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


–2019-2020 New Event Grant Program Is Now Accepting Applications.
A total of $60,000 is available via Explore Minnesota for the continuation of the New Event Grant Program. Applicants throughout the state are eligible to apply for grant funds up to $15,000 for new events operations or bid/sponsorship programs.
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).
Applications must be for events that begin at least six weeks after the application submission date. Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received until all available funds are completely awarded. Only complete applications will be reviewed. The review committee will evaluate all eligible and complete applications shortly after submission, and selected grantee(s) will be notified within three weeks after the submission with their grant award status. Only one grant application is allowed per organization for this grant funding cycle.
Grant guidelines and applications can be found at https://mn.gov/tourism-industry/industry-opportunities/grant-programs/new-events.jsp

Questions on the New Events Grant Program:
Email or call Lori Peterson

Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network Grants to initiate, expand, or sustain programs that provide behavioral health counseling, referral, and other forms of assistance for agricultural workers in crisis. Application Deadline: July 25, 2019.

U.S. Department of Justice is offering demonstration grants for projects designed to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with opioid overdoses among individuals who come in contact with law enforcement or are involved in the criminal justice system in high-risk rural communities and regions.  Deadline:  7/26/2019.  Click here for program guidelines.

Community Economic Development Focus on Social Enterprises  Grants to provide technical and financial assistance to support organizations willing to create or expand social enterprises that will work to reduce personal or community barriers and provide economic support through the creation of employment and business opportunities for individuals and families with low income. Bonus points will be given to projects that create jobs in rural communities and counties of persistent poverty. Application Deadline: July 29, 2019.

Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities is offering funding through Partners for Places matching grant program.  The program creates opportunities for cities and counties to improve communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability offices and place-based foundations.  These partnerships provide leverage for national funders, encouraging them to invest in local projects that will promote a strong economy. Application Deadline: 7/30/2019.  Click here for application guidelines.

Wells Fargo Housing Philanthropy is inviting applications from nonprofits for its Homeownership Counseling Grant Program. Through the program, local nonprofit housing organizations are invited to apply for grants in support of the creation of affordable and sustainable homeownership opportunities for low-to moderate-income (LMI) populations, including seniors, veterans, and underserved families and individuals. The grant program focuses exclusively on homebuyer counseling, homebuyer education, and foreclosure prevention activities.  Deadline:  7/30/2019.  Click here to review program guidelines.

Regional Partnership Grants to Increase the Well-Being of, and to Improve the Permanency Outcomes for, Children and Families Affected By Opioids and Other Substance Abuse  Funding for collaborative regional partnerships that provide activities and services designed to increase the well-being of, improve permanency outcomes for, and enhance the safety of children who are in, or at risk of, an out-of-home placement as a result of a parent’s or caregiver’s opioid or other substance abuse. Application Deadline: July 31, 2019.

Community Mobility Design Challenge Planning Grants  Planning grants to support communities seeking innovative ways to address the particular mobility challenges experienced by low-income community members for whom a lack of transportation is an obstacle to the pursuit of economic, health, and social well-being. Application Deadline: August 1, 2019.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is offering grants to federally-recognized tribes and intertribal consortia for the development and implementation of hazardous waste programs and for building capacity to address hazardous waste management on tribal lands.  Deadline:  8/1/2019.  Click here to review application guidelines and to apply.

–Second school-bus grant round of funding.  Due to overwhelming response to the first school-bus replacement grant using funds from the national Volkswagen (VW) settlement, the MPCA will soon release an additional school-bus grant under Phase I of the VW plan.

The Request for Proposal will will target replacement projects in greater Minnesota. As with the previous grants, these will be for $15,000 or $20,000 per school bus, depending on whether the school district has 40% of the students on the free or reduced lunch program.  Funds available for this grant will total $580,000, which should help fund 29 bus replacements.

This second round is in keeping with MPCA’s commitment to keep school-bus grants distributed throughout the state at a 60/40 metro/non-metro split. Projects in the seven-county metro area will not be eligible for this grant. If you are interested in applying for this grant, please visit the VW grants page.

Health Care Transportation Access “Ready-to-Launch” Implementation Grants  to support communities that are ready to take concrete steps toward implementing transportation solutions to address healthcare access. Application Deadline: August 5, 2019.

Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration Grant Program to support and demonstrate innovative partnerships to train school-based mental health services providers for employment in high need schools and local educational agencies. Application Deadline: August 5, 2019.

Tribal Opioid Response Grants  to address the opioid crisis in tribal communities by increasing access to culturally appropriate and evidence-based treatment, including medication-assisted treatment. Application Deadline: August 6, 2019.

YouthBuild Grants to organizations providing pre-apprenticeship services that support education, occupational skills training, and employment services for at-risk youth, ages 16 to 24, while performing meaningful work and service to their communities. Training includes affordable housing construction skills and other in-demand industries, such as healthcare, information technology, hospitality, retail services, and logistics. Application Deadline: August 6, 2019.

National Endowment for the Arts is offering funding through Our Town grants that support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts to strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, or social outcomes. Deadline:  applications are due 8/8/2019.  Click here to review program guidelines.

Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program (TCRGP) Grants to tribal colleges and universities for research projects that address concerns and needs of tribal and reservation communities, including projects that focus on health, environment, and agricultural production needs of remote reservation communities through research. Application Deadline: August 9, 2019.

Agricultural Health and Safety Special Project and Pilot Study Funds (Mini-grant Program) Funding to support small-scale projects and pilot studies that address prevention of childhood agricultural disease and injury. Application Deadline: August 19, 2019

Capital Magnet Fund Grants to finance affordable housing and community revitalization efforts that benefit low-income people and communities. Application Deadline: August 26, 2019.

— Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has announced the 2019 round of funding for the NFL Foundation Grassroots Program. The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program is a partnership of the National Football League Foundation, which provides funding for the Program, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which provides technical assistance and manages the Program.  The goal of the Program is to provide non-profit, neighborhood-based organizations with financial and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields.  The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program provides grants of up to $250,000 for capital improvement projects. Deadline:  8/30/2019.  Click here for more information and to apply.

Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship  A fellowship for Native Americans engaged in meaningful work that benefits Indigenous people and communities in reservation and/or urban settings. The fellowship is open to both emerging and experienced leaders from a wide variety of fields, including but not limited to agriculture, food systems, youth leadership development, natural resource management, climate change, and economic development. Application Deadline: September 13, 2019.

Foundation for Rural Service Community Grant Program Grants to support a variety of local efforts to build and sustain a high quality of life in rural communities across America. Focus areas include business development, community development, education, and telecommunications. Application Deadline: Sept. 13, 2019.

Kent Richard Hofmann Foundation Grants support community-based organizations providing direct services, education, or research in the areas of HIV and AIDS, with priority given to smaller communities and rural areas. Letter of Intent (Required): July 26, 2019. Application Deadline: Sept. 21, 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.

Minnesota Federal Lands Access Program Call for Projects The Minnesota Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) Programming Decisions Committee (PDC) will be accepting project applications for the FY20-22 call for projects.  Due October 15th.

–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.

Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium Training Emergency preparedness training and resources for rural first responders, offered both in-person and online, and provided at no cost. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Susan G. Komen Affiliate Community Health Grants Funding for breast cancer education, screening, and treatment projects that benefit underserved populations. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Stand Down Grants provide funding for events that offer homeless veteran populations a variety of social services designed to help them to reintegrate into their communities, such as housing, healthcare, and employment opportunities. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Rural PREP Travel Support A travel support program for individuals presenting at regional/multi-state, national, and international meetings held within the United States with the primary purpose of disseminating rural health professions education research and scholarship. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Strengthening the Tribal Response to Violence Against Native Women  Training, technical assistance, and resources designed to help individual tribal governments and tribal communities strengthen the response to effectively address sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.


Census 2020: Nonprofits Take Action, July 15, Rochester

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is hosting a webinar. “Navigating Community Development – Harnessing Comparative Advantages to create Strategic Partnerships,” on July 17, 2019 at 3:00 PM EDT.  Bob Zdenek and Dee Walsh will discuss their new book, “Navigating Community Development.” The book describes the evolution of the community development sector over the past 50 years and it presents a framework and road map for how community development organizations can advance their missions through strategic partnerships that utilize their core competencies.  Click here to register for the free webinar.

–Learn more about how to use the Build Your Own data tool from MN Compass for your community? Join a webinar from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and see the presentation for your region.

West Central Region: July 17 Register.
Southern Region: July 24 Register.

–ASES National Solar Conference is Aug. 5-9 in Bloomington, Minn. The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) will hold its 48th annual National Solar Conference on Aug. 5-9 at the Crowne Plaza AiRE in Bloomington, Minn. The conference is unique in its delivery of cutting-edge research, trends, and analysis and provides a venue for the exchange of ideas, information, business insights, and perspectives on progress toward greater sustainability. Participants generally represent a broad base of solar and renewable energy professionals and thought leaders. The conference will feature technical sessions, forum discussions, plenary panels, presentations, public solar displays, and networking events. Read more to register and for details.

–MCN has a number of grantwriting workshops coming up this summer to help you grow and sharpen your skills to bring in dollars for your organization! Check out the upcoming dates/times happening all over the state and register today!

Registration Open for 2019 Rural Arts & Culture Summit Registration is open for the 2019 Rural Arts & Culture Summit held Oct. 3-5 at the Reif Performing Arts Center in Grand Rapids.

–October 8-10 – MN Fall Broadband Conference. This three-day conference at the beautiful Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, MN offers learning and engagement on many aspects of the challenges and benefits of broadband access and use, from “Pursuing Broadband 101,” to digital inclusion tools and strategies for diverse audiences. https://wp.me/p3if7-52i

2019 National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource ACEEE will host its tenth National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource (EER) on October 15-17th in Minneapolis. Held every other year since 2001, the conference highlights the latest developments in the design and delivery of customer energy efficiency programs, and the regulatory mechanisms that help make them possible. Look for a robust discussion of the many issues facing utilities as they acquire and integrate this resource into their planning and operation. Registration information and further details here.

–2019 Gateway to Solar Conference.  The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) will host its 6th annual Gateway Conference on Oct. 21st and 22nd. The event is Minnesota’s largest industry-led solar trade group conference focusing on growing the solar industry in the state. Held in downtown Minneapolis, the Gateway conference bills itself as providing “robust and in-depth educational opportunities while providing networking and exhibits in a relaxed, approachable forum.”  Read more.

–Hold the Dates:


— Do you know an entrepreneur with a social enterprise idea? Explore the Initiators Fellowship program to see if it’s a fit for you or someone you know. By becoming a Fellow, you can transform your vision into a scalable, sustainable venture that diversifies and enriches Greater Minnesota. Applications will be accepted until July 15.

  • What is the Fellowship? Through a friendly yet competitive selection process, the program awards up to seven fellowships and provides wrap-around training, mentoring and guidance—plus $30,000 annually for two years—to support Fellows and their social enterprise ideas
  • Am I Eligible? Applications are encouraged from up-and-coming leaders served by the Initiative Foundation, Southwest Initiative Foundation and West Central Initiative. Strong character and a passionate drive for social enterprise are qualities that will lead to success
  • How Do I Apply? The application process has three stages: the search stage, the selection stage and the finalist stage. Our goal is to make the process beneficial to all applicants by providing guidance, insights and valuable feedback to fuel individual growth and development
  • Go to: https://greaterminnesota.net/fellows/   For additional questions or additional information, complete our Contact Us form or send an email to Chris Fastner, Initiators Fellowship program manager. Inquiries may also be made by calling (877) 632-9255. The Initiators Fellowship is a program of the Initiative Foundation based in Little Falls.

Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design: Request for Host Applicants  Opportunity to host a leadership initiative and/or participate in a learning cohort that connects rural communities to design resources, enabling communities to act on ideas for improvements to a community’s streets, buildings, public spaces, or landscapes to address the specific physical, environmental, social, and economic challenges facing rural areas. Application Deadline: July 22, 2019.

Proposals to Host the 2020 Governor’s Deer Hunting Opener Due Aug. 5

–Tekne Awards – Applications open!  The Tekne Awards recognize science and technology leaders in Minnesota’s innovation economy. The awards celebrate the individuals and organizations that play a significant role in creating new technologies to educate and improve the lives of Minnesotans and people around the world.

MHTA is pleased to announce the 2019 Tekne Award categories.  Are you an innovator in science and tech at a Minnesota organization? We’re looking for you. Applications will be accepted until August 9 with the Tekne Awards ceremony to be held on Wednesday, November 20.   Tekne Awards webinar recording.  Did you miss the 101 webinar on Tekne applications?  Catch the replay here.

Below are the 2019 Tekne Award categories. Check tekneawards.org  for more details.

1.         Community Impact
2.         Workforce Development
3.         Startup

4.         Cybersecurity
5.         Cognitive Computing
6.         Cloud Computing
7.         Internet of Things
8.         Industry 4.0

9.         BioTech
10.       CleanTech
11.       AgTech
12.       MedTech
13.       EdTech
14.       FinTech

National Rural Health Day Community Stars  Honors individuals and organizations working in and serving rural communities and supporting rural health collaboration, communication, education, or innovation. Community Stars are featured in an electronic publication that is released on National Rural Health Day each year. Application Deadline: August 9, 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: August 15, 2019.

Rural Health Fellows Program A year-long, intensive fellowship program designed to develop a community of rural health leaders. Application Deadline: Aug 27, 2019.

Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship A fellowship for Native Americans engaged in meaningful work that benefits Indigenous people and communities in reservation and/or urban settings. The fellowship is open to both emerging and experienced leaders from a wide variety of fields, including but not limited to agriculture, food systems, youth leadership development, natural resource management, climate change, and economic development. Application Deadline: Sept. 13, 2019.

Bush Foundation Event Scholarships Interested in attending a conference but your organization doesn’t have the additional funds to send you? Apply for a Bush Foundation event scholarship! Head to the Bush Foundation website to find out more information about event scholarships and to submit your application!

2020 Minnesota Census Jobs, United States Census Bureau


What’s Happening in Rural MN? Recently, the Blandin Foundation released the results of their Rural Pulse survey, which tracks perspectives of residents in rural Minnesota and has done so since 1998.  The survey gauges Minnesotans’ perceptions of issues facing rural Minnesota communities – more than 2,660 Minnesotans responded this year! One big finding: this year, folks all throughout Minnesota have a strong belief that local economies are getting stronger.  One area of improvement across the state? Our communities can do better addressing mental health issues. Check out the full findings of the survey over at the Blandin Foundation website or on the Rural Pulse website!

–Minnesota Compass’ New Data page has highlights from recent data updates. You can also find new data across the site:
Voter turnout in the 2018 midterm election by race, gender, age, income, disability status, and educational attainment 2018 population estimates by age,  genderrace, and Hispanic origin Population trends among Minnesota’s children and youth

Four Things to Know About Housing in Greater Minnesota Greater Minnesota faces unique challenges that affect the quality and availability of housing. But just as different regions of Minnesota vary greatly by industry and demographics, housing markets across the state differ too. Minnesota Compass explores this complexity in greater detail with their first-ever story map. Read more.

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies 2019 State of the Nation’s Housing Report shows that the U.S. housing supply falls far short of what is needed.  The report documents how the housing shortfall is keeping pressure on house prices and rents, eroding affordability for modest-income households in many markets. Click here to get the report.

–Introducing GroundWork: tools to grow vibrant rural communities. Great leaders know that change starts small and builds from the ground up. It takes local leaders digging in, planting seeds of hope and cultivating a shared vision that the community stands behind. Real change starts with groundwork.


That’s why Blandin Foundation’s launching a new blog, GroundWork, to share tools, perspectives and practices that can help you create the change you want to see in your community.


The Rural Pulse can help you do community work better. Here’s how.

Find out what’s on the minds of people living in your region. Challenge yourself to think how your community might use the data to focus existing community work, address new concerns or build on successes. Get started!

More city people are looking to move rural. How can you find (and keep) them?

Capture the rising interest of urban residents looking to make the move to rural by switching your recruitment focus from jobs to people. Here are some tested strategies communities are using.

Give your youth a leg up. See and share their successes.

How are communities doing to help students succeed? Well, it depends on where you live, Minnesotans say. There are actions local leaders can take to build on student success whether you live in rural or urban.

Preventing Farmer Suicide: Collaboration and Communication Farmers face a multitude of unique stressors, such as difficult economic conditions and extreme weather. These challenges have led to a recent increase in the number of farmers taking their own lives. Experts discuss warning signs of suicide and how communities can help farmers and their families address mental health concerns.

Defining the Rural Health Care Professional Role in Assuring Total Farmer Health 
Presents the results of a “virtual think tank” on farmer and rancher mental health. Participants answered questions on farmer mental health disparities and access to mental healthcare.

Download TestIt, the Rural Broadband Mapping App! Data indicating broadband availability and speed is reported twice a year by service providers, but there is no mechanism to verify the accuracy of the data, and anecdotal evidence suggests an entire ZIP code is oftentimes marked as “served” with broadband if just one home in the census block has coverage. In response, National Association of Counties (NACo), Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) created a mobile app that harnesses grassroots advocacy by empowering individual users to accurately identify areas with low or no internet connectivity. This data is aggregated to identify gaps in broadband coverage and help guide advocacy for adequate funding and inform decision-making at federal, state, and local levels.  To date, the mobile app has been downloaded 4,500 times and 190,000 tests have been run. Help to keep up the momentum by clicking here for the landing page you can link to and download the app, and then encourage other folks to do so.  Click here for the link to a one page description of the app.  Click here to see the state by state data collected so far.

New MN county broadband maps are out.  The Office of Broadband Development unveils the latest Broadband County Maps. https://wp.me/p3if7-57h Check them out to see how your county ranks for access to 25 Mbps down and 3 up https://wp.me/p3if7-57p or 100/20 https://wp.me/p3if7-57s.

–MN with better broadband speeds that other Midwest States. Roberto Gallardo (Purdue University) looks at Midwest urban and rural access to broadband speeds. Minnesota does best with equitably access to the highest speeds measured (Gig).https://wp.me/p3if7-58m

–Interactive broadband map of MN based on speed tests. NEO Partners unveils an interactive map created from speed tests It highlights served (faster than 25 Mbps download) and unserved (slower than 25 Mbps) areas. https://wp.me/p3if7-57J

Broadband Deployment: Status and Federal Programs Addresses the availability of broadband in rural, urban, and tribal areas of the U.S.; percent of households with broadband; and federal programs supporting broadband development and adoption.

Digital Gap Between Rural and Nonrural America Persists Highlights differences in broadband access and technology adoption, such as smart phone or tablet use, between rural and urban residents of the U.S.

Family Funders – Always Important in Rural Communities Details the role of family foundations in rural philanthropy. Discusses the differences between urban and rural philanthropic work.

Building a Field of Rural Philanthropy: The Case for Creating a Rural Philanthropic Network Report outlines rural philanthropic networks and how they can benefit rural communities. Provides guidance for setting up networks and establishes key stakeholders in rural communities.

Building Partnerships with Philanthropies: Emerging Strategies for Rural Communities Report” from the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis details strategies for rural communities seeking to build partnerships with philanthropies. The report summarizes information featured in the Rural Philanthropy Toolkit.  Get the report by clicking here.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), with support from the Ford Foundation and in collaboration with CDFA, has released “Navigating the Opportunity Zones: Community Partners.” The release is the first installment of the LISC Opportunity Zones Playbook series and is geared to people and organizations committed to community revitalization and shared prosperity for all residents.  Click here to get the first installment.

The Rural Monitor features an article “Running Clear: Preventing Private Water Sources from Becoming a Health Hazard in Rural America.”  The article states that because private water sources are not regulated, rural residents who rely on them can be more susceptible to health risks from waterborne contaminants. Water experts and a public health professional share how they are helping rural residents keep their well water clean to avoid sickness.  Read the article by clicking here.

–U.S. Census Bureau reports that Native Complete Count Committees are promoting the importance of 2020 Census participation for funding for their tribes. The committees are including young people and coordinating outreach efforts as some of the strategies being used. Read more about this effort by clicking here.

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!