The 2012 Minnesota e-Health Connectivity Grant Program for Health Information Exchange (HIE) is accepting applications. The program provides funding to: a) assist health and health care providers in meeting requirements for federal incentives for meaningful use of an EHR; b) expand health information exchange capability among health care providers and other trading partners to support care and/or public health; and/or c) increase the number of Minnesota pharmacies capable of accepting electronic prescriptions.

Eligible applicants include community HIE Partners (two or more health organizations collaborating to implement HIE for meaningful use transactions) or pharmacies not able to accept electronic prescriptions.  Grant awards range up to $25,000 per HIE partner site or $10,000 per pharmacy. Grant applications will be reviewed and evaluated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Visit the Minnesota e- Health Connectivity Grant for Health Information Exchange webpage for more information on this new funding opportunity. Contact Anne Schloegel at with questions.

–The Rural Health Network Development Planning Program is offering grant funds to rural nonprofits that represent a consortium/network of three or more health care providers. Deadline to apply: 10/15/2012. Eligible Applicants are Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized); Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments) and nonprofits.  For more information and to apply,

–USDA Rural Development is offering Value-Added Producer Grants to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based value-added products. Deadline to apply: 10/15/2012. For more information and to apply,

Explore Minnesota Tourism Organizational Partnership and Scenic Byway Grant program is offered to assist communities and scenic byway organizations in attracting travelers to Minnesota. Get a copy of the Organizational Partnership and Scenic Byway Grant guidelines for 2013.  Grants must be postmarked by November 1st!  Call Explore Minnesota Tourism at 800-657-3637; 651-757-1852 for assistance.

–The J.R. Albert Foundation, Inc. is accepting grant applications from nonprofits working in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri or Kansas to educate at-risk populations on nutritional practices and wellness, especially with education programs aimed at children and youth.  Decisions will be made in October. Deadline to apply: Letter of Intent by 10/15/2012; applications by 1/31/2013. To learn more about the Foundation and to apply,

–The Disabled American Veterans Charitable Trust is offering grants to nonprofit organizations that provide long-term programs offering direct assistance to sick and injured Veterans and their families. The Trust’s priorities include: making sure these veterans have transportation to VA medical facilities for treatment; supporting physical and psychological rehabilitation projects aimed at the most profoundly injured Veterans; meeting the special needs of Veterans with specific disabilities such as amputation or brain injuries; providing food, shelter and medical aid to homeless and needy Veterans. Deadline: 10/20/2012. Application guidelines and forms may be downloaded from the Trust’s website

Application materials for the Community Clinic Grant Program are now available on the ORHPC Grants and Loans page. These grants support clinical capacity to serve people with low incomes, reduce current or future uncompensated care burdens, or improve care delivery infrastructure. Pre-applications are due October 24. If invited, full applications will be due January 23.

Funding and Technical Assistance opportunities!  EPA Sustainable Growth Assistance for Communities – apply by October 26, 2012.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency invites communities to apply for technical assistance to foster sustainable growth in their area. EPA is offering assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program, which offers tools that can be applied in rural, suburban, and urban areas, including:

  • Smart growth and economic development to help communities get better financial results from public and private investments;
  • Green street strategies for managing polluted stormwater;
  • Land use strategies to protect water quality;
  • Parking audits to make the best use of parking for existing and planned land uses;
  • Bikeshare system planning to create alternative commuting options;
  • Community design for aging populations to ensure residents can live at home as long as possible;
  • Green building toolkit to overcome common barriers; and
  • Strategies to help small cities and rural areas develop in ways that retain unique community characteristics.

Communities apply for assistance with one of the specific tools and, if selected, work with an EPA-supported team of experts on applying those tools during a two-day workshop. Along with the policies and practices highlighted in each tool, participants will learn more about smart growth development strategies.

EPA will select up to 44 communities through a competitive process for this latest round of assistance. The selections will be made in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.  Applications will be accepted until October 26, 2012. More information and application instructions for the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program are available at

–Application materials for the Rural Hospital Flex Grant Program are now available on the ORHPC Grants and Loans page. Applications are due October 29.

The 2012 Subaru Healthy Sprouts Award is aimed at supporting schools or organizations that plan to garden with at least 15 children between the ages of 3 and 18. The selection of winners is based on the demonstrated relationship between the garden program and education related to environmental, nutrition and hunger issues in the United States.

Fifty awards are available to select schools or organizations. Each program will receive a $400 gift certificate to the Gardening With Kids catalog; National Gardening Association’s Eat a Rainbow Kit which includes nutrition lessons and education; and a curriculum package from the National Gardening Association.  The deadline for applying is October 31, 2012.  Contact the National Gardening Association for more information and to apply:

–The Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) Grant Program is accepting 2013 applications from sponsoring institutions on behalf of their eligible clinical medical education programs and clinical training facilities located in Minnesota during fiscal year 2011. Details are available on the MERC website.  Applications are due by October 31.

As part of its Workforce Initiative, the RCHN Community Health Foundation is accepting applications from Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) or FQHC look-alikes for programs focused on the recruitment, training and retention of entry-level staff. Applications are due October 31.

–The Endangered Language Fund will distribute grants through the Native Voices Endowment: A Lewis & Clark Expedition Bicentennial Legacy for work on the documentation and revitalization of the languages of Indian tribes that came in contact with the Lewis and Clark Expedition between 1803-1806. Deadline to apply: 10/31/2012. To learn more about this opportunity,

–The Foundation for Rural Education and Development is offering grants to nonprofits through its Technology Grants for Rural Schools Program to promote activities that improve rural educational, social, and economic conditions. Grants of $1,000 to $5,000 help public schools in rural areas bring modern computers to every classroom, connect schools to the information superhighway, and assure that effective software and online resources are an integral part of the school curriculum. A letter of support from the local company must accompany all applications. Deadline to apply: 11/1/2012. For application guidelines and eligibility, click

–The Department of Agriculture is offering grant support for the development of domestic and migrant farm labor housing projects. Supported organizations will provide technical assistance to groups who qualify for farm labor housing loans and grants. Deadline to apply: 11/5/2012. For an application,

–The Tribeca Film Institute is offering funding to filmmakers from underrepresented communities for the Tribeca All Access grants. Five narrative filmmakers and five documentary filmmakers in the United States and Puerto Rico from communities underrepresented in the film industry will be awarded grants of $15,000 for a feature-length film project. Deadline to apply: 11/5/2012. To learn more about this funding opportunity,

–The Laura Jane Musser Fund is offering grants for programs in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wyoming for projects in rural communities that will help to strengthen towns and regions in a number of areas including, but not limited to, economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements and education. Deadline to apply: 11/7/2012. For an application and more information about this Fund,

–The Environmental Protection Agency is offering grant support to nonprofits to provide technical assistance to communities on brownfields issues. This assistance will help communities tackle the challenge of assessing, cleaning up, and preparing brownfields sites for redevelopment, especially underserved, rural, small and otherwise distressed communities. Deadline: 11/14/2012. To learn more about this opportunity,

The AgStar Fund for Rural America grants deadline is November 30, 2012.

AgStar concentrates its giving programs in geographic areas where AgStar has a significant business presence and on those programs that fit strategically with the intent of their clients and their communities in which they live.  The grants are discretionary and restricted to a specific purpose. The AgStar Fund does not allow awarded funds to be used for indirect costs. All awarded funds must be used for direct project or program costs. Funding is limited to $10,000 per organization per year.

AgStar Fund for Rural America grants are restricted to the following uses:

  • Project or program support
  • Technical assistance
  • General operating support
  • Equipment

The AgStar Fund supports direct delivery of services and aligns the grants with the company’s broader business interests and community involvement programs.

In order to be considered for funding, requests for support must align with the Fund’s mission, as well as, one of the following focus areas:

  • Education – Educating young, beginning or future farmers.
  • Environment – Maintaining or improving the quality of the rural environment.
  • Technology – Supporting the advancement and utilization of technology for the benefit of farmers and rural communities.
  • Quality of Life – Programs or initiatives that enhance the quality of life for farmers and rural communities.

For more information and to apply go to:

Walmart Foundation Local Giving Program – apply by December 1, 2012.  The Walmart Foundation supports programs and initiatives addressing education, workforce development, economic sustainability, and health and wellness.  Multiple awards ranging from $250-$5,000 are available for select applicants. Nonprofit organizations, K-12 schools, church or faith based organizations, and government entities are eligible to apply.  For more information or to apply, visit

–The National Gardening Association is accepting applications for Youth Garden Grant Awards. Schools and community groups in the United States planning to garden with at least 15 children between the ages of 3 and 18 are invited to apply for Home Depot gift cards of up to $1,000 to purchase gardening supplies. Deadline to apply: 12/3/2012. For more information visit the website by clicking

–Application materials for the Rural Hospital Capital Improvement Grant Program will be available October 15 on the ORHPC Grants and Loans page. Pre-applications are due December 17 and final applications (if invited) will be due March 18, 2013.

The Department of Agriculture has issued a NOFA for guaranteed loans under Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing for FY 2012.  Eligible lenders are invited to submit responses for new construction and acquisition with rehabilitation of affordable rural rental housing. The agency will review responses submitted by eligible lenders, on the lender’s letterhead, and signed by both the prospective borrower and lender. Deadline to apply: 12/31/2012. For details on the program and an application,

— Application materials for the Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Program, which supports recruitment and retention of health care professionals in communities experiencing a shortage of primary health care providers, are now available on the ORHPC Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs page. Applications are due by January 2, 2013.

–The Institute for Rural America is offering Seize The Moment Grants to nonprofits for up to $250 designed to assist groups needing to take quick action on issues that arise, or to send staff to training programs in their respective fields. Deadline: rolling. For application guidelines, click here.

The Economic Development Administration has announced the availability of funding for nonprofit and public agencies, including local governments for grants to create regional economic development plans that will stimulate and guide the economic developments of a community. Deadline: rolling. Get more information

Planning Program and Local Technical Assistance ProgramApplications accepted on an ongoing basis. 
The program provides grants to assist in the creation of regional economic development plans, designed to increase the economic development efforts of a community or region.

Wells Fargo Homeownership Grant Program. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
 The grants provide funding to local nonprofit housing organizations to create sustainable homeownership opportunities for low-to-moderate-income people.


Community Dialogues:  How Can Higher Education Help Us Create the Society We Want? Experience effective public deliberation. Make new connections.  Identify priorities for collaborative action. Together with the American Commonwealth Partnership and campuses, local organizations, and leaders around the state, Minnesota Campus Compact will hold a series of campus-community dialogues using the National Issues Forums guide, Shaping Our Future: How Can Higher Education Help Us Create the Society We Need?. We are also offering free deliberative dialogue trainings for people interested in moderating dialogues on this or other topics (see below).

Participate in a Dialogue Near You (more information and registration is available at!

  • Wednesday, October 17, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Rochester Public Library, co-hosted by University of Minnesota Rochester, Winona State University Rochester, Rochester Public Library, and the Rochester Issues Forum
  • Monday, October 22, 4:30-7:00 p.m., Fireside Room, Koch Commons, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul
  • Tuesday, October 23, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Buenger Education Center, Concordia University, St. Paul
  • Tuesday, October 30, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Centennial Student Union, Room 284, Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Wednesday, November 7, 2:30-4:30 p.m., North Hennepin Community College, Brooklyn Park
  • Monday, November 12, 6:30-8:30 p.m., University of Minnesota, Morris
  • Tuesday, November 13, 6:30-9:00 p.m., Concordia College, Moorhead
  • Wednesday, November 14, (time TBD), Bemidji State University
  • Thursday, November 15, 6:30-9:00 p.m., University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 6:30-9:00 p.m., Atwood Center, Glacier Room, St. Cloud State University

The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund is offering training to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) through the Capacity Building Initiative training series “Innovations in Small Business Lending”.  CDFIs that are currently engaged in providing loans to small and medium-sized enterprises will be able to attend free trainings that are designed to support their continued growth and expanded capabilities. The series will be provided by Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP (Deloitte) from November 2012 to May 2013. To learn more about this training, click

MCF/MCN Joint Annual Conference is November 1 & 2.  Allied for Action will be held at the St. Paul RiverCentre for two days jam-packed with opportunities to learn, share and connect with 1,400 others in Minnesota’s grantmaker and nonprofit communities, including:

Register by October 17 to avoid the late fee!

 The Initiative Foundation,  in partnership with Nonprofits Assistance Fund, is offering the Purpose & Prosperity Conference in St. Cloud on November 15. This day-long conference will explore areas of nonprofit resiliency such as program evaluation, financial health and board governance. At the same time, participants will discover some of the fundamental concepts ofsocial enterprise, including business planning, fostering entrepreneurship and securing financial capital.

Nonprofit leaders who are currently engaged in social enterprise activities, or may be hearing these words for the first time, are encouraged to attend. For an agenda, list of breakout sessions, and registration details

–HOLD THE DATE!  Minnesota Campus Compact’s 2013 summit and awards ceremony will be on Monday, April 1, at Hamline University’s new Anderson Center in St. Paul.


The Resilient Communities Project is a direct response to the growing need to find sustainability solutions to issues facing Minnesota communities, by connecting the wide-ranging expertise of University of Minnesota faculty and students with cities, businesses, and organizations in Minnesota. RCP is an initiative of the Graduate Sustainability Education Network at the U of M, with funding and administrative support provided by the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) and the Institute on the Environment. The program is modeled on the Sustainable City Year Program at the University of Oregon.

Each academic year, RCP chooses a partner city through a competitive request-for-proposal process. Working with a wide range of city staff and stakeholders in the selected community, RCP helps to identify potential projects based on community-identified sustainability issues and needs. RCP then serves as a centralized “matchmaker,” connecting the city’s project needs with existing graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses at the U of M. RCP is currently partnering with the City of Minnetonka on eight projects that will engage more than 150 students in eleven courses across seven schools and colleges at the University of Minnesota.

For communities, RCP provides access to hundreds of students and faculty members across a range of academic disciplines – from architecture, planning, and engineering to business, environmental sciences, and the humanities. Expertise is available related to all aspects of sustainability, including analysis, planning, design, implementation, and evaluation.  RCP plans to release a new Request-for-Proposal and community application in October. For more information or to apply to be a community partner, visit

The Community Development Society has issued a Call for Papers for a special issue of their journal, Community Development. The deadline for submission is 11/1/2012. The Society is looking for contributions that describe the framework for and outcomes of economic development strategies that create multiple forms of wealth that stick in rural places and integrate rural places into larger economies. To read the notice and get more information, please click

–The NBCC Foundation is accepting applications to its Rural Scholarships program, which supports students enrolled in a master’s degree counseling program who commit to provide counseling services in a rural area for at least two years after graduation. Applications due November 1.

National Rural Health Day is November 15 and it will highlight the unique health care challenges in rural areas and showcase the many ways rural health providers and communities address those needs.  Learn how to share your story and discover more ways to celebrate National Rural Health Day in your community.

PRI 2013 Urban Farming Certification Program.  Would you like to work as an urban farmer? Are you interested in learning how to earn an income and produce high-quality, organic food for the expanding local foods market in the Twin Cities?  The Urban Farming Certification Program, a creation of the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) Cold Climate, is currently accepting applications for 2013.  The comprehensive 9-month training program weaves together in-class and outdoor practical farming and design courses needed to turn any urban lot into a certified, highly productive urban farm.

With customized learning opportunities alongside professional permaculture designers, urban farmers, and urban farming mentors in the Twin Cities region, 2013 trainees will have the rare opportunity of entering into a supportive community of peers and professionals as they learn from a range of local wisdom throughout the season. With over 40 workshops and classes to choose from, participants will have the opportunity to custom design a schedule that fits their lifestyles and needs.  The early bird application deadline is November 15, 2012. For more information or to apply for the 2013 program, visit

–Interested in advancing your knowledge of rural health issues and gaining leadership skills? Consider applying to the Leadership Institute offered by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and the Heartland Center for Leadership Development. Scholarships are available. Applications due December 10.

Be an MN Office of Rural Health and Primary Care grant reviewer! Please contact Cindy LaMere at or 651-201-3852 with your name, profession, place of employment and contact information.


–The U.S. Economic Development Administration has developed a tool that can help optimize investments for economic, environmental, and social impact – the triple bottom line. The tool can be accessed

Distribution of Federal Economic Development Grants to Communities with High Rates of Poverty and Unemployment
Provides data that show the distribution of community and economic development grant funds to cities and rural counties with high rates of poverty and unemployment.

–Learn more about providing mental health services to veterans in community-based settings. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has developed a new online Community Provider Toolkit to support the delivery and coordination of such services.

MSP Housing + Transportation Cost Calculator.  The Urban Land Institute recently launched an online, customizable tool to help individuals, households, planners, and municipalities in the Twin Cities areaunderstand the true costs of housing and transportation, as well as how these costs can vary from place to place. Designed specifically for the 13-county region, the Housing + Transportation Calculator allows users to easily estimate their combined housing and transportation costs and compare details with the average cost in their neighborhood and the region.

Whether it’s a move to a new neighborhood, a move into the area, a new job, a change in income, the purchase or sale of an automobile, or just an effort to use transit more and drive less, the H+T Calculator will provide individuals and households the information they need to understand the true affordability of their location and choices.  For more information or to access the calculator, visit

Food Waste Prevention Resources.  A new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council titled “Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm” asserts that the equivalent of 20 lbs. per person per month of uneaten food is discarded in the US. In addition to the food loss itself, there are huge amounts of chemicals, energy, water, land, and money ($165 billion/year) used in the production, processing, and distribution of this food that are consequently lost if the food is not consumed. And while composting helps to reduce the final waste stream, it does not decrease these “upstream” resource inputs.

With the help of an MPCA Environmental Assistance grant, Eureka Recycling has developed informative new online tools to help consumers minimize or prevent food waste. The resources, available at, include food storage tips for a wide variety of food types (including produce, meat, oils, herbs, and nuts, among others). Practical and instructional meal planning information specifically designed to counteract food wastage (and indirectly save time and money!) is included as well.

Another tool developed by the West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum, an EPA-led partnership of western cities and states, serves as a resource for state and local governments and/or community groups and is currently undergoing nationwide piloting. Designed as a community-based social marketing campaign, the Food: Too Good to Waste pilot toolkit includes an implementation guide, behavior change tools (including a workshop presentation, shopping template, and poster), measurement tools, and a research report. Plans are to revise the toolkit based on pilot results.

Local governments and community organizations in Minnesota with an interest in participating in the pilot phase of the toolkit can contact Madalyn Cioci, MPCA,, for more information.

Household Food Security in the United States, 2011 
Presents statistics on households’ food security, food expenditures, and use of food and nutrition assistance programs throughout 2011. Food insecurity is more common in large cities and rural areas than in suburban areas. Access a summary and full report.

Census Bureau Releases 2011 American Community Survey Estimates 
 The U.S. Census Bureau has released findings from the 2011 American Community Survey that provides a wide range of important statistics about income, poverty, health insurance and more for all communities in the country.

American Community Survey and Rural Data Analysis
Discusses the American Community Survey and the challenges of that data source to understand conditions and trends in rural America.