August 2017- Volume XV, Number 8
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard



–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.

–HUD is awarding Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants to support the development of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans which focus on directing resources to address three core goals: Housing, People and Neighborhood. To achieve these core goals, communities must develop and implement a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy, or Transformation Plan. The Transformation Plan will become the guiding document for the revitalization of the public and/or assisted housing units while simultaneously directing the transformation of the surrounding neighborhood and positive outcomes for families. Deadline: August 28, 2017. Click here to learn more and to apply.

–The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will provide funding to nonprofit agencies to enable refugees to obtain self-sufficiency by obtaining the means to secure professional or skilled employment drawing upon previously-acquired knowledge, skills, and experience. Deadline: 8/29/2017. Click here for funding guidelines.

–A new round of grant funding to develop and improve shooting ranges throughout the state is available for 2017 from the Department of Natural Resources. There is $1.2 million in grant funds available, with grants requiring a match from the applicant organization. The application deadline is Sept. 1.  There are two levels of grant funding available: those at or below $25,000, and those above $25,000. Each has a separate request for proposal (RFP) form, which can be found on the DNR website.

–The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is offering grants to support organizations led by low-income individuals as they work to break the cycle of poverty and improve their communities. CCHD’s grant programs include two types of grants: Community Development Grants support nonprofit organizations that nurture the participation of people living in poverty to change structures and policies that affect their lives: at least 50 percent of those benefiting from the applying organization’s efforts must be people experiencing poverty. Economic Development Grants support economic development institutions that include the voice of the poor and marginalized in developing new businesses that offer good jobs or develop assets that will be owned by local communities. Grants range between $25,000 and $75,000. Deadline: pre-applications for both programs may be submitted between 9/1/2017 and 11/1/2017. (Organizations are encouraged to submit their pre-application prior to the November 1 deadline.) Visit the CCHD website here for more information.

–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.

Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards  offers a monetary award to programs or projects that focus on supporting family or informal caregivers of adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, including projects that focus on rural and low-income communities.  Application Deadline: September 11, 2017.

–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.

–HUD is offering grants to public and private agencies to promote a community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness and to optimize self-sufficiency among those experiencing homelessness. Deadline: 9/28/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines.

Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program This U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Rural Utilities Service  program furnishes loans and loan guarantees to provide funds for the construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.
Application Deadline: Sep 30, 2017.

–LOCAL INITIATIVES SUPPORT CORPORATION AND THE NFL GRASSROOTS FOUNDATIONhave issued the 2017 RFP for proposals to provide nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations, middle schools, and high schools with financing and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields. Deadline: 10/16/2017. Click here for more information and to apply.

–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 deadline for 2017 is 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

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.

Hearst Foundations Grants to support well-established nonprofit organizations working in the fields of education, health, culture, and social service.

Walgreens Community Grant Program  provides funding for access to health and wellness, pharmacy education programs and mentoring initiatives, civic and community outreach, and emergency and disaster relief.


— Water Quality Town Hall Meetings Across Minnesota Begin Monday in Rochester

A series of ten Water Quality Town Hall meetings began on Monday, July 31, 2017 in Rochester. Governor Mark Dayton and his administration have organized the ten town halls to offer Minnesotans an opportunity to discuss the water quality challenges facing their communities and our state, learn from experts, and engage with policymakers. The town hall meetings continue Governor Dayton’s efforts to protect and preserve Minnesota waters, including is “25 by 25” Water Quality proposal announced earlier this year.

Ten town hall meetings have been scheduled in communities across Minnesota. These town hall meetings are free to attend and open to the public. Each town hall meeting will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m. with registration beginning at 5:30 p.m. A complete list of dates and locations is available on the Environmental Quality Board website. RSVP for an event by visiting the Governor and Lt. Governor’s Facebook page. No advance registration is necessary.

Mankato – Water Quality Town Hall
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 – 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Minnesota State University, Mankato. Centennial Student Union – 620 S Road
South Central Minnesota Information Packet
Mankato Town Hall on Facebook

Marshall – Water Quality Town Hall
Thursday, August 17, 2017 – 6:30-8:30 p.m
Southwest Minnesota State University Conference Center, 1501 State Street
Southwest Minnesota Information Packet
Marshall Town Hall on Facebook

Crookston – Water Quality Town Hall
Tuesday, September 5, 2017 – 6:30-8:30 p.m.
University of Minnesota – Crookston.  Bede Ballroom –Sargeant Student Center, 2900 University Ave.
Northwest Minnesota Information Packet
Crookston Town Hall on Facebook

St. Cloud – Water Quality Town Hall
Wednesday, September 6, 2017 – 6:30-8:30 p.m.
St Cloud Community and Technical College Cafeteria, 1540 Northway Drive
West Central Minnesota Information Packet
St. Cloud Town Hall on Facebook

Ely – Water Quality Town Hall
Tuesday, September 12, 2017 – 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Grand Ely Lodge, 400 North Pioneer Road
Northeast Minnesota Information Packet
Ely Town Hall on Facebook

Bemidji – Water Quality Town Hall
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 – 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Bemidji State University  American Indian Resource Center, 1500 Birchmont Dr. NE
North Central Minnesota Information Packet
Bemidji Town Hall on Facebook

— Blandin Webinar Aug 10: Breaking broadband barriers with affordable computers and connectivity Register now for this free webinar

–The 1st annual Minnesota Alliance of Rural Addiction Treatment Programs Late Summer Conference is August 23-24 in Willmar.

–Midwest Energy Storage Summit is Sept. 15 at U of Minnesota.  The University of Minnesota’s Energy Transition Lab, in partnership with the Minnesota Energy Storage Alliance, will host the Midwest Energy Storage Summit on Friday, September 15, 2017, at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The Summit will include over 300 participants from throughout the Midwest representing energy leaders from industry, the public sector, academia and nonprofit sectors. The goal of the Summit is to gather energy stakeholders and reach a shared understanding of energy storage trends, opportunities, and barriers in our region and nationally. The Summit will run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will be followed by a networking reception from 4-6 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Campus Club. The event is open to the public but space is limited so register today. For details and registration fees, read more.

–Be a part of this important discussion on Native American nutrition! Register here for the Second Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition
September 18-20, 2017
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
Prior Lake, Minnesota

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.

–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.


–Share Your Expertise: Present a Workshop at a 2018 Nonprofit Conference sponsored by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. Does your nonprofit have a skill, system, strength or strategy that you’d like to share with other nonprofits? We’re now accepting workshop proposals for two exciting professional development events coming in early 2018.

2018 Communications & Technology Conference Request for Proposals coming to Minneapolis on March 21, 2018. Submission deadline, 8 a.m., August 23. We’re looking for a broad array of sessions on these themes: Marketing and Communications, Fundraising, Leadership, Website, Social Media, Program Delivery & Evaluation, Technology Planning & IT, Community Engagement or Demonstration/Skill-building.

2018 Finance Conference Request for Proposals coming to Brooklyn Center on April 19, 2018: Submission deadline, 8 a.m., September 18. We’re looking for workshops on themes such as fiscal management, ethics of finances and compliance, financial leadership, entrepreneurship, transparency and accountability, legal topics and government policy issues.

–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.


Starting a Family Child Care Business  DEED is offering a free manual on how to start a family child care business. “First Considerations in Starting a Family Child Care Business” was created in response to a shortage of child care services in the state, particularly in Greater Minnesota.

Rural Minnesota Health System Tackles Opioid Epidemic Highlights the work of a rural Minnesota hospital to implement a care coordination program focused on prescription drug abuse in their community. The care team uses physicians, pharmacists, and social workers to manage prescription drug use and to address other patient concerns like behavioral health needs, homelessness, insurance, and transportation.

Rural Tobacco Control and Prevention Toolkit This new toolkit, developed by the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, provides information, strategies, and resources to help rural communities implement tobacco control and prevention programs. Browse program models and examples, and learn how to implement, evaluate, and sustain a program in your community and disseminate program results.

National Survey of Area Agencies on Aging 2017 Report and Toolkit  an overview of the work of Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), covering staffing, budget and services, and initiatives underway at AAAs. Includes information on rural AAAs. Also provides access to state-level reports for states that met the required survey response rate, as well as a presentation slidedeck and brochure that agencies can customize and use.

–Minnesota Immigrant & Refugee Rights Helpline The Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota launched the Minnesota Immigrant & Refugee Rights Helpline. Immigrants and refugees in Minnesota can call the helpline at 651-287-3715 on Tuesdays 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. and Thursdays 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. to access an attorney for a free consultation.

–The New York Times, in an article “To Close the Digital Divide, Microsoft to Harness Unused Television Channels,” summarizes Microsoft’s announcement that it is harnessing the unused channels between television broadcasts, known as white spaces, to help get more of rural America online. Microsoft plans to soon start a white-spaces broadband service in 12 states including Arizona, Kansas, New York, and Virginia to connect two million rural Americans in the next five years who have limited or no access to high-speed internet. In an interview, Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, said white spaces were “the best solution for reaching over 80 percent of people in rural America who lack broadband today.” Check out the full story here.

–The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design has a free pre-recorded hour-long webinar on how farmers’ markets and food co-ops are addressing their local community needs while stimulating downtown development. In small towns, the local food movement is doing more than putting meals on plates—it is nourishing economies by keeping farms vital and downtowns alive. Speakers include Kelly Verel from Project for Public Spaces, Jason Moore from Montana Food Co-op, and more. Watch the webinar here.

–The new edition of Why Rural Matters, from the nonprofit, nonpartisan Rural School and Community Trust, provides an overall “priority” ranking of the 50 states, showing the greatest needs in rural education. The report also ranks the states and includes state-by-state data on demographics and poverty, student achievement, state resources, and college and career readiness. The new 50-state report urges state and federal leaders to make rural students and their communities a far greater priority. “While some rural schools thrive, far too many rural students face nothing less than a national emergency. Many rural schools and districts face vastly inequitable funding and simply cannot provide the opportunities that many suburban and urban schools do,” said Robert Mahaffey, the executive director of the Rural School and Community Trust, based in Washington, D.C. For key findings and to read the full report, click here.


Executive Director, Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, Southwest
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EDITORS’ NOTE: As always — please send us items to post, comments, ideas, etc. You can send them And thanks for getting to the end of this month’s issue!