October 2019 – Volume XVII — Number 11
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
Also find online at: https://wp.me/pkVGJ-94



— Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas Grants for new organizations to assist veterans in highly rural areas through innovative transportation services to travel to VA medical centers and to otherwise assist in providing transportation services in connection with the provision of VA medical care to these veterans. Application Deadline: Oct 31, 2019.

–USDA Rural Development is offering Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) funding to support agricultural producers and rural small businesses to reduce energy costs and consumption by purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements in their operations. Application deadlines: 10/31/2019 and 03/31/2020.  Click here to review application and program guidelines.

— The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is offering grants to support organizations led by low-income individuals as they work to break the cycle of poverty and improve their communities. CCHD’s grant programs include the following: Community Development Grants support nonprofit organizations that are led by people living in poverty and work to address the root causes of poverty. Economic Development Grants support economic development initiatives that include the voice of the poor and marginalized in developing new businesses that offer good jobs or develop assets that will be owned by local communities. Grants range between $25,000 and $75,000. Deadline:  Pre-applications for both programs are due by 11/1/2019; the online application deadline is 12/15/2019. Visit the CCHD website for more information by clicking here.

–The Mental Health Safety Net Grant assists mental health centers and clinics that treat the uninsured. Funds will be awarded each year proportionally among all eligible programs, based on the total number of uninsured patients under the age of 21 served. The Legislature has appropriated up to $393,750 in Fiscal Year 2020. Funding will be allocated by formula, among eligible applicants. Step 1 Application due to MDH: Step 2 Budget due to MDH: 12 p.m., November 1, 2019. For more information please contact: Randi Callahan, 651–201–3860.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities Project Farmers enroll for a chance to direct $2,500 to local nonprofit organizations that are important to them and their communities. Application Deadline: Nov 1, 2019.

Annie’s Grants for Gardens Grants to develop edible garden projects that help connect kids to nutritious food. Application Deadline: Nov 1, 2019.

–MPCA is offering approximately $150,000 in grant funding to replace 2-cycle gasoline-powered landscaping and snow removal equipment with electric-powered equipment. Gasoline-powered landscaping equipment is a significant source of air emissions in urban areas, impacting the health of equipment operators and the populated communities they serve. The maximum award is $24,000 with a 50% required match.

Eligible applicants:

  • Businesses under 500 employees
  • Governmental agencies or tribal nations
  • Educational institutions
  • Non-governmental organizations (e.g., nonprofits, trade groups, industry associations)

Equipment used near populations sensitive to air pollution, in environmental justice areas, and in communities with higher air pollution will tend to score highest. All equipment being replaced must be scrapped or made inoperable. Apply now! Deadline: Nov 8, 2019.

More than $173,000 in grants has already helped 66 businesses and organizations switch to electric-powered equipment, such as chainsaws, pole pruners, lawn mowers, string or hedge trimmers, and handheld or backpack blowers. These purchases will reduce annual air emissions by 185 tons of VOCs, 0.6 tons of nitrogen oxide, and 6.5 tons of fine particulates. Review grant materials, application, and Q&A on the MPCA alternative landscaping grants webpage. Grants can be combined with MPCA low-interest small business loans up to $75,000 for capital equipment purchases.

–Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration is offering funding to improve access and quality of health care in rural areas through network collaboration, adapting an evidence-based service model, and promoting sustainability of rural health networks through the creation of diverse products and services.  Deadline:  11/25/2019.  Click here for application guidelines.

— HUD is offering grants to fund Service Coordinators to assist residents of public and Indian housing in making progress towards economic self-sufficiency, including the provision of job training, employment, adult education, housing, and health resources.  Deadline:  11/25/2019.  Click here to review application guidelines.

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 29, 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.

AmeriCorps State and National Grants Funding for programs that are designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems, including those found in rural and underserved areas. Funding priorities include prescription drug and opioid abuse, education, and rural intermediary organizations. Application Deadline: Jan 8, 2020.

–Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is offering educator grants to help teachers and schools educate children and youth to be active participants in a diverse democracy. Teaching Tolerance Educator Grants support educators who embrace and embed anti-bias principles throughout their schools. These grants range from $500 to $10,000, and support projects that promote affirming school climates and educate youth to thrive in a diverse democracy. The grants fund projects on three levels: school, classroom, and district. Educators nationwide in public or private K-12 spaces, as well as in alternative schools, therapeutic schools, and juvenile justice facilities are eligible to apply. Deadline:  applications may be submitted at any time. Visit the Teaching Tolerance website by clicking here to access the funding criteria, guidelines, and Frequently Asked Questions.

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.

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.

–THE BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION is asking anyone from anywhere – and especially those with experience navigating poverty – to take the Grand challenge by submitting their ideas about how to change the discourse about poverty in the United States. The Foundation will award multiple grants of $100,000 each toward developing the selected ideas. You can read more about the Grand Challenge by clicking here.


–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.

— Register for the Minnesota Scenic Byway Workshop.  The 2019 Scenic Byway Workshop will be held Oct. 15-16 at Eddy’s Resort in Onamia and hosted by the Lake Mille Lacs Scenic Byway. This year’s agenda includes topics that will provide information and direction for the continued sustainability of the Scenic Byways Program. To register, fill out the Scenic Byway Workshop Registration Form and submit it by Oct. 4. Questions? Contact Holly Slagle, state scenic byway coordinator, at 651-366-3623 or holly.slagle@state.mn.us.

— Join MN Compass for a series of FREE workshops in Northeast Minnesota where you can learn how to use the Minnesota Compass Build Your Own data tool to access data by city, county, region, school district, Economic Development Region, Minnesota House or Senate District, US Congressional District, zip code, census tract, and more. Space is limited, so register soon!

  • International Falls Thursday, Oct. 17, 12-1 p.m. Register.
  • Chisholm Wednesday, Oct. 23, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Register.
  • Grand Marais Thursday, Oct. 24, 12-1 p.m. Register.
  • Ely Wednesday, Oct. 30, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Register.

–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.

Midwest Bioenergy Celebration. National Bioenergy Day! A partnership with Heating the Midwest, AURI’s Minnesota Renewable Energy Roundtable and Koda Energy LLC Conference will be held on Wed, October 23, 2019 in Shakopee.  For more information go to: https://www.eventsquid.com/event.cfm?id=6893

— 2019 MCN Annual Conference! The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits annual meeting will be on October 24 and 25 in Rochester

MNwest Entrepreneur Summit “Shaping our Entrepreneur Ecosystem Together” will be October 29th at the University of Minnesota Crookston!  Register Here Today!  Summit Agenda:  https://z.umn.edu/MNwestAgenda

— Register for Minnesota Resorts and Campground Association Fall Conference The Minnesota Resorts and Campground Association (MRCA) Fall Conference will be held Oct. 29-31 at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa.

safeTALK – Preventing Suicide in Agricultural Communities – Faribault Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Department of Health in Faribault, MN on November 20th.  For more information call 651.201.6012  stephen.moser@state.mn.us

–2020 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference Each year, tourism professionals from throughout Minnesota assemble in one of the state’s dynamic regions, excited to network and learn about what is new in tourism. The 2020 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference is the state’s premier industry event and provides relevant breakout sessions, inspiring speakers and many networking opportunities. Gather with tourism colleagues to learn about the latest insights, research and trends in the industry.

Feb. 24-26, 2020
Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center
2100 Arrowwood Lane
Alexandria, MN 56308

Registration details coming soon.

–Hold the Dates:


–Applications for the Bush Foundation’s Bush Fellowship are now officially open.

The Fellowship is a flexible grant of up to $100,000 intended to help you strengthen and develop your leadership. It gives you the resources and time you need to reflect, build your leadership skills and learn new ways to make a positive impact. Here are a few ways past Fellows have used the program to develop their own leadership:

  • Gain a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree.
  • Attend conferences and conventions within or outside of their current expertise and network.
  • Build a network of colleagues and thought partners.
  • Develop business acumen and credentials.

You can find out more information by watching their recorded webinar and then attending one of their live question and answer info sessions:

Additional information can be found on their website. Applications are due by October 24!

–Explore Minnesota Tourism Award Nominations Now Open. The Explore Minnesota Tourism Awards honor some of the best and brightest leaders, important partners and most innovative tourism marketing campaigns in Minnesota. Awards will be presented on Tuesday evening, Feb. 25, during the 2020 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, to be held at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria.

The Explore Minnesota Tourism Awards celebrate the outstanding people, events, marketing initiatives and activities that help make Minnesota a premier travel destination.

  • What campaign made your social channels buzz?
  • What local business is an outstanding partner?
  • Who is a tourism champion in your community?

See the complete list of categories and submit your nomination online. Deadline for awards submissions is Friday, Nov. 15. Questions? Contact David Bergman at 888-563-7777 or david.bergman@state.mn.us

–Submit Your Proposal to Host the 2021 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener. Approaching its 74th year, the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener promotes our natural resources, upholds our fishing heritage and shines an intense media spotlight on our communities. Explore Minnesota is seeking a host community for the 2021 Governor’s Fishing Opener. This event requires significant community involvement and typically garners over $1 million in media exposure for the local area and the state as a whole. To submit an application, please download the RFP and application here. Deadline for submissions is Friday, Dec. 13. Please contact Nicole Lalum at 218-316-3330 or nicole.lalum@state.mn.us with questions.

2020 Minnesota Census Jobs, United States Census Bureau

— 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: Jan 31, 2020.

— Udall Scholarship Scholarships for Native American and Alaska Native students pursuing careers related to tribal public policy, self-governance, native health, and the environment. Application Deadline: Mar 5, 2020.


–The McKnight Foundation announced transformative changes recently, increasing funding focus on two priorities: advancing climate solutions and building a more equitable and inclusive Minnesota. Read more on McKnight’s website

  • The Midwest Climate & Energy program has a new goal: Take bold action to dramatically cut carbon pollution in the Midwest by 2030.
  • The foundation’s new goal around equity: Build a vibrant future for all Minnesotans with shared power, prosperity, and participation.

Nonprofit Impact Matters, a new report released by the National Council of Nonprofits, highlights the work of America’s 1.3 million charitable nonprofits and examines their impact on the people and communities they serve. From improving lives to bolstering local, state, and national economies, we know that nonprofits matter. This new report tells the story of the nonprofit community from the nonprofit perspective. It brings together fresh national and state data about nonprofits, places that data into real‑world context, and applies practical analysis, all designed to share insights on the significant impact that America’s charitable nonprofits have in strengthening communities and improving lives. Read the full report, find state-specific data, and explore additional tools and resources at www.nonprofitimpactmatters.org.

Violence Against Hospital Workers: Growing Awareness, Rural Interventions, and Why It Still Goes Unreported Healthcare workers are four times more likely to be seriously injured on the job than other professionals. Research, tools, and campaigns are equipping rural hospital leaders to better protect their employees and develop a culture of safety.

Rural Response to the Opioid Crisis This topic guide has been updated to include additional info on public awareness and education strategies as well as resources on training the healthcare workforce.

Rural Suicide Prevention Toolkit This new toolkit, created in partnership with the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center and the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, compiles evidence-based models and resources to support organizations employing suicide prevention programs in rural communities. Learn how to implement, evaluate, and sustain suicide prevention programs in your community.

Marketplace Pulse: A Long Look at the Individual Market Interactive map shows insurer participation in the Affordable Care Act marketplace. Highlights data by carriers, year, and exchange status, as well as detailing data by state and county.

Investing in Native Communities: Philanthropic Funding for Native American Communities and Causes Provides access to information about funding in Native communities, and helps practitioners connect with organizations and peers who are grounded in philanthropic work across a range of issue areas. Features statistics including amounts and percentages of annual foundation funding explicitly benefiting Native Americans from 2002-2016, and lists of top foundations and top recipients of grant dollars explicitly benefiting Native Americans in 2015 and 2016, with breakdowns by organization and U.S. region.

–Saluting Service: A Guide to Lending and Farm Program Resources for Veterans. With the average age of a U.S. farmer at nearly 60 years, and millions of acres expected to change hands over the next few years, many Americans are thinking about who the next generation of producers will be. Veterans could step in to fill the need, according to a white paper released this week by the Center for Rural Affairs. “Saluting Service: A Guide to Lending and Farm Program Resources for Veterans” highlights the needs of America’s next generation of producers, which includes individuals who served their country and who are now pursuing a second career in agriculture. Learn more.

–Health Resources and Services Administration, National Academy for State Health Policy, National Organizations of State and Local Officials have developed a toolkit: “State Strategies to Support Older Adults Aging in Place in Rural Areas.”  The toolkit describes state initiatives helping older rural adults age in place by supporting services that allow them to remain in their homes. Strategies are focused around building the workforce, increasing access to services in rural areas, and addressing social determinants of health.  The toolkit includes examples of programs that have already been implemented as well as emerging ideas from several states across the country.  Get the toolkit by clicking here.
–Climate Change
ERS conducts research on a range of climate change issues related to agriculture.

–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 (Rural LISC), Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), and National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) 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, 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 where 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 data collected so far.

Shelterforce’s rural issue looks at rental housing. Click here to access this issue.

–A set of three reports from the United States Census Bureau (click on the title to view the report): Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2018, and The Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2018—found that median household income held steady at $63,179 between 2017 and 2018, and that Social Security, refundable tax credits, housing subsidies, and other federal aid kept nearly 47.8 million people out of poverty.

–On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor announced its Overtime Final Rule that adjusts the salary level test.  This test determines when employees are exempt or must be paid overtime for working more than 40 hours in a week. Once this goes into effect on January 1, 2020, the salary threshold for the white-collar exemption from overtime pay will rise to $684 per week ($35,568 per year). This rule will also raise the salary threshold for highly compensated employees.

The Labor Department has estimated that around 7 percent of nonprofit employees across the country will be impacted by the higher-salary threshold, so this information is crucial for all organizations to understand once it goes into effect on January 1. The National Council of Nonprofits has put together a number of resources on their website for organizations when making sure they are meeting regulations.
–2019 National CDFI Directory. Looking for a community development financial institution (CDFI)? Check the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s 2019 National CDFI Directory, which offers contact information for 492 CDFIs that responded to the Federal Reserve’s 2019 CDFI Survey. The survey was a partnership of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, along with the CDFI Fund, First Nations Oweesta Corporation, Inclusiv, NeighborWorks America, and Opportunity Finance Network. More

–Take the Small Business Credit Survey. If you own or manage a small business, we want to hear from you! Share your perspective on current business conditions and credit availability by taking the Federal Reserve Banks’ 2019 Small Business Credit Survey. The survey takes about ten minutes to complete and is available here; more information about its purpose and past findings can be found 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!