November 2011 – Volume IX, Number 10

Compiled and edited by Deb Miller Slipek & Ann Treacy

Editors’ Note: We’re publishing a shorter issue this month but wanted to get the info below out on time! We hope to have a jam-packed issue for the year-end in December and as we enter our tenth year of publishing these missives, we want to thank all the past and current supporters of Minnesota Rural Partners. MRP is all volunteer now but we’ll keep publishing the Round-Up as long as folks think it’s useful.







— The Minnesota Department of Health announces the 2011 Minnesota e-Health Connectivity Grant Program for Health Information Exchange (HIE).  This program will help health care providers, hospitals and pharmacies in rural and underserved areas build HIE capacity and achieve HIE capability. Grant awards range up to $10,000. Applications will be reviewed and evaluated on a first come, first served basis. Visit the Minnesota e- Health Connect webpage for more information on this new funding opportunity include the Program Guidance and Grant Application

–Seed Grant Funding Available for Community-Based Clean Energy Projects Across Minnesota.  CERTs seeks to provide seed grants to support the labor costs for clean energy projects, spurring community development and supporting local jobs in Minnesota.  Project proposals should be for a community-based energy efficiency or renewable energy project, that also provides a forum for community education about energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and their economic, ecological and community benefits.  Since 2006, CERTs has funded more than 150 projects ranging from energy efficiency for city-owned buildings to solar power for schools, from on-farm wind power to renewably-heated greenhouses, and much more. Past projects can be seen at, and case studies can be read at

CERTs offers many tools and resources to help you plan your project. Proposals must be submitted no later than November 15th, 2011 at 5:00pm.  Visit to learn more and apply.

HUD has announced the availability of funds for Indian Tribes and nonprofits that serve Indian populations to develop and disseminate one or more sets of “lessons learned” that will inform Native American communities of the issues to be considered when taking on sustainable construction efforts.  Deadline:  11/15/2011.  To learn more and apply, control-click here.

–Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program solicits grant applications.  Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program is soliciting applications by November 18, 2011 for its 2012 annual grant cycle. Approximately $450,000 will be available for non-construction, construction and land acquisition projects that preserve, restore and enhance Minnesota’s coastal resources. 
Priority will be given to projects that focus on public access, coastal community planning and development, coastal hazards, coastal habitat and government coordination.

The Coastal Program preserves, protects, develops and, where possible, restores or enhances coastal resources along Minnesota’s North Shore of Lake Superior.
Local and state governmental entities and nonprofit organizations working in the state’s coastal area, which includes portions of the lower St. Louis River, its estuary, Lake Superior and the North Shore, are eligible to apply.

In general, applicants are required to match 50 percent of the total project costs. Individual requests can vary, but no more than $100,000 per request will be awarded.

Grant funding is available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, pursuant to the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. Funds are administered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  For more information, see: or contact Karla Sundberg, grants specialist, at 218-834-1447 or

Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 23 Palliative Care Rural Initiative Community Partner applications are due November 21.  Eligible applicants are community hospice organizations in VISN 23, which includes Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and portions of Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin and Wyoming (map).

This is an opportunity for community hospice organizations to enhance communication and coordination, and to streamline hospice services for veterans requiring end-of-life care.  Applicants are encouraged to implement one of the Reaching Out Program Models, which enhance end-of-life care to veterans in rural communities.  Complete information is online at or contact Sally Trnka at 218-727-9390, ext. 233 or

–HUD is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program: Technical Assistance and Capacity Building.  Grants will provide NSP recipients with the assessment tools and technical and capacity building assistance needed to fully understand their local market conditions, and to increase their capacity to successfully carry out federal assistance programs.  Deadline to apply:  11/21/2011.  To apply, control-click here.

–The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced the availability of funds for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.  Applications are due by 11/22/2011.  Approximately $19 million is available and projects will be awarded in 2012.  For more on this opportunity, control-click here.

–Minnesota Rural Flexibility (FLEX) Grant Program applications are due November 28.  Eligible applicants are rural hospitals with 50 or fewer beds, rural hospitals eligible to convert to Critical Access Hospital licensure, Critical Access Hospitals, rural health networks and rural EMS organizations.

This grant is intended to preserve access to needed health services and encourage collaboration and integration of rural community health systems. Grants may be used to develop community, network or strategic plans for preserving or enhancing access to health services. Grants may also be used for implementation activities in the following categories by applicants with completed plans or needs assessments: network development, health system improvements (diversification, new services, workforce development efforts, etc.), strengthening and integrating the EMS system; and quality improvement.  Complete information is online at or contact Judy Bergh at 651-201-3843 or

–THE EPA has several types of grants available for Brownfield site cleanup for nonprofits, Indian Tribes and public agencies.  Brownfields Assessment Grants provide funds for developing inventories of brownfields, prioritizing sites, conducting community involvement activities and conducting site assessments and cleanup planning.  Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Grants are to capitalize a revolving fund and to make loans and provide subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites.  Brownfields Cleanup Grants are available to nonprofit and public agencies to empower states, communities, tribes and nonprofits to prevent, inventory, assess, clean up and reuse brownfield sites.  Deadline to apply for all three grant opportunities is 11/28/2011.  For more information, control-click here.

–Sustainable Agriculture Grants from North Central Region SARE.  North Central Region SARE (NCR-SARE) offers competitive grants and educational opportunities for producers, scientists, educators, institutions, organizations and others exploring sustainable agriculture in America’s Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Two types of grants are currently available from NCR-SARE:

Farmer-Rancher Grants: for farmers and ranchers to carry out Sustainable Agriculture research, demonstration, and education projects on their farms. A total of approximately $400,000 is available for this program. Applications are due December 2, 2011.

Youth and Youth Educator Grants: Grants for on-farm research, demonstration, or education projects by youth ages 8-18 ($400 maximum), and grants for educators to provide programming on sustainable agriculture for youth ($2,000 maximum). A total of $34,000 is available for this program. Applications are due January 12, 2012.

For more details, see:

–HUD is offering grants to nonprofits with at least five years of tenant outreach and organizing work to help building owners and tenants learn about tenant protection vouchers and programs to prevent the loss of project-based rental assistance for tenants.  Deadline:  12/6/2011.  To learn more, control-click here.

–The Housing Assistance Council is offering grants to affordable housing organizations to support activities that will build, preserve, or advocate for housing for low-income seniors (62 and older) living in rural areas.  Deadline to apply:  12/15/2011.  To learn more and download an application, control-click here.

–AMERICORPS has issued a NOFA for state and national grants for FY 2012 to nonprofits, public agencies and others for programs that can demonstrate community impact and solve community problems through an evidence-based approach.  Deadline:  Letter of Intent 12/15/2011 (optional); applications due 1/18/2012.  To learn more, go to the website here.

–J. JILL COMPASSION FUND is accepting pre-applications for 2012 grants to help disadvantaged and homeless women.  Funding priority is given to nonprofit programs and organizations that provide job training, education, and transitional and/or affordable housing to disadvantaged and homeless women.  Deadline:  12/21/2011.  To learn more, control-click here.

–HUD has funds available for the Community Development Block Grant Program for Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages.  The program provides grants for a variety of community development, economic development and/or affordable housing projects in Indian and Alaska Native communities.  Deadline to apply:  1/4/2012.  To learn more, control-click here.


— CFED will hold a webinar that presents new Assets & Opportunity Scorecard data on November 17, 2011 at 2:00 PM EST.  The webinar will also highlight trends in legislative changes in 2011.  To register, control-click here.  To get the updated Scorecard, control-click here.


The University of Minnesota’s Carlson Executive Education program is awarding ten scholarships for small Minnesota-based companies or nonprofit organizations. Each scholarship is valued at $3,500 and is intended to provide assistance to small companies and nonprofit organizations that need additional business knowledge to survive and thrive in the current tough economy. Scholarships will be awarded to those applicants who can best demonstrate the positive impact the scholarship will have upon their company or organization. They are for use in 2012. For more information or to apply, visit the Carlson School website.

Request for Proposal is due November 16 for the purpose of conducting a needs assessment for a health clinic or other health care needs of the Tribal Population in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, with a focus and emphasis on White Earth Nation members. A report to the Legislature documenting the results of the assessment and providing recommendation is required. The draft report is due to the Minnesota Department of Health by February 22.

— Travel Marketing Award Nominations Accepted. Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2011 Tourism Marketing awards, presented by Explore Minnesota Tourism. The awards are intended to recognize significant achievement in the promotion of travel and tourism into and throughout the State of Minnesota. The awards are given annually at the Minnesota Conference on Tourism and will be presented on Tuesday, January 24, at the Kahler Grand Hotel in Rochester, Minnesota.

Competitive awards are presented each year to tourism businesses and organizations for outstanding tourism advertising projects and promotions. Competitive awards are presented in several categories, based on various media efforts.  Special recognition awards are presented to individuals and organizations in recognition of major and lasting contributions to the promotion of the Minnesota travel product or dedication to and development of the Minnesota travel industry.  Nomination forms must be submitted by Friday, November 25, 2011. For more information, contact Dave Bergman at 888-563-7777 or click:

Request for Proposal is due November 28 to identify a survey vendor to collect CAHPS® Clinician and Group Survey (CG-CAHPS) data for a test of equivalency between the CG-CAHPS Visit version (CG-Visit) and a modified version of the new CG-CAHPS Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Survey (CG-PCMH) that includes the core questions from the CG-Visit version.

InvestWrite Essay Competition.
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Foundation (SIFMA) needs volunteers to score essays for its InvestWrite national student essay competition. Judging is done entirely online, with no phone calls or meetings. The foundation provides helpful instructions and support. Volunteer judges can make a difference in the lives of many students across the nation who will learn the importance of saving and investing for their futures.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services currently has six Executive Pathways (paid) internship positions available for students (undergraduate[juniors/seniors], graduate and law students). The Executive Pathways program is a great opportunity for students because it provides abundant policy research and legal writing opportunities, exposure to agency development and opportunities to interact with upper level management. See:


— Resources for nonprofit evaluation can be found at:

A New Information Home.  There is a new home for information on nonprofits. It is the National Center for Charitable Statistics at the Urban Institute. The Institute offers hundreds of topics under these headings: Management, Development, Organization, Resources and Regulation. Under each heading are multiple topics. I chose “volunteer programs” and there were 59 FAQs with many leading to another link. This is a good “first step” for anyone learning about the field.

— State Fact Sheets.  The ERS State Fact Sheets provide information on population, income, poverty, education, employment, federal funds, organic agriculture, farm characteristics, farm financial indicators, top commodities, and exports, for each State in the United States. Links to county-level data are included when available. The State Fact Sheets have been updated with measures of household-level food insecurity for States over time.  See:

Compass now has Twin Cities Neighborhood Profiles! Using recently-released data from the decennial census, the American Community Survey, and OnTheMap, Compass now has 115 profiles, chock-full of data and trends on housing, employment, household income, and many others, for each of the neighborhoods in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and selected larger communities.

The White House Rural Council: Feedback from Rural America is available.  The document provides an overview of the challenges and the opportunities rural Americans have voiced during the White House Rural Council’s visits to rural communities.  To get a copy, control-click here.

Being Active in Your Community is a Cornerstone to Good Health, is a growing national trend in resident-powered comprehensive community development, according to an article from The Institute for Comprehensive Community Development.  In this approach, resident leaders join with professionals to determine a course for community improvement and then work as partners in achieving that vision.  To read the full article, control-click here.

More Poor Kids in More Poor Places is a report from the Carsey Institute that indicates that since the onset of the recession, poverty levels in persistent child poverty counties have sharply increased.  The authors comment that the overwhelming urban focus of welfare programs means policymakers often overlook needy families in rural areas.  To read more, click here.

Stock Market Game
Sponsored by the SIFMA Foundation, this online game simulates global capital markets for students in fourth grade through high school. The game introduces students to economics, investing, and personal finance. The goal is to help students become financially independent.

Direct and Intermediate Marketing of Local Foods in the United States. This study uses nationally representative data on marketing of local foods to assess the relative scale of local food marketing channels. This research documents that sales through intermediated marketing channels, such as farmers’ sales to local grocers and restaurants, account for a large portion of all local food sales. Small and medium-sized farms dominate local foods sales marketed exclusively through direct-to-consumer channels (foods sold at roadside stands or farmers’ markets, for example) while large farms dominate local food sales marketed exclusively through intermediated channels. Farmers marketing food locally are most prominent in the Northeast and the West Coast regions and areas close to densely populated urban markets. Climate and topography favoring the production of fruits and vegetables, proximity to and neighboring farm participation in farmers’ markets, and good transportation and information access are found to be associated with higher levels of direct-to-consumer sales.  See: