July 2015

July 2015- Volume XIII, Number 6

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

Have a great summer!!



CT Scanner Replacement Initiative  Letter of Intent (Required): Jul 17, 2015, Application deadline: Aug 28, 2015.   Offers funding to Critical Access Hospitals in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming for the purchase of a new 32 slice or higher CT scanner.  Sponsor: Helmsley Charitable Trust

USDA is accepting applications to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Eligible applicants include groups of cooperatives, cooperative development centers and individual cooperatives that serve socially-disadvantaged groups. These grants will help socially-disadvantaged business owners develop the tools and skills they need to grow their enterprises and succeed at creating jobs and expanding economic opportunities in rural areas. Deadlines: electronic applications 7/14/2015; mailed applications must be postmarked by 7/20/2015. Click here for guidelines.

THE NOTAH BEGAY III FOUNDATION’S Promising Program Grants support Native organizations working to improve nutrition and access to healthy foods for their children and communities. Preference will be given to organizations from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin; however, applications will be accepted from organizations throughout the U.S. The goal is to strengthen existing programs focused on childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes prevention through healthy nutrition and access to healthy foods. An additional focus is to assist communities and organizations in building their capacity to evaluate their programming and implement policy change. Grants of up to $40,000 will be awarded. U.S.-based Native American-controlled nonprofit organizations, tribal governments, and Native American community-based groups with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor are eligible to apply. Deadline: 7/20/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website he re to download the Request for Proposals.

The National Endowment for the Arts has issued a program solicitation for an organization to run the new Our Town Technical Assistance Pilot Program that will provide grantees with capacity building support to more effectively execute their creative placemaking projects. The purpose of this solicitation is to select an organization (Cooperator) to implement the Our Town Technical Assistance Pilot Program. Deadline: 7/21/2015. Click here to learn more about this opportunity.

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 Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS) of the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting applications for the Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program to provide financial assistance to improve the economic condition of rural areas through cooperative development.  The solicitation appeared in the Federal Register (80 FR 34129, June 15, 2015). The text of the RBCS solicitation notice can be found at the following link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-06-15/pdf/2015-14676.pdf  Completed applications must be submitted by close of business on July 27, 2015 (electronic) or July 30, 2015 (paper). 

Headwaters Foundation for Justice: The Fund of the Sacred Circle supports grassroots communities working to create social, economic, environmental, and racial justice. The Fund of the Sacred Circle, administered by the Headwaters Foundation, supports American Indian organizations throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin that address issues such as language and cultural revitalization, land and environmental restoration, sovereignty and treaty rights, and self-determination and civil rights. The Fund provides Planning Grants up to $5,000 and Implementation Grants up to $10,000 for projects that focus on systemic injustice affecting American Indian communities. Deadline: 8/3/2015. Visit the Headwaters Foundation’s website here (or here) to review the online application instructions.

Christopher Reeve Foundation Quality of Life Grants Grants to nonprofit organizations that provide services to individuals with paralysis, with special consideration given to wounded military and their families.  Application deadline: August 3, 2015.  

Applications are now being accepted for the Eide Bailly Resourcefullness Awards.  Open to 501(c)(3) organizations, these awards provide recognition and support to nonprofits that have undertaken sustainable, creative and impactful revenue generation initiatives.  Select organizations in each state will be recognized with grand prize ($10,000), runner-up ($3,000) and honorable mention ($2,000) recipients. Application deadline for the awards is Wednesday, August 12 at 11:59 p.m. CDT.  To learn more about the awards go to:  http://www.eidebailly.com/industries/nonprofit/resourcefullness-award-home/ , application process or past winners, visit bit.ly/1eFNwJW or contact Katie Cloyd at kcloyd@eidebailly.com.

–USDA Rural Development has issued a NOFA for the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) which provides funding to help nonprofit housing and community development organizations support housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas. Deadline to apply: 8/13/2015. Click here to visit the website to learn more about this program.

­­–Union Pacific Foundation is offering grants to nonprofit organizations through its Community-Based Grant Program in communities served by the Union Pacific Railroad, primarily in the Midwestern and Western United States. The Foundation gives priority to requests that address the following categories: Community and Civic, and Health and Human Services. The majority of these grants are intended to help nonprofit organizations build their capacity, increase their impact, and operate more effectively. Deadlines: a preliminary application form must be submitted by 8/14/2015. Selected organizations will receive instructions on accessing the online final application form, which must be submitted by midnight CDT on 8/15/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website here for more information on the Community-Based Grant Program.

Minnesota Housing has up to $7.5 million in funds available for moderate rehabilitation of existing affordable rental housing in Greater Minnesota through the Rental Rehabilitation Deferred Loan (RRDL) Pilot Program.  Proposals with the following priorities are encouraged:

  • Preservation of affordable housing opportunities in Greater Minnesota where the lack of affordable workforce housing is a barrier to economic prosperity.
  • Preservation of properties that contain existing Federal Assistance or other critical affordable units at risk of loss.

RRDL funding is available for both Specific Project and Program Model activities. Applicants may simultaneously submit applications for multiple project or program activities.  Available resources include:

  • $1.9 million in zero-interest, deferred payment, 10% forgivable loan funds for owners completing Specific Project activities outside the 7-county metropolitan area and RRDL administrator areas.
  • $4.1 million in zero-interest, deferred payment, 10% forgivable loan funds for existing and prospective administrators completing Program Model activities.
  • $1.5 million in zero-interest, deferred payment, 100% forgivable loan funds for existing and prospective administrators completing Program Model activities.

Please visit the Minnesota Housing website for complete application materials and instructions. Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 24, 2015.  For more information, please contact Susan Haugen at 651.296.9848.

Healthy Eating Research – Building the Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity Letter of Intent (Required): Aug 26, 2015. Application deadline: Oct 7, 2015

Supports research on environmental and policy strategies designed to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity, especially among groups at highest risk for obesity: Black, Latino, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander children, and children who live in lower-income communities.  Sponsor: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines awards one urban and one rural community the Strong Communities Award. The award demonstrates the value that communities throughout the FHLB Des Moines district derive from small business and economic development projects. The award recognizes the results of these projects and their impact on creating stronger communities. Deadline: 8/31/2015. Two winners, one urban and one rural, will each receive a $15,000 stipend to be used for the project or other community economic development needs. One runner-up finalist in each category will be awarded $3,000. For more information on how to apply, click here.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has issued guidelines and application materials for Our Town, the NEA’s primary creative placemaking program, providing funding that supports local efforts to enhance quality of life and opportunity for residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place. Grants in 2016 will be available for projects in arts engagement, design and planning, and in knowledge building. Deadline to apply: 9/21/2015. Click here for application guidelines. To help applicants prepare competitive proposals, the NEA is offering two webinars; July 29 and August 5, 2015. Each session will be from 3:00 to 4:00 PM EDT. Click here to register for a webinar.

The Foundation for Rural Service provides grants for programs in rural communities served by the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) members. Grants are awarded in the areas of business development, community development, education, and telecommunications. Deadline: 10/1/2015. Click here to visit the program website for more information.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grants  support programs that work in the areas of childhood education, healthy children, secure families, racial equity, and civic engagement.  Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA is accepting applications for loans and grants to support business expansion, create jobs and increase economic opportunities in rural communities. Funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). Details about how to apply for this are found in the Federal Register here. Application forms may be obtained from any USDA Rural Development State Office.


Build a Stronger Fundraising Plan for your Organization. The inaugural Minnesota Nonprofit Fundraising Conference will be held on Thursday, July 29 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center. Designed for the entire philanthropic community, this day-long event will help you add to your fundraising toolkit, broaden your organization’s development plan and build a strong network of like-minded peers. Highlights include a keynote from Farra Trompeter of Big Duck, 20+ breakout sessions, individual Ask the Expert question period and more! To learn more or register today, visit www.minnesotanonprofits.org/fundraising.

The Nonprofit Essentials Conference is designed just for you!  Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, the University of St. Thomas and over 250 nonprofit peers on Thursday, August 20 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN for an indispensable overview of the management topics essential to nonprofits. Offering a wide array of practical workshops, this information-packed conference will help re-focus staff on the core elements of working in and managing successful nonprofit organizations.  Register today and get back to the basics!

2015 National Rural Assembly will be held September 8-10, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.  Register here.

The Will Steger Foundation has launched a series of 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 remaining meetings will take place: 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 Minnesota Venture & Finance Conference is Minnesota’s premier event for entrepreneurs and investors Real Deals, Real Investors, Unbeatable Networking.  Save the date for the 29th Annual event on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. With hundreds attending each year, this event is one of the strongest in the country in terms of overall entrepreneur and investor attendance and capital raised by participants. Since 1987 the Annual Minnesota Venture & Finance Conference has been bringing together investors and entrepreneurs to engage, innovate, learn and network in order to nurture Minnesota’s innovation economy.  The full agenda and details will be announced in July 2015. For questions on opportunities to get involved contact Tonya Meyers (tmeyers@mhta.org).

I’m Home Conference Minneapolis will be held October 26−28, 2015

CFED sponsors this conference bringing together affordable housing developers, lenders, government agency staff, policymakers, industry experts, homeowners, community organizers, researchers, and funders to consider manufactured housing as a source of affordable housing and asset building for low- and moderate-income families.

— Save the Date! November 18-20 Annual Broadband Conference hosted by Blandin Foundation and the Office of Broadband Development – More information to come.

Save the Date for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference  Mark your calendar now to attend the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, Feb. 2-3, 2016, at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.


Interested in discussing population health and the interface between health care delivery and public health practice? The Centers for Public Health Education and Practice at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health is looking to have a group discussion with community health and primary care leaders (including FQHCs, community health clinics, rural health centers, and other community-based primary care providers) on these topics. The overarching goals are to begin a dialog about experiences, foster or extend relationships between primary care and public health, and inform future education and training opportunities. The exact format, setting, and date of the discussion(s) will be determined by the group, with the aim of holding them between mid-July and mid-August. If you would like to learn more about this project or to sign up to participate, please contact Louise Stenberg at sten0197@umn.edu or 612-624-8470.

–The Center for Small Towns (CST) assists Minnesota’s small towns with locally identified issues. The Center prioritizes the voices of small town residents and leaders and develops projects in partnership with communities, faculty, staff, and students. CST reviews proposals three times per year. The deadline for fall project proposals is July 24; the deadline for spring project proposals is October 16. Submitting a project idea brief is the first step in the project development process. If you have questions or need assistance, contact Kerri Barnstuble at (320) 589-6467 or kbarnstu@morris.umn.edu

Help teachers bring STEM awareness to the classroom.  BestPrep is hosting Technology Integration Workshops on July 27 & 28 to help connect educators to the workforce through half-day job shadows with industry professionals and help them learn how they can best prepare and inspire students to pursue careers in STEM. Job shadow hosts, called Business Partners, are needed to make this a reality. READ MORE

Open Appointments – State Boards, Councils and Committees, applications due July 28th. Take a look at the full list of vacancies at the Secretary of State’s website and include:

  • Advisory Committee for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
  • Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage
  • Minnesota Board on Aging

Jim Meeks, PA-C, DFAAPA Memorial AFPPA Student Scholarship  Application deadline: September 1, 2015. Offers a scholarship to a physician assistant student who displays a commitment to family practice and rural health. 


Foundation Grants to Rural Areas from 2005 to 2010: Trends and Patterns  ERS estimates that the value of U.S. foundation grants to benefit rural areas was 6-7 percent of total domestic grants in 2010. Since the rural population was 19 percent that year, this suggests an urban focus of foundation grants.

The Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) recently launched a new program that will allow it to work closely with farmers and rural small businesses to advance renewable energy projects. The newly funded program, Renewable Energy for Greater MN, will provide free on-site renewable energy assessments and custom project assistance to Minnesota farmers and rural small businesses. The effort is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Energy Audits–Renewable Energy Development Assistance grant program. Read more.

Crop Genetic Resources May Play an Increasing Role in Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change (Amber Waves feature article)  As agriculture adapts to climate change, crop genetic resources can be used to develop new plant varieties that are more tolerant of changing environmental conditions. The public sector plays an important role in collecting, conserving and distributing crop genetic resources, because private sector incentives for crucial parts of these activities are limited.

EPA’s Study of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources  provides access to information on an EPA study examining the relationship between hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and drinking water. Includes access to findings from the study, which addresses how rural communities’ drinking water may be impacted.

Helping Nonprofits Get a Handle on Succession Planning.   Nonprofits that are serious about their own sustainability will also be serious about planning for smooth and thoughtful transitions of leadership. While necessary for all successful organizations, the process can be a challenge for even the most forward-thinking of nonprofits.  The National Council of Nonprofits recently published tips and resources for nonprofits interested in learning more about succession planning in their organization. Succession Planning for Nonprofits includes planning tips for leadership transition, access to a Nonprofit-Executive Succession Planning Toolkit, and a list of resources available from various nonprofit state associations.  To learn more about how your organization can get a grasp on succession planning, visit the National Council of Nonprofits website.

Population & Migration  nonmetro areas in some parts of the country have experienced population loss for decades. However, 2010-14 marks the first period with an estimated population loss for nonmetro America as a whole. Opportunities for population growth and economic expansion vary widely from one nonmetro county to the next, and new regional patterns of growth and decline have emerged in recent years.

–Rural counties have 232,000 more jobs in April 2015 than April 2014 say the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  For more information go to: http://irjci.blogspot.com/2015/06/rural-counties-have-232000-more-jobs-in.html

Rural Transit Fact Book 2015 provides national and state-level statistics and information on rural transit in America. Includes rural demographic and travel behavior data. Also covers financial and operating statistics for agencies receiving section 5311 funding. Includes a section on tribal transit.

Care Coordination in Rural Communities: Supporting the High Performance Rural Health System  examines care coordination programs and processes to see how they impact rural people and places, to observe how different approaches to care coordination are working, and to make policy recommendations that support care coordination to help facilitate a high performance rural health system.

National Center for Mobility Management  provides information and resources for communities regarding transportation strategies and mobility options that enable people to live independently, and that promote health, economic vitality, and self-sufficiency. Includes a topic page specific to rural transportation.

Organization: Federal Transit Administration

AARP Small Business Administration 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.

IdentityTheft.gov This FTC site is the federal governments one-stop resource to help people report and recover from identity theft. It is also available in Spanish at www.robodeidentidad.gov.

–The Carolina Geriatric Education Center (CGEC) has an online Spanish version of the Falls Prevention Course for Community Health Workers. The course is based on the National Council on Aging curriculum which was developed in partnership with the Paraprofessional Health Institute (PHI). This course is free under the current CGEC grant.

HealthLandscape‘s customizable Population Health Mapper show county-level data for issues related to population health, including health status, healthcare services, health behaviors, demographics, socio-economic factors, and the physical environment.


Industry Job Opening in Austin The Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau is searching for a part-time tourism staff person to promote Austin as a tourism destination, host travel groups, conduct city tours, and prospect potential conventions and meetings.

We wanted to let folks know about two webinars coming up this week…

WEBINAR: Moving Back to Rural America: Why Some Return Home and Why It Matters
WEDNESDAY, July 8th at 1pm EDT

Hundreds of rural communities face the difficult challenge of adjusting to dwindling populations. High school graduates leave for college or good-paying jobs, and only a small number return. However, those who do return often bring spouses and young children back with them, along with education and skills gained elsewhere. Findings discussed in this webinar come from interviews with returnees and nonreturnees conducted at high school reunions in 21 rural communities. Decisions to return or not return to rural communities hinged heavily on family connections and evaluations of local school systems.


Free Blandin Webinar July 9: Creative Spaces, Creative Places
July 9 at 3:00-4:00

Does broadband promote creativity? Not alone it doesn’t but it can be an ingredient that spurs or supports a community effort. You also need people to make it happen. In this webinar we’ll hear from people who have promoted creativity in their community at least in some part through technology. We’ll learn about what they are doing, how they started it and what it has meant to the community.

Matthew Marcus and Aaron Deacon on Kansas City Startup Village: A community situated around the first neighborhood to get Google Fiber in KC but built by local entrepreneurs to be fertile ground to grow startups from KC and beyond. They community grew organically as if something was in the air. Hear their story and think about how we can replicate that here.

Fred Underwood on Duluth Maker Space: A sustainable multi-field community workshop for local artists, inventors, experimentors, teachers, learners (Makers!) of all ages. It opened last Fall. They have classes available and open space with cool tools for folks who want to use them.  Imagine a place in your community where makers can meet and collaborate.

Carla Lydon on East Central Regional Library: The library offers a range of services that make the library building a place to learn and use technology such as popular digital petting zoos, where patrons can get a chance to use various tablets. They also provide a range of remote services that make everyone in the community more creative – no matter where they are locates.