NOVEMBER 2018 – Volume XVI — Number 10
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
Also find online at:




Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Grant Program  Grants to eligible organizations to cover all or part of the costs associated with purchasing an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Rural Health Network Development Planning Program  Grants to promote the planning and development of rural healthcare networks in order to achieve efficiencies; expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential healthcare services; and strengthen the rural healthcare system as a whole. Application Deadline: Nov 30, 2018.

Smart Rural Community Collaboration Challenge Funding to support the development and implementation of innovative broadband-enabled solutions to support rural commerce, healthcare, public safety, economic development, education, energy, and other community-oriented initiatives. Application Deadline: Dec 1, 2018.

–SAFER BRAND is offering funding to start a school garden with the goals of encouraging children to be active outside and to engage students in learning about nutrition and the environment. Deadline: 12/1/2018. Click here to visit the website for more information about this grant.

2018–2019 Lights, Camera, Save! Video Contest  The American Bankers Association (ABA) Foundation is sponsoring its 9th annual video contest for banks to encourage teenagers to educate themselves and their peers about the value of saving and using money wisely. Banks host local competitions and select winners to compete in a national competition where more than $10,000 in prizes will be awarded. Student entries must be submitted by December 3, 2018.

Farm to School Grant Program are to plan, establish, and/or sustain a Farm to School program that improves access to local foods in schools. Application Deadline: Dec 4, 2018.

–Apply now for a MPCA grant to buy electric-powered landscaping equipment.  Up to $300,000 in grant funding available to switch from your old, 2-cycle gasoline to electric-powered landscaping equipment.  The maximum grant amount is $24,000. There is 50% matching funds for scrapping your equipment to be replaced, and a 70% match to keep your current equipment. Example equipment: pole saws, string or hedge trimmers, leaf and backpack blowers, mowers, and chain saws.

Eligible applicants include all Minnesota-based businesses under 500 employees, governmental agencies, educational institutions, non-profits, or trade groups/associations. Special consideration given for targeted applicants in environmental justice and highly urbanized areas.

The easy, 2-page application has a calculator to help you figure out emissions — all you need to know is the horsepower, hours used annually, and estimated remaining life left on your gas engine. The calculator does the rest! Apply now! Deadline: December 5, 2018. Projects of all sizes encouraged to apply! Find grant materials on the MPCA grants to improve air webpage. For general questions, contact or 651-757-2875.

–Corporation for National and Community Service is offering funding for programs that are designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems, including those found in rural and underserved areas. Funding priorities in 2019 include prescription drug and opioid abuse, education, and public safety. Deadline: Letter of Intent 12/12/2018 (optional); application 1/30/2019. Click here to review program guidelines.

Youth Garden Grant awards funding and gardening supplies to schools and community organizations with youth-centered garden programs. Application Deadline: Dec. 17, 2018.

–Home Depot Foundation is offering grants of up to $5,000 for projects that repair, modify, weatherize, or otherwise improve low-income and/or transitional housing or community facilities. Deadline to apply: 12/31/2018. Click here to review funding guidelines.

Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP)  provides funding to small rural hospitals, through their State Office of Rural Health, to help them do any or all of the following: purchase equipment or training to attain value-based payment and care goals; join or become an accountable care organization; and purchase health information technology, equipment, or training. Application Deadline: Jan 3, 2019.

–RURAL LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) created the Community Facilities Fund to provide capital to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC utilizes this fund to provide permanent and construction-to-permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities in rural communities with populations under 20,000. Deadline: ongoing. Click here for more information.

–THE MILBANK FOUNDATION is offering grants with the following priorities: consumer-focused, community-based initiatives that empower people with disabilities and foster independence and self-sufficiency; the rehabilitation and re-integration of veterans, especially veterans with disabilities; helping seniors to age in the place of their choice through non-institutional, community-based health and social services; and market-oriented, patient-centered healthcare reforms across the country. Deadline: nonprofit organizations may submit letters of inquiry throughout the year. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review the grant guidelines and application procedures.

–Venn Foundation Launches “$1 Million by 2020” Seed Capital Drive.

Venn Foundation, with support from Bush Foundation, this month formally announced a bold new initiative to drive $1 million of seed capital to early-stage social businesses in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and the 23 native nations that share this geography before January 1, 2020. The goal is to help make this region the best place in the country to launch and grow businesses that officially commit to solving social problems. For more information go to:


–Millennials Live Here–Reversing Brain Drain in Rural Places. Free Webinar. Free webinar! Going Big in Small Places: Millennials Make Their Mark in America’s Towns, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 1-2 p.m. Eastern. (Can’t make the live call? Register and we will send you the recording!)

Millennials, the group that range in age from 22 to 37, more than any generation before them, live lives driven by technology. Technology has given them freedom to work anywhere and keeps them constantly connected to friends and family. Place, it seems, is irrelevant. So, it might seem counterintuitive that Millennials would choose rural towns. But many of them are—and in numbers defying conventional wisdom. Researcher Ben Winchester sets the stage for an insightful discussion with three Millennials who have chosen towns and small cities and are contributing to the vibrancy of the places they live in a big way. Featuring: Ben Winchester, senior research fellow, University of Minnesota Extension, Center for Community Vitality; Whitney Kimball Coe, coordinator, National Rural Assembly, Athens, Tennessee; Brittany Grimes, director of public relations and marketing, Carl Sandburg College, Galesburg, Illinois; Bree Henderson, owner, Polished & Proper Barbershop & Shave Parlor, Laconia, New Hampshire.

Register for the 2018 Minnesota Scenic Byway Workshop  The 2018 Scenic Byway Workshop will be held Nov.14-15 in Fergus Falls, hosted by the Otter Trail Scenic Byway.

–November 14 and 15 at the St. Paul RiverCentre is the MCN’s Annual Conference: Choosing Hope in Times of Disruption.

–Rural Health and Safety Education webinar series, “Combating Opioids,” is hosted by Purdue University Extension and the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD). “Dreamland: America’s Opiate Epidemic and How We Got Here” will be held December 7, 2018 at 2:00 PM ET. To join the webinar, click here.

— Learn what’s happening at Minnesota’s largest foundations on December 18. Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) in one of seven locations throughout Minnesota on December 18 for Minnesota Foundations 2019—annual analysis of the trends, staffing, program shifts and financial outlooks of more than 50 of Minnesota’s most active private, community and corporate foundations. This forward-looking session focuses on foundations with statewide giving priorities, as well as those with a regional focus (depending on workshop location). Participants receive a copy of MCN’s 2019 Minnesota Grants Directory.

Minnesota Foundations 2019 will be held on Tuesday, December 18 from 1  – 4:30 p.m. in St. PaulBemidjiDuluthFergus FallsMankatoRochester, and St. Cloud. The workshop will also be available in Marshall on Wednesday, December 19.

Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference Location Announced Explore Minnesota is excited to announce the 2019 Tourism Conference will be held in Minnesota’s capital city, St. Paul, on Feb. 4-6, 2019.

–The 95th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum (AOF) will take place February 21-22, 2019 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. The event will offer a platform for exchanging ideas, information and best practices among producers, processors, policymakers, government officials, and non-governmental organizations, both domestic and foreign. Click here for more information and to register.

–MN Campus Compact Summit and Presidents’ Awards Luncheon will be held April 10, 2019 at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN.  For more information go to:


Country Doctor of the Year Award  is to a physician who best exemplifies the spirit, skill, and dedication of America’s rural medical practitioners. Application Deadline: Nov 15, 2018.

–SODEXO Stop Hunger Foundation is offering Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarships that recognize student innovation and youth-led solutions to fight hunger across the country. Applicants must have demonstrated ongoing commitment to their community by performing unpaid volunteer services impacting hunger in the United States within the last 12 months. Students between the ages of five and 25 are eligible to apply. The winners receive a $5,000 scholarship, as well as a $5,000 grant made in their name to the hunger-related charity of their choice in their local community. In addition, regional honorees receive a $1,000 grant made in their name to the hunger-related charity of their choice. Deadline: 12/5/2018. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review the Official Rules and Factsheet, and to access the online application.

–Dec. 7 2019 Minnesota Ethical Leadership Award

–NBCC FOUNDATION is offering scholarships for students residing in rural areas who are currently enrolled in a master’s level counseling program and are committed to practicing in rural communities after graduation. Deadline to apply: 12/15/2018. Click here to review program guidelines.

Bloomberg Fellows  is a fellowship for individuals who want to achieve a Master’s or PhD degree in Public Health, as well as on-the-ground training and experience. The program is looking for leaders working in the areas of addiction and overdose, environmental challenges, obesity and the food system, risks to adolescent health, and violence. Application deadline is December 30, 2018.

Native American Congressional Internship A summer internship for Native American and Alaska Native students who wish to learn more about the federal government and issues affecting Indian country. Application Deadline: January 31, 2019.

Udall Scholarship  Scholarships for Native Americans and Alaska Native students pursuing careers related to tribal public policy, self-governance, native health, or the environment. Application Deadline: March 7, 2019.

LifeSmarts Online Consumer Challenge  The National Consumers League hosts LifeSmarts, an online competition open to all students in grades 6-12. LifeSmarts celebrates 25 years of empowering teens to become smart, savvy consumers. Each month, LifeSmarts focuses on a different category important to teen consumers: personal finance, health and safety, consumer rights, technology, and the environment. Students compete online and in-person throughout the year to win scholarships and prizes. Experts in LifeSmarts subject areas are also needed to serve as judges and officials at the state and national competitions.

NGPF Nationwide Scholarship Contest Next Gen Personal Finance sponsors this scholarship contest for high school students. Ten $5,000 and numerous $500 Honorable Mention scholarships will be awarded nationwide.


— Census 2020 – why is it important for rural Minnesota? The U.S. Constitution mandates that everyone in the country be counted every 10 years. The first census was in 1790 and to this day the goal of the census is to count every person living in the U.S. once, only once, and in the right place. Why is the census important? Here are three reasons from the Minnesota State Demographic Center:

  • Equal representation. Every 10 years, the results of the census are used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets. After each decade’s census, state officials redraw the boundaries of the congressional and state legislative districts in their states to account for population shifts. It is possible that Minnesota may lose one district (it currently has 8). One less voting district means each district would have to represent about 100,000 more people.
  • Fair distribution of resources. The distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on census data. That money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs. That means, for instance, that at least $1,532 per person is allocated by the federal government to Minnesota each year.
  • Data to make smart decisions. Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices and stores, which create jobs. Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness. Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality–of–life and consumer advocacy.

Rural areas often face challenges in delivering an accurate census count. Let’s make sure all areas of Minnesota are accurately represented. Visit the Minnesota State Demographic Center’s Census 2020 website to learn how to support and get involved in planning for the next United State’s Census!

DEED Launches Tool to Measure and Report Broadband Access.  DEED Launched a new tool that will allow Minnesotans to test, map and report various broadband internet speeds across the is a benchmarking tool designed to gather information about the high-speed internet consumer experience in Minnesota. Follow the link to take the test.

Rental Housing for a 21st Century Rural America  Analyzes seven indicators to describe the supply, demand, and affordability of housing in rural areas by census tracts. Offers suggestions on future rural rental housing needs and policy recommendations.

–The NYU Furman Center and Abt Associates recently launched, an interactive resource dedicated to helping counties, cities, and towns create and implement strategies to increase the supply of affordable housing and promote housing affordability. The site serves as a one-stop shop for local leaders to understand the housing needs of their communities and policies effective at addressing those needs. Access the resource by clicking here.

Rural Education Levels Are Increasing, but Still Lag Behind Urban Areas  Bar chart comparing rural and urban education levels for adults aged 25 and older in 2000 and 2016.

Rural Pharmacy and Prescription Drugs We’ve updated our Topic Guide on Rural Pharmacy and Prescription Drugs. Check it out for new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on telepharmacy, key contacts on rules and regulations on pharmaceutical services in rural healthcare facilities, and more. Also features updated statistics throughout.

–An article in U.S. News and World Report, “Rural Pharmacies Are Closing: Where Does That Leave Patients?” discusses rural pharmacy closures and the wide-reaching impact these closures can have on their communities. The article also touches on some of the causes of closures including bigger chain pharmacies and low reimbursement rates. Click here to read the article.

–The state of Minnesota launched a new assistive technology website guide to help make sense of all the options available to people with disabilities. Assistive technology is any technology designed to help people with disabilities. Each disability can come with its own set of unique challenges and therefore requires its own unique technology to help people adapt. The Minnesota Guide to Assistive Technology exists to help people with disabilities find the specific device they may need.

–Annie E. Casey Foundation is offering 2018 Kids Count Data Book that looks at trends in child wellbeing, revealing improvements in some economic indicators. Thirteen percent of the nation’s children still live in high-poverty communities, and the Data Book can help support advocacy, agenda-setting, and fundraising efforts. Get the Data Book here.

–Living Cities has published “Facilitator’s Guide for Continuous Improvement Conversations with a Racial Equity Lens.” The racial equity guide provides information and tools on applying a racial equity lens to projects and achieving population-level change. Click here to get the guide.

–Release of a new community assessment tool that allows users to access data on the opioid epidemic in counties across the county, see the epidemic’s relation to demographic and socioeconomic factors, compare county-level data to the rest of the state and country, and track how data has changed over time.

Map to Prosperity  Discusses the potential of broadband’s effects on the rural economy, especially for farming operations and small businesses. Describes broadband access in rural areas. Includes rural versus urban comparisons for rural broadband access and funding and technical assistance programs to increase broadband adoption.

National Food Affordability: A County-Level Analysis Explores sociodemographic factors contributing to food affordability, with emphasis on differences between rural and urban areas. Features statistics on select food-related characteristics of U.S. counties, with breakdowns by rural or urban location and by Appalachian or Delta counties and other counties.

–Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting took the first step in moving toward Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) reform. The OCC issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on CRA that asks for input on a number of questions. The entire ANPR can be found and comments can be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at by searching for “Docket ID OCC-2018-0008”.

–Fed Governor Randy Quarles gave a speech on the particular issues faced by community banks in rural areas at the Fed’s annual conference on community banking.  Quarles discussed the generally positive performance of rural banks, and the impacts felt when these rural community banks fail. Continue reading here.

–Benefits of public transportation survey.  The Minnesota Department of Transportation is funding a study, conducted by researchers at North Dakota State University, about the benefits of public transportation in Greater Minnesota. Individuals across the state are invited to complete this survey by copying and pasting this link in your browser: For more information about the project, please contact Sara Dunlap at 651–366–4194, or Jeremy Mattson at 701–231–5496.

–The latest issue of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Community Development Innovation Review presents opportunities for community development to play a role in mental health promotion; including emerging themes such as the prevalence of trauma, community resilience in the face of climate change, and the power of arts and culture to engage and activate a community. Get the publication by clicking here.

EDITORS’ NOTE: As always — please send us items to post, comments, ideas, etc. You can send them to Jane Leonard at And thanks for getting to the end of this month’s issue!