May 2015 – Volume XIII, Number 4

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


Across the Field:


U.S. Bank Foundation provides grants to organizations that support: the preservation, rehabilitation and construction of quality affordable housing that assists low- and moderate-income populations and programs that provide home buyer counseling and related financial education to low- and moderate-income individuals and families. Deadline: varies by state. Click here to determine the deadline in your area.  Click here for funding guidelines.

— The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering funding to schools, state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers, and nonprofits in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. Planning grant applications are due 5/20/2015. Click here for guidelines and instructions.

–The Corporation for National and Community Service is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies for an Americorps youth internship specifically targeting youth that have been adjudicated in the juvenile justice system. This program will give disconnected youth (at least 17 but under 25 years old) the opportunity to participate in a national service program and provide them with meaningful mentoring while they are serving. Deadline: 5/20/2015. Click here to visit the program website for details.

–The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering funding to nonprofits and public agencies through the Partnerships to Increase Coverage in Communities II Initiative. Funding is offered for programs to educate various uninsured populations who are eligible for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  These populations include racial and ethnic minority people and those that are economically or environmentally disadvantaged (such as limited English proficient and immigrant and refugee populations).  Programs would offer education about the Marketplace and assist with enrollment and completion of the application process to determine eligibility and obtain or purchase health coverage offered through the Marketplace. Deadline: 5/22/2015. Click here for funding guidelines and an application.

—-The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies that are eligible adaptive sports entities to plan, develop, manage, and implement programs to provide adaptive sports activities for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces. Deadline: 5/26/2015. Click here for grant guidelines.

–The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to fund demonstration projects that provide eligible individuals with the opportunity to obtain education and training for occupations in the healthcare field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand. Deadline to apply: 5/29/2015. Click here for funding criteria.

–The Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation supports nonprofit organizations and local municipalities undertaking high-need projects such as building renovations/upgrades, grounds improvements, technology upgrades, and safety improvements. Most grants range from $10,000 to $25,000. Deadline: 5/29/2015. Visit the company’s website here to take the eligibility quiz and submit an online application.

The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) has recently approved an additional round grant funding for artists and organizations located in Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine Counties in Minnesota (Region 7E).  The deadline for the following grant applications is 4:30 p.m. Monday, June 1, 2015.   Information regarding these additional funding opportunities and application forms can be found and downloaded at the ECRAC website:

The U.S. Department of Justice is offering grants to nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Indian tribes with a demonstrable history of providing community-based reentry programs and services for Latino/a youth. The objective of this program is to provide Latino/a youth with supportive services based on and matched to their assessed risks and needs and to support their successful reentry to the family and community. Deadline: 6/1/2015. Click here for additional funding guidelines.

— The U.S. Department of Justice is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to provide an array of new and expanded mentoring activities. Deadline: 6/2/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

–The U.S. Department of Labor is offering grants to public or private nonprofit organizations through YouthBuild, a community-based alternative education program for youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are high school dropouts, adjudicated youth, youth aging out of foster care, youth with disabilities, homeless youth, and other disadvantaged youth populations. The YouthBuild program simultaneously addresses several core issues important to low-income communities: affordable housing, education, employment, leadership development, and energy efficiency. Funding available: $700,000 to $1,100,000 over 40 months. Deadline: 6/5/2015. Click here for application guidelines.

The U. S. Department of Education is funding programs for American Indians with disabilities who reside on or near federal or state reservations so that they may prepare for and engage in high quality employment that will increase opportunities for economic self-sufficiency. Deadline: 6/8/2015. Click here for application guidelines.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants through the Assets for Independence (AFI) Demonstration Program. Deadline: 6/15/2015. AFI enables community-based nonprofits and government agencies to implement and demonstrate an assets-based approach for supporting low-income individuals and their families. View information about resources, trainings, and other assistance for grantees and potential applicants on the Assets for Independence Resource Center website here.

–The Tony Hawk Foundation is offering grants to nonprofit and public organizations for funding the construction of new, quality skateparks located in low-income communities throughout the United States. The Foundation primarily supports projects that can demonstrate a strong grassroots commitment, particularly in the form of planning and fundraising by local skateboarders and other community groups. Deadline: 6/17/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review grant criteria and submit an online application.

–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 here for online application instructions.

The National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants to arts organizations, local arts agencies, arts service organizations, local education agencies, and other organizations that can help advance the goals of the Arts Endowment. The program seeks to support 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: 7/23/2015. Click here to visit the website for details.


The Will Steger Foundation has launched a series of 12 forums titled “Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions.” The forums aim to increase public awareness around local climate change impacts and build community resiliency through science, stories and place-based solutions. The first two forums were held April 14 in Bemidji and April 15 in Crookston. The remaining meetings will take place: May 12 in Burnsville; May 18 in Duluth; Sept. 15 in Owatonna; Sept. 21 in Mankato; Sept. 24 in Virginia, Oct. 12 in Rochester; Nov. 2 in Brainerd; Nov. 2 in Detroit Lakes; Nov. 12 in Minnetonka; and January 2016 (date TBD) in Marshall. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources is an exhibitor and provides energy-related resources at the events. Read more.

The Midwest Solar Expo 2015 will be held May 13-14 in Minneapolis at the Downtown Hilton Minneapolis. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is a sponsor. Read more.

The Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will host free agritourism workshops in May. The workshop is intended for owners or event planners of agritourism operations, such as farm tours, pizza farms, apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Topics to be covered include: petting zoo safety, food licensing and handling requirements, and much more.  Two dates are scheduled for the upcoming workshop: Wednesday, May 13, at the Chanhassen Recreation Center, and Tuesday, May 19, at the Coon Rapids Civic Center. The event is free and includes a boxed dinner for registered attendees. Download a copy of the invitation here: 2015 Agritourism Workshop   Registration is open until Tuesday, May 12. Register for the 2015 Agritourism Workshop For more information, contact Joni Scheftel at or 651-201-5414.

EDAM Webinar: Business Finance-Putting Puzzle Pieces Together will be held online from noon to 1:15PM on May 21st. You may register up until the day of the event. Cost is free to EDAM members and $25 to nonmembers. For more information and to register, please go to

Creating an Arts Destination Workshop  The 7 Rivers Alliance is hosting the workshop “Creating an Arts Destination” at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona on Wednesday, May 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

MN CARH’s 24th Annual Conference and Meeting will be May 27-28 at Jackpot junction Casino in Morton, MN.  Registration is now open.

Please review the conference brochure and registration form or visit for more information.

Rural Arts and Culture Summit – June 2-4, 2015, University of Minnesota Morris MORE

EDAM Summer Conference will be held on June 3–5 in Duluth at the Duluth Entertainment & Convention Center.  For more information go to:

The 11th annual Small Wind Conference will be held June 15–17, 2015 at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center in Stevens Point, Wis. The event brings together small wind installers, site assessors, manufacturers, dealers and distributors, supply chain stakeholders, educators, public benefits program managers, and advocates. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is a sponsor. For more information and to register, read more.

The Midwest Farm Energy Conference will be held June 17-19 at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, Minn. The conference offers strategies for implementing energy-efficient and renewable energy systems on farms, with tours available of renewable energy systems in the region. Stacy Miller, solar policy specialist with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, will participate in a panel on “Incentives, Grants, and Loans for Renewable and Energy-Efficient Systems.” For registration and more information, read more.

–The 2015 Minnesota Rural Health Conference will be held June 29-30, 2015 in Duluth. Get more info

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.


Apply now for the Humphrey School 2015-2016 Policy Fellows program

Applications are now available for the 2015-2016 Policy Fellows program, one of the country’s most respected leadership programs for emerging and mid-career professionals. Connect with a cohort of 35 people across the work and political spectrum who will broaden your perspectives and expand your network as you engage in a high-level professional experience. Gain practical skills and experience to take your own career and civic work to the next level.  Applications are due June 1, 2015. Click here for more information and application form.

The Environmental Quality Board and the Department of Employment and Economic Development are working on a water report including results of a survey of water-related organizations in Minnesota. The survey results will help develop an economic profile that quantifies the current employment and wages in water-related organizations. The survey will go to public and private sector entities involved in (but not limited to) the research, development, treatment, manufacture, assembly, management, sales, or distribution of water-related products or services. Link to survey.

The goal is to understand their present employment, revenue, and products in the sector. This will be combined with administrative datasets to build a profile of water employment and wages in the state. It follows a method laid out by MN Clean Energy Economy Profile. For more information, contact Anna Sherman,, 651-259-7468. 


A great tool Community Broadband Planning Tool: What you need before you think about financing

OCC’s Web site, which provides answers to 300 common banking questions covering such topics as credit cards, bank accounts, mortgages, consumer loans, insurance, identity theft, and safe deposit boxes. The site also includes links and references to financial information and an online consumer complaint form.

CFED has released “Building Financial Capability: A Planning Guide for Integrated Services”, an interactive resource to help a wide range of community-based and social service organizations integrate financial capability services into their existing programs (e.g., housing, workforce development or Head Start). CFED developed the publication in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Community Services (OCS), with input from a number of local, state and national partners that tested and reviewed its 13 tools. Get the resource guide here.

Advancing K−12 Financial Education: A Guide for Policymakers The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers this resource guide designed to encourage financial education in schools. The guide contains strategies for furthering the development and implementation of financial education.

AARPSBA Webinars  AARP and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) host new webinars and republish previous webinars to educate people who want to start businesses or expand existing ones.

–The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has published new healthy community design data. The CDC estimates that, for every dollar invested in community design projects, between $1.20 and $3.80 is saved as a result of reduced health care utilization and fuel consumption. View the data here.

Enterprise Community Partners has released its 2015 Green Communities Criteria. Enterprise created these criteria in 2004 as the first green national standard designed specifically for affordable housing. These updated criteria incorporate resilient design features as well as Active Design criteria to improve resident health. Click here for a copy of the guidelines.

–The nation’s older adult population has grown and is continuing to grow dramatically, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. The population 65 and older is expected to reach 73 million by 2030, an increase of 33 million over 20 years. The number of lower-income older adults is also increasing; from 2003 to 2013, the number of households aged 62 and older earning less than 50 percent of area median income (AMI) increased by 21 percent. To view the data, click here.

Frontier and Remote Area Codes Updated  The Economic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, has updated the Frontier and Remote Area (FAR) codes based on 2010 data.

— At Main Street Project, the importance of women in the present and future of the agricultural system is recognized.  To read about this go to:

Minnesota ranked seventh for total wind-generated electricity in 2014 and was seventh in the nation for percent of its net electricity generated from wind power, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report, released April 15 by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). In 2014, Minnesota generated 9,060 thousand megawatt hours (MWh) of wind power that provided 15.9 percent of all in-state electricity production, enough to power 830,000 homes. Read more.


Otter Tail County Seeks Tourism and Economic Development Director

The position will serve in a dual role as the economic development/tourism liaison for Otter Tail County and as the executive director of the Otter Tail Country Tourism and Economic Development Authority.