DECEMBER 2018 – Volume XVI — Number 11
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
Also find online at:



This month we’re going with an opportunity that Ann Treacy is working on through Women’s March MN. We may hear from Jane next week after the Thriving by Design meeting:

MNxMN is a community of Minnesota activists and advocates working together to empower civic engagement in Minnesota. They hold an annual civic activism conference that focuses on deepening attendees’ understanding of issues, teaching them skills and tools, and connecting them with other activists as well as with activist and advocacy organizations.

It’s a great opportunity to meet other organizations and help them understand what you do. It would be nice to see representative from all of Minnesota corners of MN! Please consider joining the conference and talking about what you do and why you do it. You could:

  • Present a session
  • Have a table at the event
  • Sponsor an event
  • Endorse the event
  • Become a partner organization
  • Help promote the event
  • Attend the event

Last year they had more than 400 attendees, 100 presenters and trainers, and 40 sessions covering everything from Legislative Action 101, Protest Organizing 101, (there were lots of 101s), Human Trafficking/Sexual Violence, Building an Authentic Alliance with Muslims, How to set up a campaign to take on US Bank, Involving High School Students in Progressive Politics, Re-imagining relevant schools, Getting money out of politics, Building leadership for the long haul.

This year’s conference is called MNxMN2019: Beyond The Vote and is happening on Feb 24th at Harding High School in St. Paul. Again the focus for MNxMN2019 is on issues, skills and building relationships, so that attendees can take their activism to the next level and more effectively support and add their muscle to the work of the organizations working on the frontline like yours.

Consider submitting a proposal to present!


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

DNR Seeking Applicants for $100,000 in Shooting Range Grants  The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced that $100,000 in matching shooting range grants is available to improve existing five-stand, pistol, rifle, skeet or trap ranges.  Due December 28th.

–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.

Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program (REDL and REDG)
Loans and grants to assist in the economic development of rural areas, including funds for healthcare facilities and equipment, telecommunications networks, and job creation projects. Application Deadline: Dec 31, 2018.

–The AMERISOURCEBERGEN Foundation is offering funding through the Opioid Resource Grant Program. The Program will provide nonprofit organizations in communities across the United States with grants ranging up to $100,000 to combat the epidemic of opioid misuse. Priority will be given to organizations addressing the following three key areas of focus: safe disposal, education around prevention, and innovative solutions. (Funding requests for treatment, recovery, or treatment-related research will not be considered.) 2019 Deadlines; letters of intent will be accepted from January 1 through February 15 and July 1 through August 15. Visit the Foundation’s website here to download the Opioid Resource Grant Program 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.

–Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration,  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Planning. Planning grants designed to strengthen the capacity of multi-sector consortia to address prevention, treatment, and recovery from substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder in rural counties identified to be at the highest risk. Deadline to apply: 1/15/2019. Click here to review application guidelines and to apply.

–BIG READ is accepting grant applications for Community-Wide Reading Programs. Seventy-five grants of up to $15,000 will be awarded to nonprofit organizations for community-wide reading programs that encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. Deadline: 1/24/2019. Click here to review funding guidelines and to apply.

Environmental Justice Small Grants Program Grants to support community-driven projects designed to engage, educate, and empower communities to better understand local environmental and public health issues and develop strategies for addressing those issues, building consensus in the community, and setting community priorities. Application Deadline: Feb 15, 2019.

–Various grants from the Laura Jane Musser fund are upcoming:

  • Rural Arts Deadline: March 12, 2019 – Online proposals will be accepted starting February 12, 2019.
  • Environmental Initiative Deadline: March 19, 2019 – Online proposals will be accepted starting February 19, 2019.

For more information go to:

–USDA is offering funding through the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. Loans and loan guarantees will provide funds for the construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas. Deadline: 9/30/2019. Click here for program guidelines and application materials.

–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.

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).


— 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.

–AURI’s New Uses Forum will be held March 27-28 at the Minneapolis Marriott West.

–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:

–Hold the Dates:

  • Nonprofit Leadership Conference, June 13, 2019, Minneapolis (co-hosted with the Humphrey School)
  • Nonprofit Fundraising Conference, July 25, 2019, Brooklyn Center (co-hosted with AFP-MN)
  • MCN Annual Conference, October 24 – 25, 2019, Rochester


All-New Explore Minnesota Tourism Awards Now Accepting Nominations  Honoring the best and brightest in the Minnesota tourism industry, the reinvented Explore Minnesota Tourism Awards will be presented on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel, in conjunction with the 2019 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference.  Due December 14th!

–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.

–RFP Open Now for 2019 MCN Conferences. The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, along with our various co-hosts, welcomes your proposals for breakout sessions for three conferences coming in 2019. This is your chance to network and share your skills with your nonprofit peers!

Submit a proposal now for the following conferences:

  • Nonprofit Leadership Conference, June 13, 2019, Minneapolis (co-hosted with the Humphrey School)
  • Nonprofit Fundraising Conference, July 25, 2019, Brooklyn Center (co-hosted with AFP-MN)
  • MCN Annual Conference, October 24 – 25, 2019, Rochester

Want help crafting your proposal? Consider joining MCN for a FREE 1-hour virtual training starting at 1 p.m. on January 16. During this 60-minute conversation, we’ll guide you to consider ways to create a strong proposal that is likely to result in a successful conference workshop. Submissions must be completed by the end of the day, Wednesday, January 23, 2019. Find more info and submit yours on our website!

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.

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 31st Annual Student Essay Contest  

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is asking students in its 31st annual essay contest to use economics to describe and defend an effective immigration policy. Compass could be a great resource for student writers, especially if they are looking for trends in immigration, the economy, or the workforce. The contest is open to all high school students in the Ninth Federal Reserve District.  Essays due April 19, 2019.   Learn more.

Open Positions on Explore Minnesota Tourism Council The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State released notice of vacancies for various state boards, councils and committees that are accepting applications.


Rural America at a Glance, 2018 Edition provides an overview of social and economic factors affecting rural America. Includes statistics and data on trends in employment, infrastructure, population, race/ethnicity, poverty, and income.

— 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!

New resource with regional data, key measures, and trends Northeastern Minnesota Compass Points 2018 is now available with at-a-glance key measures and trends related to housing, education, workforce, the economy, and more. The resource was developed in partnership with the Northland Foundation to highlight key demographic and wellbeing measures for the seven counties of northeastern Minnesota. See the data.

Net Migration by Metropolitan Status: 1986-2018 Line chart showing net migration in nonmetropolitan areas compared to principal cities and other metro areas from 1986 through 2018.

Rural Poverty, Part 1 showcases two papers from the Rural Policy Research Institute’s (RUPRI) March 2018 “Rural Poverty: Fifty Years After The People Left Behind” Conference. Covers the causes and consequences of rural poverty and discusses the evolving research agenda to address the issue to improve economic opportunities. Includes data comparing rural and urban poverty rates and includes information on rural and urban poverty rates by gender, education, marital status, and employment.

Indicators of early childhood development in Minnesota Results from the 2018 Minnesota Early Childhood Risk, Reach, and Resilience project are now on Minnesota Compass. Explore data on 12 economic, family stability, and health measures of risks to the well-being of young children, and coverage of 11 publicly funded programs serving the early learning, health, and basic needs of young children. See the data.

–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.

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.

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.

–A report from the Federal Reserve System “Board of Governors Explores Affordable Housing Challenges in Rural Communities” finds that high levels of rental cost burdens are a challenge for rural communities. Despite the need, the analysis reveals that resources provided by the federal government to address rental cost burdens in rural areas is at a low point compared with recent history. Additionally, the report finds that the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) is an important tool for the production and preservation of affordable housing in both urban and rural communities. Get the report by clicking here.

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.

Adults with bachelor’s degree now largest share of Minnesota’s adults Over the last decade, we’ve seen a flip in the share of adults with lower and higher levels of educational attainment. Minnesota’s adults with a high school degree or less formed the largest share of our adult population until 2014. But starting in 2014, adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher became the largest share of our adult population. See more educational attainment 

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness and Loan Repayment Programs provides an overview of federal student loan forgiveness and repayment programs, including those administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration. Addresses program components, effects, cost, and issues for Congress to consider.

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.

The Health and Economic Concerns of Rural Americans presentation features a discussion on the role social and economic disparities play in the health of people in rural communities. Highlights the effect the opioid crisis has had in rural areas and discusses ways communities can use local resources to combat opioid abuse.

–Rural Health Research Gateway has published “Rural Health Research Recap: Rural Communities: Age, Income, and Health Status,” that provides a summary of key findings from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy funded Rural Health Research Centers’ most recent research on the demographics and health status of rural residents. The report features statistics comparing mortality and incidence of various health conditions in rural and urban areas, and poverty rates in the South, West, Midwest, and Northeast United States. Click here to get the report.

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.

–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.

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.

–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.

–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!