across the food and agribusiness value chain and rural America, including those in the crop protection, agricultural production and processing, precision agriculture, and information and data management sectors. Read the press release here.

HUD has completed an update of the Tribal Directory Assessment Tool (TDAT 2.1), a database of tribal contact information and geographic areas of interest. All federally recognized Indian tribes were contacted to update information on tribal leaders and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, and the names of counties where they have a current or ancestral interest. Click here to access the Tool.

The Number and Share of Veterans Living in Rural America Is Declining. Chart showing the percentage of veterans living in rural areas in 2007 compared to 2014, by service period.

–The Center for Neighborhood Technology has created AllTransit, a new tool for advocates, organizers, elected officials, and anyone whose work would benefit from a database that goes beyond simple measures of “where transit exists” to nuanced interpretations through the lenses of health, equity, and economic development.  Access it here.

April 2016- Volume XIV, Number 4

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

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

FUNDING

The Sparkplug Foundation provides grants to start-up nonprofit organizations or new projects of established nonprofits that are addressing the fields of music, education, and community organizing. In the Music category, the Foundation supports emerging professional musicians or music-development programs. In the Education and Teaching category, the Foundation funds projects that deal with “the whole student” and with learning as a community activity. In the Grassroots Organizing category, the Foundation encourages activist strategies for addressing institutional injustices and for building a reasoned, just society. The current focus is on ground-level community organizing at the intersection of utilities/energy infrastructure, housing/community resources, and racial justice. Deadlines: online questionnaires must be completed by 4/15/2016; letters of intent are due 4/22/2016; and the deadline for final applications is 5/13/2016. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review its mission and funding guidelines as well as the online application instructions.

Advancing Health Equity Initiative Grant Request for Proposal. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) actively works to integrate health equity in all of its work through a set of practices called the Triple Aim of Health Equity. These practices shift the way MDH, its grantees and other partners can approach public health issues including health inequities. Under the Advancing Health Equity Initiative grant program, MDH is seeking proposals from a non-profit agency (or group of non-profit agencies working as a consortium) to develop and implement an innovative, measurable process which engages communities experiencing health inequities. The Advancing Health Equity Initiative grant is intended to expand the understanding of what creates health by having a community experiencing a significant health inequity identify the relationships between the health inequity and structural inequities. MDH is committed to advancing health equity for Populations of Color (including immigrant and refugee communities) and American Indian populations. For more detailed information, please view the Advancing Health Equity Initiative Request for Proposal. The Intent to Apply form is due April 26.

Community Economic Development (CED) Healthy Food Financing Initiative Projects awards 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 27, 2016.

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 27, 2016.

NEWMAN’S OWN, Fisher House Foundation, and Military Times have joined together to offer grants to recognize volunteer and nonprofit organizations supporting military families. Eligible applicants to the Newman’s Own Awards Program must be comprised primarily of volunteers or be a nonprofit organization, and be working with the families of Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve units, or veterans. Applying organizations will be evaluated on their innovative plans for improving the quality of life for members of the military and their families. Deadline: 4/28/2016. Visit the program’s website here to submit an online application.

Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grants
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced $500 million will be made available for transportation projects across the country under an eighth round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program. Like the first seven rounds, FY 2016 TIGER discretionary grants will fund capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and will be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area, or a region. The grant program will focus on capital projects that generate economic development and improve access to reliable, safe and affordable transportation for communities, both urban and rural. The Notice of Funding Opportunity has been released and $500 million has been appropriated for grants in this round of TIGER. Be sure and take part in the upcoming informational webinars about applying for a TIGER grant. The minimum TIGER grant amount for rural areas is $1 million. Applications are due April 29, 2016.

Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Innovations in Rural Health Award for original, innovative solutions to drive health improvement in rural communities. Application Deadline: Apr 29, 2016.

Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Community College Grant Initiative provides funds to help community colleges advocate for, adopt, and implement a 100% smoke- or tobacco-free policy. Application Deadline: Apr 29, 2016.

Presbyterian Hunger Program provides funding to programs that work to address the root causes of hunger and provide services to those experiencing hunger. Letter of Intent (Required): April 30, 2016. Application Deadline: Jun 30, 2016.

Retirement Research Foundation is accepting applications for projects that improve lives of aging Americans. Deadline: 5/2/2016. Click here for funding guidelines and an application.

Comprehensive Services for Victims of All Forms of Human Trafficking funds for victim service organizations to support comprehensive services for all victims of human trafficking by increasing the capacity of communities to respond to human trafficking victims through the development of interagency partnerships, professional training, and public awareness activities. Application Deadline: May 2, 2016.

Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions – NEH’s Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. Deadline: May 3, 2016.

Household Water Well System Grants provides funds to create lending programs for homeowners to borrow funds for the construction or repair of household water wells. Application Deadline: May 9, 2016.

Specialized Services for Victims of Human Trafficking funds to enhance the quality and quantity of specialized services, including mental health services, provided by victim service organizations to assist victims of human trafficking. Application Deadline: May 12, 2016.

Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) offers grants to projects that assist in the development, improvement, and expansion of domestic farmers’ markets, roadside stands, community‐supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer‐to‐consumer market opportunities. Application Deadline: May 12, 2016.

Minnesota Festival Support is a grant program of the Minnesota State Arts Board designed to provide meaningful arts experiences to Minnesotans through festivals that celebrate the arts, build community, and expose communities to diverse art forms including folk and traditional arts. The program provides funding for sponsoring or presenting organizations to feature Minnesota individual artists and Minnesota arts groups in arts festivals, or in the arts component of broader, community festivals. The program is open to Minnesota 501(c)(3) organizations, community groups with a Minnesota 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, and public agencies that have produced the proposed festival at least once prior to the May 13th deadline. Grants range from $5,000 to $75,000, with a 25% cash match requirement, with a May 13 deadline! There will be a Webinar and conference call on April 14th at 3:00pm for anyone interested learning more about the program. Program guidelines, sample applications, webinar registration information, and contact information for the program officer can be found on the Arts Board website at http://www.arts.state.mn.us/grants/machf-mfs.htm.

Mary Kay Domestic Violence Shelter Grant Program awards grants to women’s domestic violence shelters. Application Deadline: May 31, 2016.

Rural Health and Safety Education (RHSE) Competitive Grants Program.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of funding rural communities can use to conduct health and safety outreach around prescription painkiller and heroin abuse. Opioids, including prescription painkillers and heroin, accounted for 28,648 deaths in 2014, and rural communities are affected at higher rates than urban communities. This year the United States Department of Agriculture is expanding its Rural Health and Safety Education (RHSE) competitive grants program to give rural communities the opportunity to use funds for programs that will address the opioid epidemic. Applications are due June 1.

Fuel Up to Play 60 Grants offers funding to schools for the purchase of equipment that will enhance the long-term implementation of a lunch or breakfast program. Application Deadline: June 30, 2016.

USDA is offering money through Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) program. The purpose of SECD is to advance projects which support long-term community and economic growth strategies that reflect both multi-jurisdictional stakeholder collaboration and capitalize upon the unique strengths of the rural area. Through this provision, USDA Rural Development is empowered to work further with rural communities to align resources with long-range and multi-jurisdictional challenges and needs by leveraging federal, state, local, or private funding. Deadline to apply: 6/30/2016. To review funding guidelines, click here.

THE HOME DEPOT Foundation Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using volunteers to improve the physical health of their communities. Proposals for the following community improvement activities will be considered: repairs, refurbishments, and modifications to low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities (schools, community centers, senior centers, etc.); weatherizing or increasing energy efficiency of low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities; engaging veterans as volunteers to help other veterans in their community through service projects focusing on the renovation, repair, and improvement of homes and other properties serving veterans; and planting trees or community gardens or landscaping community facilities that serve veterans. Requests will be accepted through 12/31/2016. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS 

Free Blandin Webinar: Broadband-Focused Economic Development Marketing will be held Thursday, April 14, 2016 at Noon. To get the full benefits of new fiber network investments, communities must make targeted audiences aware that this new community and economic development asset is in place. All too often, here in Minnesota and elsewhere, the community efforts to market their fiber networks for business and resident attraction are weak, fragmented and short-term. Finding mention of robust broadband availability cannot be found on community websites. Targeted marketing to attract new firms ignores the competitive advantage that the fiber network provides for data-hungry businesses like manufacturing, data storage, engineering and marketing.
Register now! http://wp.me/p3if7-3rD

— Minnesota High Tech Association 2016 Spring Conference “Building Skills and Strategies for a Smart Society” will be held April 21, 2016. Registration is now open for the 2016 MHTA Spring Conference! This year’s Spring Conference will highlight how the state’s leading companies, large and small, are navigating this world and moving to the next big thing.

–2016 Community Economic Development Symposium, Building Blocks of Economic Development, will be held April 29, 2016, from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at Hamline University, Anderson Center.   This annual event that brings together professionals from business, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations to address strengthening our communities through economic development and closing the income disparity gap. For more information go to: http://www.hamline.edu/business/events/community-economic-development-symposium/

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits is pleased to host the Central Minnesota Nonprofit Summit, our sixth annual Greater Minnesota conference. It will take place on Thursday May 5th, at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud.
This year’s Summit will tackle some of the most pressing themes for nonprofits in Greater Minnesota. Namely, we’ll address rural philanthropy, fundraising in small communities, and a spectrum of nonprofit leadership issues, including governance, personal leadership, organizational culture, advocacy and more. Throughout each discussion, we’ll look at the ways that these issues play out in our Greater Minnesota communities and we’ll highlight opportunities for building a vibrant landscape for all. Register here.

–The Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation (BLAEDC), in conjunction with Central Lakes College (CLC), the Rural Information Technology Alliance Consortium (RITA), Region Five Development Commission, and the Blandin Foundation, will be hosting the “Tech Ready Brainerd Lakes Area Hackfest” on Saturday May 7th, 2016. You can find out more information about the event at http://techreadyhack.com/. 

National Rural Health Association’s Annual Rural Health Conference in Minneapolis. This year’s NRHA’s Annual Rural Health Conference is being held in Minneapolis. The keynote speaker is America’s 18th surgeon general, Regina M. Benjamin, MD. The conference will be held May 10-13.

— The American Telemedicine Association Annual Conference and Trade Show will be held May 15-17 in Minneapolis.

Join the 10th Symposium on Small Towns “Rural Housing: Moving In, Out, and FORWARD” hosted by the Center for Small Towns June 7-9, 2016 at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Participants from all over the state will come together to share skills and build networks to create a clear path forward in addressing current and future challenges and opportunities surrounding rural housing. Harnessing the strength, vibrancy, and adaptability of rural areas, CST hopes participants come away with innovative tools to help shape the future of housing in rural communities. For more information go to: http://www.morris.umn.edu/cst/symposium2016/

Registration for the Minnesota Rural Health Conference is Now Open!
Registration is now open for the 2016 Minnesota Rural Health Conference: Cultivating Resilient Communities, June 20-21 in Duluth. Visit the Minnesota Rural Health Conference registration page to register for the conference before May 20 for the early bird rates. Make sure you are aware of important conference information by subscribing to receive email updates.

–SAVE THE DATES for Minnesota Council of Nonprofit events! The Nonprofit Fundraising Conference will be held July 21, 2016 in Brooklyn Center and their Annual Conference will be held October 6 – 7, 2016 in Duluth. 

–Mark your calendars now for the Joint International Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016. The 2016 theme is Sustaining Community Change: Building Local Capacity to Sustain Development Initiatives. Minnesota last hosted this international gathering in 2001 in Duluth. The location in 2016 is the Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport hotel near the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. For more information go to: www.comm-dev.org

Save the date for the 30th Annual Minnesota Venture Conference — Minnesota’s premier event for entrepreneurs and investors! It will be held Thursday, October 13, 2016 from 7:15 am – 5:45 pm at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) recently announced that its 2016 Midwest Gateway to Solar Conference will be held Nov. 15-16 at the Hilton Airport/Mall of America in Bloomington. Information on registration and early bird rate is available.

OPPORTUNITIES

National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program provides scholarships for students pursuing primary care health professions training in exchange for a service commitment in a Health Professional Shortage Area. Application Deadline: April 28, 2016.

–The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust announced the 2016 New Rural: Innovations in Rural Health Award. They are seeking original, innovative solutions that have the potential to drive health improvement in rural communities. They encourage submissions from around the country that highlight new ideas and emerging work. Individuals, for-profits, nonprofits and government agencies are welcome to apply. Finalists will receive a $7,500 award and one innovative and inspiring idea will win the New Rural Award and a total of $25,000. Download the Call for Submissions to find out how to enter. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 pm EDT, April 29.

Agricultural Medicine Occupational and Environmental Health for Rural Health Professionals Scholarship awards scholarships to attend the Core Courses for Agricultural Medicine: Occupational and Environmental Health for Rural Health Professionals to be held in Iowa. Application Deadline: May 1, 2016. Sponsor: Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health.

2016 MN Cup competition now underway! Entering its twelfth year, the Minnesota Cup is now open for applications. Participants have until May 6 to submit for a chance to compete for a share of the prize money — which this year will nearly total a record-breaking $400,000. LEARN MORE

Nominations for the 2016 Minnesota Rural Health Awards are under way. This year, there are three awards to be considered:

  • The MN Rural Health Hero Award to one individual who has made an positive or innovative contribution to rural health
  • The MN Rural Health Team Award to a group of individuals or an organization that has made a positive or innovative contribution to rural health
  • The MN Rural Health Lifetime Achievement Award to an individual that has made a lasting contribution to improving rural health over the span of his or her career                

–Art of the Rural and the InRural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) have launched Next Generation: The Future of Arts & Culture Placemaking in Rural America, a new website which engages artists, organizations, and communities across the public and private sector to advance collaboration, share innovative strategies and research, and elevate emerging leaders in the field. This initiative is conducted in concert with a range of regional and national partners and supported by The University of Iowa and the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town program. Visit the website here.

Transportation for America has created a new guide and website called “The Scenic Route” to introduce creative placemaking to transportation planners, public works agencies and local elected officials who are on the front lines of advancing transportation projects. Supported by the Kresge Foundation, this primer for creative placemaking work lays out the why’s and how-to’s of the field, offers eight proven avenues for successful projects, and includes case prominent transportation-related case studies. Visit the website here.

County Health Rankings and Roadmaps. This new report ranks the health of nearly every county in the nation. Defining rural counties as those with less than 50,000 people, the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps Report states on the first line of its key findings that “rural counties have had the highest rates of premature death for many years, lagging far behind other counties.” The rankings use publicly available data to measure health outcomes, health factors and the policies and programs that affect them. Three new measures in this seventh annual edition highlight the impact of racial segregation, deaths due to drug overdoses and the negative effects of insufficient sleep.

Rural Tribal Health topic guide was recently updated and includes new frequently asked questions related to tribal healthcare and the health disparities of Native American populations.

Rural Services Integration Toolkit offers strategies for rural communities seeking to integrate health and human services to increase care coordination, improve health outcomes, and reduce healthcare costs. The toolkit was developed by the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis and provides information, considerations for implementation, evidence-based models, and resources.

The Am I Rural? tool has been updated with a new interface and includes a map-based location verification. View the short video to learn how to use the tool’s new features and then find out if your location is considered rural based on various rural definitions by using the tool.

Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is hosting a series of seminars on CRA in rural communities. The first webinar in a series of three provided an overview of the CRA and how it touches rural communities. The discussion included a brief review of rural banking trends, a description of the CRA process, and an accounting of CRA oversight involving rural lenders and lending activity. Materials from the first seminar can be found on HAC’s website here.

–An updated edition of Community Developments Insights report titled Commercial Lending in Indian Country: Potential Opportunities in a Growing Market has been released. This report explores the commercial lending environment in Indian Country, including the relationship between the commercial lending business and Native American governmental, legal, and institutional structures.

— A new resource created by USDA and Colorado State University will help communities and businesses evaluate the economic benefits of investing in local food systems. “The Economics of Local Food Systems: A Toolkit to Guide Community Discussions, Assessments and Choices” provides detailed guidance in seven modules to measure and assess the expected economic impacts of local food investments. Access the toolkit here.

Local Foods and Farm Business Survival and Growth (Amber Waves feature article) data from USDA’s 2007 and 2012 Agricultural Censuses show that farmers who market food directly to consumers have a greater chance of remaining in business than similarly sized farms who market through traditional channels. While farmers who directly market to consumers are more likely to continue farming than those who do not, their businesses expand at a slower rate.

MISCELLANEOUS

ExploreMinnesota.com offers free website listings to tourism businesses. The official state tourism website gets more than 4 million visits each year. To keep the site fresh and accurate, we depend on businesses and organizations to provide us with current information. When new businesses open, we’d love to work with them to create a new listing. If there are new hotels, restaurants, attractions or other eligible businesses in your community, please let them know that this opportunity is free and easy. Refer them to http://www.exploreminnesota.com/industry-minnesota/ways-to-get-involved/website-listings/ to submit a request by clicking on the “Submit your business” link.

Rural Hospital Leadership Award provides an educational stipend to a small or rural hospital administrator or chief executive officer to attend an AHA Annual Meeting or Health Forum Leadership Conference. Application Deadline: August 12, 2016.

Seeking Volunteers to help welcome attendees and host at various conference activities throughout the Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016. Email Jane Leonard at jane.leonard@state.mn.us if you are interested in short stints as Mobile Learning Workshop chaperones, conference greeters, and other hosting experiences.  It’s a great way to experience the conference and a great way to show our visitors Minnesota’s excellence in hospitality.

We seek people who are into various art forms and perspectives, artists working in all disciplines, artists from communities of color, arts supporters and collectors, and people with knowledge of the regional arts community. If this piques your interest and you would like to become more involved in our vibrant arts community, consider becoming a board member! The application deadline is Tuesday, May 31st, 2016. Contact the ECRAC office at info@ecrac.org, or call 320-396-2337 to receive a nomination form.

The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) is accepting applications for membership on its board. ECRAC is the primary funding source for artists and arts organizations in our area, awarding more than $300,000 in grants last year. We always welcome new talent from our community! There are currently 3 board member openings for residents of Isanti, Kanabec, and Mille Lacs Counties.

All the awards will be presented during the Conference Awards Luncheon on June 21 in Duluth. To nominate someone for an award, please complete and return the nomination form by May 9 to maria.rogness@state.mn.us If you do not receive an email confirmation, please call to check on the receipt of the nomination form at 651-201-3863. For more information about the conference, view the MN Rural Health Conference website.

March 2016- Volume XIV, Number 3

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

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

FUNDING

Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program Grants provides grants to improve telemedicine services and distance learning services in rural areas through the use of telemedicine, computer networks, and related advanced technologies. Application Deadline: March 14, 2016.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to increase capacity to provide accessible, effective, comprehensive, coordinated, integrated, and evidence-based treatment services; permanent supportive housing; peer supports; and other critical services to homeless people. Deadline: 3/15/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

–Department of Labor is offering grants up to $4 million dollars to nonprofit collaborations to develop an approach that provides skills training leading to family-supporting jobs for low- to middle-skilled parents while simultaneously developing and implementing a plan for applicants’ communities or regions that help families better navigate the existing complex systems of supportive services, including increased access to child care. Application deadline: 3/16/2016. Click here for guidelines.

Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to enable nonprofit community collaborations to implement locally designed initiatives to reduce substance abuse. Deadline: 3/18/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

U.S. Conference of Mayors and and Wells Fargo are offering grants through the CommunityWINS grant program. Launched in 2015, the CommunityWINS program includes a $3 million investment by the Wells Fargo Foundation over three years to support neighborhood revitalization, economic development and job creation in local municipalities. Deadline: 3/18/2016. Click here to visit the website for additional information.

–As part of its effort to invest in economic growth within the region, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) is offering $100,000 in Incentive Grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations or units/agencies of local, state, or federal government. Grants up to $20,000 are available to support collaborative projects or programs in early childhood and economic development areas. Applications for this grant round are due March 21, 2016, with awards announced in May. Full guidelines and online application can be found at www.smifoundation.org.

The SAFER Grant Program outlined in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015 provides $340,000,000 directly to fire departments and volunteer interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities. The SAFER Grant Program seeks to assist local fire departments with staffing and deployment capabilities in order to respond to emergencies and assure communities have adequate protection from fire and fire–related hazards. The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and technical assistance documents for this program are available at the federal Grants.Gov website and at the Federal Emergency Management Agency´s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants webpage. Applications are due March 25.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation: Healthy Communities: Health Equity in Action. Deadline: March 31, 2016. MORE

The East Central Regional Arts Council reminds all local artists, art organizations, and schools within Region 7E (the Minnesota Counties of Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine) that the next deadlines to apply for funding are:

April 1st, 2016: The following grants are now open:

  • Art in Our Schools Grants
  • Small/Art Project Assistance Grants
  • Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Organizations
  • Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Individual Artists
  • McKnight Individual Artist Grants

Grant applicants requesting grant writing consultation or wanting more information regarding arts grant programs can contact the ECRAC office by phone at 320-396-2337, and by email at info@ecrac.org.

The 2016 NHSC LRP application cycle is now open to support primary care medical, dental and mental/behavioral health clinicians committed to caring for underserved people where they are most needed. Health centers are strongly encouraged to participate in the NHSC to help recruit and retain qualified health care providers. View the 2016 Application and Program Guidance. The competitive application cycle will close April 5.

–Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced the Telehealth Network Grant Program (TNGP), with the objective of demonstrating how telehealth programs and networks can improve access to health care services in rural, frontier, and underserved communities. The TNGP networks are used to expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of care services; improve and expand the training of healthcare providers; and/or expand and improve the quality of health information available to health care providers, and patients and their families, for decision making. Applications are due April 8. More information about this opportunity is available on the federal Grants.Gov website.

–The National Endowment for the Arts will offer Challenge America grants primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations–those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Deadline: 4/14/2016. Click here to review program guidelines.

Ben and Jerry’s Foundation: Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program – Deadline: April 15, 2016 MORE

The Sparkplug Foundation provides grants to start-up nonprofit organizations or new projects of established nonprofits that are addressing the fields of music, education, and community organizing. In the Music category, the Foundation supports emerging professional musicians or music-development programs. In the Education and Teaching category, the Foundation funds projects that deal with “the whole student” and with learning as a community activity. In the Grassroots Organizing category, the Foundation encourages activist strategies for addressing institutional injustices and for building a reasoned, just society. The current focus is on ground-level community organizing at the intersection of utilities/energy infrastructure, housing/community resources, and racial justice. Deadlines: online questionnaires must be completed by 4/15/2016; letters of intent are due 4/22/2016; and the deadline for final applications is 5/13/2016. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review its mission and funding guidelines as well as the online application instructions.

Community Economic Development (CED) Healthy Food Financing Initiative Projects awards 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 27, 2016.

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 27, 2016.

NEWMAN’S OWN, Fisher House Foundation, and Military Times have joined together to offer grants to recognize volunteer and nonprofit organizations supporting military families. Eligible applicants to the Newman’s Own Awards Program must be comprised primarily of volunteers or be a nonprofit organization, and be working with the families of Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve units, or veterans. Applying organizations will be evaluated on their innovative plans for improving the quality of life for members of the military and their families. Deadline: 4/28/2016. Visit the program’s website here to submit an online application.

Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grants  U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced $500 million will be made available for transportation projects across the country under an eighth round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program. Like the first seven rounds, FY 2016 TIGER discretionary grants will fund capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and will be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area, or a region. The grant program will focus on capital projects that generate economic development and improve access to reliable, safe and affordable transportation for communities, both urban and rural. The Notice of Funding Opportunity has been released and $500 million has been appropriated for grants in this round of TIGER. Be sure and take part in the upcoming informational webinars about applying for a TIGER grant. The minimum TIGER grant amount for rural areas is $1 million. Applications are due April 29, 2016.

Retirement Research Foundation is accepting applications for projects that improve lives of aging Americans. Deadline: 5/2/2016. Click here for funding guidelines and an application.

Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions – NEH’s Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. Deadline: May 3, 2016.

Mary Kay Domestic Violence Shelter Grant Program awards grants to women’s domestic violence shelters. Application Deadline: May 31, 2016.

USDA is offering money through Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) program. The purpose of SECD is to advance projects which support long-term community and economic growth strategies that reflect both multi-jurisdictional stakeholder collaboration and capitalize upon the unique strengths of the rural area. Through this provision, USDA Rural Development is empowered to work further with rural communities to align resources with long-range and multi-jurisdictional challenges and needs by leveraging federal, state, local, or private funding. Deadline to apply: 6/30/2016. To review funding guidelines, click here.

THE HOME DEPOT Foundation Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using volunteers to improve the physical health of their communities. Proposals for the following community improvement activities will be considered: repairs, refurbishments, and modifications to low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities (schools, community centers, senior centers, etc.); weatherizing or increasing energy efficiency of low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities; engaging veterans as volunteers to help other veterans in their community through service projects focusing on the renovation, repair, and improvement of homes and other properties serving veterans; and planting trees or community gardens or landscaping community facilities that serve veterans. Requests will be accepted through 12/31/2016. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

New American Job Fair hosted by the Afro American Development Association http://www.aasaus.org/will be held at the Moorhead Center Mall in Moorhead MN
on March 10th, 2016 from 8am-10am. Resume and application assistance will be available from 10am-2pm. There will be interviews with potential employers. 
Join us in matching eager to work New Americans with potential employers. Translation and on-the-job training services will be available. Together, we can make our community stronger!

Minnesota Festivals and Events Association Annual Conference March 10-11 in New Ulm

Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 7, 2016 at Macalester College. This event brings together a variety of civic engagement stakeholders both to celebrate the good work already being done across the state and to consider ways of building on that work for greater impact. Tickets to the full summit or the awards luncheon are available at mncc2016summit.eventbrite.com until March 24, 2016.

–2016 Nonprofit Technology & Communications Conference will be held Tuesday, April 12 from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in Minneapolis. The Nonprofit Technology & Communications Conference is the place to go to learn new things, old things and new ways to do old things. With over 30 breakout sessions, a keynote from Perla Ni, 50 resource exhibitors and plenty of time for networking, this is one conference you don’t want to miss for the latest and greatest in all things nonprofit tech.  Learn more

— Minnesota High Tech Association 2016 Spring Conference “Building Skills and Strategies for a Smart Society” will be held April 21, 2016. Registration is now open for the 2016 MHTA Spring Conference! This year’s Spring Conference will highlight how the state’s leading companies, large and small, are navigating this world and moving to the next big thing.

–SAVE THE DATE: The Federal Reserve Board, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and U.S. Department of Agriculture will host a conversation on the future of housing in rural America on May 10, 2016 in Washington, DC.

— The National Rural Health Association’s Rural Hospital Innovation Summit will be held May 10-13 in Minneapolis.

— The American Telemedicine Association Annual Conference and Trade Show will be held May 15-17 in Minneapolis.

–The Minnesota Rural Health Conference “Cultivating Resilient Communities” will be held June 20-21 in Duluth.

–SAVE THE DATES for Minnesota Council of Nonprofit events! The Nonprofit Fundraising Conference will be held July 21, 2016 in Brooklyn Center and their Annual Conference will be held October 6 – 7, 2016 in Duluth. 

–Mark your calendars now for the Joint International Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016. The 2016 theme is Sustaining Community Change: Building Local Capacity to Sustain Development Initiatives. Minnesota last hosted this international gathering in 2001 in Duluth. The location in 2016 is the Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport hotel near the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Check our local host Facebook site for ongoing updates and to start connecting with colleagues now for a great summer gathering: https://www.facebook.com/cds2016. A Call for Papers will be announced soon, and online registration will begin later in 2016.

Save the date for the 30th Annual Minnesota Venture Conference — Minnesota’s premier event for entrepreneurs and investors! It will be held Thursday, October 13, 2016 from 7:15 am – 5:45 pm at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

OPPORTUNITIES

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is currently developing a five-year plan for housing, community development, and infrastructure. The plan will guide housing, community development, and infrastructure investment policy and actions, such as housing, economic development, public facility, water, and infrastructure investment, over the next several years.

Known as the “Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development,” the study is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The planning process is intended to more comprehensively fulfill three basic goals: to provide decent housing, to expand economic opportunities and to provide a suitable living environment. The plan also depends on the opinions and experiences of people who are knowledgeable about housing and community development in Minnesota – people like you.  The Small Cities staff needs your input so we can determine future use of CDBG funds from DEED. Because we feel that your input is essential to ensuring thorough representation of the views held by people throughout the state, we urge you to complete an online survey. Comments gathered during this survey will be used to create narratives for inclusion in the Consolidated Plan. Your individual comments will remain anonymous and will be compiled with all other responses by an outside vendor. An online survey has been prepared for you to complete at your convenience. It is located at this link: https://www.research.net/r/2016MinnesotaHCDSurvey

The Migrant Health Scholarship offers funds to individuals pursuing or continuing their career in the migrant health field and/or are employees at a Community/Migrant Health Center. Applications are due March 18, 2016. For more information, please contact Janie Favre at (512) 312-5460.

Indian Health Service Health Professions Scholarship Program provides scholarships for American Indian and Alaska Native students enrolled in a health professions program. Application Deadline: March 28, 2016.

MHTA Foundation Scholarship applications now open! The application period for the 2016 MHTA Foundation STEM scholarships is now open. Applications will remain open until April 1. Scholarships are offered to help Minnesota undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines work toward their degrees. These awards range from $2,500 – $5,000 and can include internship opportunities at MHTA member companies. LEARN MORE

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis announces the topic of the 28th Annual Student Essay Contest open to all high school students in the Ninth Federal Reserve District: What change in the American K-12 education system would result in the most cost-effective improvement in student outcomes? Finalists receive cash prizes, with the first place winner receiving a paid summer internship at the Minneapolis Fed. Essay submission deadline is April 1. For more information go to: 28th Annual High School Student Essay Contest

Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service honors healthcare delivery organizations that have demonstrated exceptional commitment to community service. Application Deadline: April 1, 2016.

National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program provides scholarships for students pursuing primary care health professions training in exchange for a service commitment in a Health Professional Shortage Area. Application Deadline: April 28, 2016.

–The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust announced the 2016 New Rural: Innovations in Rural Health Award. They are seeking original, innovative solutions that have the potential to drive health improvement in rural communities. They encourage submissions from around the country that highlight new ideas and emerging work. Individuals, for-profits, nonprofits and government agencies are welcome to apply. Finalists will receive a $7,500 award and one innovative and inspiring idea will win the New Rural Award and a total of $25,000. Download the Call for Submissions to find out how to enter. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 pm EDT, April 29.

Presbyterian Hunger Program provides funding to programs that work to address the root causes of hunger and provide services to those experiencing hunger. Letter of Intent (Required): April 30, 2016. Application Deadline: Jun 30, 2016.

Seeking Volunteers to help welcome attendees and host at various conference activities throughout the Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016. Email Jane Leonard at jane.leonard@state.mn.us if you are interested in short stints as Mobile Learning Workshop chaperones, conference greeters, and other hosting experiences.  It’s a great way to experience the conference and a great way to show our visitors Minnesota’s excellence in hospitality.

Rural Hospital Leadership Award provides an educational stipend to a small or rural hospital administrator or chief executive officer to attend an AHA Annual Meeting or Health Forum Leadership Conference. Application Deadline: August 12, 2016.

MISCELLANEOUS

Growing Immigrant Populations and Continuing Ed Needs in Greater Minnesota.

The Center for Rural Policy and Development documents shifting demographics and the opportunity for a new approach to continuing education to support farming in Greater Minnesota.

–A white paper from the Summit on Creativity and Aging in America is now available to download from the National Education Association website. This event, which was hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Center for Creative Aging in May 2015, brought together more than 70 experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the fields of healthy aging, lifelong learning in the arts, and design for aging communities. Click here to download the paper.

Child Poverty Higher and More Persistent in Rural America examines counties with high child poverty and persistent poverty over a 30-year period from 1980 to 2010, with data for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties. Includes maps showing regional trends. Also looks at poverty at the county level related to minority child population distribution.

IRS Seeking Comments on New Rules for Community Foundations. The Council on Foundations issued a summary of proposed rules just issued by the IRS for community foundation Type I and Type II support organizations. Read the summary and get the link to the rules as published in the federal register.

February 2016- Volume XIV, Number 2

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

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

FUNDING

USDA will begin offering farm ownership microloans, creating a new financing avenue for farmers to buy and improve property. These microloans will be especially helpful to beginning or underserved farmers, U.S. veterans looking for a career in farming, and those who have small and mid-sized farming operations. To learn more about this opportunity, click here.

Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofits and public agencies to expand and enhance service capacity through the provision of peer recovery support services for individuals with substance use disorders and their family members. Deadline: 2/15/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

The National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants through the Art Works program. Projects in this program: are likely to prove transformative with the potential for meaningful change, whether in the development or enhancement of new or existing art forms, new approaches to the creation or presentation of art, or new ways of engaging the public with art; are distinctive, offering fresh insights and new value for their fields and/or the public through unconventional solutions; and have the potential to be shared and/or emulated, or are likely to lead to other advances in the field. 2016 deadlines: 2/18 and 7/14. Click here to learn more about Art Works Grants.

Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is offering grants to nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies through its GRO1000 Grassroots Grants program to help foster the development of gardens and green spaces in the United States. Grants of up to $1,500 are awarded to local communities throughout the country to help bring edible gardens, flower gardens, and public green spaces to more neighborhoods. The focus is on garden and green space beautification projects that incorporate the involvement and engagement of neighborhood residents and foster a sense of community spirit. Deadline: 2/22/2016. Visit the company’s website here to review the program’s FAQs and submit an online application.

HUD and USDA have announced that communities may now apply to be designated a Promise Zone under the third and final round competition. Any community meeting the eligibility criteria which include having a contiguous boundary, a high poverty rate and a population within the area not exceeding 200,000 residents, can apply for a designation. HUD and USDA will designate 7 Promise Zones across urban, rural and tribal communities for the final round. Deadline: 2/23/2016. Click here for the Federal Register notice.  To read more about the Promise Zone initiative, click here.

USDA Broadband Adoption Program. Communities interested in using broadband service to help revitalize small-town main streets and promote economic development are encouraged to apply for Cool & Connected. Deadline is Feb 24. http://wp.me/p3if7-3nl

–Department of Justice is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to provide transitional housing to victims of partner violence. Deadline: 2/24/2016. Click here for an application and funding guidelines.

–Home Depot Foundation is offering grants of up to $500,000 to organizations for the construction or repair of single or multifamily permanent supportive housing or transitional housing for veterans and their families. Deadline: 2/24/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program (TCRGP) offers grants to tribal colleges or universities for research projects that address concerns and needs of tribal and reservation communities, including projects that focus on nutrition, healthy lifestyles, and obesity reduction in tribal communities. Application Deadline: Feb 25, 2016

Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program will be accepted until February 28, 2016 and will be selected by lottery. The solar incentive program is available to utility customers who install solar PV or solar thermal systems using solar modules or collectors certified as manufactured in Minnesota. The solar PV incentive program is open only to customers of the state’s investor-owned utilities (Alliant, Minnesota Power, Ottertail Power and Xcel Energy). Applicants can reapply if not selected in the previous year. The solar PV incentive is also available to developers of community solar gardens with less than 40 kilowatts (kW) of production.

Solar thermal rebate applications are open to utility customers throughout the state, with priority given to customers of the investor-owned utilities. The annual funding allocation is committed. More information on the Made in Minnesota program, including the incentive and rebate amounts, is available at the  Minnesota Department of Commerce website. Questions can be directed to the department’s Energy Information Center by email at energy.info@state.mn.us or by phone at 651-539-1886 or 800-657-3710.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division is now accepting applications for the following grant programs in 2016: outdoor recreation, local trail connections, federal recreational trails and regional trails. These grant programs help local governments throughout the state create partnerships with the DNR to fund recreation opportunities. The application due dates are Mon. Feb. 29, for the Federal Recreational Trail Grant Program and Thurs. March 31, for the other programs. The DNR anticipates that both federal and state funding will be available during 2016 for these programs.

For information about eligible projects and how to apply for a grant, visit the Recreation Grants page of the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/grants/recreation/index.html.

For more information call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or send questions via email to info.dnr@state.mn.us.

Telehealth Resource Center Grant Program supports the establishment and development of Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs) which provide technical assistance to health care organizations, health care networks, and health care providers in the implementation of telehealth programs to serve rural and medically underserved areas and populations. Application Deadline: Mar 4, 2016

U.S. Department of Education is offering grants to institutions of higher education or private nonprofit organizations that plan their projects in cooperation with an institution of higher education to help migrant and seasonal farmworkers and members of their immediate families obtain the equivalent of a secondary school diploma, and subsequently to gain employment or be placed in an institution of higher education or other postsecondary education or training. Deadline: 3/7/2016. Click here to review application guidelines.

–The Department of Justice is offering grants to nonprofits to develop and implement outreach strategies targeted at, and provide victim services to, adult and youth victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking in underserved populations. Deadline: 3/9/2016. Click here to review application guidelines.

Department of Labor is offering tech hire partnership grants. Applications must include at least one representative of each of the following three types of entities: the workforce investment system; education and training providers; and business-related nonprofit organizations: organizations functioning as workforce intermediaries for the express purpose of serving the needs of businesses, or consortia of three or more businesses, or at least three independent businesses. The program is designed to equip individuals with the skills they need through innovative approaches that can rapidly train workers and connect them to well-paying, middle- and high-skilled, high-growth jobs across a diversity of H-1B industries such as IT, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, financial services, and broadband. Deadline: 3/11/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program Grants provides grants to improve telemedicine services and distance learning services in rural areas through the use of telemedicine, computer networks, and related advanced technologies. Application Deadline: Mar 14, 2016

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to increase capacity to provide accessible, effective, comprehensive, coordinated, integrated, and evidence-based treatment services; permanent supportive housing; peer supports; and other critical services to homeless people. Deadline: 3/15/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

–Department of Labor is offering grants up to $4 million dollars to nonprofit collaborations to develop an approach that provides skills training leading to family-supporting jobs for low- to middle-skilled parents while simultaneously developing and implementing a plan for applicants’ communities or regions that help families better navigate the existing complex systems of supportive services, including increased access to child care. Application deadline: 3/16/2016. Click here for guidelines.

Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to enable nonprofit community collaborations to implement locally designed initiatives to reduce substance abuse. Deadline: 3/18/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

–The National Endowment for the Arts will offer Challenge America grants primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations–those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Deadline: 4/14/2016. Click here to review program guidelines.

Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions – NEH’s Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. Deadline: May 3, 2016.

Mary Kay Domestic Violence Shelter Grant Program awards grants to women’s domestic violence shelters. Application Deadline: May 31, 2016

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

Minnesota’s Broadband Networks – Backbone of the 21st Century!” – February 18, in St. Paul.  Presented by the Minnesota Telecom Alliance, the Minnesota Cable Communications Association, and Minnesota Cellular Providers – AT&T/Verizon. For more information, including the conference agenda, click here: http://www.mnta.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=756159&group

Energy Design Conference & Expo is February 22-24 in Duluth.  For the 26th straight year, participants will learn about the latest in energy-efficient building technologies, renewable energy, best practices, and responsible design at the Energy Design Conference & Expo on Feb. 22-24, 2016 in Duluth, Minn. More than 40 workshop sessions are planned, with some of the leading professionals in the energy field presenting. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is a sponsor and partner of the event. To register and for more information read more.

— An online webinar- Information Session on Brown- field Resources will be hosted by EDAM on February 25th from 12-1:30PM. For more information, please go to http://z.umn.edu/129t .

Tech Cities 2016 will be held February 26, 2016 at the Carlson School of Management in Minneapolis. For more in formation and registration go to: http://carlsonschool.umn.edu/events/tech-cities-conference

Save the Date for Minnesota Festival & Events Association Annual Meeting

Join MNFEA at the 2016 Annual Conference March 10-11, 2016 in New Ulm.

SAVE THE DATE for the Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the Sprout Food Hub and Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace will be Friday April 1, 2016 from 9:30 am- 1pm, in Little Falls, Minnesota

–Hold the Date! Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 7, 2016 at Macalester College.

— The National Rural Health Association’s Rural Hospital Innovation Summit will be held May 10-13 in Minneapolis.

–The Minnesota Rural Health Conference will be held June 20-21 in Duluth.

–SAVE THE DATES for Minnesota Council of Nonprofit events! The Nonprofit Fundraising Conference will be held July 21, 2016 in Brooklyn Center and their Annual Conference will be held October 6 – 7, 2016 in Duluth. 

–Mark your calendars now for the Joint International Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016. The 2016 theme is Sustaining Community Change: Building Local Capacity to Sustain Development Initiatives. Minnesota last hosted this international gathering in 2001 in Duluth. The location in 2016 is the Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport hotel near the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Check our local host Facebook site for ongoing updates and to start connecting with colleagues now for a great summer gathering: https://www.facebook.com/cds2016. A Call for Papers will be announced soon, and online registration will begin later in 2016.

OPPORTUNITIES

Want to host an intern this summer? Apply today!  MnTAP anticipates supporting up to 15 intern projects in water conservation, paint efficiency, waste reduction, pollution prevention, and energy efficiency in manufacturing and wastewater treatment plants. Proposed projects are evaluated for impact potential, project scope, and company interest and commitment. Interns are chosen for their educational backgrounds and leadership capabilities. Apply soon to ensure a spot.

Thirteen projects in 2015 focused on water, energy, and waste reduction, resulting in the potential to save their host companies over $1 million annually as well as 1.7 million pounds of waste, over 45 million gallons of water, 870,000 million kWh and 152,000 therms of energy per year. See their stories in the 2015 MnTAP Solutions magazine.

Rural Medical Educators Student Scholarship offers funding to medical students to attend the Rural Medical Educators Conference. Application Deadline: First-come, first-serve basis until all funds are committed. Event happens May 10, 2016.

Udall Scholarship offers scholarships to Native Americans and Alaska Native students pursuing careers related to tribal public policy, native health, or the environment. Deadline March 2, 2016.

— IABC Minnesota is hosting A Gift of Communication on March 12, when six nonprofits (chosen by lottery) will receive an afternoon of free consultation from IABC Minnesota communications professionals. This event is geared toward nonprofits that are small enough to need help, but large enough to have some time and resources to devote to communications.  Learn more and apply on IABC MN’s website.

If you work for a government or nonprofit organization, you may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program will forgive any debt you own on student loans after you have made 120 qualifying payments while working full time (at least 30 hours a week) for a qualifying government organization or 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Full-time service, such as AmeriCorps and Peace Corps, count toward the PSLF program as well. For more information on what types of work and loans qualify, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

Additionally, in January, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education announced a new student loan refinancing program called SELF Refi. For more information about eligibility, visit the Office of Higher Education’s website.

Indian Health Service Health Professions Scholarship Program provides scholarships for American Indian and Alaska Native students enrolled in a health professions program. Application Deadline: Mar 28, 2016

MHTA Foundation Scholarship applications now open! The application period for the 2016 MHTA Foundation STEM scholarships is now open. Applications will remain open until April 1. Scholarships are offered to help Minnesota undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines work toward their degrees. These awards range from $2,500 – $5,000 and can include internship opportunities at MHTA member companies. LEARN MORE

Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service honors healthcare delivery organizations that have demonstrated exceptional commitment to community service. Application Deadline: Apr 1, 2016.

Seeking Volunteers to help welcome attendees and host at various conference activities throughout the Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016. Email Jane Leonard at jane.leonard@state.mn.us if you are interested in short stints as Mobile Learning Workshop chaperones, conference greeters, and other hosting experiences.  It’s a great way to experience the conference and a great way to show our visitors Minnesota’s excellence in hospitality.

Rural Hospital Leadership Award provides an educational stipend to a small or rural hospital administrator or chief executive officer to attend an AHA Annual Meeting or Health Forum Leadership Conference. Application Deadline: Aug 12, 2016.

Will You Endorse the Minnesota Broadband Vision? http://wp.me/p3if7-3np

Participants at the Minnesota broadband conference in November worked collaboratively to develop a broadband vision for Minnesota. Everyone in Minnesota will be able to use convenient, affordable world-class broadband networks that enable us to survive and thrive in our communities and across the globe. More than a dozen cities, counties and organizations have endorsed the list. (Check out the full list.)  There is a Facebook Page to help keep up with all of the endorsements – community, corporate and personal. To show your support please like the page!

The spark ignited by the Blandin Foundation and attendees at the conference has been picked up by the Minnesota Broadband Coalition. The Coalition is promoting the broadband vision and compiling tools that proponents can use to help spread the word – to legislators, to friends and family who might also want to show support and to local leaders to encourage them to make broadband a priority. One immediate goal is to get more people and more organizations to endorse the vision. It will show legislators that people in Minnesota think broadband is a priority. It will convene proponents and make it easier to mobilize action to raise awareness and educate people on the need for world-class broadband everywhere.

Students from Statistics in the Community (STATCOM), a student group at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, are putting their skills to work by providing free statistical services to a variety of non-profit, governmental, and community-service organizationsMORE

–The University of St. Thomas is offering engineering-education courses for free to P-12 STEM teachers, thanks to sponsorship from Google. MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

Tips for consumers considering community solar! Community solar opportunities are expected to increase greatly this year, especially as Xcel Energy implements its Solar*Rewards Community Program. While the Minnesota Department of Commerce supports the newly emerging option to participate in community solar, consumers are encouraged to apply due diligence before signing up to participate. Whether or not to subscribe to a community solar project is an important financial decision that can involve a long-term commitment. Before making a decision, be sure you understand the potential costs and risks as well as the potential benefits. You should carefully review the subscription contract before signing it and, as always, be wary of high-pressure “buy now or lose out” sales pitches. If you’re thinking about subscribing to a community solar garden, read “10 Questions You Should Ask” for some guidance from Commerce.

In addition, the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) offers information about community solar on its website. CERTs highlights a tool that helps households and businesses determine the financial feasibility of community solar gardens.

Health Insurance Marketplaces: Geographic Variation in Premiums, Choices, Enrollment Across the U.S., 2014-2016 and Impacts on Health System provides an overview of health insurance enrollment characteristics with rural and urban comparisons using data reported by federally-facilitated marketplaces and state-based marketplaces. Topics covered include the cost of premiums, rate of premium growth, enrollment data of eligible uninsured persons, and the effect of the Affordable Care Act on uninsured adults. Slides from a presentation at the Rural Hospital Interest Group Meeting in January 2016.

Helping Kids PROSPER is a program delivery system, guides rural communities in implementing evidence-based programs that build youth competencies, improve family functioning, and prevent risky behaviors, particularly substance use.

The Economic Status of Minnesotans: A Chartbook with Data for 17 Cultural Groups is a statistical portrait of the economic status of Minnesotans, including much data that has never been seen before, for the 17 largest cultural groups in Minnesota.

CORRECTION:

Rural America at a Glance, 2015 Edition

On January 15, 2016, the Rural America at a Glance, 2015 Edition was updated to correct a statement that nearly 300 rural counties lost population due to natural change during 2010-14. The sentence was revised to read, “Almost 900 rural counties (including about 300 counties for the first time) lost population due to natural change during 2010-14.” Also, the information on two charts was clarified to match the data presented: source information on the chart at the top of page 4 was updated to reflect that 2014 data were used, and in the chart on page 6 the horizontal axis legend no longer contains the phrase “in 2000.” Finally, the chart depicting educational attainment for rural minorities, and a text reference to it, were corrected to remove the term “(non-Hispanic),” and the chart note was expanded to clarify that “people who identify their origin as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race.”

January 2016- Volume XIV, Number 1

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

–FUNDING
–TRAINING/MEETINGS
–OPPORTUNITIES
–MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING

— The Community Clinics Grant program provides funding to plan, establish or operate services to improve the ongoing viability of Minnesota’s clinic-based safety net providers. Grants support clinical capacity to serve people with low incomes, reduce current or future uncompensated care burdens, or improve care delivery infrastructure. An eligible community clinic means a nonprofit clinic, government entity, Indian tribal government or Indian health service unit; or a consortium of these entities. Applicants must provide or plan to provide clinical services and use a sliding fee scale or other procedure to determine eligibility for charity care or to ensure that no person will be denied services because of inability to pay. Final applications are due in WebGrants@MDH 11:59 p.m. January 20. Contact Deb Jahnke at 651-201-3845 for more information.

First Nations Development Institute is offering grants through its Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative. This initiative will provide up to ten grants to support projects that serve Native American children and families and aim to strengthen local food system control; increase access to local, healthy, and traditional foods; and decrease food insecurity and food deserts. Native American-controlled nonprofit tribal organizations and Native American community-based groups are eligible to apply. Deadline: 1/25/2016. Visit the First Nations website here to learn more about the funding guidelines and application process.

Department of Justice is offering grants to nonprofits, public agencies, states, Indian Tribes, and local governments under the Rural Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Assistance Program. Funds will be used to enhance the safety of victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking by supporting projects uniquely designed to address and prevent these crimes in rural jurisdictions. Deadline: 2/1/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

–The Farmer Veteran Coalition is offering grants to veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces starting out in farming or ranching. Deadline: 2/1/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

–FISKARS’ Project Orange Thumb is offering grants to nonprofit organizations, public schools, and municipalities in the U.S. and Canada for community gardens. Grants provide tools and resources to help communities reach their goals for neighborhood beautification, community collaboration, and healthy, sustainable food sources. Application deadline: 2/1/2016. Visit the Fiskars website here to submit an online application.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture administers the County Fair Arts Access and Cultural Heritage Grantawarded to Minnesota’s county fairs to fund projects and programs to enhance arts access and education and to preserve and promote Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage. Deadline for the non-competitive grants program is February 5, 2016.

— The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care Rural Hospital Capital Improvement Grant program assists small rural hospitals in undertaking needed modernization projects to update, remodel or replace aging hospital facilities, record systems, and equipment necessary to maintain the operations of the hospital. Maximum awards will be $125,000. An eligible hospital is a general acute care hospital of 50 or fewer beds located in a community with a population of less than 15,000, according to United States Census Bureau statistics, outside the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. Final applications (if invited) are due in WebGrants@MDH by 4:00 p.m. February 5. Contact Lina Jau at 651-201-3809 for more information.

Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofits and public agencies to expand and enhance service capacity through the provision of peer recovery support services for individuals with substance use disorders and their family members. Deadline: 2/15/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

The National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants through the Art Works program. Projects in this program: are likely to prove transformative with the potential for meaningful change, whether in the development or enhancement of new or existing art forms, new approaches to the creation or presentation of art, or new ways of engaging the public with art; are distinctive, offering fresh insights and new value for their fields and/or the public through unconventional solutions; and have the potential to be shared and/or emulated, or are likely to lead to other advances in the field. 2016 deadlines: 2/18 and 7/14. Click here to learn more about Art Works Grants.

HUD and USDA have announced that communities may now apply to be designated a Promise Zone under the third and final round competition. Any community meeting the eligibility criteria which include having a contiguous boundary, a high poverty rate and a population within the area not exceeding 200,000 residents, can apply for a designation. HUD and USDA will designate 7 Promise Zones across urban, rural and tribal communities for the final round. Deadline: 2/23/2016. Click here for the Federal Register notice.  To read more about the Promise Zone initiative, click here.

–Department of Justice is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to provide transitional housing to victims of partner violence. Deadline: 2/24/2016. Click here for an application and funding guidelines.

–Home Depot Foundation is offering grants of up to $500,000 to organizations for the construction or repair of single or multifamily permanent supportive housing or transitional housing for veterans and their families. Deadline: 2/24/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program (TCRGP) offers grants to tribal colleges or universities for research projects that address concerns and needs of tribal and reservation communities, including projects that focus on nutrition, healthy lifestyles, and obesity reduction in tribal communities. Application Deadline: Feb 25, 2016

Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program will be accepted from January 1 through February 28, 2016 and will be selected by lottery. The solar incentive program is available to utility customers who install solar PV or solar thermal systems using solar modules or collectors certified as manufactured in Minnesota. The solar PV incentive program is open only to customers of the state’s investor-owned utilities (Alliant, Minnesota Power, Ottertail Power and Xcel Energy). Applicants can reapply if not selected in the previous year. The solar PV incentive is also available to developers of community solar gardens with less than 40 kilowatts (kW) of production.

Solar thermal rebate applications are open to utility customers throughout the state, with priority given to customers of the investor-owned utilities. the annual funding allocation is committed. More information on the Made in Minnesota program, including the incentive and rebate amounts, is available at the  Minnesota Department of Commerce website. Questions can be directed to the department’s Energy Information Center by email at energy.info@state.mn.us or by phone at 651-539-1886 or 800-657-3710.

Department of Labor is offering tech hire partnership grants. Applications must include at least one representative of each of the following three types of entities: the workforce investment system; education and training providers; and business-related nonprofit organizations: organizations functioning as workforce intermediaries for the express purpose of serving the needs of businesses, or consortia of three or more businesses, or at least three independent businesses. The program is designed to equip individuals with the skills they need through innovative approaches that can rapidly train workers and connect them to well-paying, middle- and high-skilled, high-growth jobs across a diversity of H-1B industries such as IT, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, financial services, and broadband. Deadline: 3/11/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

–Department of Labor is offering grants up to $4 million dollars to nonprofit collaborations to develop an approach that provides skills training leading to family-supporting jobs for low- to middle-skilled parents while simultaneously developing and implementing a plan for applicants’ communities or regions that help families better navigate the existing complex systems of supportive services, including increased access to child care. Application deadline: 3/16/2016. Click here for guidelines.

Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to enable nonprofit community collaborations to implement locally designed initiatives to reduce substance abuse. Deadline: 3/18/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

–The National Endowment for the Arts will offer Challenge America grants primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations–those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Deadline: 4/14/2016. Click here to review program guidelines.

Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions – NEH’s Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. Deadline: May 3, 2016.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS 

–USDA will host a webinar Rural America At a Glance – 2015 edition. In this webinar, ERS Economist Lorin Kusmin will discuss the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas, focusing on the U.S. rural economy, including employment, population, poverty trends, and educational attainment trends.  The Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, releases the Rural America at a Glance report annually, which summarizes the status of conditions and trends in rural areas.

Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM EDT
Duration: 1 hour
Host(s): Lorin Kusmin, Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA
To register go to: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=s419an3x2srf

–The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host a webcast on improving energy efficiency in multifamily affordable housing on January 19, 2016, at 1:00 PM ET. “Beyond the Light Touch: Next Steps for Improving Energy Efficiency in Multi-Family Affordable Housing” will explore the specific challenges and opportunities faced by programs that aim to improve energy efficiency in multifamily affordable housing, with an emphasis on achieving multiple benefits through deeper retrofits. To register, click here.

2016 EDAM Winter Conference to be held on January 21-22 at the Minneapolis Marriott in Brooklyn Park. Registration is now open with discounted fees available until January 8. For more information and to register, please go to http://z.umn.edu/11lv .

–The MN Ag Expo will be held January 27-28, 2016 in Mankato at the Verizon Wireless Center.

Research shows that nonprofits that invest in their volunteers can build capacity and increase community impact. To support this effort, the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA) is partnering with and training organizations to assess their current volunteer engagement efforts. This model, called Service Enterprise, also helps organizations create a plan to foster a culture of volunteerism. MAVA, along with HandsOn Twin Cities, is recruiting organizations to participate in two upcoming Service Enterprise training cohorts. St. Cloud cohort applications are due February 1, while Twin Cities cohort applications will be due in early May.  Visit MAVA’s website for more information or email Sara Wessling from MAVA or Zeeda Magnuson from HandsOn Twin Cities.

Register Now for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference

The lineup for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference on February 2-3 is complete and you’ll find many ways to THINK BIG in Bemidji this year!

Energy Design Conference & Expo is February 22-24 in Duluth.  For the 26th straight year, participants will learn about the latest in energy-efficient building technologies, renewable energy, best practices, and responsible design at the Energy Design Conference & Expo on Feb. 22-24, 2016 in Duluth, Minn. More than 40 workshop sessions are planned, with some of the leading professionals in the energy field presenting. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is a sponsor and partner of the event. Early registration ends Jan. 29. To register and for more information read more.

— An online webinar- Information Session on Brown- field Resources will be hosted by EDAM on February 25th from 12-1:30PM. For more information, please go to http://z.umn.edu/129t .

Tech Cities 2016 will be held February 26, 2016 at the Carlson School of Management in Minneapolis. For more in formation and registration go to: http://carlsonschool.umn.edu/events/tech-cities-conference

Save the Date for Minnesota Festival & Events Association Annual Meeting

Join MNFEA at the 2016 Annual Conference March 10-11, 2016 in New Ulm.

–Hold the Date! Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 7, 2016 at Macalester College.

— The National Rural Health Association’s Rural Hospital Innovation Summit will be held May 10-13 in Minneapolis.

–The Minnesota Rural Health Conference will be held June 20-21 in Duluth.

–SAVE THE DATES for Minnesota Council of Nonprofit events! The Nonprofit Fundraising Conference will be held July 21, 2016 in Brooklyn Center and their Annual Conference will be held October 6 – 7, 2016 in Duluth. 

–Mark your calendars now for the Joint International Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016. The 2016 theme is Sustaining Community Change: Building Local Capacity to Sustain Development Initiatives. Minnesota last hosted this international gathering in 2001 in Duluth. The location in 2016 is the Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport hotel near the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Check our local host Facebook site for ongoing updates and to start connecting with colleagues now for a great summer gathering: https://www.facebook.com/cds2016. A Call for Papers will be announced soon, and online registration will begin later in 2016.

OPPORTUNITIES

Share Your Ideas for the 2016 Greater Minnesota Transit Investment Plan

Planning for the 2016 update to the Greater Minnesota Transit Investment Plan is underway, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation welcomes your ideas on how to improve transit in Greater Minnesota. The goal of the plan is to improve mobility for the general public with emphasis on seniors, low income populations, the homeless population, individuals with disabilities, veterans, New Americans and commuters. Share your ideas, learn more about the plan and view the latest updates. There are several ways for everybody, not just transit users, to participate! The better response the department receives, the more informed their strategies will be. For questions about this process, please contact Sara Dunlap at 651-366-4194 or sara.dunlap@state.mn.us.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is seeking comments on a proposed rule to implement the Duty to Serve provisions of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992, as amended by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. This statute requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (“the Enterprises”) to serve three specified underserved markets: manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation, and rural markets. The proposed rule would require the Enterprises to adopt plans to improve the distribution and availability of mortgage financing in a safe and sound manner for residential properties that serve very low-, low-, and moderate-income families in the three specified underserved markets. Here are links to the press release, and proposed rule.

Udall Scholarship offers scholarships to Native Americans and Alaska Native students pursuing careers related to tribal public policy, native health, or the environment. Deadline March 2, 2016.

Seeking Volunteers to help welcome attendees and host at various conference activities throughout the Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016. Email Jane Leonard at jane.leonard@state.mn.us if you are interested in short stints as Mobile Learning Workshop chaperones, conference greeters, and other hosting experiences.  It’s a great way to experience the conference and a great way to show our visitors Minnesota’s excellence in hospitality.

Students from Statistics in the Community (STATCOM), a student group at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, are putting their skills to work by providing free statistical services to a variety of non-profit, governmental, and community-service organizationsMORE

–The University of St. Thomas is offering engineering-education courses for free to P-12 STEM teachers, thanks to sponsorship from Google. MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

Rural America at a Glance, 2015 Edition Rural employment gains were significantly higher over the past year than in recent years, but employment remains below pre-recession levels. Rural areas still suffer population loss, higher poverty, and lower education than urban areas.

County Typology Codes The 2015 County Typology Codes classify all U.S. counties according to six mutually exclusive categories of economic dependence and six overlapping categories of policy-relevant themes. The economic dependence types include farming, mining, manufacturing, Federal/State government, recreation, and nonspecialized counties. The policy-relevant types include low education, low employment, persistent poverty, persistent child poverty, population loss, and retirement destination.

The Housing Assistance Council has released Veterans Data Central, a website that provides essential information on the social, economic, and housing characteristics of veterans in the United States.  Click here to visit the website.

America’s Diverse Family Farms: 2015 Edition Most U.S. farms (99 percent) are family operations. Small family farms make up 90 percent of the U.S. farm count but produce 22 percent of farm output. Midsize and large-scale farms (9 percent of farms) produce 68 percent of farm output.

Health Care Innovations for Rural Populations Features a selection of healthcare innovations and quality tools for rural populations that help to address health disparities including topics that cover service delivery models such as telehealth, mobile clinics, and integrated healthcare.

Keepin’ it REAL Rural is a drug and alcohol prevention program for middle school kids adapted to rural culture in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

— The U.S. Census Bureau released new American Community Survey data in December. The data show that the number of census tracts where at least 40% of residents live in poverty has grown steadily in the Twin Cities since 2000. People of color continue to be overrepresented in these tracts.

CERTs offers community solar garden financial impact tool. A financial impact tool to help utility customers decide if subscribing to a community solar garden is right for them has been developed by the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs). The tool, created by Doug Tiffany, a research fellow in Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota, helps households and businesses conduct the financial analysis of community solar participation.

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