March 2016- Volume XIV, Number 3

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



Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program Grants provides grants to improve telemedicine services and distance learning services in rural areas through the use of telemedicine, computer networks, and related advanced technologies. Application Deadline: March 14, 2016.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to increase capacity to provide accessible, effective, comprehensive, coordinated, integrated, and evidence-based treatment services; permanent supportive housing; peer supports; and other critical services to homeless people. Deadline: 3/15/2016. Click here for 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.

U.S. Conference of Mayors and and Wells Fargo are offering grants through the CommunityWINS grant program. Launched in 2015, the CommunityWINS program includes a $3 million investment by the Wells Fargo Foundation over three years to support neighborhood revitalization, economic development and job creation in local municipalities. Deadline: 3/18/2016. Click here to visit the website for additional information.

–As part of its effort to invest in economic growth within the region, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) is offering $100,000 in Incentive Grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations or units/agencies of local, state, or federal government. Grants up to $20,000 are available to support collaborative projects or programs in early childhood and economic development areas. Applications for this grant round are due March 21, 2016, with awards announced in May. Full guidelines and online application can be found at

The SAFER Grant Program outlined in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015 provides $340,000,000 directly to fire departments and volunteer interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities. The SAFER Grant Program seeks to assist local fire departments with staffing and deployment capabilities in order to respond to emergencies and assure communities have adequate protection from fire and fire–related hazards. The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and technical assistance documents for this program are available at the federal Grants.Gov website and at the Federal Emergency Management Agency´s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants webpage. Applications are due March 25.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation: Healthy Communities: Health Equity in Action. Deadline: March 31, 2016. MORE

The East Central Regional Arts Council reminds all local artists, art organizations, and schools within Region 7E (the Minnesota Counties of Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine) that the next deadlines to apply for funding are:

April 1st, 2016: The following grants are now open:

  • Art in Our Schools Grants
  • Small/Art Project Assistance Grants
  • Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Organizations
  • Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Individual Artists
  • McKnight Individual Artist Grants

Grant applicants requesting grant writing consultation or wanting more information regarding arts grant programs can contact the ECRAC office by phone at 320-396-2337, and by email at

The 2016 NHSC LRP application cycle is now open to support primary care medical, dental and mental/behavioral health clinicians committed to caring for underserved people where they are most needed. Health centers are strongly encouraged to participate in the NHSC to help recruit and retain qualified health care providers. View the 2016 Application and Program Guidance. The competitive application cycle will close April 5.

–Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced the Telehealth Network Grant Program (TNGP), with the objective of demonstrating how telehealth programs and networks can improve access to health care services in rural, frontier, and underserved communities. The TNGP networks are used to expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of care services; improve and expand the training of healthcare providers; and/or expand and improve the quality of health information available to health care providers, and patients and their families, for decision making. Applications are due April 8. More information about this opportunity is available on the federal Grants.Gov website.

–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.

Ben and Jerry’s Foundation: Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program – Deadline: April 15, 2016 MORE

The Sparkplug Foundation provides grants to start-up nonprofit organizations or new projects of established nonprofits that are addressing the fields of music, education, and community organizing. In the Music category, the Foundation supports emerging professional musicians or music-development programs. In the Education and Teaching category, the Foundation funds projects that deal with “the whole student” and with learning as a community activity. In the Grassroots Organizing category, the Foundation encourages activist strategies for addressing institutional injustices and for building a reasoned, just society. The current focus is on ground-level community organizing at the intersection of utilities/energy infrastructure, housing/community resources, and racial justice. Deadlines: online questionnaires must be completed by 4/15/2016; letters of intent are due 4/22/2016; and the deadline for final applications is 5/13/2016. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review its mission and funding guidelines as well as the online application instructions.

Community Economic Development (CED) Healthy Food Financing Initiative Projects awards funding to Community Development Corporations for projects designed to address food deserts and improve access to healthy, affordable foods. Bonus points will be given to projects that create jobs in a rural community. Application Deadline: April 27, 2016.

Community Economic Development (CED) Projects offers funds to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) for projects designed to address the economic needs of low-income individuals and families through the creation of employment and business opportunities, including expansion or construction of clinics and health centers. Bonus points will be given to projects that create jobs in rural communities. Application Deadline: April 27, 2016.

NEWMAN’S OWN, Fisher House Foundation, and Military Times have joined together to offer grants to recognize volunteer and nonprofit organizations supporting military families. Eligible applicants to the Newman’s Own Awards Program must be comprised primarily of volunteers or be a nonprofit organization, and be working with the families of Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve units, or veterans. Applying organizations will be evaluated on their innovative plans for improving the quality of life for members of the military and their families. Deadline: 4/28/2016. Visit the program’s website here to submit an online application.

Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grants  U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced $500 million will be made available for transportation projects across the country under an eighth round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program. Like the first seven rounds, FY 2016 TIGER discretionary grants will fund capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and will be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area, or a region. The grant program will focus on capital projects that generate economic development and improve access to reliable, safe and affordable transportation for communities, both urban and rural. The Notice of Funding Opportunity has been released and $500 million has been appropriated for grants in this round of TIGER. Be sure and take part in the upcoming informational webinars about applying for a TIGER grant. The minimum TIGER grant amount for rural areas is $1 million. Applications are due April 29, 2016.

Retirement Research Foundation is accepting applications for projects that improve lives of aging Americans. Deadline: 5/2/2016. Click here for funding guidelines and an application.

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.

Mary Kay Domestic Violence Shelter Grant Program awards grants to women’s domestic violence shelters. Application Deadline: May 31, 2016.

USDA is offering money through Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) program. The purpose of SECD is to advance projects which support long-term community and economic growth strategies that reflect both multi-jurisdictional stakeholder collaboration and capitalize upon the unique strengths of the rural area. Through this provision, USDA Rural Development is empowered to work further with rural communities to align resources with long-range and multi-jurisdictional challenges and needs by leveraging federal, state, local, or private funding. Deadline to apply: 6/30/2016. To review funding guidelines, click here.

THE HOME DEPOT Foundation 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. Proposals for the following community improvement activities will be considered: repairs, refurbishments, and modifications to low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities (schools, community centers, senior centers, etc.); weatherizing or increasing energy efficiency of low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities; engaging veterans as volunteers to help other veterans in their community through service projects focusing on the renovation, repair, and improvement of homes and other properties serving veterans; and planting trees or community gardens or landscaping community facilities that serve veterans. Requests will be accepted through 12/31/2016. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.


New American Job Fair hosted by the Afro American Development Association be held at the Moorhead Center Mall in Moorhead MN
on March 10th, 2016 from 8am-10am. Resume and application assistance will be available from 10am-2pm. There will be interviews with potential employers. 
Join us in matching eager to work New Americans with potential employers. Translation and on-the-job training services will be available. Together, we can make our community stronger!

Minnesota Festivals and Events Association Annual Conference March 10-11 in New Ulm

Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 7, 2016 at Macalester College. This event brings together a variety of civic engagement stakeholders both to celebrate the good work already being done across the state and to consider ways of building on that work for greater impact. Tickets to the full summit or the awards luncheon are available at until March 24, 2016.

–2016 Nonprofit Technology & Communications Conference will be held Tuesday, April 12 from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in Minneapolis. The Nonprofit Technology & Communications Conference is the place to go to learn new things, old things and new ways to do old things. With over 30 breakout sessions, a keynote from Perla Ni, 50 resource exhibitors and plenty of time for networking, this is one conference you don’t want to miss for the latest and greatest in all things nonprofit tech.  Learn more

— Minnesota High Tech Association 2016 Spring Conference “Building Skills and Strategies for a Smart Society” will be held April 21, 2016. Registration is now open for the 2016 MHTA Spring Conference! This year’s Spring Conference will highlight how the state’s leading companies, large and small, are navigating this world and moving to the next big thing.

–SAVE THE DATE: The Federal Reserve Board, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and U.S. Department of Agriculture will host a conversation on the future of housing in rural America on May 10, 2016 in Washington, DC.

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

— The American Telemedicine Association Annual Conference and Trade Show will be held May 15-17 in Minneapolis.

–The Minnesota Rural Health Conference “Cultivating Resilient Communities” 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: A Call for Papers will be announced soon, and online registration will begin later in 2016.

Save the date for the 30th Annual Minnesota Venture Conference — Minnesota’s premier event for entrepreneurs and investors! It will be held Thursday, October 13, 2016 from 7:15 am – 5:45 pm at the Minneapolis Convention Center.


The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is currently developing a five-year plan for housing, community development, and infrastructure. The plan will guide housing, community development, and infrastructure investment policy and actions, such as housing, economic development, public facility, water, and infrastructure investment, over the next several years.

Known as the “Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development,” the study is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The planning process is intended to more comprehensively fulfill three basic goals: to provide decent housing, to expand economic opportunities and to provide a suitable living environment. The plan also depends on the opinions and experiences of people who are knowledgeable about housing and community development in Minnesota – people like you.  The Small Cities staff needs your input so we can determine future use of CDBG funds from DEED. Because we feel that your input is essential to ensuring thorough representation of the views held by people throughout the state, we urge you to complete an online survey. Comments gathered during this survey will be used to create narratives for inclusion in the Consolidated Plan. Your individual comments will remain anonymous and will be compiled with all other responses by an outside vendor. An online survey has been prepared for you to complete at your convenience. It is located at this link:

The Migrant Health Scholarship offers funds to individuals pursuing or continuing their career in the migrant health field and/or are employees at a Community/Migrant Health Center. Applications are due March 18, 2016. For more information, please contact Janie Favre at (512) 312-5460.

Indian Health Service Health Professions Scholarship Program provides scholarships for American Indian and Alaska Native students enrolled in a health professions program. Application Deadline: March 28, 2016.

MHTA Foundation Scholarship applications now open! The application period for the 2016 MHTA Foundation STEM scholarships is now open. Applications will remain open until April 1. Scholarships are offered to help Minnesota undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines work toward their degrees. These awards range from $2,500 – $5,000 and can include internship opportunities at MHTA member companies. LEARN MORE

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis announces the topic of the 28th Annual Student Essay Contest open to all high school students in the Ninth Federal Reserve District: What change in the American K-12 education system would result in the most cost-effective improvement in student outcomes? Finalists receive cash prizes, with the first place winner receiving a paid summer internship at the Minneapolis Fed. Essay submission deadline is April 1. For more information go to: 28th Annual High School Student Essay Contest

Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service honors healthcare delivery organizations that have demonstrated exceptional commitment to community service. Application Deadline: April 1, 2016.

National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program provides scholarships for students pursuing primary care health professions training in exchange for a service commitment in a Health Professional Shortage Area. Application Deadline: April 28, 2016.

–The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust announced the 2016 New Rural: Innovations in Rural Health Award. They are seeking original, innovative solutions that have the potential to drive health improvement in rural communities. They encourage submissions from around the country that highlight new ideas and emerging work. Individuals, for-profits, nonprofits and government agencies are welcome to apply. Finalists will receive a $7,500 award and one innovative and inspiring idea will win the New Rural Award and a total of $25,000. Download the Call for Submissions to find out how to enter. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 pm EDT, April 29.

Presbyterian Hunger Program provides funding to programs that work to address the root causes of hunger and provide services to those experiencing hunger. Letter of Intent (Required): April 30, 2016. Application Deadline: Jun 30, 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 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.

Rural Hospital Leadership Award provides an educational stipend to a small or rural hospital administrator or chief executive officer to attend an AHA Annual Meeting or Health Forum Leadership Conference. Application Deadline: August 12, 2016.


Growing Immigrant Populations and Continuing Ed Needs in Greater Minnesota.

The Center for Rural Policy and Development documents shifting demographics and the opportunity for a new approach to continuing education to support farming in Greater Minnesota.

–A white paper from the Summit on Creativity and Aging in America is now available to download from the National Education Association website. This event, which was hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Center for Creative Aging in May 2015, brought together more than 70 experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the fields of healthy aging, lifelong learning in the arts, and design for aging communities. Click here to download the paper.

Child Poverty Higher and More Persistent in Rural America examines counties with high child poverty and persistent poverty over a 30-year period from 1980 to 2010, with data for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties. Includes maps showing regional trends. Also looks at poverty at the county level related to minority child population distribution.

IRS Seeking Comments on New Rules for Community Foundations. The Council on Foundations issued a summary of proposed rules just issued by the IRS for community foundation Type I and Type II support organizations. Read the summary and get the link to the rules as published in the federal register.