July 2016- Volume XIV, Number 6

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



 $35 Million in State Broadband Grants Applications Open July 22! The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will begin taking applications on July 22 for funding to expand broadband infrastructure in Minnesota. DEED will pay for up to 50 percent of project development costs in unserved and underserved areas of the state. A maximum of $5 million per grant will be available. http://wp.me/p3if7-3B6 For more details, check out the materials from a recent webinar http://wp.me/p3if7-3AG on the topic or plan to attend a future session. http://wp.me/p3if7-3zY

–USDA has announced the availability of funds under the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) for Fiscal Year 2016. Applicants must provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the Federal grant. These grants will be made to qualified intermediary organizations that will provide financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development that will support the community. Deadline: 7/22/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

USDA is requesting proposals from applicants who will provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. The Agency is encouraging applications that direct grants to projects based in or serving census tracts with poverty rates greater than or equal to 20 percent. Eligible applicants include Cooperatives, Groups of Cooperatives and Cooperative Development Centers. Deadline: 8/1/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies that desire to help refugees resettle in the United States, acclimate to American culture, and find meaningful work. Deadline: 8/1/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.   

–U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is offering funding for projects to facilitate community involvement in area-wide planning approaches to brownfields assessment, cleanup and reuse. Deadline to apply: 8/10/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health. The Great Plains Center offers grant funding to both scholarly researchers and community organizations engaged in agricultural safety and health activities. Funding is available up to $15,000 for two types of projects. The purpose of the Community Outreach/Education Grant is to enhance delivery of evidence-based agricultural health programs. Community projects are typically submitted by non-profit community entities delivering agricultural safety and health programs. The purpose of the Academic/Scholarly Research Grant is to create new agricultural safety and health knowledge, and to assess and promote best safety and health practices. Scholarly research projects are typically submitted by students, staff, and faculty of academic institutions. Research projects will be judged for scientific merit. The application deadline is August 15th.

The NFL Grassroots Program has issued a Request for Proposals. The Grassroots Program is a partnership of the National Football League Foundation (NFL Foundation) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which provides technical assistance and manages the program. The goal of the Program is to provide nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations with financial and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields. The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program provides grants of up to $250,000 for capital improvement projects. Deadline: 8/15/2016. Click here for application guidelines.

Health Resources and Services Administration is offering funding to provide comprehensive primary healthcare services to an underserved area or population. Deadline: 8/16/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

Avon Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP) Funding to link medically underserved populations to breast health education and screening services. Application Deadline: August 19, 2016.

American Indian/Alaska Native Early Head Start (EHS) Expansion and EHS-Child Care Partnerships offer funding to expand Early Head Start programs for American Indian/Alaska Native populations or to create partnerships with local child care providers within a community, leveraging existing local resources to provide a comprehensive array of health, mental health, nutrition, and social services to infants, toddlers, and their families. Application Deadline: August 24, 2016. Sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families.

Early Head Start (EHS) and Migrant and Seasonal EHS-Child Care Partnership Grants offer funding to expand access to high-quality, comprehensive early learning services for eligible low-income, migrant and seasonal infants, toddlers, and their families. Application Deadline: August 24, 2016. Sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families.

Early Head Start and EHS-Child Care Partnership Grants offer funding to operate Early Head Start programming within a community, leveraging existing local resources to provide a comprehensive array of health, mental health, nutrition, and social services to infants, toddlers, and their families. Application Deadline: August 24, 2016. Sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families.

Department of Labor has a major new grant program that offers funding for job training and education that leads to in-demand and industry-recognized credentials and degrees facilitating “regional workforce partnerships“. Maximum amount: $6,000,000. Eligible: workforce investment systems, community colleges, nonprofits and others that are part of a “regional workforce partnership.” Deadline: 8/25/2016. Click here to learn more about this new program.

Gannett Foundation Community Action Grants support local organizations with funding priority given to programs that focus on education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation, and cultural enrichment. Geographic coverage: Limited to certain areas of 35 states and U.S. territories, see sponsor’s website for more details. (Includes some of Minnesota.) Application Deadline: August 29, 2016.

–The National Endowment for the Arts has issued guidelines for 2017 Our Town funding, and they are now posted on the NEA website here. Grants will be offered in Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Design Projects as well as in Projects that Build Knowledge About Creative Placemaking. Deadlines: applications are due on 9/12/2016, with funding available on 8/1/2017. Two webinars will be hosted to offer support for the application process: 1. How to Apply on 7/20/2016, with a presentation on the FY 2017 Our Town grant guidelines, and an overview of the review process. Click here to register. 2. Tips and Tricks for Success, on 7/17/2016, with a presentation to assist applicants in crafting a compelling creative placemaking project application. Click here to register.

Wrigley Company Foundation Community Service Grant provides funding to dental hygienists for projects aimed at improving oral health or providing oral health education. Application Deadline: October 1, 2016.

–The Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) grant program, administered by the Minnesota Department of Health, distributes grants annually to providers of clinical medical education. The next application cycle is expected to open in late August 2016 and will be due on October 31st. For more information, contact Diane Reger at 651-201-3566.

—  USDA Rural Development is soliciting applications through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides guaranteed loan and grant financing for rural small businesses and agricultural producers to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. USDA reminds eligible applicants that set-aside funding is available for grant requests less than $20,000 and may offer priority scoring for projects located in underserved areas and/or benefiting underserved populations. USDA also guarantees loans for a minimum of $5,000 and maximum of $25 million. Applicants are encouraged to apply through the loan guarantee program for larger-scale projects. Grant and guaranteed loan combinations are also available. The next application deadline for grants under $20,000 is October 31, 2016. For details on how to apply, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn, contact USDA Rural Development State Energy Coordinator for Minnesota Ron Omann at ron.omann@mn.usda.gov or (651) 602-7796, or see page 78029 of the December 29 Federal Register.

The Laura Jane Musser Fund is offering funding to encourage collaborative and participatory efforts among citizens in rural communities that will help to strengthen their towns and regions in a number of civic areas including, but not limited to, economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements and education. Programs in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota and Wyoming may apply. The applicant community must have a population of 10,000 or fewer and must be able to demonstrate the rural characteristics of their location. Deadline: 11/2/2016. Click here to review further guidelines and to apply.

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.

2016 MiM solar thermal rebates are available to Minnesotans statewideThe Minnesota Department of Commerce has opened rebate opportunities for solar thermal systems to all Minnesota residents, businesses, nonprofits, and government entities as part of its 2016 Made in Minnesota Solar Energy Incentive Program. Applications for solar thermal rebates will be reviewed and funded through 2016 on a first-come, first-served basis until funds have been fully reserved. Read more.


TD Charitable Foundation is offering grants of up to $1,000 to community-based organizations wishing to send one or more employees to an approved class/course that enhances their job performance. Deadline: rolling. Click here to visit the website to review application requirements.

MRHA’s New Advocacy Certificate Program.  Beginning July 19th, the Minnesota Rural Health Association (MRHA) will offer an eight-month certificate program in Rural Health Advocacy. This new venture by MRHA stems from strategic planning that identified the need to build more effective capacity among rural health advocates to make a difference on rural health policy issues. For more information visit the MRHA website. To register, email Steve Gottwalt at steve@mnruralhealth.org

Webinar: Diversity in Rural Design will be held Thursday, July 21, 2016 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EDT). Co-hosted with the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™, this free webinar showcases rural communities that have effectively engaged diverse voices in shaping community design projects. Speakers will share how they identified and engaged diverse perspectives, whom they partnered with, and what doors have opened as a result. Register now »

–The Minnesota Council of Nonprofit Nonprofit Fundraising Conference to be held July 21, 2016 in Brooklyn Center.  For more information, go to: http://www.minnesotanonprofits.org/events-training/nonprofit-fundraising-conference/fundraising-conference

The Joint International Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development will be 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.  For more information go to: www.comm-dev.org

–The Nonprofit Essentials Conference will be on Tuesday, August 9 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis. This get a back-to-basics overview of the many management topics essential to nonprofits, and re-focuses staff on the core elements of working and managing nonprofit organizations. Register

Blandin Community Broadband Program Webinar: Growing and Keeping Tech Talent will be held on August 11.

–Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits for our 2016 Annual Conference on October 6 – 7, 2016 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Learn more and register.

The Heartland Center for Leadership Development will offer “Helping Small Towns Succeed” October 11-13, 2016, at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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.

Broadband Communities Conference http://wp.me/p3if7-3xR (Minneapolis) will be held October 18-20.

–The annual Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held November 3-4 in Bloomington.

The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) recently announced that its 2016 Midwest Gateway to Solar Conference will be held Nov. 15-16 at the Hilton Airport/Mall of America in Bloomington. Information on registration and early bird rate is available.

The 2016 Tekne Awards will be held on November 16th at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  You can learn more and find the full list of Tekne recipients at tekneawards.org. Applications and nominations are now open!


THE LOCAL CROWD, a Laramie, Wyoming, based company has announced a Request for Proposals for Crowdfunding Demonstration Sites in U.S. rural communities. Communities selected as Demonstration Sites will receive use of a customized crowdfunding platform, at no charge for the first year, that would be a fundraising tool that: supports local and small business capital needs; raises money for civic projects; provides needed funding sources for local nonprofits and charities; and connects the community’s economic development resources with the people that need them. Deadline: 8/29/2016. To review the RFP, click here. For more information about the program and process, The Local Crowd is offering a 30-minute pre-submission webinar July 15 at 11:00 AM EDT. Register by clicking here.

— The Minnesota Department of Commerce has launched the 2016 Clean Energy Community Awards to recognize the good work of Minnesota communities in helping to achieve the state’s clean energy goals. Award information and the online application form are availableApplications will be accepted until July 15, 2016. Please direct questions about the awards program to energy.info@state.mn.us.

Who can apply: Communities eligible for the awards can be any group united in implementing clean energy initiatives. Units of government (city, county, tribal nation, or other jurisdiction) must be among the participating members, and participation from nonprofits, service organizations, and businesses will strengthen the application. To qualify for the award, the community’s clean energy program must have been in operation during the last 12 months. Projects from communities of all sizes are welcome.

Award benefits:Finalist communities (up to 10) will have their initiatives featured as part of an exhibit at the Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair. Award recipients (up to five) will receive: a stipend to send community members to the award celebration and news conference during Energy Awareness Month in October; statewide media coverage; award and signage suitable for public display; and recognition on the Commerce Department website.

Apply to be a part of the Tekne Awards, which shine a spotlight on innovations in Minnesota’s science and technology industry every year. The awards ceremony draws over 900 attendees from across the state and technology sectors including advanced manufacturing, information technology, healthcare, agricultural technology and more. The 2016 Tekne Awards have 13 categories, and the application deadline is July 15th. APPLY TODAY

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.

The CDFI Fund is calling for interested Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) or CDFI partners to submit ideas for the fiscal year (FY) 2016 CDFI Prize Competition. Up to $1 million is available for awards through the competition. Awards will be for either: an innovative idea or strategy, implemented within the past two years, that helped increase CDFI investments and access to capital in underserved rural areas; or for an innovative idea or strategy that has not yet been implemented, but is reasonably expected to increase CDFI investments and access to capital in underserved rural areas. Deadline: 7/29/2016. Click here to review competition guidelines.

Request for Applications for Competitive Grant Award To Establish a USDA RIDGE Center for Food and Nutrition Assistance Research. USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in collaboration with USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), invites applications for a competitively awarded grant to establish a research center to administer the Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Program. ERS anticipates that $600,000 will be awarded in fiscal year 2016 to support this activity. This publication describes the RIDGE Center responsibilities and application requirements. The deadline for submission of applications is August 1, 2016.

A host community is being sought for the 2017 Minnesota Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener. The purpose of the event is to focus on Minnesota’s hunting heritage, cultural traditions and the economic impact of the activity, as well as to generate associated travel and tourism. The event, scheduled for Nov. 2-5, 2017, will be the 15th consecutive Minnesota Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener and will follow this year’s event in the Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point area. The deadline for submitting a proposal is August 5. For detailed event information, contact Bri Stacklie at the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association at 218-259-1368 or bri@mndeerhunters.com.

Explore Minnesota Seeking Proposals for the 2017 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener Explore Minnesota is seeking proposals to host the 2017 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener.

Request for Proposals: 2017 Nonprofit Communications & Technology Conference. The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits seeks your proposals for breakout sessions at the 2017 Nonprofit CommTech Conference (Tuesday, February 21, 2017). The deadline for submitting your proposal is 10 p.m. on Tuesday, August 9, 2016.

We’re looking for a broad array of session topics that fit within the conference tracks (tracks listed on website) and seek sessions to fit all of these areas and at all levels–from beginner to advanced. Learn more and submit a proposal.

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.

Submit an Abstract for the 2017 Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference.  The Community Affairs Officers of the Federal Reserve System invite paper submissions for the tenth biennial Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference, a unique event that aims to bridge the gaps between research, policy, and practice on key issues facing the country. High-quality and emerging research is presented in a dialogue with policymakers and community practitioners who can utilize the lessons gleaned from the research. The 2017 conference seeks to inform a robust public conversation on the theme of Strong Foundations: The Economic Futures of Kids and Communities. Submissions for plenary, concurrent, and poster sessions are invited in three broad categories:

  • The context for child and youth development;
  • The role of community development and key partners; and
  • Implications for the economy and workforce.

Abstracts are due August 19, 2016. View the full text of the Call for Papers and submit your paper/abstract. Please direct any questions to CDConference@mpls.frb.org or 612-204-6785.

Rural Health Fellows Program is a year-long, intensive program designed to develop a community of rural health leaders. Application Deadline: September 1, 2016.

Nominations for 2016 Community Health Awards.  Nominate someone you think deserves a Community Health Award. The awards will be presented by Commissioner of Health Ed Ehlinger on September 28th during the Community Health Conference. For more information, contact Megan Drake-Pereyra at 651-201-3640.

Bush Foundation Fellowships. Deadline: September 29, 2016. MORE

–Nominations for Nurse of the Year. The March of Dimes is honored to pay tribute to the nursing profession by recognizing extraordinary nurses throughout the community. The Nurse of the Year event will be held October 14. For more information, contact Jonathon McCarthy at 612-326-9441.


The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) have announced the availability of the 2016 list of distressed or underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies, where revitalization or stabilization activities will receive Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration. View the list here.

— A new publication affirming the benefits of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in terms of safe and sound lending to underserved communities. All of us get these questions periodically so we hope this is a good tool for you to use. See the publication here<http://www.ncrc.org/images/ncrc_cra_affirmation_final.pdf>.

— The Michigan State University Land Policy Institute, in collaboration with the MIplace Partnership Initiative, has released a comprehensive guidebook on placemaking, drawing from the best works available. “Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool” is designed to assist neighborhoods and communities by showing how effective placemaking can enhance community and economic development. Click here to order a free copy.

Revisit Your Community’s Unique Assets: Connecting Asset-Based Economic Development to Community Transformation Strategies” is an article from Main Street America that discusses community economic development based on a community’s assets. Read the piece here.

Housing Assistance Council has released “Aging Veterans in the United States: A Snapshot of Older Veterans and Their Social, Economic, and Housing Characteristics.” The report cites information about the disproportionate number of older veterans in rural areas and the need for housing and other support services to help them and includes data and statistics regarding both urban and rural veterans. Get the report here.

–A national report from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition on states’ “Housing Wages” shows Minnesotans need to earn $17.76 an hour in order to afford a fair-market two-bedroom unit while not spending more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing. Looking at the county level, the Minnesota Housing Partnership finds a minimum-wage worker needs to work 53 to 83 hours a week year round, depending on where they live, to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

New projections suggest that Minnesota’s older adult population (65+) is expected to outnumber the school-aged population (5-17) by 2020.

Minnesota remains less racially and ethnically diverse than most other states, but our pace of change is relatively quick. We’ve seen 17 percent growth in our population of color since 2010, compared with 11 percent growth rate nationally.

How the Great Recession Changed U.S. Migration Patterns Examines changes in county-level net migration due to the recession and housing crisis. Compares net migration during the pre-recession years, 2004-2007, to those during the recession, 2007-2010. Also compares the recession period to the post-recession years, 2010-2014. Includes maps showing migration trends by county. Figure 4 looks at migration by metro/non-metro status. Part of the publication series Population Trends in Post-Recession Rural America.

Update Your Lodging Listings for the 2017 Minnesota Travel Guide Now’s the time to ensure your lodging property, or those in your community, are all up to date on exploreminnesota.com.