August 2014- Volume XII, Number 6

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


Across the Field: Will return in September! 

We’ve been attending several conferences this summer and have a collection of great people and ideas to share with you once we catch our collective breath. In the meantime, mark your calendars now for the Community Development Society’s annual conference in late July 2016, hosted here in Minnesota (last time we hosted was in 2001), with a working theme on Community Change. Read about the most recent CDS conference at the CDS website.


–The Corporation for National and Community Service is offering RSVP grants that support volunteers age 55 years and older in activities that serve community needs and respond to the National Performance Measures in the following focus areas: disaster; education; economic opportunity; environment; healthy futures; and veterans and military families. Deadline to apply: Letter of Intent 8/8/2014; application 9/9/2014. Click here to read the funding guidelines and to apply.

–The Minnesota Judicial Branch is accepting applications for court technology funds. Deadline is August 11

–HUD is offering Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Planning Grants to public housing authorities, local governments, tribal entities, and nonprofit organizations to support the development of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans. Deadline: 8/12/2014. Click here for application guidelines.

–The HOME DEPOT Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using volunteers to improve the physical health of their communities. Priority is given to projects for veterans that include housing repairs, modifications, and weatherization work. Grants of up to $5,000 are made in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services. Deadline: requests will be accepted through August 15, 2014. Visit the Home Depot website here to submit an online application.

–The Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children (HSHC) program seeks applications for Access to Care grants. The grants provide up to $20,000 in matching funds for community-based initiatives that provide dental care and ultimately serve as a Dental Home to underserved/limited-access children. Letters of intent are due August 18.

–HUD is offering grants to public housing agencies, tribes, tribal housing entities, resident associations, and nonprofits for the Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency-Service Coordinators Program.  Funding will support services and activities for public and Indian housing residents. Deadline: 8/18/2014. Click here for application materials.

–The Department of Health and Human Services has announced the availability of grants for nonprofit and public agencies for funding to expand access to high-quality, comprehensive services to low-income infants and toddlers and their families through Early Head Start-Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnerships, or through the expansion of Early Head Start services. Deadline: 8/20/2014. Click here to learn more about this program and to apply.

–Application materials for the Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program (MN SLRP) are now available. The program provides funds for repayment of qualifying educational loans of up to $20,000 annually for full-time primary care providers and up to $10,000 annually for half-time primary care providers. For 2014, an estimated 5-10 loan repayment awards will be available. Applications due by August 20.

–USDA Rural Housing Service is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to enable very low- and low-income rural homeowners to repair and rehabilitate their homes. Deadline: 8/23/2014. Click here for more information and to apply.

–The Healthier Minnesota Community Clinic Fund has issued a 2014 Request for Proposals seeking applications from safety net primary care providers for projects that improve access to and the quality of primary care clinical services for low-income people, communities of color, and the medically underserved. All eligible projects will be considered, but priority will be given to reproductive, dental and mental health care initiatives. Applications are due September 11.

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless Launches Greater MN Shelter Capacity Grant.  Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless has funds available for 501 c 3 agencies in select Minnesota communities for the purpose of increasing their capacity to serve more homeless individuals or families. Those homeless due to domestic violence are also eligible.  This is a Special Project of Open Your Heart. Applying for or receiving grant through this project does not affect an agencies eligibility to apply for any other Open Your Heart Grants within the calendar year 2014.

DUE DATESeptember 15, 2014 for consideration at our October 20th Board Meeting.  Funds for successful applicants will be available no later than November 1, 2014. Grant funds must be expended by December 31, 2015.


Learn more on the Open Your Heart website

— The 2014 Minnesota Film, Video, and Digital Production Grant Program will award grants to emerging film, video, and digital makers in the disciplines of experimental, narrative, documentary, and animation. Deadline September 26, 2014.

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

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, 888-563-7777 Metro – Gayle Junnila, 800-657-3637; 651-757-1852 Northeast – Tim Campbell, 888-876-6784 Southern – Dave Vogel, 888-975-6766

–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

–Blandin Foundation trustees voted to extend broadband work and allocate $1.5 million more for broadband grants. More 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 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:

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.

Competitive Grant To Establish a USDA Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice Research.  USDA 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.


–On May 20, 2014, Governor Mark Dayton signed into law the new Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program. This $20 million grant program will be used to fund the build out of infrastructure to promote the expansion of broadband service to areas of the state that are unserved or underserved.

The Office of Broadband Development at DEED is working to set up the grant program and application process. To ensure potential applicants have a preliminary understanding of the grant program and can start to make initial preparations, the office will make information available here as soon as practicable. Notification of significant updates will also be distributed by email; sign up at their Contact Us webpage. Currently, meetings will be held at the following locations to discuss the proposed application process and obtain feedback. At those meetings, we will work from the Border-to-Border Infrastructure Grant Program Overview slides.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014  1:30 to 3:00 p.m.  Wyoming Library  26855 Forest Boulevard  Wyoming, MN 55092

Tuesday, August 19, 2014  2:00 to 3:30 p.m.  University of Minnesota at Crookston  2900 University Avenue  Bede Ballroom A, B and C  Sargeant Student Center 2nd Floor  Crookston, MN 56716

Friday, August 22, 2014   1:30 to 3:00 p.m.  Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation   525 Florence Avenue   Owatonna, MN

Tuesday, August 26, 2014  Time and location TBD  Perham, MN

These meetings are open to anyone. Potential applicants are also reminded of some available resources. First, if you are working to identify broadband availability for your project, any inquiries you have regarding the data shown on the broadband map can be submitted to Connect Minnesota for clarification-just fill out the form at that website. County maps (make sure you enter the name of the county you are interested in reviewing) have also been posted showing unserved and underserved areas as defined by the grant program requirements and as reflected by the current data.  Finally, we encourage all potential applicants to subscribe to the Office of Broadband Development’s email list which will be used to distribute information on the grant process as it develops.

Earn a Certificate in Festival and Event Management Online  The University of Minnesota Tourism Center offers a comprehensive online course in festival and event management to help organizers run successful events.

— Grant Program and Outcome Evaluation Information Sessions.  The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) is holding free information sessions about the ECRAC funding opportunities available for artists, arts organizations, schools, community organizations, and non-profit organizations. These sessions includes an overview of all Regional Arts Council grant programs followed by a question and answer period. The outcome evaluation session includes an overview by Dr. Pat Shifferd of the SMART model to be used in the ECRAC Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) grant proposals plus a question and answer period.  Individual appointments with either ECRAC staff or Dr. Shifferd are also being offered.

Sessions are being held:

  • ECRAC Grants – Wednesday, August 6, 2014: 10 – 11 a.m.
  •  ECRAC Grants – Thursday, September 11, 2014: 5 – 6 p.m.


East Central Regional Arts Council

112 Main Avenue S.

Braham, MN  55006


Registration: The information sessions and individual appointments are free of charge, but advance registration is required. To register call the Regional Arts Council office at (320) 396-2337 or email


–Farm Fest (Redwood County) will be held August 5-7thFor more information go to:


— TheMinnesota Mentoring Conferenceis the region’s only annual conference focused exclusively on supporting quality mentoring. In celebration of its 20th Anniversary, the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota (MPM) is hitting the road and offering Minnesota Mentoring Conferences in Cloquet (September 22) and Maple Grove(October 20). With a mission to lead the state in building and sustaining quality mentoring for every child, MPM’s conference is not to be missed by all youth mentoring program practitioners, AmeriCorps members who work to support youth through mentoring and tutoring, policymakers and funders. Register now.


-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 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.





Community Vitality and Rural Healthcare Topic Guide – this new guide, developed by the Rural Assistance Center focuses on the linkage between rural healthcare and the economic strength and overall vitality of the community.


—-Savings Innovation Cluster — CFED, in partnership with the MetLife Foundation, is soliciting applications from organizations serving low- and moderate-income households to join a yearlong learning cluster and receive extensive technical assistance to design and implement innovative savings products or strategies for their clients.


MnDOT Seeking Input for Statewide Bicycle System Plan  MnDOT is hosting a series of workshops around the state to discuss the development of a Statewide Bicycle System Plan.


— Leadership Growth & Development Scholarships The Northwest Minnesota Foundation recognizes nonprofit organizations (NPOs) and small businesses are experiencing dramatic changes in their current environments. In an effort to best meet the changing needs of the area’s NPOs and small businesses, the Northwest Minnesota Foundation is offering Leadership Growth and Development Scholarships.


–The Eide Bailly Resourcefullness Award provides recognition and support to 501(c)(3) organizations that have undertaken sustainable, creative and impactful revenue generation initiatives. In Minnesota, three prizes ranging from $2,000 – $10,000 will be awarded to nonprofits judged on sustainability, creativity, implementation and impact. Award applications are due by August 29, 2014.

Rural Health Fellows ProgramA year-long, intensive program designed to develop a community of rural health leaders. Application deadline: Aug. 31, 2014.


Jim Meeks, PA-C, DFAAPA Memorial AFPPA Student ScholarshipOffers a scholarship to a physician assistant student who display a commitment to family practice and rural health. Application deadline: Sept. 1, 2014.




–The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently published “America’s Rental Housing: Evolving Markets and Needs”. The study finds that significant erosion in renter incomes over the past decade has pushed the number of households paying excessive shares of income for housing to record levels. Download a free copy


–The National Low Income Housing Coalition has released its annual “Advocates’ Guide to Housing and Community Development Policy” to educate advocates of all kinds about the programs and policies that make housing affordable to low-income people across America. Read the guide


–Right to the City’s Homes for All Campaign has released a report detailing a growing need for, but lack of affordability of, rental housing. The report explores the causes of the issue and lays out key solutions. Read it by clicking


–The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University has released the “State of the Nation’s Housing 2014”. One of the key themes of the report is the ongoing crisis of affordability, as 40.9 million American households (35.3 percent), both homeowners and renters, spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. This number includes 19.8 million (17.1 percent) who spend over half of their income for housing. The site also includes an Interactive Housing Cost Burdens Map which allows users to see both homeowner and renter cost burdens around the country. Click here to download the report and view the map.


–HUD released “Continuity and Change: Demographic, Socioeconomic, and Housing Conditions of American Indians and Alaska Natives”. Written by the Urban Institute, the report is a comprehensive look at the state of housing and the overall economy on tribal lands. Download the report by clicking


Housing Resources for Consumers, Bankers The American Bankers Association  (ABA) has developed resources to help bankers promote consumer awareness about their housing options. The resources include tip sheets in English and Spanish and calculators to help educate consumers on housing options, such as renting versus buying, choosing a lender, saving for a down payment, and improving credit scores.


–In a Carsey Institute brief, “Proposed EITC Expansion Would Increase Eligibility and Dollars for Rural and Urban ‘Childless’ Workers”, authors Jessica Carson and Marybeth Mattingly use data from the 2013 Current Population Survey to examine how President Obama’s proposal to expand eligibility and raise credit values for the Earned Income Tax Credit among those without a qualifying child might affect tax filers in both rural and urban America. Download the brief


–“Remembering Rural Philanthropy in an Urban-Focused Society” is the title of an article in Nonprofit Quarterly by Rick Cohen that describes a lack of rural focused funding, highlighting a pattern over the years of rural philanthropy being considered an afterthought.  The article calls for a change in perspective by current philanthropic leadership. Read the article


–“How Artists Can Revive Rural Manufacturing” is the title of a podcast featuring Janet Kagan of Art-Force, a non-profit organization that brings innovation to small communities by putting artists and designers at the center of rural industrial renewal. Art-Force’s mission is to “stimulate and diversify economic development in distressed communities”. They ally artists, designers, and creative thinkers with entrepreneurs, small businesses, educational institutions, and local agencies to reaffirm connections to place through cross-currents of artistic design and production. Click here to listen to the podcast.


–USDA announced the implementation of new Farm Bill measures and other policy changes to improve the financial security of new and beginning farmers and ranchers. It also unveiled, a new website that will provide a centralized, one-stop resource where beginning farmers and ranchers can explore the variety of USDA initiatives designed to help them succeed. Click here to visit the website.


–The National Endowment for the Arts’ “Our Town” creative placemaking initiatives have grown and expanded. The Endowment has decided to invest in an e-storybook of case studies that will be launched this fall on called “Exploring Our Town”. It will have 70 case studies, including pictures and videos, and analysis of what has been occurring in the projects, with links to key technical assistance resources. The site will launch in September 2014, but there are some organizations hosting some of the content now. Check out one of these project profiles from Exploring Our Town, at LISC’s Institute for Comprehensive Community Development


–The Nemours Foundation has published a brief on childhood obesity in rural communities including common themes and lessons learned, and the role of early care, education, and out-of-school time in obesity prevention. The document also provides examples of community initiatives and recommendations to policymakers for preventing obesity. Click here to download a copy.


–Vital Communities Toolkit.  From the Vital Aging Network, this toolkit helps build the capacity of individuals to create vital communities in which people of all generations work together to find the right balance between meeting individual needs and achieving the common good.


–Google Educator Groups   This new free resource from Google is a platform for educators to collaborate with one another, pick up creative ideas from one another, and help each other best meet the needs of their students with Google solutions, through GEG activities taking place both online and offline.


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.


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.


Consumer Action offers this publication containing information on consumer rights and filing complaints. also offers social media profiles and videos highlighting stories of how the handbook has helped consumers.


Road to Financial Responsibility The ABA partnered with CFED to create a resource available in English and Spanish giving pointers that help parents instill financial capability at every stage in a child’s life.


Financial Literacy Resource Directory The OCC’s Financial Literacy Resource Directory provides information on financial literacy resources, issues and events that are important to bankers, organizations, and consumers of all ages. The Web directory includes descriptions of, and contact information for, government programs on financial literacy education and capability, a sampling of organizations that have undertaken financial literacy initiatives as a primary mission, fact sheets, newsletters, conference materials, publications, and links to Web sites.

To contribute articles, notices, and random comments, please send such items to Jane Leonard.