January 2016- Volume XIV, Number 1

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



— The Community Clinics Grant program provides funding to plan, establish or operate services to improve the ongoing viability of Minnesota’s clinic-based safety net providers. Grants support clinical capacity to serve people with low incomes, reduce current or future uncompensated care burdens, or improve care delivery infrastructure. An eligible community clinic means a nonprofit clinic, government entity, Indian tribal government or Indian health service unit; or a consortium of these entities. Applicants must provide or plan to provide clinical services and use a sliding fee scale or other procedure to determine eligibility for charity care or to ensure that no person will be denied services because of inability to pay. Final applications are due in WebGrants@MDH 11:59 p.m. January 20. Contact Deb Jahnke at 651-201-3845 for more information.

First Nations Development Institute is offering grants through its Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative. This initiative will provide up to ten grants to support projects that serve Native American children and families and aim to strengthen local food system control; increase access to local, healthy, and traditional foods; and decrease food insecurity and food deserts. Native American-controlled nonprofit tribal organizations and Native American community-based groups are eligible to apply. Deadline: 1/25/2016. Visit the First Nations website here to learn more about the funding guidelines and application process.

Department of Justice is offering grants to nonprofits, public agencies, states, Indian Tribes, and local governments under the Rural Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Assistance Program. Funds will be used to enhance the safety of victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking by supporting projects uniquely designed to address and prevent these crimes in rural jurisdictions. Deadline: 2/1/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

–The Farmer Veteran Coalition is offering grants to veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces starting out in farming or ranching. Deadline: 2/1/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

–FISKARS’ Project Orange Thumb is offering grants to nonprofit organizations, public schools, and municipalities in the U.S. and Canada for community gardens. Grants provide tools and resources to help communities reach their goals for neighborhood beautification, community collaboration, and healthy, sustainable food sources. Application deadline: 2/1/2016. Visit the Fiskars website here to submit an online application.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture administers the County Fair Arts Access and Cultural Heritage Grantawarded to Minnesota’s county fairs to fund projects and programs to enhance arts access and education and to preserve and promote Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage. Deadline for the non-competitive grants program is February 5, 2016.

— The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care Rural Hospital Capital Improvement Grant program assists small rural hospitals in undertaking needed modernization projects to update, remodel or replace aging hospital facilities, record systems, and equipment necessary to maintain the operations of the hospital. Maximum awards will be $125,000. An eligible hospital is a general acute care hospital of 50 or fewer beds located in a community with a population of less than 15,000, according to United States Census Bureau statistics, outside the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. Final applications (if invited) are due in WebGrants@MDH by 4:00 p.m. February 5. Contact Lina Jau at 651-201-3809 for more information.

Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofits and public agencies to expand and enhance service capacity through the provision of peer recovery support services for individuals with substance use disorders and their family members. Deadline: 2/15/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

The National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants through the Art Works program. Projects in this program: are likely to prove transformative with the potential for meaningful change, whether in the development or enhancement of new or existing art forms, new approaches to the creation or presentation of art, or new ways of engaging the public with art; are distinctive, offering fresh insights and new value for their fields and/or the public through unconventional solutions; and have the potential to be shared and/or emulated, or are likely to lead to other advances in the field. 2016 deadlines: 2/18 and 7/14. Click here to learn more about Art Works Grants.

HUD and USDA have announced that communities may now apply to be designated a Promise Zone under the third and final round competition. Any community meeting the eligibility criteria which include having a contiguous boundary, a high poverty rate and a population within the area not exceeding 200,000 residents, can apply for a designation. HUD and USDA will designate 7 Promise Zones across urban, rural and tribal communities for the final round. Deadline: 2/23/2016. Click here for the Federal Register notice.  To read more about the Promise Zone initiative, click here.

–Department of Justice is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to provide transitional housing to victims of partner violence. Deadline: 2/24/2016. Click here for an application and funding guidelines.

–Home Depot Foundation is offering grants of up to $500,000 to organizations for the construction or repair of single or multifamily permanent supportive housing or transitional housing for veterans and their families. Deadline: 2/24/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program (TCRGP) offers grants to tribal colleges or universities for research projects that address concerns and needs of tribal and reservation communities, including projects that focus on nutrition, healthy lifestyles, and obesity reduction in tribal communities. Application Deadline: Feb 25, 2016

Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program will be accepted from January 1 through February 28, 2016 and will be selected by lottery. The solar incentive program is available to utility customers who install solar PV or solar thermal systems using solar modules or collectors certified as manufactured in Minnesota. The solar PV incentive program is open only to customers of the state’s investor-owned utilities (Alliant, Minnesota Power, Ottertail Power and Xcel Energy). Applicants can reapply if not selected in the previous year. The solar PV incentive is also available to developers of community solar gardens with less than 40 kilowatts (kW) of production.

Solar thermal rebate applications are open to utility customers throughout the state, with priority given to customers of the investor-owned utilities. the annual funding allocation is committed. More information on the Made in Minnesota program, including the incentive and rebate amounts, is available at the  Minnesota Department of Commerce website. Questions can be directed to the department’s Energy Information Center by email at energy.info@state.mn.us or by phone at 651-539-1886 or 800-657-3710.

Department of Labor is offering tech hire partnership grants. Applications must include at least one representative of each of the following three types of entities: the workforce investment system; education and training providers; and business-related nonprofit organizations: organizations functioning as workforce intermediaries for the express purpose of serving the needs of businesses, or consortia of three or more businesses, or at least three independent businesses. The program is designed to equip individuals with the skills they need through innovative approaches that can rapidly train workers and connect them to well-paying, middle- and high-skilled, high-growth jobs across a diversity of H-1B industries such as IT, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, financial services, and broadband. Deadline: 3/11/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

–Department of Labor is offering grants up to $4 million dollars to nonprofit collaborations to develop an approach that provides skills training leading to family-supporting jobs for low- to middle-skilled parents while simultaneously developing and implementing a plan for applicants’ communities or regions that help families better navigate the existing complex systems of supportive services, including increased access to child care. Application deadline: 3/16/2016. Click here for guidelines.

Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to enable nonprofit community collaborations to implement locally designed initiatives to reduce substance abuse. Deadline: 3/18/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

–The National Endowment for the Arts will offer Challenge America grants primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations–those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Deadline: 4/14/2016. Click here to review program guidelines.

Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions – NEH’s Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. Deadline: May 3, 2016.


–USDA will host a webinar Rural America At a Glance – 2015 edition. In this webinar, ERS Economist Lorin Kusmin will discuss the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas, focusing on the U.S. rural economy, including employment, population, poverty trends, and educational attainment trends.  The Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, releases the Rural America at a Glance report annually, which summarizes the status of conditions and trends in rural areas.

Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM EDT
Duration: 1 hour
Host(s): Lorin Kusmin, Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA
To register go to: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=s419an3x2srf

–The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host a webcast on improving energy efficiency in multifamily affordable housing on January 19, 2016, at 1:00 PM ET. “Beyond the Light Touch: Next Steps for Improving Energy Efficiency in Multi-Family Affordable Housing” will explore the specific challenges and opportunities faced by programs that aim to improve energy efficiency in multifamily affordable housing, with an emphasis on achieving multiple benefits through deeper retrofits. To register, click here.

2016 EDAM Winter Conference to be held on January 21-22 at the Minneapolis Marriott in Brooklyn Park. Registration is now open with discounted fees available until January 8. For more information and to register, please go to http://z.umn.edu/11lv .

–The MN Ag Expo will be held January 27-28, 2016 in Mankato at the Verizon Wireless Center.

Research shows that nonprofits that invest in their volunteers can build capacity and increase community impact. To support this effort, the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA) is partnering with and training organizations to assess their current volunteer engagement efforts. This model, called Service Enterprise, also helps organizations create a plan to foster a culture of volunteerism. MAVA, along with HandsOn Twin Cities, is recruiting organizations to participate in two upcoming Service Enterprise training cohorts. St. Cloud cohort applications are due February 1, while Twin Cities cohort applications will be due in early May.  Visit MAVA’s website for more information or email Sara Wessling from MAVA or Zeeda Magnuson from HandsOn Twin Cities.

Register Now for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference

The lineup for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference on February 2-3 is complete and you’ll find many ways to THINK BIG in Bemidji this year!

Energy Design Conference & Expo is February 22-24 in Duluth.  For the 26th straight year, participants will learn about the latest in energy-efficient building technologies, renewable energy, best practices, and responsible design at the Energy Design Conference & Expo on Feb. 22-24, 2016 in Duluth, Minn. More than 40 workshop sessions are planned, with some of the leading professionals in the energy field presenting. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is a sponsor and partner of the event. Early registration ends Jan. 29. To register and for more information read more.

— An online webinar- Information Session on Brown- field Resources will be hosted by EDAM on February 25th from 12-1:30PM. For more information, please go to http://z.umn.edu/129t .

Tech Cities 2016 will be held February 26, 2016 at the Carlson School of Management in Minneapolis. For more in formation and registration go to: http://carlsonschool.umn.edu/events/tech-cities-conference

Save the Date for Minnesota Festival & Events Association Annual Meeting

Join MNFEA at the 2016 Annual Conference March 10-11, 2016 in New Ulm.

–Hold the Date! Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 7, 2016 at Macalester College.

— The National Rural Health Association’s Rural Hospital Innovation Summit will be held May 10-13 in Minneapolis.

–The Minnesota Rural Health Conference will be held June 20-21 in Duluth.

–SAVE THE DATES for Minnesota Council of Nonprofit events! The Nonprofit Fundraising Conference will be held July 21, 2016 in Brooklyn Center and their Annual Conference will be held October 6 – 7, 2016 in Duluth. 

–Mark your calendars now for the Joint International Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016. The 2016 theme is Sustaining Community Change: Building Local Capacity to Sustain Development Initiatives. Minnesota last hosted this international gathering in 2001 in Duluth. The location in 2016 is the Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport hotel near the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Check our local host Facebook site for ongoing updates and to start connecting with colleagues now for a great summer gathering: https://www.facebook.com/cds2016. A Call for Papers will be announced soon, and online registration will begin later in 2016.


Share Your Ideas for the 2016 Greater Minnesota Transit Investment Plan

Planning for the 2016 update to the Greater Minnesota Transit Investment Plan is underway, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation welcomes your ideas on how to improve transit in Greater Minnesota. The goal of the plan is to improve mobility for the general public with emphasis on seniors, low income populations, the homeless population, individuals with disabilities, veterans, New Americans and commuters. Share your ideas, learn more about the plan and view the latest updates. There are several ways for everybody, not just transit users, to participate! The better response the department receives, the more informed their strategies will be. For questions about this process, please contact Sara Dunlap at 651-366-4194 or sara.dunlap@state.mn.us.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is seeking comments on a proposed rule to implement the Duty to Serve provisions of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992, as amended by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. This statute requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (“the Enterprises”) to serve three specified underserved markets: manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation, and rural markets. The proposed rule would require the Enterprises to adopt plans to improve the distribution and availability of mortgage financing in a safe and sound manner for residential properties that serve very low-, low-, and moderate-income families in the three specified underserved markets. Here are links to the press release, and proposed rule.

Udall Scholarship offers scholarships to Native Americans and Alaska Native students pursuing careers related to tribal public policy, native health, or the environment. Deadline March 2, 2016.

Seeking Volunteers to help welcome attendees and host at various conference activities throughout the Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016. Email Jane Leonard at jane.leonard@state.mn.us if you are interested in short stints as Mobile Learning Workshop chaperones, conference greeters, and other hosting experiences.  It’s a great way to experience the conference and a great way to show our visitors Minnesota’s excellence in hospitality.

Students from Statistics in the Community (STATCOM), a student group at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, are putting their skills to work by providing free statistical services to a variety of non-profit, governmental, and community-service organizationsMORE

–The University of St. Thomas is offering engineering-education courses for free to P-12 STEM teachers, thanks to sponsorship from Google. MORE


Rural America at a Glance, 2015 Edition Rural employment gains were significantly higher over the past year than in recent years, but employment remains below pre-recession levels. Rural areas still suffer population loss, higher poverty, and lower education than urban areas.

County Typology Codes The 2015 County Typology Codes classify all U.S. counties according to six mutually exclusive categories of economic dependence and six overlapping categories of policy-relevant themes. The economic dependence types include farming, mining, manufacturing, Federal/State government, recreation, and nonspecialized counties. The policy-relevant types include low education, low employment, persistent poverty, persistent child poverty, population loss, and retirement destination.

The Housing Assistance Council has released Veterans Data Central, a website that provides essential information on the social, economic, and housing characteristics of veterans in the United States.  Click here to visit the website.

America’s Diverse Family Farms: 2015 Edition Most U.S. farms (99 percent) are family operations. Small family farms make up 90 percent of the U.S. farm count but produce 22 percent of farm output. Midsize and large-scale farms (9 percent of farms) produce 68 percent of farm output.

Health Care Innovations for Rural Populations Features a selection of healthcare innovations and quality tools for rural populations that help to address health disparities including topics that cover service delivery models such as telehealth, mobile clinics, and integrated healthcare.

Keepin’ it REAL Rural is a drug and alcohol prevention program for middle school kids adapted to rural culture in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

— The U.S. Census Bureau released new American Community Survey data in December. The data show that the number of census tracts where at least 40% of residents live in poverty has grown steadily in the Twin Cities since 2000. People of color continue to be overrepresented in these tracts.

CERTs offers community solar garden financial impact tool. A financial impact tool to help utility customers decide if subscribing to a community solar garden is right for them has been developed by the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs). The tool, created by Doug Tiffany, a research fellow in Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota, helps households and businesses conduct the financial analysis of community solar participation.