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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

March 2015 – Volume XIII, Number 2

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

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

FUNDING

The Laura Jane Musser Fund is accepting applications for the Rural Arts and Environmental Initiative grant programs. The Fund’s Rural Arts program assists arts organizations in targeted states that offer artistic opportunities for adults and children in the areas of literary, visual, music, and performing arts. General operating grants of up to $10,000 and capacity building grants of up to $25,000 are provided to organizations in rural communities with a population of 20,000 or under throughout Colorado, Hawaii, and Wyoming, as well as rural communities in selected counties in Michigan and Minnesota. The goal is to promote public use of open space that improves a community’s quality of life and public health, while also ensuring the protection of healthy ecosystems. Organizations in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wyoming are eligible to apply for grants of up to $35,000. Deadlines: applications for the Environmental Initiative must be submitted online by 3/13/2015; applications for the Rural Arts Program must be submitted by 3/20/2015. http://www.musserfund.org/

–The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is offering grants to assist low-income individuals and communities in developing local and independent food systems. Community Food Projects involve the entire food system. Projects assess strengths and establish connections among existing food systems, resulting in improved food systems that support self-reliance. Grants are intended to help eligible, private, nonprofit entities in need of a one-time installment of federal assistance to establish and carry out multipurpose community food projects. Projects are funded from $10,000 to $300,000 and up to 36 months. Deadline: 3/17/2015. http://tinyurl.com/k9atlnc .

Enhanced Training and Services to End Abuse in Later Life Program Grants for training and services to address elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, involving victims who are 50 years of age or older. Application deadline: March 18, 2015. http://www.raconline.org/funding/1416

–William J. & Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation provides capacity building, special projects, and general operations support for family-centered endeavors in the areas of education, health and wellness, self-sufficiency, economic development, housing, arts and culture, and environmental sustainability. Deadline: Letter of Intent by 3/25/2015. http://tinyurl.com/n46oo4y

The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants through the Native Asset Building Initiative to Native American organizations that support low-income Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Pacific Islander, and Guam Native individuals and families to acquire long-term assets and improve their economic status. Deadline: 3/25/2015. http://tinyurl.com/kk3xy9y

The NFL Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) are offering grants to nonprofit community-based organizations for financial and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields. The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program seeks to redress the shortage of clean, safe, and accessible football fields in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Deadline to apply: 3/30/2015. http://tinyurl.com/a3kxnle

— The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) announced a new one-time funding opportunity: the Rural Outreach Benefits Counseling Program. The three-year program seeks to expand health insurance outreach, education and enrollment efforts to eligible uninsured and newly insured individuals and families in rural communities. Applications due March 30. http://tinyurl.com/pdabcey

The Social Security Administration is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to disseminate accurate information about work incentives programs and issues related to such programs to beneficiaries with disabilities (including transition-to-work aged youth). Deadline: 3/30/2015. http://tinyurl.com/oxhew3s

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 deadline to apply for funding is Wednesday, April 1st for: Art in Our Schools, Small/Art Project Assistance, Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Organizations, Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Individuals, and McKnight Individual Artist Grants. Additional information regarding these funding opportunities and all application forms can be found and downloaded at the ECRAC website: http://www.ecrac.org, or by visiting the ECRAC office located at 112 Main Avenue South, Braham, MN. For more information, please call 320-396-2337, or visit the website at: www.ecrac.org.

–Monsanto Fund: America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Initiative helps farmers positively impact their communities and support local school districts. The program gives farmers in selected counties in 40 states the opportunity to nominate a rural public school district to compete for grants to promote science and math education. Once nominated by a local farmer, school district administrators are eligible to submit an application for either a grant of up to $10,000 or a grant of up to $25,000 to support a science and/or math educational program. The more farmers that nominate a school district, the more such nominations demonstrate community support and strengthens the school district’s application. Deadlines: farmers must submit nominations by 4/1/2015, and the deadline for schools to apply is 4/15/2015. http://tinyurl.com/q6j5dgy

–The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to provide an alternative for runaway and homeless youth who might otherwise end up in the law enforcement, child welfare, mental health, or juvenile justice systems. Deadline: 4/10/2015. http://tinyurl.com/pkpfaup

USDA is offering grants through the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program to assist disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers in owning and operating farms and ranches. This program will assist eligible nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions, and tribal entities in providing outreach and technical assistance to the targeted farmers and ranchers. Deadline: 4/13/2015. http://tinyurl.com/ouyvlcv

The National Science Foundation is offering grants to nonprofits, LEAs, and IHEs to provide superior STEM teacher preparation, along with better course materials and teaching methods. Deadline: 4/14/2015. For application guidelines, http://tinyurl.com/p6y9zrx

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

–The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation has issued “Healthy Communities: Health Equity in Action Request for Proposals (RFP)” which supports the efforts of nonprofit organizations working to improve the health of their communities throughout the state. The Foundation will fund community solutions that help create the following: equitable systems, stable lives, social connections, and vibrant communities. Grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 for one to two years will be provided. Deadline: 4/20/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website http://tinyurl.com/p8c2rko

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

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

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

–National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), with generous support from Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., invites applications from nonprofits for capacity-building grants to protect, improve, and support responsible use of public land and water sites in the United States. Deadline: 4/30/2015. http://tinyurl.com/qhnhvx4

–The Foundation for Financial Planning will award grants to nonprofit organizations nationwide for pro bono activities that utilize financial planning practitioners in the delivery of services. Support is provided to organizations that provide services to specific target audiences that are underserved by the market, in need of financial guidance, or in a financial crisis. Online applications must be submitted by 4/30/2015. Grant guidelines and application information are available on the Foundation’s website  http://tinyurl.com/o4gt8jz

–The Lawrence Foundation is accepting proposals for program and operating grants from U.S. nonprofits working in the areas of the environmental, education, human services, disaster relief, and other issue areas. Deadline: 4/30/2015. http://tinyurl.com/p2b5uxt

–The Department of Labor is offering grants to partnerships of private and public sector entities through the American Apprenticeship Initiative for innovative work-based learning and post-secondary earn-and-learn models. Deadline: 4/30/2015. http://www.grants.gov/search-grants.html

The Presbyterian Church is offering grants to nonprofit organizations addressing hunger and its causes in the United States. Grants ranging from $500 to $20,000 are provided in the following five categories: Development Assistance grants focus on creating a multi-faceted approach to the empowerment of poor people. Public Policy Advocacy grants encourage activities that advocate for political and economic policy changes that provide food for the poor. Lifestyle Integrity grants target programs that help the church to move toward sustainable lifestyles sensitive to the reality of the Earth’s limited resources. Education and Interpretation grants promote activities to educate the church and the public at large about the root causes of hunger. Direct Food Relief grants support programs that provide food to poor people in either acute or chronic conditions of hunger, with a focus on long-range solutions. Nonprofit organizations and Presbyterian congregations are eligible to apply. Deadline: letters of inquiry must be submitted by 4/30/2015. Visit the program’s website http://tinyurl.com/a5f733s

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

Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. http://www.raconline.org/funding/3738

–The HOME DEPOT Foundation’s Veteran Housing Grants Program is offering grants to nonprofit organizations nationwide that address the development and repair of veterans housing. Grants are provided for single family or multifamily housing, permanent supportive housing, and transitional housing projects. Grants ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 are awarded solely for the physical construction or repair of housing for veterans. Organizations that have previous experience developing, and either currently manage or own, veteran specific housing are eligible to apply. Deadline: 6/23/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website http://tinyurl.com/nn9jv67

MEETINGS/TRAINING

On March 19th Ben Winchester will be conducting a webinar entitled “Rewriting the Rural Narrative” from Noon- 1PM. This is the first in a three part series. There is no charge. For more information and to register, please go to: http://z.umn.edu/ruralwebinar.

TECH CITIES will be held March 27th at the University of MN Carlson School of Management. For more information go to: http://carlsonschool.umn.edu/events/tech-cities-conference

2015 Nonprofit Technology and 
Communications Conference will be held Thursday, April 9, 2015 from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis hosted by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. For information go to: http://tinyurl.com/7rawqvn

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

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

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

The full agenda and early-bird registration (deadline March 20, 2015) are available here. Member campuses are also welcome to sponsor a table (which includes eight tickets) for $500. With questions or to sign up as a sponsor, please contact Sinda. http://tinyurl.com/kno6eo7

Mark Your Calendars for the 2015 PedalMN Bicycle Conference The 2015 PedalMN Bicycle Conference will be May 4-5, 2015, in the third-most bicycle-friendly city in the nation, Minneapolis. http://tinyurl.com/ken7d9xRural Arts and Culture Summit – June 2-4, 2015, University of Minnesota Morris http://www.ruralartsandculturesummit.com

–The 2015 Minnesota Rural Health Conference will be held June 29-30, 2015 in Duluth. Sign up https://minnesotaruralhealthconference.org/Use Social Media to Promote Your Festivals and Events In this one-week online course from the University of Minnesota Tourism Center, students will learn about a variety of applications for social media usage before, during and after an event or festival. http://tinyurl.com/ky9fe8j

OPPORTUNITIES

The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) USDA Rural Development Partnership has announced the Rural Project Marketplace. The Marketplace will bring together rural communities and private sector investors to connect rural projects with financing and funding. CDFA will host two virtual marketplaces and one in-person marketplace annually. The online forum will be offered 3/23 and 3/24, 12:00-5:00 PM EDT. For more information, or to fill out an application form, click http://tinyurl.com/oydgjdx

–We are currently accepting applications for the Minnesota High Tech Association Foundation (MHTF) Scholarship. Deadline for application is April 1, 2015. The scholarships are for Minnesota undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.

  • These awards include $2,500 and $5,000 awards and can include internship opportunities at MHTA member companies. MHTF supports diversity in this application and award process. Eligibility requirements:
  • Must be pursuing an undergraduate degree in a STEM field or in STEM teaching
  • Only students with sophomore through senior academic status in the current school year may apply. Sophomore status may include students who have achieved this status through advanced placement (AP) credit or post-secondary options (PSEO)s
  • Applicants must be enrolled at an accredited, Minnesota-based higher education institution.
  • In addition to traditional STEM fields, health science majors whose studies will NOT lead to participation in direct patient care are welcome to apply.For more information and to apply go to: http://tinyurl.com/o5cs665

Scholarships Available for Students Interested in Pursuing Careers in Cooperatives. The Minnesota Cooperative Education Foundation is pleased to announce the Edward Slettom Cooperative Leadership scholarships are being offered for high school, college, graduate and law school students interested in pursuing careers in cooperatives.Please visit http://mcef.coop/scholarships, call 651-209-8895, or e-mail charlene.vrieze@cooperativenetwork.coop for application documents and eligibility information. The application deadline is April 1, 2015.

Does your nonprofit use technology in innovative ways? Are you pioneering new approaches in communications? Is your organization’s website the envy of the sector? The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits invites you to nominate your organization for a 2015 Dot.Org Award. Presented at the 2015 Nonprofit Technology and Communications Conference on April 9, this year’s awards will recognize nonprofits that are using technology and communications in inspiring, effective and creative ways. Winning organizations receive two complimentary admissions to the conference, will be recognized during the conference plenary, in the program and on MCN’s website, and receive a complimentary exhibit booth at the conference where they can showcase their winning project.   

What is Rural – visit this newly updated topic guide to learn about some of the most commonly used federal definitions of rural, including why we need them and how they are used. The guide was developed by Kathleen Spencer, RAC information specialist, with assistance from Steve Hirsch, Federal Office of Rural Health Policy; John Cromartie, USDA Economic Research Service; and Mandi-Leigh Peterson, University of North Dakota Center for Rural Health.

MISCELLANEOUS

For more information and to apply, visit the Dot.Org Awards page on MCN’s website. Winners announced April 1st. http://tinyurl.com/nobhr79

The awards include $500 for high school students and $750 for college students attending a two or four-year institution, as well as $1,000 for students in graduate or law school. The awards are based on scholastic achievement, leadership, and an ability to contribute to co-ops in the future. Applicants must be residents of Minnesota but need not attend a Minnesota institution of higher education.

–COMPASS POINTS 2015. Just released — includes notable trends, key demographics, and a dashboard look at measures of progress for 13 topic areas. http://tinyurl.com/ndjontj

Zooming in:  Equity, access, and local action. The 2015 Compass Annual Meeting, held February 5, highlighted three key drivers for Minnesota’s continued success. Check out key trends and data from the day’s research presentations.  http://tinyurl.com/o6g3g8d

Child poverty is more common in rural Minnesota. Poverty is more common among children than among adults in Minnesota, and child poverty is highest in rural counties. These data are displayed visually in our Mapping Minnesota project with Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and we highlight the findings in http://tinyurl.com/l9wsfwd

Regardless of where they live, children can be significantly affected by poverty in various ways, from lower academic performance to diminished social development. Minnesota lawmakers can reduce child poverty by enacting policies that improve opportunities for families to reach economic security.  Two solutions that can help lift families out of poverty are: increased funding for Basic Sliding Fee Child Care Assistance so parents can work while their children are well cared for; and expanding earned sick and safe time so workers don’t lose wages or their jobs if they take time to care for themselves or sick family members. http://tinyurl.com/m5bawnf

Net Neutrality Become a Reality. In February the FCC voted 3 to 2 to reclassify high-speed Internet service as a telecommunications service, instead of an information service, under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. http://wp.me/p3if7-328 The result wasn’t unexpected http://wp.me/p3if7-320 but to understand the implications, it’s valuable to look at the pros, cons and basics of Net Neutrality. http://wp.me/p3if7-30X

The Carsey Institute has co-published “CDFIs Stepping Into the Breach: An Impact Evaluation Summary Report”, with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. The report analyzes the impact of financial assistance awards and profiles recipients of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Program. Click http://tinyurl.com/p82fscs

–The Corporation for National and Community Service has released its 2014 report on “Volunteering and Civic Life in America”. According to the report, 62.6 million Americans volunteered nearly 7.7 billion hours last year. Based on the Independent Sector’s estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour, the estimated value of this volunteer service is nearly $173 billion. Download the report http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov/

–An article in The Atlantic, “Rural America’s Silent Housing Crisis” describes the need for safe and affordable housing in rural America and links housing to healthcare outcomes through the personal story of a Virginia woman. Read the article http://tinyurl.com/onrrlj9

–The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Urban Institute have published “Shared Measurement: Advancing Evaluation of Community Development Outcomes”. Maggie Grieve, vice president of Success Measures, has written an essay in the document that explores the benefits and challenges of using shared measures in community development. Get the document http://tinyurl.com/o3vperq

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a report on broadband deployment in the United States, with information specific to broadband access in rural and tribal communities. The report highlights the role of broadband in healthcare, provides maps showing rural broadband deployment, and includes state and county-level broadband access data. Get a copy of the report http://tinyurl.com/ntblsx6

–USDA Rural Development has a new website that offers information by topics, such as Rural Opportunities and a Rural Development blog. Visit the new site http://www.rd.usda.gov/

A Harvard Kennedy School paper, “The State and Fate of Community Banking”, reports that community banks play a major role in rural areas and in agriculture, small business, and residential mortgage lending. Get the report http://tinyurl.com/o5upygh

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Spread the Word: Health Equity Service Year. Deadline: April 3, 2015. Learn more here. Do you know a graduating senior or graduate who is passionate about health equity, wants experience in community health, and is seeking a meaningful gap year opportunity? Minnesota Campus Compact is accepting applications for the MNCC 2015-16 College Health Corps AmeriCorps VISTA program–plus one VISTA Leader position open exclusively to VISTA alums.  Find out how to apply here. Contact Sinda or call 612-436-2080 for more information. http://tinyurl.com/omkkyzd

 

January-February 2015 – Volume XIII, Number 1

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

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

FUNDING

  • 2015 REAP funding is available for rural small businesses and farmers. Financial assistance for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements is available to rural small businesses and agricultural producers through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). A notice of solicitation of applications for REAP funding was recently issued for fiscal year 2015 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business-Cooperative Service, with deadlines posted. http://tinyurl.com/p2773rf
  • Nonprofits Assistance Fund (NAF) announced it is now offering long- term loans for facility and real estate projects. The loans are available to nonprofits serving low-income or special needs populations in Minnesota. Learn more https://nonprofitsassistancefund.org/loans
  • –The Federal Transit Administration is offering grants to federally-recognized Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages, groups, and communities for public transportation programs on Indian reservations. Deadline: 2/18/2015. Click  http://tinyurl.com/ocbetl7 for grant guidelines.
  • –NEA is offering Art Works Grants to nonprofits, units of state or local government, and federally recognized tribal communities or tribes. Objectives: The creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. Deadline: 2/19/2015. Click http://tinyurl.com/oaz6vn6 for application guidelines.
  • The Dollar General Literacy Foundation supports nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and libraries that offer literacy programs in communities served by Dollar General in 40 states. Following are descriptions of programs offering grants: adult literacy grants support nonprofit organizations that provide direct services to adults in need of literacy assistance; family literacy grants support family literacy service providers that combine parent and youth literacy instruction; and summer reading grants help nonprofit organizations and libraries with the implementation or expansion of summer reading programs for students who are new readers, below grade level readers, or readers with learning disabilities. Deadline: 2/26/2015. In addition the Foundation offers youth literacy grants to support schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations that work to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. The application deadline for this program is 5/12/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website http://tinyurl.com/7q9ohzf to access guidelines for each grant program.
  • Applications for the second year of the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program will be accepted until February 28, 2015. The program, entering its second year, helps fund new solar electric and solar thermal systems for Minnesota residents, businesses, and communities. The program is administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
    The Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program has an annual budget of up to $15 million for 10 years, including $250,000 per year for solar thermal rebates. Approximately 50 percent of the incentives will go to residential systems and 50 percent to commercial for both the solar thermal and solar PV parts of the program. The program is funded by 5 percent of each electric investor-owned utility’s total annual Conservation Improvement Program budget, with remaining funds provided through the Xcel Renewable Development Fund. More information on the Made in Minnesota program. Questions can be directed to the Department of Commerce Energy Information Center at energy. Info@state.mn.us or 651-539-1886 or 1-800-657-3710.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice is offering grants to nonprofits and Indian Tribes for programs that ensure the successful transition of young fathers from secure confinement facilities and out-of-home placement back to their families and their communities. Deadline: 3/2/2015. http://tinyurl.com/ngw5fet
  • Rural Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Assistance Program Funding for projects designed to address and prevent sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in rural jurisdictions. Letter of Intent (Optional): Feb 11, 2015. Application deadline: Mar 4, 2015 http://www.raconline.org/funding/1413
  • –The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants through the Administration for Native Americans’ Sustainable Employment and Economic Development Strategies program. The program supports community-based projects that will foster economic development through the creation of small businesses and sustainable job growth. Priorities include creation of sustainable employment opportunities, professional training and skill development that increase participants’ employability and earning potential; creation and development of small businesses and entrepreneurial activities; and a demonstrated strategy and commitment to keeping the jobs and revenues generated by project activities within the Native communities being served. The deadline is 3/4/2015. Click here for guidelines and an application. http://tinyurl.com/oh2y5od
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies that provide medical education and services for programs that improve medical knowledge about geriatric care. Deadline: 3/5/2015. For application guidelines, http://tinyurl.com/pxzmjhy
  • USDA is offering grants through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program to encourage the next generation of farmers and ranchers, who will be integral to sustaining America’s agricultural future. Deadline to apply: 3/13/2015. Click http://tinyurl.com/qddhpqu
  • Enhanced Training and Services to End Abuse in Later Life Program Grants for training and services to address elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, involving victims who are 50 years of age or older. Application deadline: Mar 18, 2015 http://www.raconline.org/funding/1416
  • –William J. & Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation provides capacity building, special projects, and general operations support for family-centered endeavors in the areas of education, health and wellness, self-sufficiency, economic development, housing, arts and culture, and environmental sustainability. Deadline: Letter of Intent by 3/25/2015. Click http://tinyurl.com/n46oo4y
  • The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants through the Native Asset Building Initiative to Native American organizations that support low-income Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Pacific Islander, and Guam Native individuals and families to acquire long-term assets and improve their economic status. Deadline: 3/25/2015. Click http://tinyurl.com/kk3xy9y
  • The NFL Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) are offering grants to nonprofit community-based organizations for financial and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields. The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program seeks to redress the shortage of clean, safe, and accessible football fields in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Deadline to apply: 3/30/2015. Click http://tinyurl.com/a3kxnle to learn more about the program and funding guidelines.
  • – The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) announced a new one-time funding opportunity: the Rural Outreach Benefits Counseling Program. The three-year program seeks to expand health insurance outreach, education and enrollment efforts to eligible uninsured and newly insured individuals and families in rural communities. Applications due March 30. http://tinyurl.com/pdabcey
  • The National Science Foundation is offering grants to nonprofits, LEAs, and IHEs to provide superior STEM teacher preparation, along with better course materials and teaching methods. Deadline: 4/14/2015. For application guidelines, click http://tinyurl.com/p6y9zrx
  • 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 24, 2015. http://www.raconline.org/funding/3579
  • Community Economic Development (CED) Projects offers funds to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) for projects designed to address the economic needs of low-income individuals and families through the creation of employment and business opportunities, including expansion or construction of clinics and health centers. Bonus points will be given to projects that create jobs in rural communities. Application deadline: April 24, 2015. http://www.raconline.org/funding/2098
  • –The Lawrence Foundation is accepting proposals for program and operating grants from U.S. nonprofits working in the areas of the environmental, education, human services, disaster relief, and other issue areas. Deadline: 4/30/2015. Click http://tinyurl.com/p2b5uxt to visit the website for more information.
  • –The Department of Labor is offering grants to partnerships of private and public sector entities through the American Apprenticeship Initiative for innovative work-based learning and post-secondary earn-and-learn models. Deadline: 4/30/2015. Click http://tinyurl.com/o3fgybc to review application information.

MEETINGS/TRAINING

 

  • –Arts + Community Development in Rural Communities February 12 & 13. Are you interested in understanding how the arts can contribute to community development in rural communities of Minnesota? MCF’s Arts and Culture Funders Network is hosting two sessions in greater Minnesota to discuss this important topic and to introduce a new grant program available at ArtPlace America designed for place-based non-governmental organizations with a primary mission of community planning and development that are interested in incorporating arts and cultural strategies into their work. Register to attend in person or by videoconference: http://www.artplaceamerica.org/
  • –Heart & Soul Talk: Use Community Network Analysis to Improve Participation and Results. Identifying the multiple layers of community can be the difference between success or failure of a project. Orton’s Community Network Analysis (CNA) is a powerful way to understand who lives, works, and plays in your town and how best to reach them. Alece Montez-Greigo, director of programs, explains the tool. Heart & Soul practitioners join her to share on-the-ground experience using CNA. 4-5 p.m. EST, Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015. Free! http://tinyurl.com/pfalqlx
  • The Rural Assistance Center will be hosting a two part webinar series from the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services. Part one in the series will focus on the policy briefs the committee has issued on rural healthcare. Part two in the series will cover the briefs issued on rural human services. Please join RAC for these free webinars.
  • Part One of Two will be Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 1:00 pm Central Time.The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services has issued several recent Policy Briefs on rural healthcare. Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the Committee has focused much of its work on how the ACA would be implemented in rural America. The webinar will address two briefs that cover enrollment in and pricing of insurance plans and premiums for rural populations on the 2014 Health Insurance Marketplaces. The third brief discusses the provision of hospice benefits to the rural population.
  • Title: Health Update from The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services http://tinyurl.com/n5p8bsz
  • Affordable Care Act Plans and Premiums in Rural America, July 2014Rural Implications of the Affordable Care Act Outreach, Education, and Enrollment, January 2014
  • Rural Implications of Changes to the Medicare Hospice Benefit, August 2013
  • Register Now – http://tinyurl.com/n5p8bsz
  • Part Two of Two will be Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm Central Time.The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services will discuss its recent Policy Briefs on Rural Humans Services. In its first Policy Brief, the Committee examined the intersection of federal human services programs and rural poverty and included two case studies about two different types of anchor organizations to coordinate rural Human Services. In the other Policy Brief they discuss the unique needs and characteristics of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in rural America.
  • Title: Human Services Update from The National Advisory Committee on Rural and Human Services http://tinyurl.com/kxvxvx4
  •  Homelessness in Rural America, July 2014
  • The Intersection of Rural Poverty and Federal Human Services Programs, January 2014 Register now: http://tinyurl.com/kxvxvx4
  • –The 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum, “Smart Agriculture in the 21st Century”, will be held February 19-20, 2015 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, in Arlington, Virginia. The forum will take a global, modern look at the complex aspects of today’s agriculture industry. Visit the website http://www.usda.gov/oce/forum/ for details.
  • Energy Design Conference is Feb. 23-25 in Duluth. The 25th annual Energy Design Conference & Expo, hosted by Minnesota Power, will be held at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center on Feb. 23-25. This event will offer a diverse set of seminars and workshops about the latest in energy-efficient building and technologies, renewable energy, best practices, and responsible design. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources is a sponsor, exhibitor, and presenter. http://www.duluthenergydesign.com/
  • –Heart & Soul Training: Intro to Building Better Communities. Alece Montez-Griego, director of programs, leads an interactive webinar that will give participants insight into what makes Community Heart & Soul a powerful, results-oriented, and successful approach to community development and planning. This hour-long overview is the first in a series of four online trainings to be offered this year by the Orton Family Foundation. 3-4 p.m., EST, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. Free! http://tinyurl.com/oyslap9
  • The Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute (MESI) will host its the annual evaluation Spring Training event March 9-13, intended for new evaluators, professional evaluators, program directors and staff, community agency staff, students and others interested in conducting or using evaluations. MESI Spring Training provides a unique opportunity to learn and reflect on contemporary issues in evaluation with national experts and practitioners in a small setting at a fraction of the cost of larger trainings and conferences.  http://www.cehd.umn.edu/OLPD/MESI/One- and two-day pre-training workshops include both introductory and advanced concepts and skills, including the Minnesota premiere of Michael Quinn Patton’s Principles-Based Evaluation workshop, as well as workshops from other esteemed leaders in evaluation. For more information about training sessions and to register, visit evaluation.umn.edu.
  • The Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) 2015 Conference will be held March 10-11 at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud. The conference will showcase successful energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and will offer a great opportunity for people who are planning clean-energy activities in their communities. It will provide ideas for clean energy projects and a chance to network with peers, exhibitors, and others who can help projects move forward. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources is a conference sponsor and exhibitor and will provide a half-day poster session on several Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) grant projects. The Division’s lighting exhibit from the Minnesota State Fair will be displayed. To register and for more information, http://tinyurl.com/oyl4a9h
  • Rethinking Excellence in a Diverse Democracy: 2015 Minnesota Campus Compact Summit, Presidents’ Meeting, and Awards Ceremony will be held This annual convening focuses on key issues in our collaborative work and honors award recipients from across the state. A morning plenary will begin with powerful speakers, including Nekima Levy-Pounds, Professor of Law and Director of the Community Justice Project at the University of St. Thomas, and Andrew Seligsohn, the new president of national Campus Compact. Following the awards luncheon, afternoon breakout sessions will address:
  • April 16, 2015, St. Catherine University in St. Paul.
    • Developing Cultural Agility in Ourselves, Our Students, Institutions, and Partnerships
    • Higher Education, Community Engagement, and the Changing World of Work
    • Skills for Conflict Resolution in Collaborative Work
    • Student Perspectives on Community Engagement and the College/University Experience
    • Supporting Low-Income Students’ Success: Transformative Systems Change
  • The National Consumers League hosts LifeSmarts, an online competition for students in grades 6-12. Each month focuses on a different category important to teen consumers: personal finance, health and safety, consumer rights, technology, and the environment. Teams with the highest scores advance to state competitions in the early spring, and the winning teams advance to the National Championship (April 17-20 in Seattle, Wash.). Experts from these backgrounds are needed to serve as judges and officials at the state and national competitions. http://lifesmarts.org/
  • The Minnesota Department of Commerce was awarded a U.S. Department of Energy grant to decrease energy use at Minnesota municipal wastewater treatment facilities and scope opportunities for renewable energy generation. As part of the project’s objectives, Commerce and its core project partners (Minnesota Technical Assistance Program and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency) will engage municipal wastewater treatment facilities to participate in training and assessment activities in order to identify significant energy efficiency projects. http://tinyurl.com/mlajhwt
  • –The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Minnesota Chapter are pleased to host A Gift of Communication, where six nonprofits (chosen by lottery) will receive an afternoon of free consultation from seasoned IABC MN communications professionals on March 12 from 1 – 4:30 p.m. This event is geared towards nonprofits that are small enough to need help, but large enough to have some time and resources to devote to communications. Because of this we ask that participating organizations have an operating budget between $250,000 and $1 million. To enter your nonprofit, please fill out a short application. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/15Gift
  • The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) is making space available for meetings, art production, rehearsal, performance, exhibition, and more.  Contact Executive Director Mary Minnick-Daniels  at (320) 396-2337 or by email at director@ecrac.org for more information and to discuss your, or your organization’s, needs.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Minnesota on the move: Examining migration patterns. The state demographer’s office recently analyzed patterns of migration to better understand who is moving to Minnesota and who is moving away. State Demographer Susan Brower highlights some key findings, and gives her insight about what they mean. http://tinyurl.com/lqh4hv2
  • –The Pew Charitable Trusts has published a brief titled “Changing Patterns in U.S. Immigration and Population”. The analysis shows how the patterns are fueling population growth, and even reversing declines, in some surprising areas. Get a copy of the document http://tinyurl.com/kys669x
  • A New Majority: Low Income Students Now a Majority In the Nation’s Public Schools Provides data showing that a majority of students attending public schools come from low-income families and discusses implications of the findings.  http://tinyurl.com/kdqnj5cOlder adults soon to exceed school-age population. By 2020, Minnesota’s 65+ population is expected to exceed our state’s school-age population. Currently, at least 20 percent of residents are over age 65 in one-third of Minnesota’s counties. By 2030, this should be true for every county in Minnesota. http://tinyurl.com/lqh4hv2America’s Diverse Family Farms: 2014 Edition Most U.S. farms—97 percent in 2011—are family operations. Small family farms make up 90 percent of the count, though midsize and large-scale family farms produce 60 percent of value of production, per ERS’s latest Family Farm Report. http://tinyurl.com/omhxovx
  • –The National Rural Housing Coalition has released the results of a study called “Impact Report: The Economic and Human Impact of Nonprofit Organizations on Rural America”. The report includes success stories from rural housing organizations that provide affordable homes and rental housing opportunities in rural areas. Click http://tinyurl.com/p68wkqh to get a free copy.
  • Homeownership rates. The overall homeownership rate in Minnesota is about 72 percent, but that varies widely among major cities. A look at cities with populations of 20,000 or more shows Andover at #1 with a 94 percent homeownership rate, while Saint Paul and Minneapolis come in at the bottom with rates just below 50 percent. http://tinyurl.com/pf9csgd
  • –A new Housing Assistance Council report “Housing an Aging Rural America: Rural Seniors and Their Homes”, takes a look at rural elders and considers ways to provide them with quality, affordable housing. Get a copy http://tinyurl.com/ov69682
  • –The Center for Rural Affairs has released “Earned Income Tax Credit and Rural Households”, a report that looks at the Earned Income Tax Credit by place of residence. Authors discusses how this tax credit can be a safety-net effort and financial support to help rural families out of poverty. Download a copy.  http://files.cfra.org/pdf/EITC-final.pdf
  • –CFED has launched The Taxpayer Opportunity Network to support those who provide free tax preparation assistance for low-income communities. The Taxpayer Opportunity Network connects users with practitioners from across the country as well as tools and resources. The Network also facilitates advocacy for expanding resources for tax preparation services and creating a ‘right-side up’ tax code. To visit the site, click http://tinyurl.com/lnu4vtc
  • –The Housing Assistance Council’s publication Rural Voices analyzes the development and amelioration of poverty in rural America since the War on Poverty was declared 50 years ago. Download a copy http://tinyurl.com/pdk47hx
  • –CFED’s newest federal policy publication series, “Increasing Financial Well-Being through Integration”, chronicles policy changes that could increase the impact of social service programs by boosting families’ overall economic outcomes. The publication is available http://tinyurl.com/pp9ku27
  • –USDA Economic Research Service has released a report “Measuring Access to Healthful, Affordable Food in American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal Areas”. The study compares the distances to food markets that provide healthful and affordable foods in tribal areas to those of the rest of the country, and the effect of distance and limited food availability on the health of tribal populations. Download the summary report http://tinyurl.com/pjahu5c The full report can be found http://tinyurl.com/noz42no            The University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs offers an array of services through its community-strengthening programs. http://tinyurl.com/onqwkst

JOB OPPORTUNITIESResearch center connects university resources with community groups

  • From preschool to high school, programs aim to close Minnesota’s STEM achievement gap Hands-on educational experiences are exposing low-income students in Minnesota to the concepts and opportunities found in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. http://tinyurl.com/otykm4z
  • State Export Data While a States actual agricultural export value cannot be measured directly, USDAs Economic Research Service (ERS) has developed a methodology that provides indirect estimates of exports using State export shares. Estimates of annual U.S. agricultural export values by State and commodity are provided using two methods: fiscal year (FY) (October-September) exports based on each States share of U.S. agricultural production and a new calendar year (CY) (January-December) series of export estimates based on U.S. farm cash receipts. ERS provided estimates based on both methods in 2011 but will update and maintain only the new calendar year farm receipts-based estimates for 2012 and forward. http://tinyurl.com/qzvyb6p
  • CFED has released the 2015 version of its Assets and Opportunity Scorecard. It assesses the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 133 outcome and policy measures, which describe how well residents are faring and what states can do to help them build and protect assets. Access the data http://assetsandopportunity.org/
  • Bringing Vitality to Main Street: How Immigrant Small Businesses Help Local Economies Grow Looks at the role immigrants play as neighborhood business owners. Includes strategies for assisting immigrant businesses as a way to impact neighborhood revitalization and economic development. http://tinyurl.com/mx26yj4
  • Mapping the Measure of America State and county-level maps showing key health indicators such as life expectancy, diabetes, and more. Also covers indicators that impact health, like educational attainment and income. Select a county by clicking on the map for a brief profile. http://www.measureofamerica.org/maps/
  • The National Center for Rural Health Works published their study on the economic impact of healthcare on rural communities. Types of impacts examined include hospital construction, critical access hospitals, primary care physicians, general surgeons, pharmacies, dentists and more. Get a copy http://tinyurl.com/q6cbpkz
  • -Rural Schools and Health – visit this updated guide to learn about how rural schools can support the health of students and the community. Find school-based programs and strategies related to healthcare services, healthy eating, physical activity, health education, and more. http://www.raconline.org/topics/schools
  • Federal Office of Rural Health Policy has published a paper that identifies effective approaches to conduct health insurance outreach and enrollment activities in rural areas. The document describes challenges rural communities face when planning outreach and enrollment strategies and how to best overcome these challenges such as possible political resistance, limited access to internet, and geographic remoteness. Download a copy http://tinyurl.com/o3c4cvx
  • The Rural Assistance Center (RAC) has issued a new topic guide: Community Health Workers in Rural Settings and updated its Rural Mental Health and Oral Health in Rural Communities guides.
  • In the most recent issue of NEA Arts, the authors look at some of the innovative ways organizations are helping to positively change individuals and communities through the arts. From easing symptoms of trauma to changing the dynamics of the aging process, art is shown to have powerful healing properties. Read the article here. http://arts.gov/NEARTS
  • Trends in U.S. Local and Regional Food Systems: A Report to Congress ERS details current economic information on local food producers, consumers, and policies, based on findings from several national surveys and a synthesis of recent literature. http://tinyurl.com/qbxp68a
  • Structure and Finances of U.S. Farms: Family Farm Report, 2014 Edition
  • Farming is still an industry of family businesses. Ninety-seven percent of farms are family farms, and they account for 85 percent of farm production. Small farms make up 90 percent of the farm count and operate half of the Nation’s farmland. Most farm production, however, occurs on midsize and large-scale family farms. http://tinyurl.com/ozb2vn9
  • LifeSmarts Online Consumer Challenge
January – February 2015 (Nationwide)

OPPORTUNITIES

The University of Minnesota Crookston is Searching for a Director for the Center for Rural Economic Development. The University of Minnesota Crookston is hiring a Director for the Center for Rural Development. This person would work closely with the Center for Rural Economic Development Studies (CRES), EDA Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston, and the Northwest Region’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) as well as partners across the state in matters related to economic development. To view the full position description, please go to http://www3.crk.umn.edu/humanresources/Admin&staff-positions.htm.

–Job Opening for a Rural Health Planner in the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, $50,112-$73,853 annually. This position is the section and department expert on current and emerging rural health policy issues and analysis. Working with the Governor-appointed Rural Health Advisory Committee, the position leads these policy advisors in the identification of high-priority, wide-ranging rural health policy issues, and establishes goals and work plans for improving health status and health system performance in rural Minnesota. Find details and apply here: https://statejobs.doer.state.mn.us/JobPosting/View?_posting=14HEAL000535

Explore Minnesota Southern Region Coordinator Position Now Open

Explore Minnesota is accepting applications for the southern region coordinator position, located in Mankato. http://tinyurl.com/ntsgctd

We wanted to share this asap…

Job Opening in the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care

Rural Health Planner, $50,112-$73,853 annually

The Office of Rural Health & Primary Care at the Minnesota Department of Health is seeking a Rural Health Planner. This position is the section and department expert on current and emerging rural health policy issues and analysis. Working with the Governor-appointed Rural Health Advisory Committee, the position leads these policy advisors in the identification of high-priority, wide-ranging rural health policy issues, and establishes goals and work plans for improving health status and health system performance in rural Minnesota.

Please forward this posting to anyone who might be interested.

Find details and apply here: https://statejobs.doer.state.mn.us/JobPosting/View?_posting=14HEAL000535

December 2014- Volume XII, Number 8

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

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

FUNDING

–Minnesota Department of Health seeks proposals under two Learning Community http://tinyurl.com/ldvt7mb grant programs – the General Learning Community Grant Program and the Accountable Communities for Health (ACH) Learning Community Grant Program – in support of the Minnesota Accountable Health Model. http://tinyurl.com/m8bua6j A Learning Community is defined as learning teams who have common goals or interests, share best practice knowledge, and are actively engaged in implementing transformation in a focused, structured environment with the goal to advance patient-centered, coordinated and accountable care. Information about both programs is on the Learning Communities web page. Applications due December 30. http://tinyurl.com/ldvt7mb

–Wal-Mart Community Grants Program provides grants from $250 to $2,500 to support Wal-Mart store communities. Funding areas include sustainability, women’s economic empowerment, and career opportunity. Deadline: 12/31/2014. http://tinyurl.com/8m8qowt

– Angel Tax Credit Program Now Accepting Applications. Minnesota DEED is now accepting certification applications for the 2015 Angel Tax Credit program.

New features include:

  • $15 million in tax credits per year
  • $7.5 million in tax credits reserved for investments in women-owned, minority-owned and Greater Minnesota located businesses until Sept. 30
  • ‘Insiders’ (officers, principals, 20% owners and family with ownership interests combined, and family of these insiders) are no longer eligible for the credit
  • Eligible business types have been expanded: businesses researching or developing a proprietary product, process or service in agriculture, tourism, forestry, mining, manufacturing, or transportation (no high-tech or technology requirement). Businesses that receive angel funding must be headquartered in Minnesota and certified to participate in the program. They must have fewer than 25 employees, with at least 51 percent of the workers and total payroll based in the state. They also must have been operating for no more than 10 years and cannot have received previous equity investments exceeding $4 million. Credit allocation applications for the 2015 program will be accepted beginning Jan. 1, 2015. For more details about the program go to www.mn.gov/deed/angelcredit     

U.S. EDA will be providing $15 million in funding for the 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies Program competition. This includes 3 separate competitions:

Frontier Communications, DISH and other partners are sponsoring the revitalization of small communities with the AMERICA’s BEST COMMUNITIES Contest. More than $10 million will be provided to support innovation and growth to 50 rural communities over three years in this multi-stage contest. Communities with a population between 9,500 and 80,000 that are served by Frontier Communications may apply. Applications are due January 12, 2015. For more information go to: www.americasbestcommunities.com

Agricultural Safety Grants award funding to local- or regional-level agricultural health and safety intervention projects. Application deadline: Jan 7, 2015. Sponsored by the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America.

–Gannett Foundation is offering Community Action Grants to nonprofit 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. Deadline: 2/28/2015. Geographic coverage is limited to certain areas of 35 states and U.S. territories. Click here to visit the Foundation’s Website for details.

–The Corporation for National and Community Service is offering AmeriCorps State and National Grants to public and private nonprofit groups for projects that will improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic participation through service and volunteering. Deadline: 1/21/2015. Click here for an application.

–The American Association of University Women is providing grants of up to $10,000 for innovative programs or non-degree research projects that promote education and equality for women and girls, especially in STEM disciplines. Deadline: 1/15/2015. Click here for funding guidelines and an application.

Since 2010 the Angel Tax Credit Program has attracted more than $260 million for hundreds of high-tech startups in Minnesota. Under the program, qualified private investors receive a state tax credit of 25 percent for investing in qualified businesses.

Half of the $120 million in investments the Angel Tax Credit program hopes to attract over the next two years will be reserved for women-owned, minority-owned and Greater Minnesota located businesses. Any leftover tax credits not tapped for investments in those businesses by the September 30 deadline each year will be available for investments in businesses outside those groups.

i6 Challenge ($8 million)- “a national competition based on the most impactful national models for startup creation, innovation, and commercialization”

Science & Research Park Development Grants ($5 million)- “provides funding for feasibility and planning for the construction of new or expanded science or research parks, or the renovation of existing facilities”

Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds ($2 million)- “provide funding for technical assistance to support feasibility, planning, formation, or launch of cluster-based seed capital funds that are offered to innovation-based, growth-oriented start-up companies in exchange for equity”        A borrower must be an existing small business corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership or association and have less than 50 full-time employees, have an after-tax profit of less than $500,000 and a net worth of less than $1,000,000, and demonstrate an ability to repay the loan.The types of projects that qualify need to involve pre-approved capital equipment purchases that meet or exceed environmental rules and regulations, or pre-approved site investigations and cleanups. Projects begun or completed prior to MPCA approval are not eligible. Loans are awarded on a competitive basis year-round and are based on available funds. It typically takes a minimum of 45 days to complete the process once a loan is awarded.The general term

To qualify

MPCA small business loans help green up local business. Many businesses are eligible and can benefit from using a small business loan to change processes or equipment. Many auto body shops are switching from solvent to water-based coating systems. For fleet vehicles that are older than 2007, idling emissions can be reduced with idling technologies. For other companies, financial assistance can help with investigating or cleaning up contaminated sites.

–Solar thermal rebates still available from MiM Solar Incentive Program. Customers of electric investor-owned utilities (Xcel Energy, Alliant Energy, Minnesota Power, and Otter Tail Power) can still apply for a 2014 Made in Minnesota solar thermal rebate. Applications for the solar thermal rebates remain open on a first-come, first-served basis until 2014 funds are fully subscribed. Learn more.

There were webinars with more information about these programs. The webinars were recorded and can be viewed at http://ssti.org/webinar-library under the EDA Regional Innovation Grants heading. For the application package and more information, please go to http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=263990.

  • loan amount not less than $1,000 or more than $50,000,
  • an interest rate of four percent or one-half the prime rate, whichever is greater at the time of award,
  • repayment term of not more than seven years for environmental improvements, collateral is required,
  • and borrowers must complete an evaluation of the project’s realized environmental and economic benefits.  

–The Health Resources and Services Administration is offering grants to rural nonprofits and health care entities working in conjunction in planning a network. Grants are for programs that will expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential health care services and enhance the delivery of health care in rural areas through planning activities. Deadline: 1/9/2015. http://tinyurl.com/k3n6jwy

–Youth Service American and SODEXO Foundation are offering grants for youth-led projects that bring together young people, families, and other community members to address childhood hunger on Global Youth Service Days, April 17-19, 2015. Deadline to apply: 1/15/2015. http://www.ysa.org/sodexoyouth

–The National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants through The Big Read Program for nonprofit and public agencies in developing community-wide reading programs that encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. Funded programs include activities such as author readings, book discussions, panel discussions, lectures, art exhibits, film series, music or dance events, theatrical performances, and other events and activities related to one of 37 available reading choices. Deadline: 1/28/2015. http://www.neabigread.org/guidelines.php

–The Fund for Teachers will award fellowships to pre-K-12 classroom teachers throughout the United States so that they may participate in training and enriching activities that will improve their skills as teachers. Educators should propose a summer activity and explain how the endeavor will make the applicant a better teacher, how the applicant will implement his or her new improved skills in the classroom, and how these improved skills will benefit students, curricula, and the school. Eligible teachers may apply as individuals (funding limit of $5,000) or as a team (funding limit of $10,000). Deadline to apply: 1/29/2015. http://www.fundforteachers.org/apply.php

–Mary Byron Foundation will honor programs that demonstrate promise in ending the cycle of domestic violence in underserved populations. Deadline to apply: 1/31/2015. http://www.fundforteachers.org/apply.phpPredoctoral Training in General, Pediatric, and Public Health Dentistry and Dental Hygiene awards funding for predoctoral training programs that are designed to educate predoctoral dental students, dental hygiene students, and dental hygienists, preparing them to practice in new and emerging models of care that are designed to meet the needs of vulnerable, underserved, and rural populations. Sponsor: Bureau of Health Workforce. Application deadline: Feb 2, 2015. http://tinyurl.com/lnapemj

–February 2nd is the Next Grant Deadline!  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 deadline to apply for funding is Monday, February 2nd, 2015. ECRAC funding is available for the following grant programs:

– Art in Our Schools Grants: School districts may apply for arts-related funding up to $1,000.
– Small/Art Project Assistance Grants: Nonprofit organizations, school districts, and local units of government may apply for arts-related funding ranging from $500-$5,000
–  Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Organizations: Nonprofit organizations, school districts, and local units of government may apply for arts-related funding ranging from $5,000-$15,000.
– Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Individuals: Individual artists may apply for arts-related funding up to $2,500. Eligible applicants must be permanent residents of Pine, Isanti, Chisago, Kanabec, or Mille Lacs County.
– McKnight Individual Artist Grants: Individual artists may apply for arts-related funding up to $1,000. Eligible applicants must be permanent residents of Pine, Isanti, Chisago, Kanabec, or Mille Lacs County.Grant applicants requesting technical assistance or wanting more information regarding arts grant programs can contact the ECRAC office by phone at 320-396-2337, and by email at matt@ecrac.org. Staff members are also available to meet 1-1 with individual artists and arts groups wishing to discuss their ideas for potential proposals. Additional information regarding these funding opportunities and all application forms can be found and downloaded at the ECRAC website:http://www.ecrac.org, or by visiting the ECRAC office located at 112 Main Avenue South, Braham, MN. For more information, please call 320-396-2337, or visit the website at: www.ecrac.org.

–HUD is offering up to four grants through the Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant Program. The program transforms neighborhoods of concentrated poverty into mixed-income neighborhoods of long-term viability by revitalizing severely distressed public and/or assisted housing; improving access to economic opportunities; and investing and leveraging investments in well-functioning services, effective schools and education programs, public assets, public transportation, and improved access to jobs. Deadline: 2/9/2015. http://tinyurl.com/kqp2aul

Advanced Nursing Education Grants . Grants for projects that support the enhancement of advanced nursing education and practice. Awardees will create or enhance partnerships between academic institutions and rural or underserved clinical practice sites to improve student readiness to enter those areas upon graduation. Sponsor: Bureau of Health Workforce. Application deadline: Feb 13, 2015. http://tinyurl.com/kajmjok

–HARPO Foundation is accepting applications for Native American artist fellowships. One-month fellowships will be awarded to Native American artists who demonstrate strong artistic ability and a practice that engages a dialogue between the indigenous world and the surrounding culture. Deadline: 2/15/2015. http://tinyurl.com/qhbrktg

–The Lawrence Foundation is accepting proposals for program and operating grants from U.S. nonprofits working in the areas of the environmental, education, human services, disaster relief, and other issue areas. Deadline: 4/30/2015. http://tinyurl.com/p2b5uxt

USDA Community Facilities Loan and Grant Program. Funding to construct, enlarge, or improve essential community facilities for healthcare, public safety, education, and public services in rural areas. Sponsor: USDA Rural Development. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. http://www.raconline.org/funding/91  Registration is now open for the 2015 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, Feb. 3-4 in St. Paul. http://tinyurl.com/lkeytvz-SAVE THE DATE – INSPIRE the 58th annual invention expo, being held in Minneapolis Convention Center on April 30 – May 1, 2015!

Rural Arts and Culture Summit, June 2- 4, 2015, University of Minnesota Morris2015 National Rural Assembly will be held September 8-10, 2015 at the — The 11th Annual Minnesota e-Health Summit, Connecting Communities to Advance Population Health, will take place June 16-17, 2015 in St. Louis Park.–The 2015 Minnesota Rural Health Conference will be held June 29-30, 2015 in Duluth. Sign up to receive email updates. http://tinyurl.com/k4xkbpmOPPORTUNITIES

–Free download: Rewriting the Rural Narrative.  If you missed Ben Winchester’s talk on population trends in rural communities, no worries. You can download a recording of the hour-long webinar that focuses on Ben’s research on rural migration trends and the impacts they have on social and economic opportunity. While brain drain, the loss of 18- to 29-year-olds, dominates the conversation about rural population change, Ben’s research shows a lesser known migration. A majority of rural counties are, in fact, experiencing brain gains as newcomers age 30-49 move in. Ben is a research fellow for the University of Minnesota Extension, Center for Community Vitality.               Energy and water are inseparable issues. See what clients and utilities across the United States are doing to squeeze more use out of every precious drop of water. http://tinyurl.com/pef5co7

–According to the USDA, while the U.S. economy is now in its sixth year of recovery from the Great Recession of 2007-09, many rural areas have struggled to recover the jobs lost during the downturn. While urban employment now exceeds pre-recession levels, rural employment remains well below its 2007 peak and has continued to fall over the last year in many areas. Notable clusters of employment decline can be found in the Deep South, Appalachia, the Mountain West, and the Pacific Northwest. Employment in rural America as a whole is less than two percent above the employment trough reached during the recession, and rose less than one percent between mid-2013 and mid-2014. Click http://tinyurl.com/n8w5xmc to download the November 2014 edition of Rural America at a Glance.

Inflation and Higher Food Prices Kept Food Insecurity Rates Relatively High After the 2007-09 Recession (Amber Waves feature) If agricultural productivity growth slows in future years, how will global agricultural output, consumption, land use, and prices adjust? To address this question, ERS researchers recently used the agency’s global agricultural and energy economic model—the Future Agricultural Resources Model (FARM)—to simulate agricultural markets in 2050 under a range of different scenarios. http://tinyurl.com/l9facq9

–The University of Washington has developed a series of training videos designed to assist American Indian and Alaska Native physicians, tribal health clinics, and tribal grant writers in applying for grant opportunities. Modules include writing statement of needs, writing goals and objectives, preparing budgets, planning and submitting for federal grants, and challenges that tribes may experience when applying for grant money. Access all the materials http://tinyurl.com/lssfcn7

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s “Plan. Prepare. Prevail.” program is available to individuals, families, and small business owners to learn about the financial documents and records they need to have available in case of an emergency situation. Several of the materials are now available in Spanish on the website. This includes the personal and small business financial inventory forms and the quick checklists to identify and organize key financial records. http://tinyurl.com/o7zbovn

–“Healthcare Access in Rural Communities” provides an overview of challenges to healthcare access in rural America and ways communities and policymakers can address community needs. The guide was developed by the Rural Assistance Center Information and the RUPRI Center for Rural Policy Analysis. http://tinyurl.com/kd24ly9

MNsure has published an online Assister Directory searchable by county, city, zip code and/or language. https://www.mnsure.org/help/find-assister/

–The Rural Assistance Center (RAC) has issued two new topic guides: Health Care Access in Rural Communities http://tinyurl.com/kd3twqb and Conducting Rural Health Research, Needs Assessment, and Program Evaluation http://tinyurl.com/ny5xueh and updated its Rural Health Disparities guide.

2014 Update of the Rural-Urban Chartbook provides an update to information provided in Health, United States, 2001: With Urban and Rural Health Chartbook. Highlights current trends and disparities across different levels of metro- and nonmetropolitan counties including population characteristics; health-related behaviors and risk factors; mortality rates; healthcare access and use; and other health measures such as teen birth rates, tooth loss, and activity limitations due to chronic disease. http://tinyurl.com/n3trymt

–“Trends and New Directions: Area Agencies on Aging Survey” presents survey results on the role of Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) and their operations and services in meeting the needs of their communities. Includes examples of AAA projects that are serving rural communities. http://tinyurl.com/lmmeh6w

–Minnesota Compass has put more data at your fingertips on aging and immigration:Aging: http://tinyurl.com/l7sfwo7 Data about older adults on 16 key measures throughout the site can now be quickly accessed directly from the Aging topic. Check out our new Cross-topic section in the top and left navigation bars. We also have a new Group at a glance profile http://tinyurl.com/mg9eep2 for a quick overview of Minnesota’s older adult population.Immigration: http://tinyurl.com/kp9yp9d Similar to aging, all key measures with immigration information have been added under a new Cross-topic navigation heading within the Immigration topic. In addition, Groups at a glance profiles have been updated, and now appear in the navigation.

–A new study from the National Association of Counties (NACo) is a collection of case studies of rural counties that are using innovative/asset-based approaches to economic development. You can access the report http://tinyurl.com/nvpwdzo

Impact Report: The Economic and Human Impact of Nonprofit Organizations on Rural America Includes success stories from rural housing organizations that provide affordable homes and rental housing opportunities in rural areas. Organization: National Rural Housing Coalition http://tinyurl.com/p68wkqh

–According to USDA Rural Veterans at a Glance, nearly 4 million veterans resided in rural (nonmetropolitan) America in 2012. They are a rapidly aging and increasingly diverse group of men and women who comprise over 10 percent of the rural adult population despite their persistently declining numbers; the number of veterans living in rural areas declined from 6.6 million in 1992 to 3.8 million in 2012. Read more http://tinyurl.com/of8ad4s

American Community Survey Narrative Profiles. Produces brief narrative reports for selected regions based on the most recent ACS 5-year estimates. Addresses health insurance coverage, disability status, age, poverty, and other topics. Reports can be generated for counties, towns, zip codes, census tracts, and more. http://tinyurl.com/m46cw3n

Minnesota Department of Health is accepting applications for two leadership positions: Assistant Commissioner for Health Protection http://tinyurl.com/o7ccxgv and Director of the Center for Health Equity. http://tinyurl.com/q94fk9j Applications for the assistant commissioner position will be accepted until December 22, and those for the division director position until December 31.

PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

With Adequate Productivity Growth, Global Agriculture Is Resilient to Future Population and Economic Growth (Amber Waves feature)

Despite falling unemployment rates, the prevalence of food insecurity among U.S. households remained relatively stable from the end of the Great Recession (2007-09) through 2013. Higher general inflation, combined with higher relative food prices, offset the effect of lower unemployment.

Featured Documentary – 
Water: The Lifeblood of Energy

MISCELLANEOUS

2014 Kids Count Data Book. Annie E. Casey Foundation recently released the 2014 Kids Count Data Book – an annual snapshot of critical benchmarks that show how we’re doing in terms of economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. It has good information for practitioners and is a great starting point for measuring outcomes. MORE

–The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published its list of rural and underserved counties for 2015. View the lists here.

–According to Rural Family Economic Success Action Network (RuFES) one-in-Five New Rural Americans is foreign-born. Over 11 million new residents moved to rural and mixed-rural counties across the United States since 2000. Of the 11 million, 2.3 were foreign-born. That means that one-in-five new rural Americans are immigrants. To check the ratio in your state, click here. To read an article about how a rural Minnesota community found a way to help their foreign-born neighbors, click here.

The U.S. Census has released 2013 American Housing Survey tables. This survey includes characteristics and physical condition of the nation’s housing units, indicators of housing and neighborhood quality, and home improvement activities. This year’s survey includes new topics: disaster planning and emergency preparedness, public transportation, household involvement in neighborhood and community activities and the prevalence of “doubled-up” households. Click here to view the tables.

USDA has released a new state-by-state “Made in Rural America” report showing the impact of USDA investments in rural communities. Each state factsheet highlights specific investments in rural businesses, manufacturing, energy, water and other infrastructure development. They also outline how USDA is helping rural communities attract businesses and families by investing in housing and broadband. Click here to access the state factsheets.

Homelessness in Rural America discusses the unique needs and characteristics of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in rural America. It covers issues of access and barriers to care for rural human service delivery for homeless populations as well as makes recommendation to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to address these issues. If is provided by the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services.

National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) provides access to results for this annual survey focused on substance abuse and mental health issues. Includes information on prevalence and services. Rural-specific data is available in detailed tables that list “geographic characteristics.” Data is also made available by state and for regions within states.

Minnesota’s growing Hispanic population: 5 trends of interest from Minnesota Compass. Read it now.

Updated state-level data for 10 key measures. Minnesota Compass has been busy compiling and posting newly released census data for 10 key measures, including: cost-burdened households, proportion of adults working, poverty, health insurance, median income, educational attainment, home ownership, disability. View highlights.

–The Orton Family Foundation Community Heart & Soul™ Field Guide, available as a free download, spells out step-by-step how to inspire residents to shape the future of their communities, based on what matters most to them. Whether you are a city planner, elected official, or a resident concerned about your town’s future, I hope you will take a moment to download the Field Guide and start the conversation about strengthening the social, cultural and economic vibrancy of your town.

Amber Waves magazine presents the broad scope of ERS research and analysis on the economics of food, farming, natural resources, and rural America. The October 2014 issue includes articles on crop insurance, use of nutrition labeling on menus, agritourism, climate change, rural employment in the latest recession and recovery, and food consumption and nutrient intake.

Rural Employment in Recession and Recovery (Amber Waves feature) Rural counties as a whole saw a higher rate of employment decline than urban areas in the recession, and rural employment growth has lagged well behind metro growth in the recovery.

The Center for Rural Policy & Development released its State of Rural Minnesota Report 2014, a presentation of demographic and economic statistics on rural Minnesota, including maps with county-level data.

Download now »

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. RSVP to the Facebook page.

Registration Now Open for 2015 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference

MEETINGS

CHS Foundation Grants awards funding for projects and programs related to rural youth leadership, rural cooperative education, community leadership development, and farm and agriculture safety. Application deadline: ongoing.

Go here for more information or contact Hien Le at the MPCA at hien.le@state.mn.us or 651-757-2519.

October 2014- Volume XII, Number 7

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

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

Across the Field: FALL HAS ARRIVED!!

We will let the photo of the Fall season fallserve as our Across the Field (or Across the Forest!) this month. We hope that in the midst of your busy days you find some time to enjoy the beautiful fall colors in our state!

FUNDING        

– The Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust is offering grants to nonprofits for programs that support veterans and their families. Programs supported by the Trust typically provide the following: food, shelter, and other necessary items to homeless or at-risk veterans; mobility items or assistance specific to veterans with blindness or vision loss, hearing loss, or amputations; qualified therapeutic activities for veterans and/or their families; and physical and psychological rehabilitation projects. Priority is given to long-term service projects providing direct assistance to sick and injured veterans and their families. Deadline to apply: 10/20/2014. Click here to review application guidelines.

–The YMCA of the USA is accepting entries from individuals and groups for its third annual My Fresh Page Project competition. Through the competition, the Y will award a total of $20,000 in support of small ideas that impact communities in big ways. Community members from across the nation will be able to vote for their favorite idea once a day, now through October 24, 2014. Applicants may submit their projects in one of three prize categories: $5,000 prize, $1,000 prize, and $500 prize. The deadline to apply: 10/24/2014. Click here for further guidelines.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is accepting applications to its Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program. Grants will be used to deploy broadband infrastructure and expand access of broadband service to unserved and underserved areas of the state. Applications due October 28.

–The Griswold Cares Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the country that enhance the quality of life for low-income seniors and adults with disabilities who choose to age in place. The Foundation’s 2014 funding priorities focus on support for programs that provide respite care and short-term home care. The Foundation also supports local community and grassroots organizations that provide other programs and services with the intent of helping those of limited financial means to age in place. Deadline: 10/31/2014. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.  

–Whole Kids Foundation is offering grants to schools and nonprofit organizations working at schools to support edible gardens at schools serving any grade K-12. These grants of $2,000 are awarded in the U.S. and Canada. Consideration is given to new or existing garden projects at any stage of development, whether planning, construction, or operation, that help children engage with fresh fruits and vegetables. Deadline: 10/31/2014. Visit the Foundation’s website here to complete the online application.

Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care (ORHPC) announces two new grant programs: the Dental Safety Net Grant Program and the Mental Health Safety Net Grant Program. Both provide support for treating the uninsured, with funds distributed based on the number of individual uninsured patients under the age of 21 served by the applicant. Learn more on the ORHPC Grants and Loan page. Step 1 applications due October 31.

–The Laura Jane Musser Fund is offering grants for programs that encourage collaborative and participatory efforts among citizens in communities in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wyoming. Through the Rural Initiative Program, the Fund supports efforts that will help to strengthen individual rural towns in the targeted states in a number of civic areas, including, but not limited to, economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements, and education. Deadline: 11/1/2014. Specific grant guidelines and application procedures are available on the Fund’s website here.  

–The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is offering grants in the following two categories: 1) Community Development Grants supporting 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. 2) Economic Development Grants supporting Economic Development Institutions that include the voice of the poor and marginalized in developing new businesses that offer good jobs or develop assets that will be owned by local communities. Grants range between $25,000 and $75,000. Deadline: pre-applications for both programs are due by 11/1/2014. Visit the CCHD website here for more information.  

ArtPlace America is now accepting Letters of Inquiry for projects that strengthen community via art and culture. Grants range from $50K-$500K. Apply by November 3, 2014.

–The Federal Transit Administration announced approximately $20 million in funding for the Pilot Program for Transit Oriented Development Planning. These funds are for local communities to integrate land use and transportation planning through a transit capital investment. Award amounts will vary from $250,000 to $2 million. Deadline: 11/3/2014. For guidelines, click here.  

–TRIBECA ALL ACCESS will award a $15,000 grant to five narrative filmmakers and five documentary filmmakers whose teams include a U.S.-based director or screenwriter from a community that is statistically underrepresented in the film industry for use in the development, production, post-production, or marketing of their film project. Deadline to apply: 11/5/2014. Click here for guidelines.  

The federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) is accepting applications to the FY15 Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grant Program to improve outreach and service delivery in local and regional rural communities. The lead applicant must be a rural non-profit or rural public entity representing a consortium of at least three health care providers. Applications due November 14.

–HUD has announced the second round of Promise Zones competition. To apply, communities must meet poverty rate and population requirements. HUD will designate six urban communities, one rural community and one tribal community through the competition. Deadline: 11/21/2014. Click here for application guidelines and to register for one of the webcasts.

–The AGSTAR Fund for Rural America supports nonprofit organizations in the service area where AgStar has a significant business presence in Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. The Fund offers grants of up to $10,000 for direct project or program costs for programs in the following four major areas: education, environment, technology, and quality of life. Deadline: 11/30/2014. Visit the AgStar website here to review the funding guidelines and application instructions.  

–THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS (NEA) is offering Our Town grants to support creative placemaking projects that contribute towards the livability of communities and help transform them into lively, equitable, and resilient places with the arts at their core. The Our Town program supports arts engagement, cultural planning, and design projects. The NEA is also offering a new project category this year, funding up to five projects carried out by arts or design service organizations, or other national or regional membership organizations, that provide technical assistance to those doing place-based work. The goal is to expand the knowledge base about creative placemaking to their members and the field. Deadline: 12/15/2014. Click here to learn more about this program and to register for one of the webinars.  

The Minnesota Angel Tax Credit Program is reaching out to a broader audience. The popular state program that has attracted more than $260 million for high-tech startups in Minnesota since 2010 will focus much of its efforts in the next two years on helping businesses located in Greater Minnesota and those owned by women or members of minority groups. READ MORE

The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced the incentive amounts for the second year (2015) of its 10-year, $15-million-a-year Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program. The incentives are available to customers of investor-owned utilities (Xcel Energy, Alliant Energy, Minnesota Power, and Otter Tail Power) who install solar electric systems (PV) using solar modules certified as manufactured in Minnesota. Applications will be accepted annually between Jan. 1-Feb. 28 each year through 2023 and will be selected by lottery. Read more on the incentive amounts.

Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge -Win $15,000.00 – enter today!

What is the Challenge?  Link to Website for more information  If you live in a nonmetro county this message is for you! Your business does not have to be ag related! http://www.strongruralamerica.com/challenge/eligibility/  

Bush Foundation offers opportunities to help your organization move toward innovation: https://www.bushfoundation.org/ — Community Creativity Cohort – a one-time program designed to both recognize and learn from exemplary organizations that meaningfully engage people in the arts and integrate the arts into public life. The Community Creativity Cohort will inform the Foundation’s future work in the arts. Applications accepted through October 16.

 BEN & JERRY’S FOUNDATION is offering grants of up to $20,000 to support nonprofit community-organizing groups in the United States working to further social and environmental justice and support sustainable and just food systems. Deadline: 10/15/2014 (pre-applications). Click here for application guidelines.  http://benandjerrysfoundation.org/the-grassroots-organizing-for-social-change-program/

The Explore Minnesota guidelines for 2015 grants are now available. The grant program is offered to assist communities and scenic byway organizations in attracting travelers to Minnesota. Information on the program and guidelines for grants are posted on the industry website at http://www.exploreminnesota.com/industry-minnesota/ways-to-get-involved/grants/

The maximum grant amount is $8,000 and requires a match from the recipient. Organizations with total income of $100,000 or less qualify for a 1-to-1 match; those with total income over $100,000 are required to match at 2-to-1.  Very little was changed in the 2015 grant guidelines, however, prospective applicants are encouraged to carefully review the guidelines as they consider projects that might be included in the grant application. Applications are due Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014.  Minnesota non-profit tourism or scenic byway organizations who want further information on the grant program should contact their respective regional manager: Central or Northwest – Carol Altepeter, 888-629-6466, or David Bergman, 888-563-7777Metro – Gayle Junnila, 800-657-3637; 651-757-1852 Northeast – Tim Campbell, 888-876-6784Southern – Dave Vogel, 888-975-6766

Laura Jane Musser Fund: Intercultural Harmony Program  The Fund would like to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between groups and citizens of different cultural backgrounds within defined geographical areas through collaborative, cross-cultural exchange projects. Projects must be intercultural and demonstrate intercultural exchange, rather than focused on just one culture.  Deadline: October 17, 2014.  http://www.musserfund.org

The Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) Fund program is accepting grant applications from sponsoring institutions with accredited teaching programs providing clinical training in fiscal year 2013 for advanced practice nursing, clinical social workers, community health workers, community paramedics, dental students/residents, dental therapists/advanced dental therapists, chiropractic students, medical students/residents, pharmacy students/residents, physician assistants and psychologists. Programs must submit their application through their sponsoring institution. Find more details on the MERC Grant Application Information page. Applications due October 31. http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/hpsc/hep/merc/mcapinfo.html

USDA is offering grants to nonprofits through the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) which provides financial and technical assistance to recipients in developing their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development. DEADLINE: 11/12/2014. Click here for application guidelines.  http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/had-rcdi_grants.html

–MPCA Environmental Loan Program.  Consider applying if you’ve been thinking about a project in green chemistry, pollution prevention, source reduction, recycling, or source-separated composting. Eligible applicants for the EA Loan Program include Minnesota-based, small- to medium-sized businesses and political subdivisions of Minnesota. Candidates that are contemplating smaller projects are particularly encouraged to apply this spring. Priority eligible applicants are Minnesota-based small to medium-sized businesses and political subdivisions of Minnesota. Applications are being accepted until June 30, 2015. Visit the MPCA Environmental Assistance Loan Program for more information. http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/about-mpca/assistance/financial-assistance/environmental-assistance-grants-and-loans/environmental-assistance-loan-program.html

FINRA INVESTOR EDUCATION FOUNDATION offers funding to nonprofits, and state and public colleges and universities for projects that advance understanding of the relationships among financial literacy, financial capability, and financial well-being. Deadline: A Project Concept Form may be submitted at any time. Grants of $50,000 to $100,000 are available. Visit the Foundation’s website here for application guidelines and more information. http://www.finrafoundation.org/grants/general/guidelines/

 –Blandin Foundation trustees voted to extend broadband work and allocate $1.5 million more for broadband grantsMore information here.   

- MPCA Small Business Environmental Loan Program. To qualify, a borrower must:  be an existing small business corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership or association and have less than 50 full-time employees, have an after-tax profit of less than $500,000 and a net worth of less than $1,000,000, demonstrate an ability to repay the loan. To receive an application, contact the MPCA’s Small Business Ombudsman, Mike Nelson at michael.nelson@state.mn.us or 651.757.2122.

The Toro Company’s Centennial Legacy Grant Program is currently accepting applications from non-profits that are located within 30 miles of a Toro community (in Minnesota: Shakopee, Windom, and the Twin Cities). Grants will support non-profit organizations in their efforts to beautify and preserve outdoor environments and enhance green spaces at home, work and play. The objective of the program is to provide funding for projects in these focus areas that will serve the community for many years to come.  Grants will be made to qualified organizations in the communities where Toro employees live and work. For more information or to apply go to: http://tinyurl.com/oqv3r49

The G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation is offering general support grants to nonprofit organizations for general support for religious, charitable, scientific, literary and education causes. Deadline: letters of inquiry may be submitted at any time. Click here to visit the website for application guidelines. 

– The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it has set a goal of investing $50 million to increase access to mental health care in rural areas over the next three years. The funding will be used for the construction, expansion or equipping of rural mental health facilities and will be provided through the USDA’s Community Facilities direct loan program. http://tinyurl.com/bndtlo8

Competitive Grant To Establish a USDA Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice ResearchUSDA ERS in partnership with USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is inviting proposals to establish the USDA Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice Research. The USDA Center will apply behavioral economics to food choice behaviors, including consumer, food industry, and retailer behaviors, that are relevant to USDA policies, with special attention to the SNAP and WIC programs. http://tinyurl.com/pupeczx 

TRAINING/MEETINGS

– RURAL HEALTH COMMUNITY FORUMS in TRACY AND BENSON. Join the Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care (ORHPC) in gathering information and making recommendations about rural health care in Minnesota. Interested citizens, hospital administrators and staff, emergency medical services personnel, health care providers, and community organizers and leaders are encouraged to attend one of two upcoming regional forums: in Benson on October 20 at ACMC/Swift County Benson Hospital and in Tracy on October 21 at the Fitness Depot Wellness Center. Your input will help shape state and national health care policies and activities. To attend, please register online. For more information, contact Judy Bergh at 651-201-3843 or judith.bergh@state.mn.us.

–Policy Link will offer a webinar titled “Financing Basics: Working with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)” on October 21, 2014, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM ET. This webinar will introduce the audience to CDFIs and will feature different financial products that CDFIs can use to finance healthy food projects and provide examples of successful projects. Click hereto register.  

Cyber Security Summit will be held in Minneapolis on October 21-22.

The first “Worker’s Compensation Seminar: What You Need to Know” will be held at Central Lakes College on Oct. 27 from 1- 4PM. There will be additional seminars held at different locations on Oct. 28 (Bemidji), Oct. 29 (Thief River Falls), and Oct. 30 (Perham). Fee for each one is $25. To register for any of the seminars and to see timing and location of the other seminars, please go to https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/ Default.aspx?EventID=1617620  

FEAST! the largest celebration of local foods in the tri-state area will premiere November 2-3, 2014 at the Rochester Civic Center in Rochester, MN.   For general information go to:  http:// www.local-feast.org/.  For exhibitor details and application form, visit http://local-feast.org/ exhibitor_app or contact Devon at devon@rtcinfo.org.  

The CDFI Fund, in partnership with the Opportunity Finance Network, is holding a series of webinars exploring the financial intricacies of community health centers and ways CDFIs can invest in them. The last webinar will be held October 22 at 2:00 PM ET. Learn more about the series by clicking here.  http://ofn.org/financing-community-health-centers#Technical-Assistance-Webinars

30th Annual Minnesota Policy Conference will be held October 15,  at the Continuing Education and Conference Center, St. Paul. Keynote presentations from Susan Brower, state demographer and Laura Kalambokidis, state economist will highlight key trends that everyone involved in policy work needs to know. http://cce.umn.edu/annual-minnesota-policy-conference/

–The Art of Participatory Leadership, October 21-23 in Mankato, MN. Information and registration is available here:  http://issuu.com/katieboone/docs/aopl_mankato_invite There is an early bird registration discount.

–The 2014 Many Faces of Community Health Conference: Community Centered Care and the People We Serve, will be held October 23-24 in Minnetonka.   

The MINN IDEA Summit will be held on October 24 at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs campus in Minneapolis bringing together hundreds of leaders from nonprofit organizations, foundations, donor groups, the private sector, and educational institutions with a professional or personal interest in international work and a passion for assisting others.  The theme of Innovation through Collaboration will be examined through speeches, panel discussions and breakout sessions. Summit attendees will gain knowledge of the latest development trends, be exposed to new programming approaches and acquire new ideas for more effective action. Learn more and register. http://tinyurl.com/k8kcsxz

Food Access Summit 2014.  October 28-30, 2014, Duluth Entertainment Convention Center http://www.foodaccesssummit.com/

– The Minnesota Council on Foundations 2014 Annual Conference, Today’s Realities | Tomorrow’s Opportunities, to be held on October 31, 2014 at the Crowne Plaza St. Paul-Riverfront in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Watch for more information next month!
Nonprofits in Motion: Momentum for a New Minnesota will be held November 6-7, Saint Paul RiverCentre.   

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is offering aquatic invasive species (AIS) training to owners of lake service provider businesses so they can legally work in lakes and rivers throughout the state. Businesses such as resorts and outfitters that rent, lease or decontaminate boats and other water-related equipment are now required to attend AIS training and acquire a permit. These businesses are considered lake service providers, which means that every three years they must attend a training session, apply for a permit, and pay a $50 application fee to comply with Minnesota law.

Seventeen AIS training sessions are planned around the state. Registering for the winter and early spring sessions will give businesses time to attend training and get a permit before ice-out. Registration deadlines are one week prior to each training. To register for training, find out if the business needs a permit, or for more information, visit the DNR website. A list of all 2014 training sessions is also available.  

Mark your calendar now to attend the 2015 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, Feb. 3-4, 2015, at the RiverCentre in St. Paul.  

OPPORTUNITIES

–Calling All Finance Experts.  The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) and the Nonprofits Assistance Fund (NAF) are seeking your proposals for breakout sessions at the 2015 Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference. The conference will be held March 5, 2015 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, MN.  Are you able to talk about complicated finance subjects in simple and interesting ways? Do you have a strategy for long-term sustainability you’d like to share with other nonprofit leaders? Submit an online proposal now! 

MCN and NAF seek workshops that will focus on a range of skills and knowledge. Sessions will highlight everything from technical skills such as budgeting, audits and compliance to leadership skills around developing teams of staff or volunteers who understand their roles around organizational sustainability, internal controls and oversight. The deadline for proposal submission is 5 p.m. on Friday, October 17, 2014. 

–The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund is soliciting comments regarding its Capacity Building Initiative (CBI). The Capacity Building Initiative provides direct training and technical assistance on issues impacting CDFIs. Written comments should be submitted by e-mail to cdfihelp@cdfi.treas.gov, and should have the subject line “Comments on the Capacity Building Initiative”. To be considered, comments must be received on or before October 24, 2014. Please direct any questions to the CDFI Fund’s Help Desk at (202) 653-0421, Option 1. To read specific questions on which the CDFI Fund is seeking comments, click here.

Are you a school, city, township, or county that has been innovating to improve services or reduce the cost of local government? Share your innovation for a chance to win $5,000 and a professional video highlighting your effort! The Local Government Innovation Awards recognizes the creative ways counties, cities, townships, and schools are making Minnesota better and doing things differently. http://lgia.umn.edu/

The MPCA’s Retiree Environmental Technical Assistance Program (RETAP) recently helped the Salvation Army in Minneapolis save money by reducing its use of water and energy, leaving more money for its mission of helping those in need. RETAP works with businesses and institutions to reduce environmental impact and costs. RETAP conducts free energy, water, and waste audits, and provides prioritized recommended changes and estimated financial and environmental savings. Recommendations range from simple changes such as turning thermostats down a few degrees in the winter or installing occupancy sensors in meeting rooms, to larger, high-impact projects like lighting retrofits or upgrading inefficient boilers.  Small businesses, municipalities, churches, and schools in Minnesota can contact RETAP to request a free audit and get suggestions for reducing their environmental impact and costs. Contact RETAP at 612-781-1307, or visit www.pca.state.mn.us/retap

Blandin Broadband Communities: An Opportunity. Building on the successes of MIRC and BBC community broadband engagement projects, Blandin Foundation is seeking up to ten new communities for the 2015-16 cohort of Blandin Broadband Communities. Applications will be accepted through October 17, 2014.Click here for details, or learn more from an archive of a recent webinar on the topic:  http://wp.me/p3if7-2Na

Lights! Camera! Save! Video Contest for Teens October – November 2014 (Nationwide)The American Bankers Association (ABA) Community Engagement Foundation sponsors this video contest for banks to engage teenagers to educate themselves and their peers about the value of saving and using money wisely. Banks host the local level of the competition and select winners to compete on the national level. The top three winners receive cash prizes to help pay for their education. Winners will be announced in February 2015 during America Saves Week. http://www.aba.com/Engagement/Pages/financialed.aspx

–J-1 VISA WAIVER PROGRAM. Minnesota Department of Health has revised its guidelines for the J-1 Visa Waiver program, also sometimes known as the Conrad 30 program. Due to increased demand, the program has changed from a first-come, first-served approval process to a competitive review with a due date at the end of November. The J-1 visa allows International Medical Graduates to remain in the U.S. until their studies are completed. At the completion of their studies, they are expected to return to their home countries for two years. A J-1 Visa Waiver waives the two-year home residency requirement and allows a physician to stay in the U.S. to practice in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or Medically Underserved Area (MUA). Find the updated guidelines on ORHPC’s J-1 web pagehttp://tinyurl.com/nywbftr

MISCELLANEOUS 

Ten projects, including one from the University of Minnesota, will receive funding aimed at accelerating genetic breeding programs to improve plant feedstocks for the production of biofuels, biopower, and bio-based products. The Minnesota project intends to genetically improve the agronomic traits of field pennycress for its use as a new winter annual oilseed/meal/cover crop in the Upper Midwest. The research grants are a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Read more.

–USDA has published a guide that presents statistics on food security, food expenditures, and use of food and nutrition assistance programs. Food insecurity was more common in large cities and rural areas than in suburban areas and exurban areas around large cities. Download a free copy here.

The Census Bureau recently released income, poverty and health insurance data for 2013. The poverty rate declined from 2012; this is the first decline since 2006. The poverty rate for children under 18 declined as well, for the first time since 2000. Visit the Census Bureau website hereto review the data.

Rural Transit Fact Book 2014 Serves as a national resource for statistics and information on rural transit in America. Includes rural demographic and travel behavior data indicating that work, school, and medical trips comprise a higher percentage of rural transit trips. Includes state-by-state data.

Amber Waves presents the broad scope of ERS research and analysis on the economics of food, farming, natural resources, and rural America. The August 2014 issue includes articles on the broiler production, food security in sub-Saharan Africa, the Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program, SNAP and time eating, natural gas extraction, fresh fruit and vegetable imports, and organic trade. http://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves.aspx

Minnesota’s aging population: Prepare for lift-off  Our baby boomer population is like a jet airplane that has just lifted off. Minnesota Compass Project Manager Craig Helmstetter highlights 5 implications for Minnesota.

The White House Rural Council announces a $10 billion dollar investment fund to promote rural economic development. This fund will continue to grow the rural economy by increasing access to capital for rural infrastructure projects and speeding up the process of rural infrastructure improvements. http://wp.me/p3if7-2Lf

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has introduced “Plan. Prepare. Prevail: a Disaster Financial Readiness & Recovery Blueprint” to assist individuals, families and small business owners in learning about the financial documents and records they need to have available in case of an emergency. To review the Blueprint’s financial forms, checklists and other resources, click http://tinyurl.com/o7zbovn

–The Rural Policy Research Institute has published a report on high-poverty counties over a 50 year period, with a poverty rate of 20% or more, based on data from the 2007-2011 American Community Survey, compared to 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000 Census data. The report includes comparison of rural (micropolitan and noncore) counties and metropolitan counties, and identifies counties with persistent and intermittent high poverty, as well as newly high poverty counties. Download the report http://tinyurl.com/q7kp4ae

A United States Department of Housing and Urban Development report examines trends in social, economic and housing circumstances of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. http://tinyurl.com/nvseegc

The National Rural Housing Coalition has published “Rural America’s Rental Housing Crisis: Federal Strategies to Preserve Access to Affordable Rental Housing in Rural Communities” which documents the successes of USDA’s rental housing programs and the challenges facing them now. http://tinyurl.com/l6jtj75

Accountable Communities for Health. If you missed one of the recent regional meetings on the Minnesota Accountable Health Model – SIM Minnesota project, the presentation slides and handouts — including “Accountable Communities for Health: How to Get Started” and the SIM Glossary — are now available on the SIM Events web page. http://tinyurl.com/lglfxt4

The Rural Assistance Center (RAC) has issued a new topic guide on Community Paramedicine. The guide includes an overview of this emerging profession, how rural communities can use paramedics and EMTs in this expanded role; how to start a community paramedicine program; and models of existing programs. http://tinyurl.com/kpu25f9

Transportation to Support Rural Healthcare Topic Guide- RAC’s Transportation topic guide has received a major update and is now focused on how rural communities can address transportation issues to improve access to care. http://tinyurl.com/n7psrgc

2014 Kids Count Data Book: State Trends in Child Well-being Annie E. Casey Foundation provides national and state-by-state information on the conditions of America’s children and families. Includes data on overall child well-being and ranks states in four domains: economic well-being, education, health, and family & community. http://tinyurl.com/k6rbdsy

AARP Fraud Watch Network. AARP offers this Web site that provides alerts on the latest frauds and scams affecting adults 50 and over. The site also contains an interactive map for consumer stories and communication from attorneys general about fraud. http://tinyurl.com/nrmdfzs

AARP SBA Webinars.AARP and the U.S. Small Business Administration host new webinars and publish previous webinars to educate people who want to start businesses or expand existing ones. http://www.aarp.org/work/work-webinars/

Protecting Senior Residents From Financial Exploitation The CFPB offers this guide to help staff of long-term care facilities prevent, recognize, and report elder financial exploitation. http://tinyurl.com/q7etfxf

My Social SecurityThe Social Security Administration maintains a Web site that offers quick and secure access to consumers personal Social Security information. http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/

The National Community Land Trust Network, in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, has released two working papers on inclusionary housing: “Resident and Community Engagement in Community Land Trusts” examines the practices of six well-established CLTs that have successfully engaged residents and communities in their operations. Download a copy here. “Achieving Lasting Affordability through Inclusionary Housing” analyzes 20 inclusionary housing programs to show how long affordability periods, strong legal mechanisms, carefully designed resale formulas, dedicated program stewardship, and strategic partnerships can help preserve affordable homes for multiple generations. Download a copy  http://tinyurl.com/mu5crzo

–Community development isn’t just about where low-income people live; it’s about how well they live. Zip code and health are intrinsically linked. In the first of a series of articles on this from the Institute for Comprehensive Community Development, LISC’s Amy Gillman looks at how and why community development has become so critical to the question of better health in distressed areas, with everything from good housing and strong schools to local health centers, fresh food markets, and athletic programs helping sever the long-standing link between poor places and poor health. Read the full article http://tinyurl.com/pnubh7p

A report by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee recognizes that keeping rural communities healthy is vital to the U.S. economy. The report provides an overview of rural populations, rural health statistics, barriers to healthcare in rural areas, economic implications of rural healthcare, and relevant policy actions to keep rural America healthy. Click herefor a free copy of the report.  http://tinyurl.com/q4sqyrq

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report on the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program. The report expressed the concern that, “Multiple funding sources for community development projects may be leading to duplication of the federal New Markets Tax Credit.” The report also identified complexity of financial structures in NMTC projects as a challenge. Typically, communities combine multiple sources of funding in order to make these large projects financially feasible. The GAO report is available http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/664717.pdf

–“Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland” is the title of a report prepared by TRIP, a national transportation research group. The report looks at the condition, use, and safety of the nation’s rural transportation system and discusses recommendations to improve connectivity in America’s small communities and rural areas to access jobs, education, and healthcare. Download a copy http://tinyurl.com/l2raoac

Data+Design: Free eBook for Evaluation Beginners.  More than 50 volunteers worked on Data+Design, a free ebook that explains visualizing and working with data to those with no specialized training. https://infoactive.co/data-design

Partnership Rubric.  This rubric from Rhode Island’s Partnerships for Success is designed to support institutional, organizational, and programmatic partnership development and assessment. It functions as a set of standards, a road map to developing a reciprocal partnership, and a self-assessment tool for existing partnerships. http://tinyurl.com/ktwjj3g  

Free Guide to Developing Materials for Deliberative Forums.  The Kettering Foundation has a new report on developing materials for deliberative forums. It’s a handbook for anyone interested in supporting deliberative conversations on difficult public issues. http://tinyurl.com/m47l6ex

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