July 2017- Volume XV, Number 7
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard This newsletter is also available online:


FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES –USDA is offering grants through the Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant Program. Public bodies, non-profit organizations and Federally- recognized Tribes are eligible to apply for this funding. The maximum grant is $150,000. Deadline: 7/24/2017. Click here for application guidelines. –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is inviting applications for grants to support economic development in rural communities through the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI). These grants support partnerships between community development groups and rural communities to develop essential facilities and create jobs and business opportunities. Deadline: 7/25/2017. Click here to visit the RCDI website for more information on applying

— The State of Minnesota’s Border-to-Border Broadband Grant Program is up and running for a fourth round, with $20 million allocated by the state legislature and an application deadline of September 11, 2017.  The grant application is available for review now (click here for grant info and access to the application). The deadline for submitting applications is September 11, 2017 at 4 p.m.  However, please note, if you are considering submitting a broadband grant application, you must contact wireline broadband providers in your proposed project area by July 31 to comply with the pre-application notification portion of the application process (or six weeks before you file your application, if you file before September 11). —Empowered Communities for a Healthier Nation Initiative Grants to reduce significant health disparities impacting racial and ethnic minorities and/or disadvantaged populations through implementing evidence-based strategies with the greatest potential for impact, especially in communities disproportionately impacted by the opioid epidemic, childhood obesity, and serious mental illness. Application Deadline: Aug 1, 2017.

–The Walmart Foundation State Giving Program awards grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico for programs that give individuals access to a better life. There are three funding cycles per year; the first two funding cycles are targeted to specific states. For the final funding cycle of the year, requests are accepted from organizations nationwide in the following two categories: Hunger Relief supporting programs such as food pantries, backpack programs, and SNAP outreach; and Community Engagement supporting other programs that focus on the unmet needs of underserved low-income populations. Examples of eligible programs include career opportunity, disaster preparedness, education programs, healthcare access, shelters, etc. Grants range from $25,000 to $250,000; the average grant size is $40,000. Deadline: applications for the final funding cycle will be accepted from 8/7/2017 through 8/11/2017. Visit the Foundation’s website here to learn more about the State Giving Program.

Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health Community Outreach/Education Grants funding for new agricultural health and safety research, prevention, intervention, community outreach, and translation projects that have high likelihood of leading to more comprehensive projects or activities. Application Deadline: Aug 14, 2017.  –The Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation is offering grants through the Foundation’s Community Partners grant program to nonprofit organizations and local municipalities undertaking high-need projects such as building renovations and upgrades, grounds improvements, technology upgrades and safety improvements. Grants range from $2,001 to $100,000. Applications for the fall funding cycle will be accepted until 8/25/2017. Visit the company’s website here to review the giving guidelines and to take the eligibility quiz.

–THE KENT RICHARD HOFMANN FOUNDATION is offering grants throughout the United States, with a particular focus in smaller communities and rural areas. The Foundation supports community-based nonprofit organizations that focus on HIV/AIDS care and direct services, education, or research. Grants are provided to developing or established programs, with emphasis on those that provide direct benefit to clients or target audiences. Requests are reviewed two times per year. Deadlines: letters of inquiry 9/1/2017; invited grant applications will be due 9/22/2017. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online letter of inquiry.

–The National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies through the Our Town Program. Grants will support arts engagement, cultural planning and design projects. Deadline: 9/11/2017. Click here for more information and to review funding guidelines.

–Foundation for Rural Service is offering grants to nonprofits seeking to create programs that promote business development, community development, education or telecommunications in rural communities served by National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) members. Awards range from $250 to $5,000. Preference will be given to proposals that foster collaboration among and community engagement, and that can be fully funded by the grant or have 75 percent or more of the project currently funded. Deadline: 9/15/2017. To learn more and apply, click here.

–The Transportation Economic Development Infrastructure Program (TEDI) is a competitive grant program available to communities for road and public infrastructure projects that create jobs and support economic development. DEED’s program is combined with the Transportation Economic Development Program (TED) administered by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for highway projects. A total of approximately $22.6 million is available through the 2017 programs. This includes approximately $18.4 million in MnDOT trunk highway funds and approximately $4.2 million of DEED general obligation bond funding. The programs may provide a portion of the costs for trunk highway improvements and other road and infrastructure improvements.  Application Deadline – September 15, 2017. For full eligibility guidelines and application instructions, please see DEED’s website.

–Blandin Foundation Broadband Grants: Broadband Innovation and Robust Network Feasibility Fund grant award amounts range from $1,000 to $25,000, and matching funds are required. Grant application deadline September 22. http://wp.me/p3if7-3M7

–The Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples is offering funding in the following program areas: Arts and Creativity, Health and Well-Being, Rights of Mother Earth, Sustainable Communities and Economies, Leadership Development, and Rights, Equity, and Justice. Grants from $250 to $10,000, with an average of $5,000, are provided to Native communities that address one or more of the Fund’s program areas. The remaining postmark deadlines for 2017 are 8/4/2017 and 12/1/2017. (Mini-grants of up to $500 are reviewed throughout the year.) Application guidelines and forms are available on the Fund’s website http://www.7genfund.org/apply-grant

BNSF Railway Foundation offers grants to organizations that operate near a BNSF railway line. Among others, priority areas include health and human service organizations, programs that address chemical dependency treatment and prevention, spouse and child abuse, women’s and children’s aid, transitional shelters, hospitals, medical programs, and youth development programs. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

SBA Certified Development Company (504) Loan Program provides small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets, such as land and buildings. 504 Loans are good options for healthcare practitioners who want to build a new office, or expand or renovate an existing medical building.

Stand Down Grants provides funding for events that offer homeless veteran populations a variety of social services.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS —2017 Nonprofit Fundraising Conference  co-hosted by Association of Fundraising Professionals Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center, Brooklyn Center. –DEED is pleased to be partnering with the Council of Development Finance Agencies to offer the Development Finance Certified Professional Program.  The CDFA Summer School will be held August 7-11, 2017 Minneapolis. Complete Half of the DFCP Program in One Week!  [Note we ran into a temporary error trying when testing the following links – hopefully they will link at time of publication.]

— The 2017 Nonprofit Essentials Conference, will give you 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.  It will be held Thursday, August 10 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the University of St. Thomas Minneapolis. Sessions include:

  • Grantwriting: Getting the Most Out of Your Grant Proposal
  • Human Resources Basics
  • Identifying Foundation and Corporate Grant Prospects
  • Nonprofits as Advocates
  • Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence
  • Scholarships Whether you are a student, job-seeker, AmeriCorps member or are simply new to the nonprofit sector, MCN may be able to help you take advantage of this valuable learning opportunity. Learn more.

–The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Mental Health Promotion Branch, Division of Prevention, Traumatic Stress, and Special Programs, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in collaboration with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) are offering a Rural Behavioral Health Webinar Series. The last event in the series is A Focus on Suicide Prevention in Rural Communities, August 16, 2017, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT. Click here to register. —2017 MCN Annual Conference will be held Thursday – Friday, October 12 – 13, 2017 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, Saint Paul. –2017 Border to Border Broadband Conference.  Mark your calendar for the fall broadband conference October 25-26 at Madden’s on Gull Lake. The theme this year is Bridging the Gaps – Expanding the Impact. http://wp.me/p3if7-48o –The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) announced recently that it will hold the fourth-annual “MnSEIA – Midwest Gateway to Solar” Conference in Bloomington, Minn., on Nov. 14-15. This year’s conference will provide educational opportunities, networking, and exhibits. Read more to register and for more information.

Nov. 29-30: 2nd Biennial STEM and Afterschool conference  Save the date for the SciMathMN and Ignite Afterschool 2nd Biennial joint conference at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education Center on November 29-30.

Workshops will investigate, connect, and advance formal and informal STEM education and workforce development. Learn more. –Save the Date!  Minnesota Campus Compact 2018 Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 19, 2018 at Hamline University. OPPORTUNITIES –The application and nomination period for the 2017 Tekne Awards is open! The awards celebrate the individuals and organizations that play a significant role in discovering new technologies that educate and improve the lives of Minnesotans and people around the world. Now in its 18th year, the Teknes have honored hundreds of companies and leaders who continue to make Minnesota a home to cutting-edge innovation.

The 2017 Tekne Awards have 15 categories, and applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of judges with experience and expertise in each of the categories. Applications are due by Friday, July 28th. Finalists will be announced at a reception in September. The 2017 Teknes will recognize the growing importance of STEM education and our future workforce with an award honoring innovation in a Minnesota science or technology classroom.  New categories will also celebrate the rapid development in communications technology as well as building design and infrastructure that is driven by emerging technologies. 2017 Tekne Award Categories –ADVANCED MANUFACTURING –ANALYTICS –BUILDING DESIGN & INFRASTRUCTURE — NEW –COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY — NEW –COMMUNITY IMPACT –CYBER SECURITY –HEALTHCARE (Established Companies and Small & Growing Companies) –INDUSTRY IMPACT — NEW –INTERNET OF THINGS –SOFTWARE (Established Companies and Small & Growing Companies) –START UP –STEM EDUCATION — NEW –WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT For nominations and applications go to: http://www.tekneawards.org/
–In mid-July, the Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) will roll out the “Renewable Energy for Greater Minnesota II” program that will run through September 2019. A USDA Renewable Energy Development Assistance grant enables CERTs to perform small wind site assessments for Minnesota farms and small businesses and help people through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) or other funding mechanism process. A fact sheet about the program is available. If you would like to discuss a potential project, email Fritz Ebinger or call him at 612-626-1028.


Population & Migration  Non-metro areas in some parts of the country have experienced population loss for decades. However, 2010-16 marks the first period with an estimated population loss for non-metro America as a whole. Opportunities for population growth and economic expansion vary widely from one non-metro county to the next, and new regional patterns of growth and decline have emerged in recent years.

Rural Population Change Varies Across the United States Map showing nonmetropolitan counties that lost population, saw population growth below 4.5%, or grew 4.5% or more between 2010 and 2016.

Nonmetro Population Change, 2010-16 Map identifying which non-metro counties gained population and which lost population between 2010 and 2016.

Real Median Household Income by Residence, 2007-15 (in 2015 Dollars) Line chart comparing metropolitan and non-metro household income from 2007 through 2015.

In 2015, Annual Earnings in Rural Areas Were 15 Percent Lower than Earnings in Urban Areas  Bar chart showing rural and urban median earnings by industry, covering a variety of industries including mining, manufacturing, finance, agriculture, and recreation.

Minnesota high school graduation rates rise  Over the past decade, the proportion of Minnesota students graduating from high school on time has increased by nearly 7 percentage points. Black and Hispanic students’ on-time graduation rates have each increased by 24 percentage points, from 41 percent in 2006 to 65 percent in 2016. Read now.

Six facts about Minnesota’s 65+ population There are currently about 806,000 adults age 65 and older in Minnesota, making up about 15 percent of Minnesotans. Two decades from now, that population is projected to top 1.3 million. Wilder Research analyst Megan Chmielewski shares six interesting facts about this growing population of Minnesotans. Read now.

— With the support of The EDA Center, the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality now has Economic Composition reports for all regions of Greater Minnesota available. The reports completed are: North CentralNortheastNorthwestHeadwatersSouthwestSoutheastSouth Central, Mid-Minnesota, Upper Minnesota River ValleyEast CentralCentral, and West Central regions. Please click on each region or go to the research publications page to go to each report.

–The Office of Broadband Development has posted new maps and statistics on broadband access. Goods news, almost 70 percent of the state meets the 2026 goals. http://wp.me/p3if7-49l Check it out to see how your county ranks based on speeds of 25 Mbps down 3 Mbps up (25/3) or 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up (100/20). http://wp.me/p3if7-49p (Speaking of maps, the FCC has also released fixed broadband deployment and CAF eligible areas maps. http://wp.me/p3if7-499)

Urban-Rural Divide: Mapping Broadband Access describes how access to broadband varies across the country. Includes a county-level map of broadband access. Discusses how broadband impacts rural people, including its impact on healthcare access.

Minnesota Veterans Behavioral Health Needs Assessment The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) contracted with Wilder Research to conduct a behavioral health needs assessment of Veterans in Minnesota. This assessment set out to identify the mental and behavioral health needs of Minnesota Veterans, the existing mental and behavioral health resources available to them, and the opportunities to address any unmet mental or behavioral health needs of this population.

While Minnesota Authorities Focus on Opioid Abuse, Meth Is Making a Comeback Details the resurgence of methamphetamine use in Minnesota, now run primarily by cartels rather than by individuals with meth labs. Includes charts and data on the amount of meth seized, meth treatment admissions, and overdoses in Minnesota by year.

HRSA: Lists of Designated Primary Medical Care, Mental Health, and Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas Notice from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announcing the availability of the complete lists of all geographic areas, population groups, and facilities designated as primary care, mental health, and/or dental care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). Lists are available on HRSA’s HPSA Find website, and are current as of May 1, 2017.

Health, United States, 2016: With Chartbook on Long-term Trends in Health  Presents an annual overview of national trends in health statistics. Covers health status and determinants, healthcare utilization, access, and expenditures. Includes data on rural areas – see index under “Metropolitan/nonmetropolitan data.” This year’s edition focuses on long-term trends in health, with 114 tables focused on health status and determinants, healthcare utilization, healthcare resources, and expenditures. Additional links: Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Charts and Tables


Arts Alert – Job Opportunity at the East Central Regional Arts Council!!!

The East Central Regional Arts Council in Braham is looking for an Office-Communications Coordinator. This position is open immediately and is up to 40 hours per week. Duties include maintaining: databases, the arts calendar, social media, the newsletter; and also performing receptionist and clerical tasks.  Applicants must have MS Office and Google App skills plus excellent interpersonal and written communication.

Artists or those with a strong arts interest are encouraged!

To apply send a cover letter, your work resume, and 2 professional letters of reference via email  to director@ecrac.org before July 15, 2017. No calls please.