April 2019 – Volume XVII — Number 5
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
Also find online at: https://wp.me/pkVGJ-8F


ACROSS THE FIELD: WE ALL COUNT! Preparing for the 2020 Census Now.

One year from now, the 2020 Census will be in full swing. You can help ensure everyone counts in 2020.

It’s in the U.S. Constitution: Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau works to count every person in the United States, including everyone living in Minnesota. The resulting count will guide the distribution of billions of dollars to Minnesota’s communities, determine whether or not Minnesota keeps a congressional seat, and will update data in summary form that helps Minnesota government, nonprofits, foundations, and businesses make wise investments of public and private resources.

The 2020 Census is the responsibility of the Federal Government. But all of us need to do our part to make sure that all Minnesotans are counted.  We need to mobilize and get-out-the-count.

We Count. Minnesota is a collaboration of businesses, governments, non-profits, and community groups across the state. Its aim is to support a fair and accurate 2020 Census by educating Minnesotans about the importance of the census and promoting their participation in it.  The work of “We Count. Minnesota” complements the work being done nationally by the U.S. Census Bureau and the work that community organizations and individuals are doing through the Minnesota Census Mobilization Partnership, which is funded by a coalition of Minnesota foundations.

There are many challenges to 2020 Census operations –  heightened concerns about privacy with the online-option (60+% are expected to respond on a device or online) not to mention broadband barriers in Greater Minnesota, distrust in the government, a presidential campaign in full swing,  language barriers (some top Minnesota languages will not be translated by the Census Bureau), and apartment and rural PO Box address/enumeration challenges. Working together, we can address these concerns and keep Minnesota at the top of the response rate of U.S. States (we were #2 in 2010, just behind Wisconsin!).

The Minnesota Census Mobilization Partnership is moving legislation forward in the Minnesota State Legislature right now to provide $2.5 million for Minnesota-specific census support, including outreach to apartments and households with rural PO Boxes and historically undercounted populations (those living in rural areas, children under 5 years old, renters, communities of color, low income households, linguistically isolated households, and those living in non-traditional households) plus MN-specific translations. Learn more at  https://mcf.org/25-million-plan-state-minnesotas-census-2020-investment


Summer Food Service Program Funding to provide free, nutritious meals and snacks to help children in low-income areas get the nutrition they need during the summer months.

–Explore Minnesota has an additional round for operations grants submissions has been added for the 2018-19 New Event Grant Program. Beginning April 1, 2019, applicants throughout the state are eligible to apply for the remaining $20,000 in grant funds for new events operations. Applications must be for events that begin after June 1, 2019, and end before May 1, 2021.

New Events Grant Guidelines 

New Events Grant Application 

The new events grant program is designed to generate economic impact and increase media awareness of the state as an event destination by securing or creating new events in communities. Applicants must meet the minimum eligibility requirements and point thresholds to be considered for this opportunity. Eligible events must be new to Minnesota and open to the public. Applicants must demonstrate support from a local tourism organization, have available lodging capacity, and agree to generate other funding (minimally two-thirds of cash expenses).  The minimum grant request is $5,000, with a maximum of $20,000 per event. State funding is capped at one-third of total cash expenditures per event, and all awarded grants are conditional based on the successful negotiation and execution of contracts.  For more information contact Lori Peterson or call 651-757-1876.

Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program Grants – Opioid  Grants to improve access to opioid treatment in rural areas through the use of telemedicine, computer networks, and related advanced technologies. Application Deadline: April 15, 2019.

Community Connect Broadband Grant Program  Grants for communities without broadband service to provide residential and business services and connect facilities, such as police and fire stations, healthcare, libraries, and schools. Application Deadline: April 15, 2019.

–U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants for tribal community-based organizations, tribes, and village governments for social and economic infrastructure development.  This program is focused on community-driven projects designed to grow local economies, strengthen Native American families, including the preservation of Native American cultures, and decrease the high rate of current challenges caused by the lack of community-based businesses, and social and economic infrastructure in Native American communities.  Native American communities include American Indian tribes (federally-recognized and non-federally recognized), Native Hawaiians, Alaskan Natives, and Native American Pacific Islanders.
Application deadline: 4/15/2019.  Click here to review program guidelines.

AARP Community Challenge Grants for projects that work to improve livability for all residents of a community. Application Deadline: April 17, 2019.

Newman’s Own Awards Grants for organizations working to improve quality of life for military members and their families, including programs for job training, housing, caregiver support, and mental health.  Application Deadline: April 25, 2019.

U.S. Department of Education is offering grants through the Small, Rural School Achievement Program.  The program seeks to address the unique needs of rural school districts by improving basic programs, supporting effective instruction, supporting language instruction for English learners and immigrant students, strengthening student support and promoting academic enrichment, and creating 21st century community learning centers. Deadline: 4/26/2019.  Click here to review program guidelines and to apply.

–USDA is offering up to $600 million in loans and grants to help build broadband infrastructure in rural America. Telecommunications companies, rural electric cooperatives and utilities, internet service providers, and municipalities may apply for funding through USDA’s ReConnect Program to connect rural areas that currently have insufficient broadband service.  Deadlines:  USDA will make available approximately $200 million for grants (applications due to USDA by 4/29/2019), as well as $200 million for loan and grant combinations (applications due 5/29/2019), and $200 million for low-interest loans (applications due by 6/28/2019).  Click here to review program guidelines and application requirements.

Foundation for Financial Planning is offering grants to nonprofit organizations nationwide to support the delivery of pro bono financial planning to populations that could not otherwise afford or access financial planning services. Deadline: 4/30/2019.  Click here to review guidelines and to apply.

Mary Kay Domestic Violence Shelter Grant Program Grants to support domestic violence shelters. The Foundation will award a grant to at least one domestic violence shelter in every state that applies, and many grants have gone to rural areas. Application Deadline: April 30, 2019.

Grain Bin Rescue Equipment and Training Contest  Awards for rural emergency first responders that include grain rescue tubes and hands-on rescue training. Application Deadline: April 30, 2019.

Bureau of Indian Affairs is offering grants to federally recognized tribes for implementing traffic safety programs and projects which are designed to reduce the number of traffic crashes, deaths, injuries, and property damage.  Deadline: 5/1/2019. Click here to review the guidelines and to apply.

–Corporation for National and Community Service is offering AmeriCorps Indian Tribes Grants for programs that are designed to strengthen tribal communities and solve local problems through service and volunteering.  Deadlines:  Letter of Intent (Optional): 4/10/2019; application 5/2/2019.  Click here to review program guidelines and to apply.

Rural and Tribal Passenger Transportation Technical Assistance Technical assistance for tribes and rural communities of less than 50,000 people to plan system start-up, transit service improvements, facility development, marketing, transportation coordination, and staff training. Application Deadline: May 3, 2019.

First Responders – Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act Cooperative Agreement Grants to allow first responders and members of other key community sectors to administer a drug or device approved or cleared under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act for emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose. Over half of the total funding available is set aside for recipients serving rural communities with high rates of opioid abuse. Application Deadline: May 6, 2019.

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Implementation  Grants to strengthen and expand substance use disorder/opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery service delivery in high-risk rural communities. Application Deadline: May 6, 2019.

–MPCA grants for electric vehicle charging stations for fleet vehicles — due May 7. The MPCA recently released a request for proposal (RFP) to install Level 2 and/or Level 3 EV charging stations at Minnesota facility locations serving fleet vehicles. This program is intended to reduce air emissions through increased use of electric vehicles for fleet purposes in an effort to support a healthy environment for all Minnesotans and achieve emissions reductions across the state, especially in high population areas most impacted by vehicle pollution.

Eligible applicants include fleet owners at for-profit businesses, nonprofit organizations, and public entities including state, tribes, counties, municipalities, schools, and higher education institutions. The maximum award is $5,000 per single-station and $10,000 per dual-station with a 25% minimum match. Approximately $170,000 in funding is available. To learn more about this grant opportunity and download the application forms, visit the Grants for charging stations for EV fleets webpage.  Please email grants.pca@state.mn.us with questions. Apply now! Deadline: May 7, 2019.

USDA is offering funding through Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grants, and is giving priority for applications addressing opioid abuse in rural communities.  The Distance Learning and Telemedicine program, initiated several years ago, is comprised of two funding steams – traditional DLT projects and opioid-specific projects. The traditional DLT fund helps rural communities use telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world. Projects may address opioid treatment but are not required to. Projects that do address opioid issues will receive 10 “special consideration points,” which can boost an applicant’s rankings in funding decisions. (Projects that have science, technology, engineering, and math [STEM] education as their primary purpose also qualify for consideration points.) Deadline:  5/15/2019.  Click here to visit Grants.gov to review guidelines and to apply.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering funding through The Transforming Lives Through Supported Employment Program that funds efforts to refine, implement, and sustain supported employment programs for transition-aged youth and young adults with serious emotional disturbance, and adults with serious mental illness or co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.  Deadline:  5/17/2019.  Click here to learn more about this program and to apply.

The Federal Highway Administration is offering Tribal Transportation Program Safety Funds to tribal governments for the purposes of transportation projects related to safety, safety planning, and safety/infrastructure.  Deadline to apply:  5/20/2019.  Click here to review program guidelines.

Household Water Well System Grants USDA RUS grants for qualified nonprofit organizations and tribes to create a revolving loan fund to increase access to clean, reliable water for households in eligible rural areas. Application Deadline: May 27, 2019.

Water and Waste Disposal Revolving Loan Funds USDA RUS grants to help nonprofit organizations establish revolving loan funds that will finance water and wastewater projects in rural communities. Application Deadline: May 27, 2019.

Rural Health Care Telecommunications Program Assistance to healthcare providers for eligible expenses related to broadband connectivity based on the urban-rural price difference in an area.
Application Deadline: May 31, 2019.

Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI)  USDA RD funding to help nonprofit housing and community development intermediary organizations support housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas. Priority will be given to applications that address USDA’s goal to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with Substance Use Disorder (including opioid misuse) in high-risk rural communities. Application Deadline: June 5, 2019.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Pioneering Ideas Brief Proposals  Grants for innovative projects that are working to build a culture of health, ensuring that everyone has access to the care they need and all families have the opportunity to make healthier choices.  Application Deadline: October 15, 2019.

The Home Depot Foundation’s Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using the power of volunteers to improve their communities. The program focuses on support for organizations that serve veterans in local communities, as well as organizations that serve diverse and underserved communities. Grants of up to $5,000 are made in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services. Deadline: requests will be accepted on a rolling basis through 12/31/2019. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.


–Minnesota Compass is holding a series of free workshops around the state to share what they learned in listening sessions, highlight current demographic trends, and demonstrate how you can use the Minnesota Compass Build Your Own data tool to access data for your city, county, school district, legislative district and more. Space is limited, so register soon!

  • St. Cloud Wednesday, April 10, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Register.
  • Grand Rapids Tuesday, April 16, 10 a.m.-12.p.m. Register.
  • Bemidji Tuesday, April 30, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Register.
  • Stillwater Wednesday, May 8, 9-11 a.m. Register.
  • Worthington Wednesday, May 15, 9-11 a.m. Register.
  • Fergus Falls Wednesday, May 29, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Register.

–Explore Minnesota is beginning the process of developing our 2020/2021 Strategic Plan, and it’s extremely important for us to hear your views. We want to know what is working, what is not, and how we can work together to better grow tourism in the entire state. We will be conducting face-to-face Listening Sessions throughout the state in April and May. Specific dates and locations are available on the tourism industry website.

2019 Affordable Housing Summit – May 2, Minneapolis.  Join developers, contractors, nonprofits, investors, and more for the 2019 Affordable Housing Summit. More information is available at affordablehousingsummitmn.com.

–MHTA Annual Spring Conference – Registration Now Open for our May 9 Annual Spring Conference.  Accenture will kick off the conference by sharing their research and technology vision.  You’ll learn more about advanced technology and the workforce of tomorrow at workshops and demos throughout the day.  Visit online

Greater Minnesota Nonprofit Summit, Wednesday, May 15, Duluth. This day-long summit is designed to bring together staff, board members, and volunteers from across northern Minnesota to learn, network, and strategize.

— Minnesota NAHRO Spring 2019 Conference – May 22-24, Brainerd.  “Retool, Recharge, Rebuild.” More information is available at mnnahro.com.

–The Campus Compacts of the Great Plains, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin invite you to join us for the 2019 Midwest Campus Compact Conference, which will take place May 29 – 31, 2019, at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Whether you are new to community-engaged learning and scholarship, curious about learning the basics of community-campus partnerships, or a seasoned engaged scholar or community engagement professional seeking innovative approaches and discussion of important issues, this conference will provide opportunities to learn, explore, connect, and prepare for bold and thoughtful action. For more information go to: https://midwest.compact.org/

–21st Annual Minnesota Rural Health Conference June 17 – 18, 2019 in Duluth, MN.   Conference Website

–Hold the Dates:

  • The SciMathMN and The Works Museum joint conference on STEM education will be held on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education Center.
  • 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).
  • The 2019 Rural Arts & Culture Summit will take place October 3-5 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. This year they are particularly interested in session ideas that address the idea of “Creative People Power” in rural place.
  • 21-22 are the dates for the 2019 Gateway to Solar Conference, the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) has announced. The annual conference is Minnesota’s largest industry-led solar trade group conference and will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis. Read more.


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.

–AARP Minnesota and Pollen’s “50 Over 50” list celebrates and recognizes Minnesotans over the age of 50 who have made significant contributions and achievements in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, in the arts and community, and in disrupting our outdated beliefs about aging. Honor someone in the categories of Nonprofit, Arts, Business, Community, and Disruption and highlight the opportunities that come with age.

Nominees from each of the five categories are judged on what they’ve done to lead and inspire others, make an impact on their community, and show the value of older Minnesotans through their actions.  For more information on eligibility and to nominate someone, visit the 50 Over 50 website. Nominations due May 13!

–Nominations Now Open for the 2019 Nonprofit Mission Awards.Nonprofit organizations make outstanding contributions to Minnesota’s high quality of life. The Minnesota Nonprofit Awards honor these contributions. Since 1987, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits has been showcasing the work of Minnesota’s outstanding nonprofits through the Nonprofit Mission Awards in the categories of:

Visit our website or watch a video to learn more and nominate a nonprofit today! Nominations close May 17.

Agricultural Safety and Health: The Core Course Scholarship Awards scholarships to attend the Agricultural Safety and Health Core Course to be held in Iowa in June, 2019.

Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program Loan repayment for undergraduate and graduate health professional educational loans in return for full-time clinical service in Indian Health Service programs. Application Deadline: Aug 15, 2019.

2020 Minnesota Census Jobs, United States Census Bureau


2019 Compass Points now available  Minnesota Compass has released Compass Points 2019, our annual indicator report. The report includes data and analysis about notable trends, key demographics, and a dashboard that highlights how Minnesota is doing in key topic areas. The information is used by policymakers, business and community leaders, and others working to ensure the health and well-being of all Minnesota residents and communities.

Rural Poverty & Well-Being Provides information on poverty and well-being in the United States and includes charts and graphs showing poverty over time, demographic information, metro/nonmetro comparisons, and poverty by geographic region and well as by county.

2019 County Health Rankings Key Findings Report Analyzes health factors and outcomes to report on county-level health disparities throughout the U.S. Discusses housing affordability, housing costs, community conditions, and homelessness. Covers key findings and calls to action to improve health outcomes. Additional links: 2019 State Health Reports

LTC Focus (Long-term Care: Facts on Care in the US) Mapping tool presents long-term care data by a number of indicators nationally or on a state-by-state basis. Features data on facility characteristics, state policies, and resident characteristics, among other factors.

2019 Telehealth Policy Barriers Discusses existing policy barriers at the federal and state levels that inhibit the use of telehealth in rural and urban areas, including: reimbursement; malpractice; licensing; HIPAA, privacy, and security; prescribing; credentialing and privileging; and other influences on policy.

Improving Rural Net Migration Rates Were Most Common in Recreation and Retirement Destinations Map showing the change in net migration rates in nonmetropolitan counties from 2012-2013 to 2016-2017.

The National Governors Association (NGA) recently released “Rural Prosperity through the Arts and Creative Sector: A Rural Action Guide for Governors and States,” in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. Arts-based economic development has been shown to be responsible for more than 600,000 jobs and $67.5 billion in economic activity in rural communities.  Get a copy of the report by clicking here.

When a disaster strikes a rural area, one of the most serious problems may be a lack of information about resources and assistance available for recovery efforts. Housing Assistance Council’s guide, “Picking Up the Pieces: Restoring Rural Housing and Communities After a Disaster,” is intended to help survivors and local organizations identify resources to rebuild their homes and communities. Get a copy of the guide by clicking here.

Student Homelessness Growing Fastest in Rural America  Examines trends in homelessness among rural students, which may contribute to disparities in health and academic outcomes. Explores challenges in identifying and supporting homeless families, funding in rural schools, and obstacles facing homeless rural students. Features statistics including percent change in number of homeless students from school years 2013-2014 to 2016-2017 in select states, with breakdowns by rural or nonrural locations.

–Take a Speed Test to Improve Broadband Maps! National Association of Counties, Rural LISC and Rural Community Assistance Partnership have released a tool to create better maps. Learn more and get instructions on how to test broadband in your area. https://wp.me/p3if7-4Yw

–Minnesota using Broadband to Help Opioid Crisis. The MN Department of Health’s Opioid Prevention Pilot Project reduces patient pill use while increasing both the numbers of Minnesotans getting treatment and the rural providers able to provide that care through telehealth networks. There’s a plan to extend the program. https://wp.me/p3if7-502

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