Newsletter – Rural Round Up


Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

Also find online at:

PLEASE NOTE: GIVEN the rapidity of information updates during this COVID-19 time, we encourage you to re-check all dates/info noted in the listings below when you get to the websites from the URLs listed here.  We are not repeating resources provided in May’s newsletter even though some are still available.

Also find the Rural Round-Up online at:

  • Across the Field:
  • SPECIAL COVID-19 FUNDING
  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  • TRAINING/MEETINGS/ WEBINARS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS
  • SPECIAL COVID-19 RESOURCES

Across the Field:

2020 Grads: Your task is to remake the world!
by Jane Leonard

Through all the personal, family, community, state, national, and world tumult with the COVID-19 pandemic, and more recently since George Floyd’s death at the hands of the Minneapolis Police, many of us have also seen and felt another upheaval: the lives of young people we know and love — the high school and college Class of 2020 — commencing their next steps in a world turned upside down from what they knew just a few months back.

Here in St. Anthony Park, we were given a bit of cheer on Sunday when a persistent and distant honking sound moved ever closer to our street and revealed an impromptu parade of about 50 cars festooned with balloons and streamers, with the Class of 2020 aboard — all the high school and college graduates in our community. Everyone popped out of their COVID quarantine homes and cheered and clapped as the parade went by. Their display of public affection, and ours back to them, filled my heart with gratitude and hope for these young folks in our midst.

I leave them, and you, our dear Rural Round-Up Readers, with this timely quote from Franklin Delano Roosevelt, from May of 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression, from a graduation speech he gave that year when he was still Governor of New York:

“We need enthusiasm, imagination and the ability to face facts, even unpleasant ones, bravely. We need the courage of the young. Yours is not the task of making your way in the world, but the task of remaking the world which you will find before you. May every one of us be granted the courage, the faith and the vision to give the best that is in us to that remaking!” 

Indeed, here’s to remaking the world for the better, for all!  Congrats, Class of 2020!


SPECIAL COVID-19 FUNDING

–Tourism Marketing Grants Reallocated to Crisis Tourism Marketing Program. Due to the unforeseen circumstances that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the tourism industry, Explore Minnesota has pivoted the current 2020 Tourism Marketing Grant Program. While we are only a few months into the current tourism marketing grant program, we found that most marketing programs and commitments by our industry partners have paused or are unable to be fulfilled.  Any qualifying expenses incurred between January 1 through June 8, 2020 (tactics must be completed by June 8) may be submitted to Explore Minnesota for reimbursement consideration no later than June 22, 2020.

Any remaining funds from the 2020 Marketing Grant Program will be repurposed and redistributed after June 8, 2020 to create a new Crisis Tourism Marketing grant program available and effective July 1, 2020. Guidelines for the Crisis Tourism Marketing program will be shared in early June. Please contact your Explore Minnesota Regional Staff for additional details.

–The Minnesota Department of Health has developed a presentation to help assisted living facilities in completing applications for the COVID–19 Health Care Response Grant program. Long term care and assisted living stakeholders whose needs continue to increase as the pandemic unfolds have asked for further guidance on eligible and ineligible expenses under the grant.

MDH has also developed a toolkit for long term care facilities responding to COVID-19. The toolkit was created to help facilities plan for a COVID-19 case or be used during an outbreak:
https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/hcp/ltctoolkit.pdf

While there is no deadline for applying for the COVID–19 Health Care Response Grant, we anticipate many requests and recommend applying as soon as possible. There will likely not be enough funds to meet all requests, but MDH will work to fund as many as possible based on an evaluation of need and evolving statewide and regional priorities.

If you have further questions about the grant application process, email:
COVIDgrantapplication.MDH@state.mn.us

If you have questions about the COVID-19 Response Funding, email:
COVIDgrantinfo.MDH@state.mn.us

–USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural America. View the full stakeholder announcement.

USDA to loan up to $1 billion to rural businesses  Talk Business & Politics reports that USDA has announced that the department is making available up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic.  Additionally, agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under USDA Business & Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program provisions included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR $1.5 BILLION IN EDA CARES ACT FUNDS TO RESPOND TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC. The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is now accepting applications from eligible grantees for $1.5 billion in economic assistance to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic using funds authorized by under the CARES Act.  Deadline:  Ongoing.

REGULAR FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Social and Economic Development Strategies Program (SEDS) Grants for tribal community-based organizations, tribes, and village governments for social and economic infrastructure development. The 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. Application Deadline: June 15, 2020.

–The Brookdale Foundation is offering grants for community-based, social model day programs that provide dementia-specific group activities for participants and respite for family caregivers and care partners.  Deadline: 6/24/2020.  Click here to review application guidelines.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia Group Respite and Early Memory Loss Grants for community-based, social model day programs that provide dementia-specific group activities for participants and respite for family caregivers and care partners. Application Deadline: June 24, 2020.

OTTO BREMER TRUST.  The Otto Bremer Trust is dedicated to building healthy, vibrant communities—places where basic needs are met, mutual regard is prized, and opportunities for economic, civic, and social participation are within everyone’s reach. The Trust provides grants to nonprofit organizations whose beneficiaries are residents of Minnesota, North Dakota, or western Wisconsin, with priority given to communities or regions served by Bremer Bank. The focus is on supporting initiatives in the following broad categories: basic needs, community asset building, health and well-being, and restorative and emergency services. (There are separate focus areas for organizations serving the Minnesota/St. Paul metropolitan region.) The upcoming application deadline is 6/30/2020.

–USDA is offering funding through the Strategic Economic and Community Development Program, which allows USDA to give priority for projects that support the implementation of regional economic development plans through several USDA Rural Development funding programs.  Deadline: 6/30/2020.  Click here to review program guidelines.

Community Economic Development Projects Grants to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) for projects designed to address the economic needs of low-income individuals and families through the creation of employment and business opportunities, including expansion or construction of clinics and health centers. Priority points will be given to projects that create jobs in rural communities and counties of persistent poverty. Application Deadline: July 3, 2020.

Healthy Food Financing Initiative Targeted Small Grants Program Financial assistance to support projects that improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, create and preserve quality jobs, and revitalize low income communities. Application Deadline: July 10, 2020.

–USDA Rural Development is also offering grant support to help rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. Deadline to apply: 7/13/2020.  Click here for an Application Guide.

School Based Mental Health Services Grant Program Grants to increase the number of qualified mental health service professionals providing school based mental health services to students in local educational agencies with a demonstrated need. Educational agencies in rural areas are a program priority. Application Deadline: July 13, 2020.

–Minnesota Housing and its partners announce the launch of the 2020 Consolidated Request for Proposals (RFP). Our vision is that all Minnesotans live and thrive in a safe, stable home they can afford in a community of their choice. This annual Consolidated RFP process advances that vision by making funding available to help construct and preserve homes that are affordable in communities throughout Minnesota.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to every community in the state. Most of the Minnesota Housing staff team has converted to teleworking. Minnesota Housing remains operational across all divisions and continues to process construction draws, complete closings, and provide technical assistance. Please continue to reach out to us with proposals and questions.

Minnesota continues to need homes that are deeply affordable. To help keep housing production moving forward, the Consolidated RFP has launched. However, we recognize that many of our community partners are focused on addressing immediate needs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of that, we have extended the application deadline to July 16, 2020. Selection announcements are anticipated to be made at the December 2020 Minnesota Housing Board meeting. For more information go to: https://t.e2ma.net/message/7t0i6b/75td7g

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: July 17, 2020.

Transit Planning for All Mobility on Demand Projects Funding for inclusive transportation planning, development, and implementation with grassroots-driven mobility on demand solutions. Application Deadline: July 31, 2020.

NEA OUR TOWN.  The purpose of this National Endowment for the Arts program is to support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities. Eligibility Requirements: State and local governments; Native American tribal governments; institutions of higher education; school districts; and nonprofit organizations.  Deadline: August 6, 2020.

Tribal Transportation Program Safety Funds Funding for tribal governments for the purposes of transportation projects related to safety, safety planning, and safety/ infrastructure. Application Deadline: August 20, 2020.

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: September 13, 2020.

Rural Digital Opportunity Fund: Auction 904 The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund is designed to bring high speed fixed broadband service to rural homes and small businesses that lack access. The first phase of the FCC reverse auction will target over six million homes and businesses in census blocks that are entirely unserved by voice and broadband with download speeds of at least 25 Mbps. Application Deadline: October 22, 2020.

–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. Requests will be accepted on a rolling basis through 12/31/2020. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.

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. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Health Center Facility Loan Guarantee Program Facilitates access to capital funding and reduces financing costs for health centers by guaranteeing up to 80% of financing needed to support capital infrastructure projects. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Opportunity Zone Economic Development Program A program designed to encourage economic development and job creation in distressed communities through tax benefits. Investors may defer taxes on most capital gains up to Dec. 31, 2026 by making an eligible investment in an Opportunity Zone. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

–The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) provides zero-interest loans to small businesses for capital equipment purchases that meet or exceed environmental regulations, and costs related to the investigation and cleanup of contaminated sites. Some eligible projects include purchasing a solvent recycler, installing a new paint booth to switch to water-borne paint, and installing updated equipment that reduces emissions from refrigerants. Many small business loan projects lead to fewer regulatory requirements, lower waste disposal bills and less exposure to harmful chemicals for your employees, your customers and your neighbors.

Eligibility and conditions – Many business sectors are eligible. Projects that reduce regulatory obligations are highly encouraged. To quality, a borrower must be an existing small business corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or association with:

  • Fewer than 100 full-time employees
  • An after-tax profit of less than $500,000
  • A demonstrated ability to repay the loan

Loan terms and conditions:

  • Loan amount between $1,000 and $75,000
  • 0% interest rate
  • Repayment term up to seven years
  • Flexibility in the types of collateral accepted
  • Awarded throughout the year

TRAINING/ MEETINGS/ WEBINARS

“Utilizing Federal Data to Measure the Digital Divide Webinar” will be held June 17, 2020 at 2:00 PM EDT. National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) BroadbandUSA is providing this webinar learning opportunity on federal data sources, current trends and how to access local information on broadband efforts. This webinar will feature NTIA and U.S. Census Bureau data findings.

–Grounded Solutions Network National Conference will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 21-24, 2020.

–The Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held October 22-23 in Brooklyn Center.

OPPORTUNITIES

–The 2020 Tekne Awards are now open! They honor innovation in science and technology.  For information go to:  https://tekneawards.org/award/2020-award-categories

–The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits is pleased to announce the annual Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards. In partnership with the McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation that advances a more just, creative, and abundant future where people and planet thrive, four Minnesotans, two from the Twin Cities metro and two from Greater Minnesota, will each receive $10,000 in recognition of the significant impact they have had on the state of Minnesota and its communities. Nominations are open until June 18.

Award Criteria: A Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero is an individual who has had a significant impact on the state of Minnesota and its communities. This individual:

  • Has played a significant role on creating a positive impact on Minnesota and its communities.
  • Has not been widely recognized for their work in the past.

Nominate an unsung hero in your community.

SBA: Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program-Loan Increases.  The Small Business Administration has published an additional interim final rule, supplementing the previous rules for the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The new rule is effective May 19, 2020 and increases certain PPP loan amounts. Comments on the change are due by June 18, 2020.

FCC: Establishing a 5G Fund for Rural America The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a proposed rule to retarget universal service funding for mobile broadband and voice in the high-cost program to support the deployment of 5G services by establishing the 5G Fund for rural America. Comments on the proposed rule and implementation of the 5G Fund are due by June 25, 2020.

Apply for a Position on the Explore Minnesota Tourism Council There are 10 open positions on the Explore Minnesota Tourism Council, the 28-person board appointed by the governor to serve in an advisory capacity to Explore Minnesota.

–Current and Former Frontier Customers May be Eligible for Rebates or Bill Credits – July 20 Deadline! https://wp.me/p3if7-61q

MISCELLANEOUS

2020 Compass Points now available. Minnesota Compass has released Compass Points 2020, our annual indicators report. This year’s report includes data and analysis about populations at risk of being under counted in the 2020 Census, a dashboard that highlights how Minnesota is doing in key topic areas, and what’s new and coming soon on MNCompass.org.

–Minnesota Primary Election and Updates: Minnesota’s online absentee ballot application opens on May 13 (https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/other-ways-to-vote/vote-early-by-mail/) for both the August 11th primary and November 3rd election.

— More Changes to the Census Operational Timeline. On April 13, 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau, in order to protect a fair, accurate, and safe count in these unprecedented times, announced additional adjustments to the census operational timeline. Self-response, the phase where households respond to the census online, by mail, or phone, is extended to October 31, 2020. Nonresponse follow up is now scheduled to start on August 11, 2020. This is the second adjustment made this year. View the Census Bureau website for more details on the changes.

Rural census response is running behind, especially online; interactive maps show how your county is doing.  The Rural Blog reports that rural residents are filling out their census forms more slowly than other Americans, according to the Housing Assistance Council, which helps build homes in the rural U.S.  As of May 17, almost 60 percent of U.S. households had responded to the census. HAC used Census Bureau data and a tract-level analysis to estimate response rates for rural, suburban, and urban census tracts.  Suburban areas had the response rate, 66%, rural and small-town tracts were at 53%.

–MN Broadband Maps and Rankings are Out! The Office of Broadband Development recently posted broadband coverage maps for Minnesota Counties. See how your county ranks for broadband access at speeds of 25 Mbps up and 3 down, 100 Mbps up and 20 down or Gig access.

–MN County Prosperity Ranking. Go Daddy releases Venture Forward, a report on the impact of local ventures on a community and impact of community on local ventures. Diving into the report, we created a list of the Top 10 in Venture Density, in Highly Active Ventures, in greatest change and other factors.

Cultivating Resilience in Rural Communities Toolkit A collection of resources to prepare and plan for a conversation on mental health in agriculture. Includes a facilitator planning guide and checklist, participant worksheet, promotional flier, and more.

Revealing Rural Realities: What Fuels Inaccurate and Incomplete Coverage of Rural Issues  is a new report co-produced by The Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group, Housing Assistance Council, Center for Rural Strategies, and Hattaway Communications looks at how ongoing changes in the structure and business of media and journalism contribute to the gap between rural realities and public perception of rural America.

How Artists Helped a Housing Organization Adapt to Demographic Change.  A Shelterforce article takes an in-depth look at the many lessons the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership learned after receiving a multi-million dollar grant to integrate arts and culture strategies in its work.

Employment & Education USDA ERS research in this area focuses on labor market conditions and educational attainment in rural (nonmetropolitan) America. The labor market measures discussed here include the level of employment, the employment/population ratio, the unemployment rate, and the labor force participation rate. Educational attainment is closely linked to labor market outcomes. While rural areas are closing the gap with urban areas in high school completion, there is a large and growing gap in college and postgraduate educational attainment, even among young adults.

SPECIAL COVID-19 RESOURCES

–There is so much news and data about the COVID-19 pandemic that some people are calling it an “infodemic.” That’s why Minnesota Compass compiled a special COVID-19 section for its website. As a reliable and trusted source for Minnesota data and trend analysis, Minnesota Compass has up-to-date information and insights on how the COVID-19 pandemic has made an impact on our communities, economy and quality of life.

What you’ll find:

NRHA Creates Rural COVID-19 Technical Assistance Center The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) created the Rural COVID-19 Technical Assistance Center to help rural providers overcome barriers they face during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Technical Assistance Center will focus on finance/reimbursement and operations/supplies, assessing and triaging needs to ensure rural communities are equipped with knowledge, resources, and connections.

–TNTP has created a new COVID-19 School Response Toolkit, including the full Learning Acceleration Guide and other free resources to help school systems implement at-home learning, survey stakeholders about their experiences during the crisis, run a virtual teacher hiring process, and much more.

COVID-19 Resources on Vulnerable Populations.  Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services provides a collection of federal COVID-19 resources for those working with vulnerable populations, including people living in rural areas, older adults, those with underlying medical conditions, racial and ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities. Data offers information for healthcare professionals, researchers, community partners, consumers, and patients.

–The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced the launch of the COVID Coach app, a new mobile app designed to help both veterans and civilians cope with feelings of stress and anxiety they may be experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The app includes practical tools, information and resources that can all be used from the safety of one’s home to track well-being, mood swings and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms.

The Case for Opportunity Zone Investments in Rural Areas.  For investors battered by the stock market, Opportunity Zones offer a win-win. Opportunity Zones allow investors to benefit from the initiative’s capital gains tax breaks, to make money, accomplish multi-generational long-term financial planning and diversify their portfolios away from equities. The tool has been underutilized in rural areas, despite the potential these areas hold.

–Prosperity Now has released a new report, The Cascading Impact of COVID-19 on Microbusinesses. The devastating financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have hit small businesses, particularly microbusinesses (businesses with 0-9 employees), like a tsunami wave with no end in sight. The report released today, looks at why businesses owned by people of color, women, and immigrants were highly susceptible to an economic downturn prior to the pandemic. It also details how microbusinesses, which are historically the most vulnerable to financial shocks, have been severely impacted by the virtual stoppage of economic activity in the sectors of the economy where they are most represented – including the food service industry, retail, and accommodation services.

Perspectives from Main Street: The Impact of COVID-19 on Communities and the Entities Serving Them reflects the opinions of 3,899 respondents across the United States.  COVID-19 is having a significant disruption on organizations serving low- and moderate-income people, according to community organizations nationwide. Respondents are split, though, about whether their recovery will be quick or difficult. That’s one of the takeaways from a survey released May 1 by the Federal Reserve System.

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!

MAY 2020 – Volume XVIII — Number 5
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

PLEASE NOTE: GIVEN the rapidity of information updates during this COVID-19 time, we encourage you to re-check all dates/info noted in the listings below when you get to the websites from the URLs listed here.  We are not repeating resources provided in April’s newsletter even though some are still available.

Also find the Rural Round-Up online at:

  • Across the Field:
  • SPECIAL COVID-19 FUNDING
  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  • TRAINING/MEETINGS/ WEBINARS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS
  • SPECIAL COVID-19 RESOURCES

Across the Field:

Please join 100 Rural Women  next week as they open the first in a series of online meetings to honor and learn from rural women at the “The Women’s Rural Breakfast Club” on Tuesday, May 19th, from 8-9 a.m.

Rural women have always been at the forefront of positive change, collaboration, and community and economy building — before, during, and after disasters like Covid-19. I continue to be inspired by the rural woman I am named after, Sarah Jane Romans Bezanson (and those who came after, standing on her shoulders).

Known as “Aunt Jane” to the thousands who knew her, she immigrated from Nova Scotia to the tiny town of Lawrence (now Wahkon), Minnesota, as a young wife and mother, helped start the Presbyterian church in 1907, managed a farm and hotel, and served ALL who came looking for help and guidance, no matter their station in life.

In her 1951 high school graduation speech, my mother, Betty Berg Leonard, said that Aunt Jane was “the one who influenced me most….She was good, not a silent, gentle good, but a willful, wonderful good, fired with energy and purpose. She looked into your eyes when you talked with her. Everything she did was in service.”

I’m happy to say that many more Aunt Janes still exist all over rural Minnesota, they still influence me, and some will be recognized next week at the afore-mentioned  “Women’s Rural Breakfast Club”.  (Aunt Jane will definitely be there in spirit!).

According to 100 Rural Women organizer Teresa Kittridge, the meeting on May 19 will feature “knowledgeable, accomplished, positive thinking and inspiring female leaders based in the Central Region of Minnesota” (home of Aunt Jane, by the way!). They will share their work in economic development, the impacts of COVID 19, identify resources for rural women, with plenty of time for Q&A.

The presenters are Katie Heppner, Executive Director,  West Central Economic Development Alliance; Cheryal Lee Hills, Executive Director,  Region Five Development Commission; and

Sandy Voigt, Central Director Women’s Business Alliance Entrepreneur Fund.

Teresa organized the program because, “We believe it is more important than ever during COVID19 to lift up the work of rural women leaders, share resources with each other, network, and continue to develop as leaders in these unpredictable times we are living in.” Aunt Jane would heartily agree!

Here’s the Link for the Breakfast Club’s ZOOM Webinar: https://minnstate.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_9bYomw41ScC6o_hSoo5bjg

Please contact Teresa with any questions – and see you there!

SPECIAL COVID-19 FUNDING

Special Edition Grants Directory (free; third edition) has been put together by the MN Council of Nonprofits.

 A one-stop-shop of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide (PDF, 349 KB).

 A few of the resources that the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) team has put together:

RHS: Direct Loan Payment Deferrals for the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Notice from the USDA Rural Housing Service of a temporary policy allowing borrowers with direct loans from the Community Facilities Program that are having temporary cash flow issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic to request payment deferrals for up to one year. The policy is effective May 12, 2020 and allows payment deferrals requests to be submitted until September 30, 2020.

–FEMA and The U.S. Department of Homeland Security are offering grants for fire departments, EMS organizations, and fire academies for equipment, training, personnel wellness programs, capital funding, and collaboration/regional communication efforts. This additional funding round focuses on Personal Protective Equipment and supplies needed to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Deadline:  5/15/2020.  Click here to review grant guidelines.

–The NDN COLLECTIVE’s COVID-19 Response Project provides rapid response funding to established, Indigenous-led, community-based organizations and tribes throughout the U.S. Grants are available to support the following services and relief efforts: medical supplies, food delivery, youth and elder care, educational access, shelter and housing, economic relief, social-emotional support, cultural and spirit-aligned support, and access to accurate information. Deadline:  applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through 5/29/2020 Click here to review application guidelines.

–The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering funding to strengthen the tribal public health system to carry out surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory capacity, infection control, mitigation, communications, and other preparedness and response activities in response to COVID-19. Deadline: 5/31/2020.  Review CDC guidelines by clicking here.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is providing assistance through the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund for hospitals and other healthcare providers to support expenses and lost revenue due to COVID-19 and to provide testing and treatment for uninsured Americans.  Deadline: applications accepted on an ongoing basis.  Click here to review application guidelines.

–The OMIDYAR NETWORK’s COVID-19 Economic Response Advocacy Fund will infuse 501(c)(4) funding into national, state, and local advocacy and organizing efforts aimed at passing economic stimulus to address the immediate toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on working people while reshaping our economic structure to ensure they are less vulnerable in the future. Omidyar Network will award $1.5 million to groups working to realign this nation’s economic policies and systems so that they work better for everyone. The majority of the grants from the Fund will be for $75,000 or less. Deadline: applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout 2020Click here to learn more about this Fund.

REGULAR FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program Funding for states, tribes, and local governments to plan, implement, or expand a criminal justice and mental health collaboration program. The program supports officer and public safety and violence reduction through social service and other partnerships that will enhance and increase law enforcement responses to people with mental illness and co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse. Application Deadline: May 18, 2020.

USDA is offering grants through The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program Formerly known as the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program (FINI) to support projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase. The program will test strategies that could contribute to our understanding of how best to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants.  Deadline:  5/18/2020.  Review program guidelines by clicking here.

Direct Services for Victims of Human Trafficking Grants to develop, expand, or strengthen victim service programs for victims of human trafficking. Rural communities are a priority. Application Deadline: May 18, 2020.

— U.S. Department of Justice is offering grants to develop, implement, and/or expand comprehensive programs in response to illicit opioids, stimulants, or other substances of abuse. The program provides resources to support state, local, Tribal, and territorial efforts to reduce violent crime and drug abuse and enhance public safety while supporting victims.  Deadline: 5/21/2020.  Click here for application guidelines.

USDA is offering grants through the Farmers Market Promotion Program which supports projects that develop, coordinate, and expand direct producer-to-consumer markets to help increase access to and availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products. The focus is on developing, coordinating, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, online sales, or other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. Deadline: 05/26/2020.  Click here to review program guidelines.

–The MPCA is requesting proposals for recycling market development projects. There is $400,000 in funding available for projects that will build lasting capacity to support recycling markets in Minnesota. The goal is to increase recycling feedstock value, increase end market capacity, divert recyclable materials from disposal, and create jobs in Minnesota. Deadline for submission is May 29, 2020. Visit the MPCA web site for more information including eligibility requirements for applicants and projects.

Household Water Well System 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 31, 2020.

Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program Grants to plan or implement food projects designed to meet the needs of low-income individuals and increase community self-reliance concerning food and nutrition. Application Deadline: Jun 3, 2020.

–USDA is offering National Institute of Food and Agriculture grants to plan or implement food projects to meet the needs of low-income individuals and increase community self-reliance concerning food and nutrition. Deadline: 6/3/2020.  Click here to review program guidelines.

Social and Economic Development Strategies Program (SEDS) Grants for tribal community-based organizations, tribes, and village governments for social and economic infrastructure development. The 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. Application Deadline: Jun 15, 2020.

–The Brookdale Foundation is offering grants for community-based, social model day programs that provide dementia-specific group activities for participants and respite for family caregivers and care partners.  Deadline: 6/24/2020.  Click here to review application guidelines.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia Group Respite and Early Memory Loss Grants for community-based, social model day programs that provide dementia-specific group activities for participants and respite for family caregivers and care partners.
Application Deadline: Jun 24, 2020.

USDA is offering funding through the Strategic Economic and Community Development Program, which allows USDA to give priority for projects that support the implementation of regional economic development plans through several USDA Rural Development funding programs.  Deadline: 6/30/2020.  Click here to review program guidelines.

–USDA Rural Development is also offering grant support to help rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. Deadline to apply: 7/13/2020.  Click here for an Application Guide.

–Minnesota Housing and its partners announce the launch of the 2020 Consolidated Request for Proposals (RFP). Our vision is that all Minnesotans live and thrive in a safe, stable home they can afford in a community of their choice. This annual Consolidated RFP process advances that vision by making funding available to help construct and preserve homes that are affordable in communities throughout Minnesota.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to every community in the state. Most of the Minnesota Housing staff team has converted to teleworking. Minnesota Housing remains operational across all divisions and continues to process construction draws, complete closings, and provide technical assistance. Please continue to reach out to us with proposals and questions.

Minnesota continues to need homes that are deeply affordable. To help keep housing production moving forward, the Consolidated RFP has launched. However, we recognize that many of our community partners are focused on addressing immediate needs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of that, we have extended the application deadline to July 16, 2020. Selection announcements are anticipated to be made at the December 2020 Minnesota Housing Board meeting. For more information go to: https://t.e2ma.net/message/7t0i6b/75td7g

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: Sep 13, 2020.

Rural Digital Opportunity Fund: Auction 904 The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund is designed to bring high speed fixed broadband service to rural homes and small businesses that lack access. The first phase of the FCC reverse auction will target over six million homes and businesses in census blocks that are entirely unserved by voice and broadband with download speeds of at least 25 Mbps. Application Deadline: Oct 22, 2020.

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. Requests will be accepted on a rolling basis through 12/31/2020. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.

–The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) provides zero-interest loans to small businesses for capital equipment purchases that meet or exceed environmental regulations, and costs related to the investigation and cleanup of contaminated sites. Some eligible projects include purchasing a solvent recycler, installing a new paint booth to switch to water-borne paint, and installing updated equipment that reduces emissions from refrigerants. Many small business loan projects lead to fewer regulatory requirements, lower waste disposal bills and less exposure to harmful chemicals for your employees, your customers and your neighbors.

Eligibility and conditions – Many business sectors are eligible. Projects that reduce regulatory obligations are highly encouraged. To quality, a borrower must be an existing small business corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or association with:

  • Fewer than 100 full-time employees
  • An after-tax profit of less than $500,000
  • A demonstrated ability to repay the loan

Loan terms and conditions:

  • Loan amount between $1,000 and $75,000
  • 0% interest rate
  • Repayment term up to seven years
  • Flexibility in the types of collateral accepted
  • Awarded throughout the year

TRAINING/ MEETINGS/ WEBINARS

–MCN’s first-ever fundraising, communications, and technology conference, ACTcon (May 5, St. Paul), has been moved to August 13 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. All current registrants will receive further details as soon as they are finalized.

–Grounded Solutions Network National Conference will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 21-24, 2020.

–The Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held October 22-23 in Brooklyn Center.

OPPORTUNITIES

—-STEM Scholarship applications are open! Minnesota undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering, math and STEM-adjacent disciplines may be eligible to receive a $2,500 or $5,000 scholarship from the MHTA Foundation. Learn more and apply here. 

–MN Broadband Task Force looking for one more member https://wp.me/p3if7-61B

Nominate a nonprofit doing amazing work in advocacy.  Every day, nonprofits work to advocate for those who have no voice. MCN invites you to nominate your nonprofit (or one you know about) doing award-worthy work advocating for communities across Minnesota for a 2020 Nonprofit Mission Award. Types of advocacy work honored in this category could include: systems change, legislative action, civic engagement, grassroots advocacy, etc. Nominations close by Monday, May 18.

–It’s not too late to bring in bright, motivated talent – SciTech can help! Colleges across the state are scrambling to find internships for their students and have been reaching out to MHTA’s SciTech Internship program for help. If you are a small company with the bandwidth to hire a STEM intern (or five!), we’d love to help you connect to great talent. SciTech is free and provides a 50% wage match that reimburses companies for up to $2,500 per intern. More than 60 wage matches are still available for this year. Learn more and enroll today! 

Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service Monetary awards that honor health delivery organizations that have demonstrated exceptional commitment to community service. Application Deadline: May 22, 2020.

The American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarships for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Indigenous Canadian students seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees at Tribal colleges and universities and nonprofit, accredited schools in the United States. Application Deadline: May 31, 2020.

Agricultural Safety and Health: Core Course Registration Fee Waivers Awards course registration fee waivers to attend the Agricultural Safety and Health Core Course to be held in Iowa in June, 2020. Application Deadline: June 7, 2020.

–Current and Former Frontier Customers May be Eligible for Rebates or Bill Credits – July 20 Deadline! https://wp.me/p3if7-61q

MISCELLANEOUS

Minnesota Primary Election and Updates:

* Minnesota’s primary election is Tuesday, August 11.

* Students can find information about their voter registration status and upcoming elections on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Elections & Voting website (https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/). The Minnesota Secretary of State has also created a 2020 Elections and COVID-19 webpage (https://www.sos.state.mn.us/election-administration-campaigns/elections-calendar/2020-elections-and-covid-19/) .

* Minnesota’s online absentee ballot application opens on May 13 (https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/other-ways-to-vote/vote-early-by-mail/) for both the August 11th primary and November 3rd election.

More Changes to the Census Operational Timeline. On April 13, 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau, in order to protect a fair, accurate, and safe count in these unprecedented times, announced additional adjustments to the census operational timeline. Self-response, the phase where households respond to the census online, by mail, or phone, is extended to October 31, 2020. Nonresponse follow up is now scheduled to start on August 11, 2020. This is the second adjustment made this year. View the Census Bureau website for more details on the changes.

The Census Bureau also posts frequently on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/uscensusbureau/) . Check out the U.S. Census Bureau’s response rate mapping tool (https://2020census.gov/en/response-rates.html) that displays self-response rates on a state-by-state basis. (Minnesota is in the lead, by the way…)

Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America View the diversity of challenges and opportunities across America’s counties. View indicators about people, jobs, income, veterans, and county types. The atlas has been updated to include American Community Survey 2014-18 (5-year average) county-level data, and 2018 poverty and income measures based on the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE).

Minnesota researcher studies how rural co-ops can build solar capacity. Read more… 

SPECIAL COVID-19 RESOURCES

–The Census Bureau has launched an additional rapid-response survey to gauge COVID-19 impact on Americans. The survey started to be sent out via email and text on April 23. Survey questions cover topics such as whether a person is working, has lost income from their job, is experiencing mental health symptoms, is supporting a K-12 child who is learning at home, and whether that child has digital access (computer, internet, etc.).  Read an NPR article about the rapid-response survey here, and see the full 50-question survey by clicking here.

–RSM Corona Virus Resource Center is a resource center to help navigate the Federal Reserve’s new loan offerings for small- and medium-size businesses. Learn more 

— The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis has created a dashboard which includes data sets from unemployment claims to TSA checkpoint counts and they are monitoring other data sources to inform policymakers and help us all better understand the pandemic’s impact. https://www.minneapolisfed.org/region-and-community/regional-economic-indicators/covid-19-and-the-ninth-district-economy-a-dashboard

COVID-19: Agriculture’s ominous feeling.  Respondents filled with uncertainty in the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis’s first quarter ag credit conditions survey.

AgriSafe Learning: COVID-19 Rapid Response Online learning opportunities and resources for farmers, ranchers, farmworkers, and others involved in agriculture related to COVID-19.

UMASH – COVID-19 Resources Presents resources and information pertaining to COVID-19 for farmers and farmworkers in the Midwest. Features national and state-level information for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and North and South Dakota. Includes resources for Spanish speakers.

Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health – COVID-19 Resources Offers information and resources to help agricultural communities address the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes links to prevention and preparedness tips and videos, financial resources, information on staying connected, and general COVID-19 facts and updates.

–The Blandin Foundation will be hosting weekly online roundtables for community leaders to learn, listen or share stories about community broadband. https://wp.me/p3if7-661

–Meetings in the Time of Coronavirus: Tips and Tricks of online meetings webinar archive https://wp.me/p3if7-5ZV

University of Minnesota Tourism Center Offering Free Webinar Series The University of Minnesota Tourism Center is offering a free series of four 30-minute webinars on COVID-19 and the tourism industry.

U.S. Travel Presents Industrywide Guidelines to Reopen Travel Together as a travel industry, and with counsel from medical advisors, U.S. Travel Association has put together a “Travel in the New Normal” document in collaboration with the travel industry and signed by vertical trade associations representing thousands of organizations that comprise the entire travel industry.

COVID-19 Resources Are Available –Information from the State of MN:

Mental Health: If you’re worried about a loved one, or if you want someone to talk to, know you can reach out. We have a website with mental health resources. You’re not alone in this challenge.

Child Care: We understand that the COVID-19 has disrupted child care plans for many families. The child care landscape has been greatly impacted by this pandemic. Find resources and information for child care providers and families here.

Housing: We created this webpage to provide a centralized location for all Minnesota Housing updates and information related to COVID-19.

Emergency food support: Due to COVID-19 pandemic, many Minnesota families face difficult times. It may be hard to pay bills and find food to stay healthy. If you or someone you know has been laid off from work or seen work hours cut, help may be available. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can help you buy food while budgets are tight.

Unemployment Support: Minnesota is one of the first states in the nation to implement both the $600 per week additional compensation and the 13-week extension of benefits available under the CARES Act. Find these and answers to other unemployment questions here.

You can find links to these resources and additional help for employers and employees, volunteer opportunities, and information about donating personal protective equipment our COVID-19 website.

Centralize information and links to for artists and creative workers resources on Springboard for the Arts’ Coronavirus Resource Page to help you find information that can support your business or your artistic practice, including grant programs and emergency relief for artists and creative workers.

— Artists and Creative Workers: Please take Americans for the Art’s COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers so we can ensure that our nation’s political leaders understand the impact this crisis is having on artists.

–Resources to help arts organizations weather this storm. For now, they are listed at MCA’s Coronavirus Resource page and Springboard’s page for organizations.

Art and Cultural Organizations: Please take the Americans for the Arts Economic Impact of COVID-19 On Arts and Cultural Organizations survey to ensure that our nation’s political leaders understand the impact this crisis is having on our sector.

What do MN arts groups need to survive coronavirus? Broadband makes the shortlist https://wp.me/p3if7-601

Setting up an arts business online https://wp.me/p3if7-62U

Nonprofit Quarterly published an article, “It’s Different This Time: Handling Nonprofit Staff Cuts Under COVID-19.”  This article examines various considerations that nonprofit organizations must weigh when making staff reduction decisions.  Click here to read the article.

COVID-19: What Nonprofits Need to Know. MN Council of Nonprofits continues to provide updates as well as resources that may help you navigate the issues you and your nonprofit may currently be facing. New resources available at COVID-19 resource page

The Communities Strategies Group of The Aspen Institute has published “Redesign Required: Principles for Federal Rural Policy in the COVID-19 Era.”  This report is the first in a three-part blog series on principles, ideas, and implementation considerations essential to ensuring that development investments that are part of COVID-19 relief and recovery set the stage for thriving rural communities and a more distributed, inclusive economy.  Get the full report 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!

PLEASE NOTE: GIVEN the rapidity of information updates during this COVID-19 time, we encourage you to re-check all dates/info noted in the listings below when you get to the websites from the URLs listed here.

Also find the Rural Round-Up online at:

  • Across the Field: COPING WITH COVID
  • SPECIAL COVID-19 FUNDING
  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  • TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS
  • SPECIAL COVID-19 RESOURCES

Across the Field: Coping with COVID & Planning for Our Life Ahead

Dear Rural Round-Up Readers:

It’s been a while since I wrote the Across the Field column. I wanted to reach out and let you know that Deb, Ann, and I hope you and your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues are doing okay in the face of this extraordinary life (and livelihood) challenge that most of us, me included, cannot yet fully grasp.

I do know that I am exceedingly grateful to be living in Minnesota, where we know how to work together and help each other in the face of crisis. We drop the paralyzing politics and kick up the kindness, for people we know and for people we might never meet.

This issue of the Round-Up is pretty long. Thanks to Deb’s digging, it’s chockfull of resources related to the COVID-19 fight. It also shares info on resources that help keep a part of our brains and hearts focused on life and opportunities beyond the trauma that confronts us now.

As you know, COVID-related info can change daily, so take some of the “up-to-the-minute” info here below with that in mind.  Stay safe and please be there for one another as best you can.

–Jane Leonard

SPECIAL COVID-19 FUNDING

Here’s a list of what the Round-Up has gleaned from different sources. Big thanks to our friends at the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation, the Brainerd Lakes Chamber, and the Small Business Finance Corporation for compiling a short summary of special COVID-19 funding from local, state, and federal sources.

Note that there will likely be other local/regional resources originating from your localities that are not listed below (and please send info you know about but don’t see here to Jane Leonard at minntwin@comcast.net – we’ll post weekly updates!)

For other region-specific resources: check with your Regional Development Commissions and Minnesota’s Initiative Foundations.

Non-profits can also check out resources from PROPEL Nonprofits and MN Council of Non-Profits

And Minnesota’s philanthropic community has put together the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund for coronavirus created to support community needs as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. The MDRF funds both short and long-term needs that arise within communities, due to coronavirus or future disasters that occur within the state of Minnesota. Funds are raised through philanthropic entities. To date, $6 million has been raised for this fund.

And here’s the list of other resources – state, federal & more; thanks to our Brainerd colleagues for organizing this list:

Federal CARES Act (One-Pager, Simple Summary)

Paycheck Protection Program (One-PagerApplication Guide)

  • A new $350 billion loan program at SBA for small businesses, self-employed, and gig workers to help them from going under due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If employers maintain payroll, the loans would be forgiven.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (US Chamber GuideChecklistSBA Guide)

  • Provides working capital loans of up to $2 million to help overcome temporary loss of revenue. Small business owners are now eligible to apply for an advance of up to $10,000. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and the advance does not have to be repaid. 

Employee Retention Tax Credit (US Chamber Guide)

  • A new tax credit for employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses. Generally, 50% tax credit for the first $10,000 of compensation for each eligible employee. Employers who receive a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan are not eligible.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act  (Workplace PosterEmployer OverviewFAQ)

Federal Department of Labor program requires businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide their employees with paid sick or family leave related to COVID-19. Applies to those under quarantine or those caring for quarantined individuals. Generally starts at 80 hours of paid leave.

Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loans (DEED Overview)

Interest-free loans up to $35,000 available to Minnesota-based businesses in consumer-oriented sectors like restaurants, fitness centers and salons. Loans will be paid back monthly over 5 years and the first payment is deferred 6 months. Partial forgiveness may be available.

Note: This program has likely received applications that exceed available funds. We would still encourage businesses to apply if appropriate. The state legislature may add more funds in the future.

Minnesota Unemployment Insurance (Updates & FAQ)

Generally replaces 50% of an employee’s income (up to $740/week) with no standard waiting period or employer penalties due to COVID-19. The Shared Work Program allows employers to enable benefits if they reduce hours in lieu of layoffs. It is still unclear of how or when people can access an additional $600/week, per the federal CARES Act.

We would strongly encourage everyone to monitor the Minnesota Chamber COVID-19 Toolkit for the frequently updated links and advice.

A Guide for Minnesota Small Businesses Who Need Help Over the past few weeks, several state and federal programs have been announced to assist small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Different programs make sense for different businesses, so we’re providing a summary guide to help small businesses quickly see which programs might be right for their situation. View this new guide on the DEED website to see at a glance all the programs available now to businesses.

COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants. The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) approved a new grant program. ECRAC developed the COVID-19 emergency response grant to provide funding of up to $600 for artists and art organizations to do art projects online or in other forms during the current shut down of arts venues. This grant is for artists and art organizations who have had projects cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. We are striving to encourage the practice of social distancing sheltering at home. Projects may be in any form or discipline, including performance, dance, storytelling, photography, film, sculpture, painting, and more.   Applicants must show that they can do the project without violating any public health guidelines. For example, no in-person activities are allowed at this time. Projects can be virtual or broadcasted events. ECRAC COVID-19 Emergency Response Grant

Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund Stipends for volunteer first responders whose homes have been impacted by a state or federally declared disaster; a home fire; or those who have lost jobs or wages due to COVID-19 related illness, quarantine, or volunteer response activities. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Sponsor: National Volunteer Fire Council.

–U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has announced emergency loans through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which allocated $350 billion to help small businesses and nonprofits keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to eligible organizations.  Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.  Click here for a guide, Questions & Answers to some frequently asked questions, and more information on this relief measure.

–U.S. Department of Labor is offering National Dislocated Worker Grant funding to address the emergency response to COVID-19. U.S. Department of Labor Employment Recovery Dislocated Worker Grants (DWGs) provide resources to states and other eligible applicants to respond to major economic dislocations, such as large, unexpected layoff events that cause significant job losses.  Deadline:  applications are accepted at any time, provided appropriated funding for the program is available.  Click here for application guidelines.

US Small Business Administration: Small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are currently eligible to apply for a long term, low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).  The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

Minnesota Department for Employment and Economic Development (MN DEED) is establishing a loan program to assist small businesses directly and adversely affected following the COVID-19 pandemic. Loans will range from $2,500 to $35,000, be interest free, paid back monthly over 5 years with payments deferred six months. See the Small Business Emergency Loan page for details and eligibility.

Minnesota foundations, have created the Minnesota Disaster Relief Fund, which will channel millions of dollars through community foundations and the Minnesota initiative foundations.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will be requesting proposals from health care organizations requiring emergency support. Applicants will be asked to focus on their highest priority needs where access to financial resources is the primary barrier. The application for emergency funding is expected to be on the COVID-19 Response Funding website very soon. The application period will be short, so organizations are encouraged to prepare their most urgent cost estimates for expenses that are being undertaken now or in the near future.

Eligible purposes for emergency funding include:

  • Establishing and operating temporary sites to provide testing services, treatment beds, or to isolate or quarantine affected individuals.
  • Temporary conversion of space for another purpose that will revert to its original use.
  • Staff overtime and hiring additional staff.
  • Staff training and/or staff orientation.
  • Purchasing consumable protective or treatment equipment or supplies to protect or treat staff, visitors or patients.
  • Developing and implementing screening and testing procedures.
  • Patient outreach activities.
  • Additional emergency transportation of patients.
  • Temporary information technology and systems costs to support patient triage, screening and telemedicine activities.
  • Purchasing replacement parts or filters for medical equipment that are necessary for the equipment’s operation.
  • Specialty cleaning supplies for facilities and equipment.
  • Expenses related to the isolation or quarantine of staff, not including payment of wages for staff being isolated or quarantined.
  • Other expenses that, in the judgement of the commissioner, cannot reasonably be expected to generate income for the recipient of funds after the outbreak ends.

USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural America. Read the full announcement to learn more about the opportunities USDA Rural Development is implementing to provide immediate relief to our customers, partners, and stakeholders.

HHS Announces Grants to Provide Meals for Older Adults The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $250 million in grants from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to help communities provide meals for older adults. This additional funding will bolster nutritional service programs that provide home-delivered meals and other services to help protect older Americans during the coronavirus outbreak.

REGULAR FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

— Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) is offering grants through their Strengthening Rural Communities Program, open to organizations anywhere in the U.S. that are considered rural areas by HUD and USDA and focused on affordable housing in rural areas, including, but not limited to: community development corporations (CDCs), community housing development organizations (CHDOs), local/county governments, and Native Nations.  Deadline:  4/15/2020.  Click here to review application guidelines.

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: Apr 21, 2020.

–U.S. Treasury Department is offering grants through the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund – Financial Assistance Awards or Technical Assistance Grants.  The program offers both Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance awards which support and enhance the ability of organizations to meet the needs of the communities they serve.  Deadline:  4/21/2020.  Click here for application guidelines.

Alzheimer’s Disease Programs Initiative – Grants to States and Communities
Grants to support the development and expansion of dementia-capable home and community-based service systems in states and communities. Application Deadline: Apr 22, 2020.

Hillman Emergent Innovation: Serious Illness and End of Life Program Grants for early stage nursing-driven interventions that target serious illness and end of life needs faced by vulnerable populations, including economically disadvantaged, rural, and other populations that encounter barriers to accessing services. Letter of Intent (Required): Apr 27, 2020. Application Deadline: Jul 20, 2020.

Rural Health Care Telecommunications Program Assistance to healthcare providers for eligible expenses related to telecommunications and voice services for the use of telemedicine and telehealth. Application Deadline: Apr 30, 2020.

Rural Healthcare Connect Fund Provides assistance to healthcare providers for eligible expenses related to broadband connectivity at a flat discounted rate of 65%. Participants can apply as a member of a consortium or a stand-alone entity. Application Deadline: Apr 30, 2020.

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, 2020.

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: Apr 30, 2020.

Indian Highway Safety Occupant Protection Grant 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. Application Deadline: May 1, 2020.

— Medica Foundation Accepting Proposals for Two Grant Programs.  These are:

  1. Early Childhood Health: Seeking proposals for early intervention programs that focus on developing healthy families to foster optimal growth and development of young children. Deadline May 1.
  2. Strategic Initiatives: Seeking proposals from past grant recipients for larger scale initiatives addressing the intersection of mental health and stable housing, dental programs for youth or adults in need, or telehealth programs that support access to health care services. Deadline May 1.

Visit Medica Foundation’s website to learn more about their 2020 funding opportunities.

AmeriCorps Indian Tribes Grants Funding for programs that are designed to improve lives, strengthen tribal communities, and solve local problems through service and volunteering. Application Deadline: May 6, 2020.

Rural Housing Preservation Grants (Section 533)
Grants to organizations that work to rehabilitate and preserve affordable housing for rural, low-income homeowners and renters. Priority will be given to projects designed to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with substance use disorder (including opioid misuse) in high-risk rural communities. Application Deadline: May 7, 2020.

National Tribal Broadband Grant for Tribes to hire consultants to perform feasibility studies for high-speed internet deployment or expansion in Tribal communities. Application Deadline: May 8, 2020.

Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) Grants for projects that assist in the development, coordination, and expansion of domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community‐supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer‐to‐consumer market opportunities. Application Deadline: May 11, 2020.

Local Food Promotion Program Grants to support the development, coordination, and expansion of local and regional food business enterprises to help increase access and availability to locally and regionally produced agricultural products. Application Deadline: May 11, 2020.

Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) 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: May 13, 2020.

Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program
Funding for states, tribes, and local governments to plan, implement, or expand a criminal justice and mental health collaboration program. The program supports officer and public safety and violence reduction through social service and other partnerships that will enhance and increase law enforcement responses to people with mental illness and co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse. Application Deadline: May 18, 2020.

USDA is offering grants through The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program Formerly known as the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program (FINI) to support projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase. The program will test strategies that could contribute to our understanding of how best to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants.  Deadline:  5/18/2020.  Review program guidelines by clicking here.

Direct Services for Victims of Human Trafficking Grants to develop, expand, or strengthen victim service programs for victims of human trafficking. Rural communities are a priority. Application Deadline: May 18, 2020.

— U.S. Department of Justice is offering grants to develop, implement, and/or expand comprehensive programs in response to illicit opioids, stimulants, or other substances of abuse. The program provides resources to support state, local, Tribal, and territorial efforts to reduce violent crime and drug abuse and enhance public safety while supporting victims.  Deadline:  5/21/2020.  Click here for application guidelines.

Household Water Well System 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 31, 2020.

Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program Grants to plan or implement food projects designed to meet the needs of low-income individuals and increase community self-reliance concerning food and nutrition. Application Deadline: Jun 3, 2020.

Social and Economic Development Strategies Program (SEDS) Grants for tribal community-based organizations, tribes, and village governments for social and economic infrastructure development. The 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. Application Deadline: Jun 15, 2020.

USDA is offering funding through the Strategic Economic and Community Development Program, which allows USDA to give priority for projects that support the implementation of regional economic development plans through several USDA Rural Development funding programs.  Deadline: 6/30/2020.  Click here to review program guidelines.

–Minnesota Housing and its partners announce the launch of the 2020 Consolidated Request for Proposals (RFP). Our vision is that all Minnesotans live and thrive in a safe, stable home they can afford in a community of their choice. This annual Consolidated RFP process advances that vision by making funding available to help construct and preserve homes that are affordable in communities throughout Minnesota.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to every community in the state. Most of the Minnesota Housing staff team has converted to teleworking. Minnesota Housing remains operational across all divisions and continues to process construction draws, complete closings, and provide technical assistance. Please continue to reach out to us with proposals and questions.

Minnesota continues to need homes that are deeply affordable. To help keep housing production moving forward, the Consolidated RFP is launching as scheduled on April 2. However, we recognize that many of our community partners are focused on addressing immediate needs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of that, we have extended the application deadline to July 16, 2020. Selection announcements are anticipated to be made at the December 2020 Minnesota Housing Board meeting. For more information go to: https://t.e2ma.net/message/7t0i6b/75td7g

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. Requests will be accepted on a rolling basis through 12/31/2020. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.

–The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) provides zero-interest loans to small businesses for capital equipment purchases that meet or exceed environmental regulations, and costs related to the investigation and cleanup of contaminated sites. Some eligible projects include purchasing a solvent recycler, installing a new paint booth to switch to water-borne paint, and installing updated equipment that reduces emissions from refrigerants. Many small business loan projects lead to fewer regulatory requirements, lower waste disposal bills and less exposure to harmful chemicals for your employees, your customers and your neighbors.

Eligibility and conditions – Many business sectors are eligible. Projects that reduce regulatory obligations are highly encouraged. To quality, a borrower must be an existing small business corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or association with:

  • Fewer than 100 full-time employees
  • An after-tax profit of less than $500,000
  • A demonstrated ability to repay the loan

Loan terms and conditions:

  • Loan amount between $1,000 and $75,000
  • 0% interest rate
  • Repayment term up to seven years
  • Flexibility in the types of collateral accepted
  • Awarded throughout the year

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

If you miss a Minnesota Compass webinar? Watch the recordings when it works for you! Minnesota Compass webinars with tips on using data and resources to support your work. Build Your Own Data Tool Training 
Tips on How to Use Minnesota Compass Data

NOSORH Rural Health Data Institute An 8-part, web-based training for individuals who work with rural health data. Application Deadline: May 5, 2020.

–MCN’s first-ever fundraising, communications, and technology conference, ACTcon (May 5, St. Paul), has been moved to August 13 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. All current registrants will receive further details as soon as they are finalized.

–The Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held October 22-23 in Brooklyn Center.

OPPORTUNITIES

–Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis High School Essay Contest:  Adverse Consequences of Trade.  Deadline April 17th.  For more information go to:https://www.minneapolisfed.org/about-us/community-development-and-engagement/student-essay-contest

DEED Begins New Community Certification Program: Telecommuter Forward! We’re pleased to roll out a new economic development tool to promote the vitality of Minnesota’s rural communities – Telecommuter Forward! We know that fast, reliable broadband access improves quality of life, makes businesses more competitive, and provides career opportunities for our Greater Minnesota workforce.

DEED’s Office of Broadband Development is now accepting applications for Telecommuter Forward! Community certification. To become certified in the Telecommuter Forward! Program, Minnesota cities, villages, towns, or counties must adopt a resolution that includes a statement of support and commitment to promote telecommuting. The Office of Broadband Development has created a model resolution to help get you started.  Learn all about the Telecommuter Forward! Program on the DEED Developments Blog.

Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health Scholarship Financial support for American Indian and Alaska Native scholars, health leaders, health professionals, and paraprofessionals serving tribal communities who are interested in attending the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health Summer or Winter Institute courses at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Application Deadline: May 1, 2020.

The American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarships for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Indigenous Canadian students seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees at Tribal colleges and universities and nonprofit, accredited schools in the United States. Application Deadline: May 31, 2020.

Agricultural Safety and Health: Core Course Registration Fee Waivers Awards course registration fee waivers to attend the Agricultural Safety and Health Core Course to be held in Iowa in June, 2020. Application Deadline: June 7, 2020.

MISCELLANEOUS

Minnesota Compass has released Compass Points 2020, our annual indicator report. This year’s report includes data and analysis about populations at risk of being under counted in the 2020 Census, a dashboard that highlights how Minnesota is doing in key topic areas, and what’s new and coming soon on MNCompass.org. 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.

Social Determinants of Health in Rural Communities Toolkit  The latest toolkit assembles resources and model programs that support rural organizations in implementing programs to address social determinants of health in their communities. Learn how to define, understand, and address social determinants of health and overcome barriers specific to rural areas.

Rural America Ends First-Ever Period of Population Loss Line chart showing metropolitan and nonmetropolitan population change from 1978-2018. Highlights a period of population loss in rural areas followed by a modest population gain.

Understanding the True State of Connectivity in America Provides an overview of the TestIT mobile app, developed to study cellular and broadband internet services, and the data collected from app users. Examines download speeds by county compared to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) standards. Discusses challenges rural and underserved communities with a limited broadband infrastructure face, including economic development, education and workforce development, and access to health and human services.

Solar Siting Resource Guide releasedThe Center for Rural Affairs and Iowa Environmental Council have released a guide for counties developing utility-scale solar siting ordinances. The guide outlines best practices of a solar ordinance including process, treatment in zoning districts, setbacks, infrastructure, and decommissioning. For residents in states other than Iowa, the guide can be used as a template or resource. Learn more.

SPECIAL COVID-19 RESOURCES

Step-by-step UI Application Guide for the Self-Employed. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has just published a guide to help

self-employed workers (including artists, musicians, creators, & more) apply for Minnesota’s unemployment benefits during COVID-19. COVID-19 UI Application Guide for the Self-Employed

How the CARES Act Works for Nonprofits.  Let’s focus instead on some key elements of the CARES Act for nonprofits. To help you parse through the jargon and decide which loan program may be best for your organization, the National Council of Nonprofits prepared a chart, “Loans Available for Nonprofits in the CARES Act,” which you can download here.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) regulatory flexibility. With the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Governor’s declaration of a state of peacetime emergency in Minnesota, MPCA is aware that regulated entities may be impacted from a reduced workforce necessary to maintain normal operations at some facilities. While all permittees and operators are expected to meet all terms and conditions of their permits, including conditions applicable to cessation of operations, MPCA has developed a regulatory flexibility process for those regulated entities that may have an unavoidable noncompliance situation, directly due to impact from COVID-19.

Special Grants Directory edition available with COVID-19 funding opportunities.MCN has created a free digital special edition of the Grants Directory, featuring both Minnesota and national funding opportunities in response to COVID-19 and disaster relief. Nonprofit grantseekers are encouraged to download the first version (March 23, 2020) here.

USDA Rural Development has launched a COVID-19 resource page to keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated on actions taken by the Agency to help rural residents, businesses, and communities impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Visit www.rd.usda.gov/coronavirus for information on Rural Development loan payment assistance, application deadline extensions, and more.

Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) This new issue guide provides information on activities underway to address Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and includes federal and state resources to help communities and healthcare facilities respond to this issue.

Updates and Resources on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for hospitals and health systems to help them respond to COVID-19. Includes news from AHA on the latest developments.

American College of Emergency Physicians: COVID-19 Information to assist with patient care during the response to COVID-19. Addresses clinical assessment and management, testing, emergency department issues, EMS issues, and more. Date: 03/2020.

ASHP: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Resources to help pharmacists respond to COVID-19. Includes information on treatment options, including off-label treatment considerations. Date: 03/2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Partner Toolkit Provides resources from federal government agencies regarding COVID-19. Includes infographics, regulatory guidance, podcast and webinar recordings, and other sources of information for the general public, Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, and providers. Date: 03/2020.

COVID-19 Related Cybersecurity Information Resources to help hospitals and health systems mitigate risk related to cybersecurity threats during the COVID-19 response. Date: 03/2020.

COVID-19 Safety Training Health and safety resources for workers who may be at risk of exposure to COVID-19. Training resources will continue to be updated as the situation evolves. Date: 03/2020.

COVID-19 Telehealth Toolkit Provides an overview of how telehealth can be used to respond to COVID-19. Identifies policy and payment issues, examples of how telehealth has been used in the past to address epidemics, training, and other resources. Date: 03/2020.

EMS.gov Coronavirus/COVID-19 Resources to help emergency medical services (EMS) personnel appropriately and safely serve communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Addresses EMS workforce protection, patient care, crisis planning, and more.
Date: 03/2020.

FDA: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information and guidance from the FDA related to COVID-19. Includes information on diagnostics, personal protective equipment, and therapeutics. Also covers FDA monitoring of products with fraudulent COVID-19 claims.
Date: 03/2020.

FEMA: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Information and resources on how FEMA is assisting state, local, tribal, and territorial governments related to the Nationwide Emergency Declaration for COVID-19. Includes best practices section where communities can share their experiences and learn from others. Date: 03/2020.

Funding for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Provides an overview of philanthropic activity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes a list of funding related to COVID-19, an analysis of who is providing and receiving grants, and news regarding funding for the COVID-19 response.
Date: 03/2020.

General Provider Telehealth and Telemedicine Tool Kit Provides a list of resources on telehealth and telemedicine services for providers interested in establishing a telemedicine program in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration. Includes links to resources on the 1135 waiver, general federal and state guidance, implementation, and technical assistance.
Date: 03/2020.

IHS: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information on the federal response to COVID-19 in Indian Country. Addresses testing, access to personal protective equipment, funding, emergency planning, and service delivery. Date: 03/2020.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources for Community Health Centers
Updates, resources, and information to help community health centers respond to COVID-19. Lists webinars, provider resources, regulatory guidance, and more.

Novel Coronavirus Resources Collection of COVID-19-related websites and documents prepared by the Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE), including technical assistance responses, infectious disease resources, and topic collections.
Date: 03/2020.

Project N95: The National COVID-19 Medical Equipment Clearinghouse to help healthcare providers and facilities request needed personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks, surgical masks, isolation gowns, and ventilators. A request form is available, and the expectation is that PPE will be available in the coming weeks and will be distributed where it is most urgently needed. Date: 03/2020.

Rural Health COVID-19 “Call First” Communication Toolkit COVID-19 communication toolkit for rural hospitals and clinics. Focused on helping facilities demonstrate leadership in protecting the community, while taking steps to ensure that facilities are not overburdened. Includes customizable print and digital ads, radio scripts, social media posts, and other materials. Free, registration required. Date: 03/2020.

States Waiving Licensure Requirements/Renewals in Response to COVID-19 State-by-state list with brief descriptions of changes in licensure policy for healthcare professionals as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes links to relevant official declarations and press releases. Date: 03/2020.

Using Telehealth to Care for Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic An overview of resources and tools to help providers use telehealth to care for patients while keeping staff safe. Includes resources to help quickly set up telehealth, as well as information on payment, legal issues, Medicare services, and more. Date: 03/2020.

 

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!

March 2020 – Volume XVIII — Number 3
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  • TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

— The Automation Training Incentive Pilot Program offers grants up to $25,000 to Minnesota businesses that have 100 or fewer full-time employees, are in the manufacturing or skilled assembly production industry, and have recently invested in new automation technology or plans to invest in new automation technology. Learn more details about this new program on the DEED Developments blog.

Rural eConnectivity Broadband Loan and Grant Pilot Program (ReConnect) Loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to expand broadband service to rural areas without sufficient broadband access. Application Deadline: March 16, 2020.

–USDA is offering funding through The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program which supports education, mentoring, and technical assistance initiatives to help beginning farmers and ranchers with entering, establishing, building, and managing successful farm and ranch enterprises. Deadline:  3/19/2020.  Click here to review program guidelines.

— USDA Rural Development is offering grants to establish and operate Agricultural Innovation Centers that will provide technical assistance to help rural businesses market value-added agricultural products. Application Deadline: 3/20/2020.  Click here to review application guidelines.

Grants to Implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention Grants to support states and communities in advancing efforts to prevent suicide and suicide attempts among adults age 25 and older. Application Deadline: Mar 23, 2020.

Day of Service Grants to engage volunteers to help meet community and national challenges on September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance and/or Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Activities may include volunteer service around food and nutrition, health, housing, emergency preparedness, and the environment. Rural communities are a funding priority. Application Deadline: Mar 25, 2020.

The Rural Emergency Medical Services Training and Equipment Assistance Program is accepting applications for EMS Training Grants. The purpose of this program is to recruit and train emergency medical services (EMS) personnel in rural areas, with awards up to $200,000. Eligible applicants are rural emergency medical service agencies operated by a local or tribal government (fire-based and non-fire based) and non-profit emergency medical service agencies. Additional tips for applying for a SAMHSA grant are at: https://www.samhsa.gov/grants/applying. Applications are due Monday, March 30.

— USDA is offering grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).  Funding supports 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. Deadline: 3/31/2020.  Click here to review program guidelines.

Water and Waste Disposal Revolving Loan Funds U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Rural Utilities Service grants to help nonprofit organizations establish revolving loan funds that will finance water and wastewater projects in rural communities. Application Deadline: Mar 31, 2020.

— USDA is offering Rural Business Development Grants to provide technical assistance and training for small rural businesses. Small means that the business has fewer than 50 new workers and less than $1 million in gross revenue.  Deadline:  3/31/2020.  Click here to review program guidelines.

— The AARP Community Challenge Grant Program is supporting quick-action projects that can help communities become more livable for people of all ages. Nonprofit organizations and government agencies may apply for grants for projects to improve housing, transportation, public space, technology (“smart cities”), civic engagement, and more. Eligible projects should demonstrate the ability to accelerate and sustain the community’s livability for all, especially those 50+. Grants will range from several hundred dollars for smaller short-term activities to several thousand or more for larger projects. Deadline is 4/1/2020. Visit the AARP website to find out more about the Community Challenge and to submit an online application.

–Art Grant Deadlines April 1, 2020. Who is eligible in the ECRAC 5 county region? Individual artists of any artistic discipline; all nonprofit arts or other organizations (501c3 status); all public entities such as K-12 schools, community eds, colleges, and government branches. Multiple applications are accepted from organizations, one project per grant program.

What to prepare for an application? Project director’s resume (organizations and public entities); Artist’s resume (all grants); A detailed budget for the project: expenses and income (all grants); Resumes for all paid personnel; artists, musicians, performers, etc. (all grants); and Artistic work samples (all grants).

What kind of funding is available? $1,000 with the ACHF Individual Artist Grant; $2,500 with the Mid-Career Artist Grant (brand new this year); $500 to $5,000 with the Small/Art Project Grant (organizations and public entities) $3,000 with the Art In Our Schools Grant (schools only); and $5,000 to $15,000 with the ACHF Organization Art Project Grant (organizations and public entities). For more information call: (320) 591-7031 Email: info@ecrac.org

— The Healthy Start funding opportunity from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation focuses on increasing access to quality early childhood care and education. It will provide grants of up to a total of $550,000 in year one and an additional $550,000 in year two. Applicants may apply for grants of up to $100,000 per year and may apply for one- or two-year grants. Applications are due on Thursday, April 2, 2020, at 1 p.m. Central Time. Learn more on the foundation’s website.

School Grants for Healthy Kids Grants to implement school health and wellness practices that help students eat better, stay physically active, and be better prepared to learn. Application Deadline: Apr 3, 2020.

Drug Free Communities Support Program Awards funding to coalitions working to reduce substance abuse among youth and to establish and strengthen collaboration among communities, organizations, and governmental entities. Application Deadline: Apr 3, 2020.

— The ITC Charitable Giving Program supports nonprofit organizations in counties served by the company in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Oklahoma. Grants are provided in five key areas: Education, with a focus on higher quality education; Social Services, with a focus on services for those who have been unable to participate fully in the social and economic life of the community; Arts and Culture, with a focus on encouraging art and cultural activities with educational programs and skill building; Health and Wellness, with a focus on promoting physical well-being and healthy lifestyles; and Environmental Stewardship, with a focus on preserving the environment and promoting environmental responsibility. Deadline: 4/3/2020. Visit the ITC website here to learn more about the program guidelines and to submit an online application.

— Medica Foundation Accepting Proposals for Three Grant Programs.  These three programs are:

  1. Behavioral Health: Seeking proposals for programs that help people with serious mental illness and chemical addictions recover and lead productive lives in their communities. Deadline April 3.
  2. Early Childhood Health: Seeking proposals for early intervention programs that focus on developing healthy families to foster optimal growth and development of young children. Deadline May 1.
  3. Strategic Initiatives: Seeking proposals from past grant recipients for larger scale initiatives addressing the intersection of mental health and stable housing, dental programs for youth or adults in need, or telehealth programs that support access to health care services. Deadline May 1.

Visit Medica Foundation’s website to learn more about their 2020 funding opportunities.

— National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants through “Challenge America.”  These grants support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations. The Challenge America category offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations — those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Cost share/matching grants are for $10,000.  Deadline: 4/9/2020.  Click here for additional information.

— The Bush Prize for Community Innovation honors nonprofit organizations and government entities with a track record of making great ideas happen in the regions the Bush Foundation serves: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography. The Bush Prize does not prioritize any specific issues and instead is open to community innovations that address all sorts of needs and opportunities. At least half of the Bush Prize winners will be organizations that advance racial and economic equity in the region. Prize winners will receive a package of recognition, along with a flexible grant of 25% of their last fiscal year budget, up to a $500,000 grant. Deadline:  4/9/2020. Visit the Foundation’s website here to learn more about the Bush Prize.

Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program Grants to improve telemedicine and distance learning services in rural areas through the use of telemedicine, computer networks, and related advanced technologies. Application Deadline: Apr 10, 2020.

Telehealth Network Grant Program (TNGP) Funding to demonstrate how telehealth programs and networks can improve access to quality healthcare services in rural, frontier, and underserved communities. Application Deadline: Apr 13, 2020.

— Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) is offering grants through their Strengthening Rural Communities Program, open to organizations anywhere in the U.S. that are considered rural areas by HUD and USDA and focused on affordable housing in rural areas, including, but not limited to: community development corporations (CDCs), community housing development organizations (CHDOs), local/county governments, and Native Nations.  Deadline:  4/15/2020.  Click here to review application guidelines.

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: Apr 21, 2020.

–MPCA grants for emission reductions from solvents and coatings – due April 22. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from common solvent and coating products contribute to poor air quality where we live and work. These emissions can be reduced through the use of improved finishes such as:

  • Wet-coat, low-VOC, low-HAP, high solids, and water-based products;
  • Dry, powder coating;
  • Ultraviolet (UV) or infrared (IR) cured products;
  • Liquid plastic coating products;
  • Other non-wet coat finishes; and
  • High efficiency equipment

MPCA grants are now open for organizations, government entities, educational institutions, tribes, and small businesses across Minnesota to switch to alternative solvent and coating products and/or equipment that improves the efficiency of application. The maximum award is $3,000 with a 50% minimum match. The most cost-effective projects will score highest, with additional preference given to projects located in areas of concern for environmental justice, small businesses and organizations, and small organizations that are veteran-owned, economically disadvantaged, or a targeted group business based on ownership.

Eligible applicants include:

  • A for-profit business located in Minnesota with under 500 employees
  • A governmental entity, educational institution, tribe, or non-profit organization within Minnesota with any number of employees

Apply now! Deadline: April 22, 2020.  Review grant materials, application, and Q&A on the MPCA grants for solvent and coating emission reductions webpage.

Rural Health Care Telecommunications Program Assistance to healthcare providers for eligible expenses related to telecommunications and voice services for the use of telemedicine and telehealth. Application Deadline: Apr 30, 2020.

Rural Healthcare Connect Fund Provides assistance to healthcare providers for eligible expenses related to broadband connectivity at a flat discounted rate of 65%. Participants can apply as a member of a consortium or a stand-alone entity. Application Deadline: Apr 30, 2020.

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, 2020.

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: Apr 30, 2020.

Indian Highway Safety Occupant Protection Grant 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. Application Deadline: May 1, 2020.

National Tribal Broadband Grant for Tribes to hire consultants to perform feasibility studies for high-speed internet deployment or expansion in Tribal communities. Application Deadline: May 8, 2020.

Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) 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: May 13, 2020.

— U.S. Department of Justice is offering grants to develop, implement, and/or expand comprehensive programs in response to illicit opioids, stimulants, or other substances of abuse. The program provides resources to support state, local, Tribal, and territorial efforts to reduce violent crime and drug abuse and enhance public safety while supporting victims.  Deadline:  5/21/2020.  Click here for application guidelines.

–The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) provides zero-interest loans to small businesses for capital equipment purchases that meet or exceed environmental regulations, and costs related to the investigation and cleanup of contaminated sites. Some eligible projects include purchasing a solvent recycler, installing a new paint booth to switch to water-borne paint, and installing updated equipment that reduces emissions from refrigerants. Many small business loan projects lead to fewer regulatory requirements, lower waste disposal bills and less exposure to harmful chemicals for your employees, your customers and your neighbors.

Eligibility and conditions – Many business sectors are eligible. Projects that reduce regulatory obligations are highly encouraged. To quality, a borrower must be an existing small business corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or association with:

  • Fewer than 100 full-time employees
  • An after-tax profit of less than $500,000
  • A demonstrated ability to repay the loan

Loan terms and conditions:

  • Loan amount between $1,000 and $75,000
  • 0% interest rate
  • Repayment term up to seven years
  • Flexibility in the types of collateral accepted
  • Awarded throughout the year

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

— Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation’s2020 Annual Meeting will  be Tuesday, March 24th, 2020 from 7:15 am – 9:45 am at the Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes, Baxter. Registration/Breakfast Buffet 7:15 am – 8:00 am. Annual Meeting 8:00 am – 9:45 am. There will be a $20 registration fee per attendee. Payment by check is preferred. Please register at: https://blaedc.growthzoneapp.com/ap/Events/Register/ZP14w7Dp

or by contacting Megan Rehbein (megan@growbrainerdlakes.org, 218-828-0096 ext. 5).

— AURI, with partners Compeer Financial and Georgetown University’s Rural Opportunity Initiative, is convening the fourth annual New Uses Forum on April 8th & 9th 2020. The event brings together knowledgeable experts on topics related to innovation, development and investment. Their presentations will share indispensable information and experiences, foster meaningful discussion and ultimately produce actionable impact. The event features keynote speakers, panels, and networking opportunities, which will explore innovative solutions benefiting the agricultural industry. The New Uses Forum will take place at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.  Visit the event website: https://www.eventsquid.com/event.cfm?event_id=6870

2020 Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference, April 14, Brooklyn Center.

–The Upper Midwest Basic Economic Development Course provides intensive training in the concepts, methods and strategies of local economic development. The course is designed for those new to the field, as well as those seeking to deepen their knowledge and skills.

WHEN: April 27-May 1, 2020
WHERE: Great River Energy, 12300 Elm Creek Boulevard, Maple Grove, MN 55369
COST: $500.  The course, accredited by the International Economic Development Council, is limited to 45 participants – register here early! A limited number of scholarship are available. For more information, contact Shelby Couch, shelby@edam.org or call 952-928-4640. Register here

— Attend the Northwest Minnesota Marketing Education Conference in Crookston. The Red Lake Riverland Association will host the 2020 Northwest Minnesota Marketing Education Conference on Wednesday, April 29, at the University of Minnesota in Crookston. The one-day seminar is scheduled from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Sargeant Student Center’s Bede Ballroom. Presenters will include Derek Ramthun, Explore Minnesota, presenting on “Digital Marketing: Is Mine Working?” and Marc Bloomquist, co-owner of Cedar Rapids Lodge Resort, presenting on “Effective Communication.” The conference will also feature a panel of Northwest Minnesota business professionals on “Keys to Marketing Your Business.”All parties interested in marketing education are invited to the session. The cost is $40 for association members and $45 for non-members, which includes conference materials and lunch. Register by Tuesday, April 22, by emailing visitriverland@gmail.com, or by phone at 218-686-9785.

–Collective Impact Forum coming to Minneapolis in 2020! The Collective Impact Forum, an initiative of FSG and the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions, is bringing its annual collective impact convening to Minneapolis on May 6-8, 2020. The 2020 Collective Impact Convening builds on the success of the 2019 convening in Chicago that sold out in advance and attracted more than 800 funders, backbone leaders, and other collective impact community partners. MCN members interested in attending this year’s forum can receive $50 off regular “practitioner” rates by entering promo code MCN50 at the end of the registration process.

–Minnesota High Tech Association Annual Spring Conference will be May 7! Hold the date!  We are pleased to announce the 2020 Annual Spring Conference will take place at the RiverCentre in St. Paul on Thursday, May 7. Stay tuned for more details including a new conference name!

— The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN), along with the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center (PNLC) at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, will host the upcoming 2020 Nonprofit Leadership Conference on June 10, 2020.

–Hold the Date! 2020 Minnesota Rural Health Conference. June 15-16, 2020
Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) in Duluth. Conference Website

–The Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held October 22-23 in Brooklyn Center.

OPPORTUNITIES

— Nominations are now being accepted for the Minnesota Rural Health awards given out at the MN Rural Health Conference. Award Types:

  • Hero,
  • Team
  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Emerging Leader

Nominees for all the awards have made a significant contribution to the rural health of our state!

Nominate your outstanding individual or team by March 20.

National Center for Farmworker Health Bobbi Ryder Migrant Health Champion Award
Scholarships for individuals pursuing or continuing their career in the migrant health field, thus contributing to the development of the Community/Migrant Health Center workforce. Application Deadline: Mar 27, 2020.

Call for Art Exhibits in the Minnesota State Capitol Gallery The Minnesota Capitol Art Exhibit Advisory Committee is looking for Minnesota artists or organizations who would like to display their work in the Capitol’s gallery space, located on the third floor of the Minnesota State Capitol.

DEED Begins New Community Certification Program: Telecommuter Forward! We’re pleased to roll out a new economic development tool to promote the vitality of Minnesota’s rural communities – Telecommuter Forward! We know that fast, reliable broadband access improves quality of life, makes businesses more competitive, and provides career opportunities for our Greater Minnesota workforce.

DEED’s Office of Broadband Development is now accepting applications for Telecommuter Forward! Community certification. To become certified in the Telecommuter Forward! Program, Minnesota cities, villages, towns, or counties must adopt a resolution that includes a statement of support and commitment to promote telecommuting. The Office of Broadband Development has created a model resolution to help get you started.  Learn all about the Telecommuter Forward! Program on the DEED Developments Blog.

Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health Scholarship Financial support for American Indian and Alaska Native scholars, health leaders, health professionals, and paraprofessionals serving tribal communities who are interested in attending the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health Summer or Winter Institute courses at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Application Deadline: May 1, 2020.

The American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarships for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Indigenous Canadian students seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees at Tribal colleges and universities and nonprofit, accredited schools in the United States. Application Deadline: May 31, 2020.

Agricultural Safety and Health: Core Course Registration Fee Waivers
Awards course registration fee waivers to attend the Agricultural Safety and Health Core Course to be held in Iowa in June, 2020. Application Deadline: June 7, 2020.

MISCELLANEOUS

U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Census Response Rate Challenge Toolkit  The U.S. Census Bureau announces the release of the Response Rate Challenge toolkit to encourage communities to improve upon their 2010 Census response rate in the upcoming census. Includes promotional and progress-tracking materials, inspiration for friendly competition, and general information on the 2020 Census.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Presents an overview of the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak (COVID-19) and shares the latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Provides information for healthcare facilities and providers, health departments, communities, and other specific audiences. Includes free communication resources for distribution.

–The Mission Continues is expanding its footprint, and now invites military veterans in rural communities to join the Service Leadership Corps (SLC).  SLC empowers veterans looking to expand their network and skill set as community leaders through classroom and hands-on training. Upon completion of the program, alumni representing rural communities will be granted a stipend with the charge to mobilize veterans and community members to tackle challenges specific to their community. The Mission Continues is a national, nonpartisan nonprofit that provides tuition-free leadership programs and volunteer opportunities to veterans of all eras to continue their service in under-resourced and rural communities. Click here for more information and to apply for the Service Leadership Corps.

–HUD published the 2019 Annual Homeless Assessment that shows a spike in the number of people facing homelessness, especially in California.  Click here to get the report.

–U.S. Economic Development Administration and Indiana University’s Kelley School Of Business launched a new web-based mapping tool to help investors and economic developers target investment toward Opportunity Zones to create positive, socially-conscious change in communities.  To access the tool click here.

–Center on Rural Innovation, Rural Innovation Strategies, have published “The Rural Opportunity Map,” with mapping and data analysis focused on rural communities.  Data includes a gallery of maps addressing various issues, including maps currently in beta focused on rural healthcare trends, hospital closures, and rural definitions.  Click here to access the map.

–RCAP and RuralRISE have been offered access to free licenses to a new entrepreneurship platform to try and better engage rural entrepreneurs and rural entrepreneurship ecosystem builders. Ureeka aims to democratize economic opportunity by enabling community AND by reducing the risk associated with growing a small to medium business (SMB). To understand how to use the site, please view the video here.  You can join by clicking here, and use registration code RCAPBeta. Please send this out to your networks and take advantage of this opportunity.

— DEED has just released its Economic Development Resource Guide for 2020. The pocket-sized guide highlights all the economic development resources at DEED including loans, tax credits, community financing and workforce development assistance.

–The Government Accounting Office published “Alternative Drinking Water Systems: Use by Very Small Communities, Related Cost Savings, and Technical Assistance Provided by EPA and USDA.”  The report provides an overview of five alternative drinking water systems used by communities with fewer than 500 people and the barriers to implementing new systems and technologies in small communities. Factors that influence the costs and cost-savings of alternative drinking water systems are profiled.  The report identifies four federal funding programs that support technical assistance and training for small drinking water systems serving communities of fewer than 10,000 people.   Click here to read the full report.

Water Infrastructure: Technical Assistance and Climate Resilience Planning Could Help Utilities Prepare for Potential Climate Change Impacts Examines federal technical and financial assistance to drinking and wastewater utilities for enhancing climate resilience. Discusses the needs of small and rural communities and identifies federal resources targeted to these areas.

Assessing Health and Safety Concerns and Psychological Stressors among Agricultural Workers in the U.S. Midwest Results of a 2018 study of 540 farmers in Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, Minnesota, and Nebraska, identifying agricultural work stressors including chemical and equipment safety, finances, and health concerns such as hearing loss, respiratory problems, depression, and acute illnesses. Examines differences between mail and in-person survey modes, and compares their effectiveness in promoting farm workers’ willingness to participate in the surveys. Features demographics and statistics on the types of stress experienced.

Leveraging AI to Provide a Rural ‘Retail Medicine’ Experience Highlights an online exam tool used at Winona Health in Minnesota, where patients can enter their current symptoms and health information and connect with an urgent care clinician. The tool was built to automate care delivery and improve healthcare access for those in remote areas.

— Robert Wood Johnson Foundation posted an article, “It’s Time to Connect Rural Health Equity with Community and Economic Development.”  This article outlines how new research and resources support the critical connection between health, rural community and economic development.  Click here to read the article.

FCC Launches $20 Billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to Expand Rural Broadband Deployment The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announces their investment of $20.4 billion to establish the new Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which will direct funds over the next ten years. The first phase will provide wholly unserved census blocks with fixed broadband, while phase II will focus on the same for partially served areas.

–FCC under reports unserved population. Broadband Now scrutinizes the FCC adoption rate estimates and finds that the FCC estimates 290,000 unserved in Minnesota and Broadband Now estimates 580,000. https://wp.me/p3if7-5NR

–Two new tools look at state’s impact on broadband. Pew Research releases a report on state policies and plans that support better broadband deployment. Minnesota is featured as a leader in the report. https://wp.me/p3if7-5OC State Broadband Leaders Network (SBLN) has created an interactive map of broadband plans and initiatives by state. https://wp.me/p3if7-5Nv

Head Start Program Transportation in Rural Areas Discusses the role of transportation in Head Start programs and provides planning and implementation information. Includes information on funding and training, and provides several case studies of Head Start programs that provide transportation.

Using Data to Define Rural Populations Offers a step-by-step guide for developing a rural community baseline dataset, and identifies links to helpful resources and existing datasets, with the intent to help State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) focus on the demographics influencing health and the health needs of the rural communities within their state.

Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials Report highlights the various measures of the rural and agricultural economy. Includes rates of rural versus urban poverty and unemployment, as well as rates of food security in principal cities, suburban, and rural areas.

— The Office of National Drug Control Policy has joined 18 partners to release a new tool to assist rural community leaders in building an effective local response to the crisis of addiction.  The Rural Community Action Guide provides background information, recommended action steps, and promising practices to help manage the impact of substance use disorder on rural communities. This resource is based on lessons learned from rural roundtable discussions held in over a dozen states, as well as the experiences of many rural stakeholder partners.  Topics covered in the Guide include:  stigma, using data, managing fiscal resources in a community impacted by addiction, workforce development, broadband, overcoming economic challenges, prevention, engaging the agriculture community in addiction, rural health care needs, medication-assisted treatment, engaging law enforcement in addiction, drug courts in rural communities, harnessing the faith community around addiction, recovery support, and housing.  Here is a link to The Rural Community Action Guide, and some other resources: A Promising Practices SupplementCommunity Assessment Tool; and a Federal Rural Resources Guide.

— The U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory provides a low-income Energy Affordability Data (LEAD) Tool this tool to help states, communities and other stakeholders create better energy strategies and programs by improving their understanding of low-income housing and energy characteristics.  Click here to access this tool.

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!

February 2020 – Volume XVIII — Number 2
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
Also find online at: https://wp.me/pkVGJ-9u

  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  • TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Tribal Sexual Assault Services Program Funding for tribes and tribal organizations to create, maintain, and expand sustainable sexual assault services within Indian country and Alaska Native villages. Letter of Intent Application Deadline: Feb 12, 2020.

Sexual Assault Services Culturally Specific Grant Program Grants to establish, maintain, and expand sustainable, culturally appropriate services that address the unique needs and challenges of victims of sexual assault from culturally specific communities. Application Deadline: Feb 12, 2020.

–All-American/National Scenic Byway Designation. The FHWA National Scenic Byways Program (NSBP) website is now available to support upcoming nominations.The updated website features a revised scenic byways nomination guide, PDF of the FY20 nomination application questions, a listing of division office POCs and state scenic byways coordinators, and other important information to assist with the nomination process. The web-based portal to submit applications will open on the NSBP website starting Feb. 13. More information can be found on the nominations page of FHWA’s website.

If you have questions about nominating a road for possible designation as a National Scenic Byway or an All-American Road, please contact either Danielle Blackshear at 202-366-2064 or danielle.blackshear@dot.gov, or Wesley Blount at 202-366-0799 or wesley.blount@dot.gov.

–DNR Solicits Park and Trail Grant Applications for 2020. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division is accepting applications to improve outdoor recreation facilities, natural and scenic areas, regional trails, local trail connections, and motorized, nonmotorized and multi-use recreational trails.

The application due dates are Friday, Feb. 28, for the Federal Recreational Trail Grant Program, and Friday, March 30, for the other programs. Although funding has not yet been appropriated, the DNR anticipates that both federal and state funding will be available during 2020 for these programs. The DNR will announce preliminary awards in the summer, with final awards made upon receipt of federal and state appropriations. For information about eligible projects and how to apply for a grant, visit the Recreation Grants page of the DNR website. For more information, prospective applicants may contact the grants staff listed online, or the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 888-646-6367.

STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program Grants to train school personnel and educate students to prevent student violence, develop and operate anonymous reporting systems concerning threats of school violence, and develop and operate school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams. Application Deadline: March 3, 2020.

Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Grants for fire departments, EMS organizations, and fire academies for equipment, training, personnel wellness programs, capital funding, and collaboration/regional communication efforts. Application Deadline: Mar 13, 2020.

Rural eConnectivity Broadband Loan and Grant Pilot Program (ReConnect) Loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to expand broadband service to rural areas without sufficient broadband access. Application Deadline: March 16, 2020.

— USDA Rural Development is offering grants to establish and operate Agricultural Innovation Centers that will provide technical assistance to help rural businesses market value-added agricultural products. Application Deadline: 3/20/2020.  Click here to review application guidelines.

Grants to Implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention Grants to support states and communities in advancing efforts to prevent suicide and suicide attempts among adults age 25 and older. Application Deadline: Mar 23, 2020.

Day of Service Grants Grants to engage volunteers to help meet community and national challenges on September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance and/or Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Activities may include volunteer service around food and nutrition, health, housing, emergency preparedness, and the environment. Rural communities are a funding priority. Application Deadline: Mar 25, 2020.

— USDA is offering grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).  Funding supports 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. Deadline: 3/31/2020.  Click here to review program guidelines.

Water and Waste Disposal Revolving Loan Funds U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Rural Utilities Service grants to help nonprofit organizations establish revolving loan funds that will finance water and wastewater projects in rural communities. Application Deadline: Mar 31, 2020.

–Art Grant Deadlines April 1, 2020.

Who is eligible in the ECRAC 5 county region? Individual artists of any artistic discipline; all non profit arts or other organizations (501c3 status); all public entities such as K-12 schools, community eds, colleges, and government branches.

What to prepare for an application? Project director’s resume (organizations and public entities); Artist’s resume (all grants); A detailed budget for the project: expenses and income (all grants); Resumes for all paid personnel; artists, musicians, performers, etc. (all grants); and Artistic work samples (all grants).

When is it due and other details? Grant Deadlines: April 1, 2020, 11:59 pm.  Multiple applications are accepted from organizations, one project per grant program.

What kind of funding is available? $1,000 with the ACHF Individual Artist Grant; $2,500 with the Mid-Career Artist Grant (brand new this year); $500 to $5,000 with the Small/Art Project Grant (organizations and public entities) $3,000 with the Art In Our Schools Grant (schools only); and $5,000 to $15,000 with the ACHF Organization Art Project Grant (organizations and public entities). For more information call: (320) 591-7031 Email: info@ecrac.org

 

–MPCA grants for emission reductions from solvents and coatings – due April 22.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from common solvent and coating products contribute to poor air quality where we live and work. These emissions can be reduced through the use of improved finishes such as:

  • Wet-coat, low-VOC, low-HAP, high solids, and water-based products;
  • Dry, powder coating;
  • Ultraviolet (UV) or infrared (IR) cured products;
  • Liquid plastic coating products;
  • Other non-wet coat finishes; and
  • High efficiency equipment

MPCA grants are now open for organizations, government entities, educational institutions, tribes, and small businesses across Minnesota to switch to alternative solvent and coating products and/or equipment that improves the efficiency of application. The maximum award is $3,000 with a 50% minimum match. The most cost-effective projects will score highest, with additional preference given to projects located in areas of concern for environmental justice, small businesses and organizations, and small organizations that are veteran-owned, economically disadvantaged, or a targeted group business based on ownership.

Eligible applicants include:

  • A for-profit business located in Minnesota with under 500 employees
  • A governmental entity, educational institution, tribe, or non-profit organization within Minnesota with any number of employees

Apply now! Deadline: April 22, 2020.  Review grant materials, application, and Q&A on the MPCA grants for solvent and coating emission reductions webpage.

Indian Highway Safety Occupant Protection Grant 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. Application Deadline: May 1, 2020.

–The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) provides zero-interest loans to small businesses for capital equipment purchases that meet or exceed environmental regulations, and costs related to the investigation and cleanup of contaminated sites. Some eligible projects include purchasing a solvent recycler, installing a new paint booth to switch to water-borne paint, and installing updated equipment that reduces emissions from refrigerants. Many small business loan projects lead to fewer regulatory requirements, lower waste disposal bills and less exposure to harmful chemicals for your employees, your customers and your neighbors.

Eligibility and conditions – Many business sectors are eligible. Projects that reduce regulatory obligations are highly encouraged. To quality, a borrower must be an existing small business corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or association with:

  • Fewer than 100 full-time employees
  • An after-tax profit of less than $500,000
  • A demonstrated ability to repay the loan

Loan terms and conditions:

  • Loan amount between $1,000 and $75,000
  • 0% interest rate
  • Repayment term up to seven years
  • Flexibility in the types of collateral accepted
  • Awarded throughout the year

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

–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. For additional conference questions, contact Lori Peterson at 651-757-1876 or lori.a.peterson@state.mn.us. Details: Feb. 24-26, 2020 at the Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center

–The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is pleased to announce its second Rural Energy Conference, on February 25, 2020 in Chicago IL. The conference will offer opportunities to delve into clean energy solutions for rural communities that will spur economic growth and energy affordability.

Discussion topics will include energy efficiency program design and financing, renewable and distributed energy resources, economic development, electrification of buildings and transportation, resilience and disaster recovery, energy affordability for low-income households, 2018 Farm Bill and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, and broadband access. More information and registration can be found here

–Greater Minnesota Nonprofit Summit coming to Marshall in March! On March 10, MCN is pleased to bring the Greater Minnesota Nonprofit Summit to Marshall for the first time! This day-long summit is designed to bring together staff, board members, and volunteers from across southwest Minnesota to tackle some of the most important perennial themes for nonprofits in Greater Minnesota, including leadership, fundraising, communications, and engaging diverse communities. Throughout each discussion, we’ll look at the ways that these issues play out in our Greater Minnesota communities and we’ll highlight opportunities for building a revitalized landscape for all.

–Registration Open for the MNFEA Annual Conference in Duluth.  The Minnesota Festivals and Events Association (MNFEA) will host its annual conference at the Holiday Inn & Suites in downtown Duluth, March 11-13. The 2020 conference will be packed with valuable information for event and festival professionals, vendors and service providers.

— AURI, with partners Compeer Financial and Georgetown University’s Rural Opportunity Initiative, is convening the fourth annual New Uses Forum on April 8th & 9th 2020. The event brings together knowledgeable experts on topics related to innovation, development and investment. Their presentations will share indispensable information and experiences, foster meaningful discussion and ultimately produce actionable impact. The event features keynote speakers, panels, and networking opportunities, which will explore innovative solutions benefiting the agricultural industry. The New Uses Forum will take place at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.  Visit the event website: https://www.eventsquid.com/event.cfm?event_id=6870

–The Upper Midwest Basic Economic Development Course provides intensive training in the concepts, methods and strategies of local economic development. The course is designed for those new to the field, as well as those seeking to deepen their knowledge and skills.

WHEN: April 27-May 1, 2020
WHERE: Great River Energy, 12300 Elm Creek Boulevard, Maple Grove, MN 55369
COST: $500

Participants will study the core building blocks of economic developments, including:

  • Business retention and expansion
  • Finance for economic development
  • Marketing and business attraction
  • Community and neighborhood revitalization
  • Real estate redevelopment and reuse
  • Workforce development
  • Infrastructure and utilities

The course, accredited by the International Economic Development Council, is limited to 45 participants – register here early! A limited number of scholarship are available. For more information, contact Shelby Couch, shelby@edam.org or call 952-928-4640. Register here

–Collective Impact Forum coming to Minneapolis in 2020! The Collective Impact Forum, an initiative of FSG and the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions, is bringing its annual collective impact convening to Minneapolis on May 6-8, 2020. The 2020 Collective Impact Convening builds on the success of the 2019 convening in Chicago that sold out in advance and attracted more than 800 funders, backbone leaders, and other collective impact community partners. MCN members interested in attending this year’s forum can receive $50 off regular “practitioner” rates by entering promo code MCN50 at the end of the registration process.

–Minnesota High Tech Association Annual Spring Conference will be May 7! Hold the date!  We are pleased to announce the 2020 Annual Spring Conference will take place at the RiverCentre in St. Paul on Thursday, May 7. Stay tuned for more details including a new conference name!

–Hold the Date! 2020 Minnesota Rural Health Conference. June 15-16, 2020
Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) in Duluth. Conference Website

OPPORTUNITIES

–The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Commerce (COMM) seeks proposals from qualified organizations to be an exhibitor in the 2020 Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair (MSF). The Fair opens August 27 and runs through Labor Day, September 7, 2020.

Since 2006 the Eco Experience (housed in the Progress Center on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds) has been a venue that has provided engaging environmental messaging through a variety of exhibitors. Approximately 270,000 people visit the Eco Experience building over the 12 days of the fair.

The goals of the 2020 Eco Experience are to provide:

  • An opportunity for agencies, organizations, and communities to showcase Minnesota carbon reduction and climate mitigation/resiliency/adaptation stories and to celebrate related successes.
  • A venue for multiple voices, including indigenous, underserved, and overburdened communities that represent geographic, economic, and cultural diversity from throughout the state.
  • Interaction with fair attendees through high-quality, interactive exhibits and displays that are focused on fact-based messaging as well as achievable actions.
  • Inspiration and resources for visitors and participants to continue their individual and community efforts to address climate change.

Prospective Exhibitors must apply to the Call for Exhibitors (CFE) through an online application for consideration to be an Exhibitor at the 2020 Eco Experience. A limited number of Exhibitors will be selected, based on the selection criteria and available space and resources. Exhibitors may apply as either Full Exhibitors (all 12 days) or Pop-Up Exhibitors (1+ days). Applications are open to qualified organizations including Minnesota state agencies, nonprofits, local units of government or other communities as well as tribal nations that share the same geographic boundaries of Minnesota. This CFE is only seeking self-funded Exhibitors; there is no associated funding with this application. To learn more about this Call for Exhibitors, go to: https://mn.gov/commerce/industries/rfp/  Also, Sustainability Stage Presenters agree to provide a minimum of one 45-minute presentation. Go to Survey Monkey for more information and to apply for the Sustainability Stage.

DEED Begins New Community Certification Program: Telecommuter Forward! We’re pleased to roll out a new economic development tool to promote the vitality of Minnesota’s rural communities – Telecommuter Forward! We know that fast, reliable broadband access improves quality of life, makes businesses more competitive, and provides career opportunities for our Greater Minnesota workforce.

DEED’s Office of Broadband Development is now accepting applications for Telecommuter Forward! Community certification. To become certified in the Telecommuter Forward! Program, Minnesota cities, villages, towns, or counties must adopt a resolution that includes a statement of support and commitment to promote telecommuting. The Office of Broadband Development has created a model resolution to help get you started.  Learn all about the Telecommuter Forward! Program on the DEED Developments Blog.

–Submit an Idea to Your Regional Sustainable Development Partnership. The University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) advance the environmental, economic and social sustainability of Greater Minnesota through authentic community-University partnerships that co-create innovative solutions and fulfill the University’s land-grant mission.

The RSDP encourages you to submit your sustainability ideas. Please contact the executive director in your region with your local project idea, or the statewide food or energy staff with questions about their work to advance food systems and clean energy across the state. Please see the regional pages listed below for lists of the counties served by each RSDP region.

Submit an idea brief today.

NRHA Rural Health Awards  Honors individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to rural health. Application Deadline: Feb 24, 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 American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarships for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Indigenous Canadian students seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees at Tribal colleges and universities and nonprofit, accredited schools in the United States. Application Deadline: May 31, 2020.

Agricultural Safety and Health: Core Course Registration Fee Waivers
Awards course registration fee waivers to attend the Agricultural Safety and Health Core Course to be held in Iowa in June, 2020. Application Deadline: June 7, 2020.

MISCELLANEOUS

U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2020 Census Response Rate Challenge Toolkit  The U.S. Census Bureau announces the release of the Response Rate Challenge toolkit to encourage communities to improve upon their 2010 Census response rate in the upcoming census. Includes promotional and progress-tracking materials, inspiration for friendly competition, and general information on the 2020 Census.

The detail in the data: Introducing profiles for 26 of Minnesota’s largest cultural communities. Minnesota Compass just launched new data profiles for 26 of the largest cultural communities in Minnesota! In this article, Compass shares more about the new profiles and how we created them to ensure they come closer to identifying cultural communities as they define themselves. Read the article.

Educational attainment among Minnesota’s adults continues to rise. Thirty-seven percent of adults in Minnesota have a bachelor’s degree or higher, an increase of almost 10 points since 2000. Learn more in this month’s Featured Trend.

–Real ID: Pre-Apply Online With the deadline to be Real ID ready less than a year away, state officials are encouraging Minnesotans who apply for a Real ID to use the online pre-application tool before they visit their local driver’s license office to ensure they have the required documents.

Every air traveler 18 years of age or older will need a Real ID, enhanced driver’s license or ID, passport or passport card or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States or enter federal facilities beginning Oct. 1, 2020. A standard Minnesota driver’s license will not be accepted for federal use as of that date, but it will still be a valid form of identification and valid for lawful driving privileges. Find Minnesota Real ID information and resources ago to realid.dps.mn.gov.

Alternative Drinking Water Systems: Use by Very Small Communities, Related Cost Savings, and Technical Assistance Provided by EPA and USDA
Provides an overview of 5 alternative drinking water systems used by communities with fewer than 500 people and the barriers to implementing new systems and technologies in small communities. Describes factors that influence the costs and cost-savings of alternative drinking water systems. Identifies 4 federal funding programs that support technical assistance and training for small drinking water systems serving communities of fewer than 10,000 people. Additional links: Full Report

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!

 

January 2020 – Volume XVIII — Number 1
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
Also find online at: https://wp.me/pkVGJ-9n

    • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  • TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS
  • JOB OPPORTUNITY

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

–Census Funding.  Asian American Organizing Project (AAOP) is offering grants up to $3,500 for census outreach to organizations in Minnesota that serve Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. For more information you can check out AAOP’s RFP or contact Vangxor Xiong.

–ARTSPACE is currently accepting applications for the Rafala Green Fellowship Program. With funding from the Ford Foundation, the mission of the program is to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion for people from communities traditionally underrepresented in real estate development. Each fellow will receive a $50,000 annual salary during the two-year term of their fellowship, as well as a comprehensive benefits package. Deadline:  1/15/2020.  Click here to review program guidelines.

— Science Kits for Public Libraries Grant Application https://wp.me/p3if7-5EY, due Jan 19 2020.

Transitional Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Grants to support programs that provide assistance for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking who are in need of 6-24 months of transitional housing, short-term housing assistance, and related support services. Letter of Intent (Optional): Jan 22, 2020. Application Deadline: Feb 6, 2020.

Tribal Sexual Assault Services Program Funding for tribes and tribal organizations to create, maintain, and expand sustainable sexual assault services within Indian country and Alaska Native villages. Letter of Intent (Optional): Jan 22, 2020. Application Deadline: Feb 12, 2020.

Sexual Assault Services Culturally Specific Grant Program Grants to establish, maintain, and expand sustainable, culturally appropriate services that address the unique needs and challenges of victims of sexual assault from culturally specific communities. Letter of Intent (Optional): Jan 28, 2020. Application Deadline: Feb 12, 2020.

–The Economic Opportunity Challenge is a public competition to award $10 million to scale a game-changing solution aimed at improving the financial health of low-income families in the United States. The Challenge will fund the most transformative evidence-based solutions to address barriers to improved economic opportunity, security, and mobility for individuals and families. The focus is on proven, data-driven solutions ready to serve as a model for implementation across the country. Deadline: the registration deadline is 1/28/2020; applications must be submitted by 2/18/2020. More information about the funding guidelines and application process is available on the Challenge’s website here.

–FUND FOR TEACHERS is inviting teachers throughout the U.S. to join a community of educators who are transforming what learning looks like, charting a new course for their students, and revolutionizing their teaching by applying for a life- and career-changing Fund for Teachers fellowship. The Fund awards individual fellowships (funding limit of $5,000) and team fellowships (funding limit of $10,000) to pre-K-12 classroom teachers to immerse themselves in their fields of study. Teachers must have a minimum of three years of experience and be full-time teachers spending at least 50% of their time in the classroom. Deadline: 1/30/2020.  Visit the Fund’s website here for detailed fellowship guidelines and application information.

Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust Grants for organizations that work to meet the needs of ill and injured veterans and their families. Application Deadline: Jan 31, 2020.

–KRESGE Foundation is offering grants through The Arts & Culture Program.  The Foundation is accepting letter-of-intent applications that align with the Program’s focus area, Strengthen the Equitable Creative Placemaking Field. This work seeks to advance a field of Creative Placemaking leaders, practices and principles committed to equity and inclusion.  Deadline: 1/31/2020.  Click here to review application guidelines.

–KRESGE Foundation is also offering grants through the “Increase Creative Capacity to Shape Healthier Neighborhoods” program focus.  The goal with this focus area is to invest in the pre-conditions for long term change such as resident empowerment and agency, social cohesion, narrative change and equitable physical improvements. Deadline: 1/31/2020.  Click here to review guidelines for these grants.

— Empowering Communities to Reduce Falls and Falls Risk Grants to help communities reduce falls and/or falls risk among older adults and adults with disabilities through the implementation of evidence-based falls prevention programs. An emphasis is on projects that will target specific populations, such as rural communities, underserved areas, veterans, caregivers, or Tribal elders. Application Deadline: Jan 31, 2020.

STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program Grants to train school personnel and educate students to prevent student violence, develop and operate anonymous reporting systems concerning threats of school violence, and develop and operate school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams. Application Deadline: March 3, 2020.

Rural eConnectivity Broadband Loan and Grant Pilot Program (ReConnect) Loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to expand broadband service to rural areas without sufficient broadband access. Application Deadline: March 16, 2020.

— USDA Rural Development is offering grants to establish and operate Agricultural Innovation Centers that will provide technical assistance to help rural businesses market value-added agricultural products. Application Deadline: 3/20/2020.  Click here to review application guidelines.

— USDA is offering grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).  Funding supports 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. Deadline: 3/31/2020.  Click here to review program guidelines.

Water and Waste Disposal Revolving Loan Funds U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Rural Utilities Service grants to help nonprofit organizations establish revolving loan funds that will finance water and wastewater projects in rural communities. Application Deadline: Mar 31, 2020.

— 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). Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

— Honor the Earth Native Food Security Grants for Native organizations working to create food security utilizing traditional seeds, foods, and growing methods, as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

–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.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS
–Take a webinar break with Minnesota Compass in the New Year! Trends in northeastern Minnesota

Tuesday, Jan. 14, 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Register.

Did you miss our workshops in northeastern Minnesota? Learn about recent trends in the northeastern region.

–Minnesota Foundations 2020 January 16 – February 6 | 11 Minnesota locations
Learn more
Join MCN for this annual exploration of the trends, staffing, program shifts, and financial outlooks of dozens of the most important Minnesota foundations.Available in 11 statewide locations throughout January and early February, this event will help you learn frank, current information about significant changes taking place in Minnesota’s foundation community.

Build Your Own Data Tool training Monday, Jan. 20, 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Register.

Looking for data for a unique geographic area? Learn how to access data customized for your community with the Build Your Own tool.

January 22: Northwest Minnesota Foundations Join this event to learn about trends, staffing, program shifts, and financial outlooks of foundations in Northwest Minnesota. Minnesota Compass Research Scientist Ellen Wolter will facilitate a roundtable discussion about how organizations can use data in grant applications and reports. Bring a laptop to get hands-on guidance in how to use the Minnesota Compass Build Your Own data tool! Learn more and register.

January 23: Minnesota Compass workshop Mahube-Otwa Community Action Partnership, Park Rapids. This hands-on workshop is to learn about demographic trends in northwest Minnesota and how to use Minnesota Compass data and tools. Learn more and register.

–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. For additional conference questions, contact Lori Peterson at 651-757-1876 or lori.a.peterson@state.mn.us. Details: Feb. 24-26, 2020 at the Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center

–The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is pleased to announce its second Rural Energy Conference, on February 25, 2020 in Chicago IL. The conference will offer opportunities to delve into clean energy solutions for rural communities that will spur economic growth and energy affordability.

Discussion topics will include energy efficiency program design and financing, renewable and distributed energy resources, economic development, electrification of buildings and transportation, resilience and disaster recovery, energy affordability for low-income households, 2018 Farm Bill and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, and broadband access. More information and registration can be found here

–Greater Minnesota Nonprofit Summit coming to Marshall in March! On March 10, MCN is pleased to bring the Greater Minnesota Nonprofit Summit to Marshall for the first time! This day-long summit is designed to bring together staff, board members, and volunteers from across southwest Minnesota to tackle some of the most important perennial themes for nonprofits in Greater Minnesota, including leadership, fundraising, communications, and engaging diverse communities. Throughout each discussion, we’ll look at the ways that these issues play out in our Greater Minnesota communities and we’ll highlight opportunities for building a revitalized landscape for all.

Save the Date for Minnesota Festival and Events Association Annual Conference MNFEA is excited to announce the 2020 Annual MNFEA Conference will be held March 11-13 in Duluth.

— AURI, with partners Compeer Financial and Georgetown University’s Rural Opportunity Initiative, is convening the fourth annual New Uses Forum on April 8th & 9th 2020. The event brings together knowledgeable experts on topics related to innovation, development and investment. Their presentations will share indispensable information and experiences, foster meaningful discussion and ultimately produce actionable impact. The event features keynote speakers, panels, and networking opportunities, which will explore innovative solutions benefiting the agricultural industry. The New Uses Forum will take place at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.  Visit the event website: https://www.eventsquid.com/event.cfm?event_id=6870

–Collective Impact Forum coming to Minneapolis in 2020! The Collective Impact Forum, an initiative of FSG and the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions, is bringing its annual collective impact convening to Minneapolis on May 6-8, 2020. The 2020 Collective Impact Convening builds on the success of the 2019 convening in Chicago that sold out in advance and attracted more than 800 funders, backbone leaders, and other collective impact community partners. MCN members interested in attending this year’s forum can receive $50 off regular “practitioner” rates by entering promo code MCN50 at the end of the registration process.

–Minnesota High Tech Association Annual Spring Conference will be May 7! Hold the date!  We are pleased to announce the 2020 Annual Spring Conference will take place at the RiverCentre in St. Paul on Thursday, May 7. Stay tuned for more details including a new conference name!

Hold the Date! 2020 Minnesota Rural Health Conference. June 15-16, 2020
Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) in Duluth. Conference Website

OPPORTUNITIES

Rural Leadership Pathways Learning Initiative An opportunity for rural programs from across the U.S. to convene at two Rural Ideas Summits to exchange ideas and educate philanthropists about innovative programs. Application Deadline: Jan 21, 2020.

–You’re Invited: Housing Resources Engagement Sessions – Minnesota Housing, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, and USDA Rural Development are excited to announce upcoming sessions in Greater Minnesota that will offer opportunities for local communities to engage with us to determine how we can help advance local community housing needs. *Includes Engagement on 2022 Qualified Allocation Plan and 2021 Consolidated Requests for Proposals Funding Priorities.

Sessions will include project examples and an overview of available housing resources to serve multifamily rental, single family, and rural housing needs. There will also be breakout discussions in these topic areas to provide feedback, ask questions, and weigh in on funding processes and priorities. A limited number of 30-minute technical assistance sessions will be offered in the afternoon for questions on project ideas in the areas of Multifamily rental development, Rural Rental development, and Single Family Homeownership projects.

These sessions will also include opportunities for dialogue targeted to the review and development of funding priorities for the 2022 QAP/2021 Consolidated RFPs. Workshops and a networking lunch run from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Technical assistance sessions run from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Click here to see a full agenda.

Register to participate in one of our three sessions.

  • Saint Peter: Thursday, January 30
    Saint Peter Community Center,
    600 South 5th Street
    Register by Monday, January 27
  • Cloquet: Wednesday, February 5
    Community Memorial Hospital,
    Maple and Oak Rooms
    512 Skyline Boulevard
    Register by Friday, January 31
  • Brainerd: Monday, February 10
    Central Lakes Community College,
    Room E208
    501 West College Drive
    Register by Wednesday, February 5

–The Rural Assembly will host the Rural Youth Assembly April 2-5 in McAllen, Texas. 50-75 rural and Native young adults from across the country will gather to discuss the issues that they see as critical to their lives and their communities. The nomination and application information along with much more information about the event is now available at the Rural Youth Assembly website and applications are due by January 31st.

–The Minnesota High Tech Association ACE Leadership Program develops Minnesota’s next generation of technology leaders. Senior leaders from technology, government and education sectors will share insights with participants, who will gain new tools to become stronger leaders for your company and our technology community, discuss innovative ideas and apply learnings in their own organizations. The application deadline is Friday, January 31st. You can read more and register here.

–Submit an Idea to Your Regional Sustainable Development Partnership. The University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) advance the environmental, economic and social sustainability of Greater Minnesota through authentic community-University partnerships that co-create innovative solutions and fulfill the University’s land-grant mission.

The RSDP encourages you to submit your sustainability ideas. Please contact the executive director in your region with your local project idea, or the statewide food or energy staff with questions about their work to advance food systems and clean energy across the state. Please see the regional pages listed below for lists of the counties served by each RSDP region.

Submit an idea brief today.

–MACVB Seeks Proposals to Host 2020 Events. The Minnesota Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus is seeking proposals to host its Education Summit, June 2-3, and Annual Meeting, Oct. 6-7, 2020. Hosting MACVB’s annual events is a great way to showcase your destination to tourism industry leaders, speakers, sponsors and guests from around the state and beyond. All proposals that meet the minimum requirements will be considered. Please contact Dee Schutte at dee@minnesotacvbs.com to submit your proposal or for additional questions.
The deadline for submissions is Friday, Jan. 31. http://www.minnesotacvbs.com/

— 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.

NRHA Rural Health Awards  Honors individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to rural health. Application Deadline: Feb 24, 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 American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarships for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Indigenous Canadian students seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees at Tribal colleges and universities and nonprofit, accredited schools in the United States. Application Deadline: May 31, 2020.

–The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is implementing a pilot program to encourage people to consider buying and driving an electric vehicle in order to help reduce carbon pollution. Part of the Pathways to Decarbonizing Transportation, this three year pilot program addresses a larger goal of trying to get more electric vehicles on the road in Minnesota by giving MnPASS toll credits to people who purchase or lease a new or used electric vehicle between November 1, 2019 and October 31, 2022. The MnPASS incentive is geared toward people who do not already own an electric vehicle, or who are perhaps on the fence about purchasing. It is intended to encourage those who are thinking about purchasing or leasing a vehicle to choose an electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. More information on the program is available here.

MISCELLANEOUS

–Real ID: Pre-Apply Online With the deadline to be Real ID ready less than a year away, state officials are encouraging Minnesotans who apply for a Real ID to use the online pre-application tool before they visit their local driver’s license office to ensure they have the required documents.

Every air traveler 18 years of age or older will need a Real ID, enhanced driver’s license or ID, passport or passport card or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States or enter federal facilities beginning Oct. 1, 2020. A standard Minnesota driver’s license will not be accepted for federal use as of that date, but it will still be a valid form of identification and valid for lawful driving privileges. Find Minnesota Real ID information and resources ago to realid.dps.mn.gov.

Have jobs been growing in greater Minnesota? Yes. More than you think. Nationwide, recent job growth occurred largely in metropolitan counties and urban areas, but Minnesota’s story of job growth is a little more complicated. Job growth this past year was concentrated in the Twin Cities metro area, but jobs in greater Minnesota grew too. Read the article.

Number of Minnesota women in workforce continues to grow Since 2009, the number of women age 16-64 working in Minnesota has risen steadily, adding 96,155 more women to the workforce. Learn more in Featured Trend.

–The CUNY Mapping Service at the Center for Urban Research has created for the U.S. Census Bureau a nationwide map that can zoom in to the street level to determine the percentage of households in that tract that mailed back their 2010 census responses. The map is searchable by census tract, address, ZIP code, landmark, county, state, or legislative districts. Red and orange coloring allows users to immediately see where rates of response were 73 percent or less, providing visual clues to where advocates should go to educate communities about the importance of participating in the census, alert respondents about the upcoming questionnaires, and share census-activity resources

Diffusion to Clear Up Confusion What’s a diffusion index? If you don’t know, you’re not alone, but you’ll want to learn about this tool used for measuring employment and other economic changes and what employment diffusion indexes say about Minnesota’s economy in the  DEED Developments Blog.

The Changing Geography of the Opioid Crisis  Discusses the opioid epidemic in the U.S. and analyzes how death from opioid overdoses has changed geographically over the past few decades. Includes data on opioid overdose mortality rates by county and rurality, describes the differences in type of substances in rural areas versus urban areas.

Farm Groups Partner to Help Farmers Manage Stress Farm Bureau, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the National Farmers Union partnered on a program which will offer trainings to those who interact with farmers in order to identify signs of stress and other mental health concerns. Farmers experience higher levels of psychological distress and this program aims to bring mental health resources directly to those who may need them.

Together With Veterans Rural Suicide Prevention Program A program called Together With Veterans helps rural communities address and prevent suicides among veterans. The community-centered initiative is veteran-led, collaborative, and uses evidence-based models.

–USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Program offers a resource guide highlighting opportunities to support the modernization of transportation infrastructure elements in rural communities–the bedrock of growth for rural towns and communities.  Get the publication by clicking here.

Demand for Broadband in Rural Areas: Implications for Universal Access Reports on the characteristics of demand for fixed broadband among households and small businesses in rural areas and how they affect private sector infrastructure investments. Discusses the role of schools and libraries as providers of broadband service and training to rural residents, and how broadband enabled services, such as telemedicine, may encourage rural households and small businesses to adopt the technology. Highlights federal programs and policies that may increase or impede broadband demand, and offers options for the U.S. Congress to consider as it addresses rural broadband demand.

Informal Caregiving and Technology in Rural America As people are living longer and trying to find solutions to delay the expense of long-term care or nursing facilities, family members, including adult children, are increasingly becoming informal, unpaid caregivers. Learn how technology may be a solution to help rural caregivers, what some of the challenges and opportunities are, and read about a current model that has the potential to change the landscape.

— Interactive Maps from U.S. Census Bureau, December 2019

— New Rural Opportunity Map now available! The Center on Rural Innovation just released the Rural Opportunity Map, a suite of data tools to help local leaders, national policymakers, investors & donors see the potential in rural America. Check out the tools and find data to inform your work. Go to: https://ruralopportunitymap.us/

JOB OPPORTUNITY

–U.S. Census Bureau is hiring: Look here to see what positions are available. Competitive wages, weekly paychecks, flexible hours, and paid training are all included in all positions.

 

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!

 

Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
Also find online at: https://wp.me/pkVGJ-9g

  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  • TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

–Bloomberg Philanthropies has launched the Asphalt Art Initiative, which responds to the growing number of cities around the world embracing art as an effective and relatively low-cost strategy to activate their streets. Along with a guide that features more than two dozen case studies, there is a grant opportunity for 10 small and mid-sized American cities to receive up to $25,000 each to implement their own arts-driven transportation projects.  Deadline: 12/12/2019.  Click here to review initiative guidelines, and click here to get the guide.

Farm to School Grant Program  Grants to plan, establish, and/or sustain a Farm to School program that improves access to local foods in schools. Application Deadline: Dec. 13, 2019.

KIDSGARDENING.ORG, a national nonprofit dedicated to providing inspiration and support for parents and educators who are gardening with children, awards Youth Garden Grants to support school and youth educational garden projects that enhance the quality of life for students and their communities. Any U.S. nonprofit organization, school, or youth program planning a new garden program or expanding an established one that serves at least 15 youth between the ages of three and 18 is eligible to apply. Deadline: 12/16/2019. Visit the KidsGardening website here to access application guidelines and forms.

–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.

— Smart Rural Community Grant https://wp.me/p3if7-5CR due December 31.

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.

— DNR Grant Available to Help Get Kids Outdoors Grant funding is available to assist with work including teaching kids about nature outside or getting them to recreate outside, integrating fishing and hunting programs into school curriculums, and supporting high school fishing leagues.

Public entities and nonprofit organizations can apply to receive funding from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in the second phase of a grant program that supports getting more children outdoors. Public entities and nonprofit organizations serving youth under age 18 can apply now through 2 p.m. on Jan. 9, 2020. The minimum grant for this second phase is $5,000 and the maximum is $49,999. In this phase, the total amount available for all projects is $500,000. All reimbursable grant project work must be completed by June 30, 2022. For more information on the grant program and a link to the application, visit the DNR website.

–ARTSPACE is currently accepting applications for the Rafala Green Fellowship Program. With funding from the Ford Foundation, the mission of the program is to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion for people from communities traditionally underrepresented in real estate development. Each fellow will receive a $50,000 annual salary during the two-year term of their fellowship, as well as a comprehensive benefits package. Deadline:  1/15/2020.  Click here to review program guidelines.

— Science Kits for Public Libraries Grant Application https://wp.me/p3if7-5EY due January 19,2020

Empowering Communities to Reduce Falls and Falls Risk Grants to help communities reduce falls and/or falls risk among older adults and adults with disabilities through the implementation of evidence-based falls prevention programs. An emphasis is on projects that will target specific populations, such as rural communities, underserved areas, veterans, caregivers, or Tribal elders. Letter of Intent (Optional): Dec 16, 2019. Application Deadline: Jan 31, 2020

–The Economic Opportunity Challenge is a public competition to award $10 million to scale a game-changing solution aimed at improving the financial health of low-income families in the United States. The Challenge will fund the most transformative evidence-based solutions to address barriers to improved economic opportunity, security, and mobility for individuals and families. The focus is on proven, data-driven solutions ready to serve as a model for implementation across the country. Deadline: the registration deadline is 1/28/2020; applications must be submitted by 2/18/2020. More information about the funding guidelines and application process is available on the Challenge’s website here.

— USDA Rural Development is offering grants to establish and operate Agricultural Innovation Centers that will provide technical assistance to help rural businesses market value-added agricultural products. Application Deadline: 3/20/2020.  Click here to review application guidelines.

— USDA is offering grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).  Funding supports 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. Deadline: 3/31/2020.  Click here to review program guidelines.

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). Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Honor the Earth Native Food Security Grants for Native organizations working to create food security utilizing traditional seeds, foods, and growing methods, as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

–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.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

Introducing the Rural Suicide Prevention Toolkit Webinar  on Wednesday, December 11th at 12:00 p.m. Central as our featured speakers, Carrie Henning-Smith, Cathy Barber, Scott LoMurray, & Adam Swanson discuss the Rural Suicide Prevention Toolkit and describe strategies to establishing and sustaining suicide prevention programs in rural communities.

— CDFA-TEDC Webinar: “Rural Broadband – Financing the Last Mile,” December 18, 2019, 11:00 AM to 12:30 AM EST.  Rural communities commonly have difficulty financing middle-mile and last-mile broadband infrastructure. The Massachusetts Broadband Initiative and the Wyoming Broadband Advisory Council represent two state-level entities attempting to bridge the middle-mile and last-mile broadband gaps. One potential solution for this issue is to construct a fiber-optic network for municipal usage and lease the excess capacity (also called “dark fiber”) to telecommunications providers to generate revenue. Click here to register for the webinar.

January 22: Northwest Minnesota Foundations Join this event to learn about trends, staffing, program shifts, and financial outlooks of foundations in Northwest Minnesota. Minnesota Compass Research Scientist Ellen Wolter will facilitate a roundtable discussion about how organizations can use data in grant applications and reports. Bring a laptop to get hands-on guidance in how to use the Minnesota Compass Build Your Own data tool! Learn more and register.

–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. For additional conference questions, contact Lori Peterson at 651-757-1876 or lori.a.peterson@state.mn.us. Details: Feb. 24-26, 2020 at the Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center

–The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is pleased to announce its second Rural Energy Conference, on February 25, 2020 in Chicago IL. The conference will offer opportunities to delve into clean energy solutions for rural communities that will spur economic growth and energy affordability.

Discussion topics will include energy efficiency program design and financing, renewable and distributed energy resources, economic development, electrification of buildings and transportation, resilience and disaster recovery, energy affordability for low-income households, 2018 Farm Bill and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, and broadband access. More information and registration can be found here.

Save the Date for Minnesota Festival and Events Association Annual Conference MNFEA is excited to announce the 2020 Annual MNFEA Conference will be held March 11-13 in Duluth.

— AURI, with partners Compeer Financial and Georgetown University’s Rural Opportunity Initiative, is convening the fourth annual New Uses Forum on April 8th & 9th 2020. The event brings together knowledgeable experts on topics related to innovation, development and investment. Their presentations will share indispensable information and experiences, foster meaningful discussion and ultimately produce actionable impact. The event features keynote speakers, panels, and networking opportunities, which will explore innovative solutions benefiting the agricultural industry. The New Uses Forum will take place at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

OPPORTUNITIES

–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.

— Take the Fed’s Small Business Credit Survey by December 20.  If you own or manage a business that has fewer than 500 employees share your perspective on current business conditions and credit availability by taking the Federal Reserve Banks’ 2019 Small Business Credit Survey, which closes on December 20. The survey takes about ten minutes to complete. You can find it here; more information about its purpose and past findings is available here.

— 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 Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is implementing a pilot program to encourage people to consider buying and driving an electric vehicle in order to help reduce carbon pollution. Part of the Pathways to Decarbonizing Transportation, this three year pilot program addresses a larger goal of trying to get more electric vehicles on the road in Minnesota by giving MnPASS toll credits to people who purchase or lease a new or used electric vehicle between November 1, 2019 and October 31, 2022. The MnPASS incentive is geared toward people who do not already own an electric vehicle, or who are perhaps on the fence about purchasing. It is intended to encourage those who are thinking about purchasing or leasing a vehicle to choose an electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. More information on the program is available here.

MISCELLANEOUS

Rural America at a Glance, 2019 Edition This report highlights recent economic indicators in rural areas, focusing on population, employment, poverty, and personal income trends after the end of the Great Recession in 2009.

Rural Development Hubs: Strengthening America’s Rural Innovation Infrastructure
Looks at the role rural development hubs play in rural infrastructure development. Discusses healthcare access and population health as beneficiaries of rural infrastructure development.

Why Rural Matters 2018-2019: The Time is Now Describes the context and conditions of rural education in each of the fifty states. Presents data focused on the key areas of need in rural education. Discusses early childhood development, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), educational outcomes, college readiness, student and family diversity, and educational policy indicators.

Beginning, Limited Resource, Socially Disadvantaged, and Female Farmers Since the 1990s, America’s beginning, socially disadvantaged, and limited resource farmers and ranchers have been eligible to receive benefits from a variety of Farm Act programs. ERS research examines the characteristics of these targeted farm operators, the farms they operate, and their households; their participation in agricultural commodity, conservation, or loan programs; and related topics, such as the number and characteristics of female farm operators.

Agritourism Allows Farms To Diversify and Has Potential Benefits for Rural Communities Agritourism helps U.S. farmers and ranchers generate revenue from recreational or educational activities, such as tours of a working farm, camping, or horseback riding. Beginning and small and mid-size farms are increasingly exploring agritourism as a strategy to remain competitive. Agritourism also has the potential to help revitalize rural economies, educate the public about agriculture, and preserve agricultural heritage. According to data from the Census of Agriculture, farm agritourism revenue more than tripled between 2002 and 2017.

Climate Change Projected To Increase Cost of the Federal Crop Insurance Program due to Greater Insured Value and Yield Variability The Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP) insures participating farmers against adverse production or market conditions. Under the FCIP, the Federal Government pays a portion of farmers’ premiums; these premium subsidies represent the costs to the Government of the FCIP. The cost of administering the FCIP rises in years with adverse weather events, such as droughts, when insurance claims outpace premiums paid for insurance coverage. Recent ERS research used statistical, geophysical, and economic models to explore how climate change could affect yields and the cost of the FCIP.

–The State of Minnesota launched a first of its kind online dashboard – sustainability.mn.gov – that scores the state’s progress towards meeting its sustainability goals. The dashboard will track progress toward achieving the vision to reduce Minnesota’s carbon footprint and bring Minnesota’s energy sector to carbon neutrality by 2050. In addition to the dashboard, the Minnesota Department of Administration’s Office of Enterprise Sustainability released its second annual State of Minnesota Sustainability Report. Minnesota state government showed improvement over 2017 in four of the six areas – water use, solid waste sustainable purchasing and greenhouse gas reduction.  Two areas – fossil fuel use and energy consumption – showed declines in 2018.  Full report here.

–A new Harvard study shows that to achieve the biggest improvements in public health and the greatest benefits from renewable energy, wind turbines should be installed in the Upper Midwest and solar power should be installed in the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions. When adjusting for energy produced, the benefits ranged from $28 per MWh of energy produced from wind in California, to $113 per MWh of wind in the Upper Midwest and for utility-scale solar in the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic. The study in Environmental Research Letters by the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard C-CHANGE) provides a guide for policymakers, businesses, and utilities on where to install renewable energy in the U.S. to maximize their health and climate benefits. Find the summary here and the full report published in Environmental Research Letters here.

— The Health Policy Division of the Minnesota Department of Health released a chartbook of data highlights that give an overview of rural care in Minnesota. Specifically, the chartbook presents data on the structure of the health care system in rural Minnesota, the health care workforce, changes in the availability of health care services, how people in rural Minnesota experience and use health care services, and the financing of health care. It also provides a glimpse into system transformation efforts underway in Minnesota. The Rural Health Care in Minnesota Chartbook, 2019 will be a valuable resource for policy makers and others seeking data on rural health care in Minnesota.

Rural Response to Farmer Mental Health and Suicide Prevention This new issue guide discusses the rising mental health crisis in farming communities and provides information on organizations and model programs that are addressing the challenges and mental health needs of this population.

Community Health Worker Roles and Responsibilities in Rural and Urban America
Results of a study to explore community health worker (CHW) roles and responsibilities, the growing professionalization of the field, and interactions between CHWs and other healthcare providers. Uses data obtained from focus groups conducted in Florida, Minnesota, California, and Massachusetts. Provides an in-depth look at the differences between CHW work in rural and urban areas, and offers insights to support continued growth of the field.

— “Increasing Access to Affordable Housing in Indian Country” is the title of an article by Patrice Kunesh, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, in Shelterforce Weekly.  Incomes are rising in much of Indian Country, and many people are looking to own their own homes, but a set of obstacles specific to Native lands is getting in the way. Read the article by clicking here.

— USDA has released “Collaborating for Prosperity with American Indians and Alaska Natives Resource Guide.”  The guide showcases a complete list of Rural Development programs that help to ensure rural families, businesses and communities on America’s tribal lands have the resources they need to prosper.  To download the Guide, click 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!

November 2019 – Volume XVII — Number 12
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
Also find online at: https://wp.me/pkVGJ-9a

  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  • TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

— Rural America has struggled to bounce back from the recession. Entrepreneurship has been on the decline, while automation and globalization have disrupted traditional industries. These trends are hitting rural communities particularly hard. Revitalizing rural America requires a new approach. The Rural Innovation Initiative* is helping communities change this story.

Through the Rural Innovation Initiative (RII)  communities that apply to receive intensive technical assistance as they execute an innovation hub strategy: an economic development model that works to educate and train local residents in digital skills, employ them in new economy jobs, and empower them to launch the startups that will drive their digital economy.

Communities receive a combination of in-person site visits and virtual support to develop their programming and strategy, geared towards preparing their project to apply for the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s i6 program and similar opportunities. Participating communities join the Rural Innovation Network, connecting with other rural communities and receiving access to additional support to develop their community efforts. The first cohort of communities joined RII in 2019 and included Red Wing, MN.

The 2020 application is open through 11/18/19

Eligible communities are designated rural counties according to U.S. Census definitions or represent regional efforts that cover a majority rural area. Successful communities will ideally have a combination of the following attributes:

  • Existing high-speed broadband
  • Significant portions of the community located in or near Opportunity Zones
  • Partnership with a 4-year endowed residential college or university campus
  • Committed local leadership and a willing non-profit organization and/or local and regional government prepared to raise matching funds and lead the initiative

Applications take 10-15 minutes.  Some communities may be interviewed after submitting an application.  Access the application and additional information here.

–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.

Instructor Training Grants for Physical Activity Programs Grants for local park and recreation agencies to train instructors in evidence-based physical activity programs that are designed to positively impact chronic disease management, increase physical activity engagement, help seniors age in place, and improve quality of life. Instructors must provide services to underserved populations, including populations of color, those living in/near the poverty level, those with limited access to healthcare and human services, rural and other remote geographic populations, and populations highly affected by chronic conditions. Application Deadline: Nov 26, 2019.

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.

–Start-ups invited to apply for Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants a statewide collaborative effort to accelerate the growth of startups and amplify Minnesota as a national leader in innovation. DEED is now accepting online applications for Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants, which target the most promising, innovative and scalable technology businesses in Minnesota. Innovation Grants are available in the following categories:

  • Business operations: Up to $35,000 for business operations, including research and development, direct business expenses and technical assistance.
  • Housing or child care: Up to $7,500 for housing or child care expenses.
  • SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) match: Up to $50,000 for businesses awarded a first-time federal Phase 2 SBIR and STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) award.

Grant applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and those received by November 30, 2019 will be reviewed by the Launch Minnesota Advisory Board in December. Grantees will be announced in January. Applications received after November 30 will be reviewed on a regular basis in the following months.

Completed applications should be submitted to launchminnesota@state.mn.org with grant title noted in the email subject line. More detailed grant submission information is included on the application form for each grant. Launch Minnesota provides special consideration and social capital connectivity for startups and small businesses in Greater Minnesota as well as businesses started by women, veterans and people of color. Check out launchminnesota.org to learn more. When you’re there, make sure to sign up for our newsletter for regular updates.

Smart Rural Community Grant Funding to support the development and implementation of innovative broadband-enabled solutions to support rural commerce, healthcare, public safety, economic development, education, energy, and other community-oriented initiatives. Application Deadline: December 1, 2019.

–Institute of Museum and Library Services is offering funding through the Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Libraries program.  The program supports projects that strengthen the ability of small or rural libraries and archives to serve their communities. Topics of interest include transforming school library practice, community memory, and digital inclusion. Deadline: 12/2/2019.  Click here to review program guidelines.

Brownfields Assessment Grants  for developing inventories of brownfield sites, prioritizing sites, conducting community involvement activities, conducting planning, conducting site assessments, developing site-specific cleanup plans, and developing reuse plans related to brownfield sites. Application Deadline: Dec 3, 2019.

Brownfields Cleanup Grants to carry out cleanup activities at specific Brownfields sites, resulting in better community environmental health. Application Deadline: Dec 3, 2019.

Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Grants to eligible agencies to capitalize a revolving loan fund that will provide loans and subgrants to eligible entities to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites contaminated with hazardous substances and/or petroleum. Application Deadline: Dec 3, 2019.

Tribal Behavioral Health Grant Program  Grants for projects designed to prevent suicidal behavior and substance misuse, reduce the impact of trauma, and promote mental health among American Indian/Alaska Native young people up to the age of 24. Application Deadline: Dec 10, 2019.

–Bloomberg Philanthropies has launched the Asphalt Art Initiative, which responds to the growing number of cities around the world embracing art as an effective and relatively low-cost strategy to activate their streets. Along with a guide that features more than two dozen case studies, there is a grant opportunity for 10 small and mid-sized American cities to receive up to $25,000 each to implement their own arts-driven transportation projects.  Deadline: 12/12/2019.  Click here to review initiative guidelines, and click here to get the guide.

Farm to School Grant Program  Grants to plan, establish, and/or sustain a Farm to School program that improves access to local foods in schools. Application Deadline: Dec. 13, 2019.

KIDSGARDENING.ORG, a national nonprofit dedicated to providing inspiration and support for parents and educators who are gardening with children, awards Youth Garden Grants to support school and youth educational garden projects that enhance the quality of life for students and their communities. Any U.S. nonprofit organization, school, or youth program planning a new garden program or expanding an established one that serves at least 15 youth between the ages of three and 18 is eligible to apply. Deadline: 12/16/2019. Visit the KidsGardening website here to access application guidelines and forms.

–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.

–ARTSPACE is currently accepting applications for the Rafala Green Fellowship Program. With funding from the Ford Foundation, the mission of the program is to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion for people from communities traditionally underrepresented in real estate development. Each fellow will receive a $50,000 annual salary during the two-year term of their fellowship, as well as a comprehensive benefits package. Deadline:  1/15/2020.  Click here to review program guidelines.

 

–The Economic Opportunity Challenge is a public competition to award $10 million to scale a game-changing solution aimed at improving the financial health of low-income families in the United States. The Challenge will fund the most transformative evidence-based solutions to address barriers to improved economic opportunity, security, and mobility for individuals and families. The focus is on proven, data-driven solutions ready to serve as a model for implementation across the country. Deadline: the registration deadline is 1/28/2020; applications must be submitted by 2/18/2020. More information about the funding guidelines and application process is available on the Challenge’s website here.

 

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). Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Honor the Earth Native Food Security Grants for Native organizations working to create food security utilizing traditional seeds, foods, and growing methods, as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

–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.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

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

National Rural Health Day, November 21, 2019  Includes a list of events for the week of National Rural Health Day (November 18 – November 21) from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP). Events include a National Institutes of Health (NIH) seminar, various webinars, Twitter chats, and more.

–Minnesota Milk’s Dairy Conference and Expo is December 3-4, 2019. https://www.mnmilk.org/page/2019_Expo

— Join Minnesota 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! Cloquet Monday, Dec. 9, 9-10 a.m. Register and Chisholm Tuesday, Dec. 10, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Register.

–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. For additional conference questions, contact Lori Peterson at 651-757-1876 or lori.a.peterson@state.mn.us.

Details: Feb. 24-26, 2020 at the Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center

Save the Date for Minnesota Festival and Events Association Annual Conference MNFEA is excited to announce the 2020 Annual MNFEA Conference will be held March 11-13 in Duluth.

— AURI, with partners Compeer Financial and Georgetown University’s Rural Opportunity Initiative, is convening the fourth annual New Uses Forum on April 8th & 9th 2020. The event brings together knowledgeable experts on topics related to innovation, development and investment. Their presentations will share indispensable information and experiences, foster meaningful discussion and ultimately produce actionable impact. The event features keynote speakers, panels, and networking opportunities, which will explore innovative solutions benefiting the agricultural industry. The New Uses Forum will take place at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

OPPORTUNITIES

— RFP Now Open for 2020 Nonprofit Finance and Sustainability Conference. The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) and Propel Nonprofits seek dynamic session leaders to present at the ninth annual Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference. We are seeking workshops that will focus on a range of skills and knowledge. Sessions will highlight everything from technical skills such as budgeting, audits, and compliance to strategic skills such as team leadership, internal controls, and oversight. Submitting a proposal is easy! Simply complete the online proposal form. The deadline to submit a proposal to present at the conference is Monday, November 18, 2019 at 8 a.m. More information can be found on our website.

— Open Positions on Explore Minnesota Tourism Council. The Explore Minnesota Tourism Council consists of 28 people from all sectors of hospitality and tourism appointed by the governor to serve in an advisory capacity to Explore Minnesota. The purpose of the Tourism Council is to serve the broader interests of tourism in Minnesota by promoting activities that support, maintain and expand the state’s domestic and international travel market, thereby generating increased visitor expenditures, tax revenue and employment. The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State released notice of vacancies for various state boards, councils and committees that are accepting applications. Minnesotans are encouraged to apply and serve in demonstration of public service. The Explore Minnesota Tourism Council, eleven (11) open positions.  Questions can be directed to Beth Helle at beth.helle@state.mn.us or 651-757-1872.

— Explore Minnesota Tourism Award Nominations deadline extended to Nov. 29. The Explore Minnesota Tourism Awards celebrate the outstanding people, events, marketing initiatives and activities that help to make Minnesota a premier travel destination. The deadline for submissions has now been extended until Friday, Nov. 29. The 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. See the complete list of categories and submit your nomination on the Explore Minnesota tourism industry website. Questions? Contact David Bergman at 888-563-7777 or david.bergman@state.mn.us.

2019–2020 Lights, Camera, Save! Video Contest The American Bankers Association (ABA) Foundation is sponsoring its 10th annual video contest for banks to encourage teenagers to educate themselves and their peers about the value of saving and using money wisely. Banks host local competitions and select winners to compete in a national competition for up to $5,000 toward their savings goals. Student entries must be submitted by December 3, 2019.

–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.

— Take the Fed’s Small Business Credit Survey by December 20.  If you own or manage a business that has fewer than 500 employees share your perspective on current business conditions and credit availability by taking the Federal Reserve Banks’ 2019 Small Business Credit Survey, which closes on December 20. The survey takes about ten minutes to complete. You can find it here; more information about its purpose and past findings is available here.

— 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.

MISCELLANEOUS

Manufacturing in Minnesota: Four Things to Know Compass Project Director Allison Liuzzi shares four things to know about manufacturing in Minnesota. Read the article.

— A Statewide Crisis: Minnesota’s Education Achievement Gaps. This new report explores and details Minnesota’s multi-dimensional education achievement gaps. More

Minnesota Economic Trends  Minnesota employers continue to struggle to find workers they need to grow and thrive in today’s tight labor market. The current edition of Trends takes a closer look at hiring difficulties and highlights a new tool for high schools and colleges to use in helping students plan for the in-demand jobs of the future.

–National Association of County and City Health Officials sponsored a report, “A Rising Tide: Increasing Rural Local Health Department Capacity to Address the Social Determinants of Health.” The report describes the unique challenges faced by rural local health departments (LHDs), as well as assets such as community connectivity and trusted local institutions, and explores the ways in which partnerships, leadership, community engagement, data and evaluation, and community health improvement planning function as foundational elements in addressing social determinants of health in rural communities.  Get the report by clicking here.

Health, United States, 2018 Presents an annual overview of national trends in health statistics. Covers health status and determinants, healthcare utilization, access, and expenditures. Includes rural data – see the Trend Tables Data Finder and select “Metropolitan and nonmetropolitan” under Population Subgroups. Additional links: Trend Tables Data Finder

Rural Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Toolkit Our most recent toolkit assembles resources and evidence-based models to aid rural communities in implementing programs that address and prevent COPD. Created in coordination with the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, learn about rural risk factors, diagnosis and treatment, and the National Action Plan to combat COPD.

Addressing a Crisis: Cross-Sector Strategies to Prevent Adolescent Substance Use and Suicide Report discusses different methods for adolescent substance use and suicide prevention. Highlights rates of suicide and substance use, such as binge drinking, misuse of pain medication, and vaping. Explores differences in rates for youth in rural and urban areas.

FindTreatment.gov Tool allows users to find mental health providers and treatment for substance use disorder by zip code. Features treatment options, payment information, and information about addiction and mental health.

Clinician’s Pocket Guide to Prevent Elder Fraud This resource is designed to be used by health care professional and others who work with older Americans. The pocket guide lists common red flags of financial exploitation and financial capacity and describes the types of referrals that may be needed. The guide is part of the Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation Prevention Program.

MoneySkill.  The American Financial Services Association Education Foundation offers this free, online personal finance curriculum. The curriculum has modules focused on a variety of topics, including income, saving and investing, credit, and insurance. The curriculum is available in English and Spanish and is audio-equipped for English users.

–AURI Publishes report on Growing Hemp Industry. A market for hemp-derived products is emerging in Minnesota, creating a groundswell of excitement and the need for reliable information. In response, the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) set out to make sense of the state’s burgeoning industrial hemp industry. It did so by producing a comprehensive report, which functions as an overview of the landscape and guide for stakeholders and interested parties. For the full article go to: https://www.auri.org/2019/10/auri-publishes-report-on-growing-hemp-industry/

Agritourism Allows Farms To Diversify and Has Potential Benefits for Rural Communities Agritourism helps U.S. farmers and ranchers generate revenue from recreational or educational activities, such as tours of a working farm, camping, or horseback riding. Beginning and small and mid-size farms are increasingly exploring agritourism as a strategy to remain competitive. Agritourism also has the potential to help revitalize rural economies, educate the public about agriculture, and preserve agricultural heritage. According to data from the Census of Agriculture, farm agritourism revenue more than tripled between 2002 and 2017.

Climate Change Projected To Increase Cost of the Federal Crop Insurance Program due to Greater Insured Value and Yield Variability The Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP) insures participating farmers against adverse production or market conditions. Under the FCIP, the Federal Government pays a portion of farmers’ premiums; these premium subsidies represent the costs to the Government of the FCIP. The cost of administering the FCIP rises in years with adverse weather events, such as droughts, when insurance claims outpace premiums paid for insurance coverage. Recent ERS research used statistical, geophysical, and economic models to explore how climate change could affect yields and the cost of the FCIP.

— Broadband access tough to get on farms according to the United Soybean Board https://wp.me/p3if7-5A4

— ILSR Muninetworks’ Video Broadband Primer. Muninetworks is creating a multi-part series of videos to help community leaders and policymakers better understand broadband. https://wp.me/p3if7-5Bv

–The Urban Institute released “Disrupting Food Insecurity,” a new data dashboard that provides county-level statistics about food insecurity and a variety of related risk factors. The dashboard provides data about housing costs, physical health, income and employment, median credit scores and debt, education levels, the share of households with children, and race in each U.S. county.  Click here to visit the dashboard.

–NEA teamed with staff from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity to publish a commentary article titled “Creating Activity-Friendly Communities: Exploring the Intersection of Public Health and the Arts.” The article appears in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.  Click here to read the article.

–RAND Corporation has published a report, “A Systemic Framework for Understanding the Dynamics of Rural Communities in America.” Researchers identify factors and mechanisms that influence positive and negative outcomes in rural communities.  The report highlights the relationship between labor and health capacity, with examples of how these can vary over time. Household, organizational, and community dynamics are examined, as well as the impact of regional, state, and federal forces on rural communities.  Click here to get the report.

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!

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

  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  • TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

— 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.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

–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.

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

Registration details coming soon.

–Hold the Dates:

OPPORTUNITIES

–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.

MISCELLANEOUS

–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!

September 2019 – Volume XVII — Number 10
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
Also find online at: https://wp.me/pkVGJ-8Y

  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  • TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS
  • JOB OPPORTUNITY

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

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.

— The Laura Jane Musser Fund is also offering funding through the Intercultural Harmony Initiative in support of projects that promote mutual understanding and cooperation among groups of community members of different cultural backgrounds. Project planning grants up to $5,000 or implementation grants up to $25,000 will be considered. New programs or projects in their first three years are eligible. Deadline: Applications will be accepted online through the Fund’s website from 9/16 to 10/16/2019. Click here to review funding guidelines.

— WALMART is offering grants for community-based projects that use a new approach for increasing access to healthier foods in regions and/or for populations that experience disproportionate rates of food insecurity.  Deadline: Letter of Intent 9/17/2019, Applications 10/31/2019.  Click here to review application guidelines.

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.

— The US Soccer Foundation is offering grants through the Safe Places to Play program for field-building initiatives in the following categories: Lighting, Irrigation, and Sport Court. Eligible applicants include community organizations, schools, municipalities, and other groups that offer soccer opportunities to youth. Deadline for letters of interest is 9/27/2019; invited applications are due by 10/4/2019. Visit the Foundation’s website by clicking here to learn more about the application process.

— Nonprofit Infrastructure Grant Program. Applications are now open for Propel Nonprofits’ Infrastructure Grant Program! This program is aimed at supporting the missions of small, culturally led organizations by strengthening their infrastructure. The 2019-2021 cohort of grant recipients will be culturally led Minnesota nonprofit organizations and will be paired with technical assistance on financial administration courtesy of Propel Nonprofits.  You can find out more about the program in a blog written by Kate Barr, and you can check out the RFP over on the Propel Nonprofits website. The application is due by 5 pm on September 30, 2019.

— HUD is offering grants through The Continuum of Care Program for programs to quickly re-house homeless individuals, families, youth, and persons fleeing domestic violence while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused by homelessness; promote access to mainstream programs by the homeless; and optimize self-sufficiency among those experiencing homelessness. Deadline:  9/30/2019.  Click here to review application guidelines.

— USDA Rural Development is offering 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.  Deadline:  9/30/2019. Click here to review program guidelines and to apply.

–The Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program (Farm Bill Broadband Program) furnishes loans and loan guarantees to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide service at the broadband lending speed in eligible rural areas. The deadline is September 30.

— Karma for Cara Foundation is accepting applications for Youth Service Project Grants.  Micro-grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to youth age 18 and under for service projects in their communities.  Deadline: 10/1/2019.  Click here to visit the Foundation’s website and to apply.

Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant Program Grants to support new or existing edible gardens at K-12 schools and nonprofit organizations. Application Deadline: Oct 15, 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.

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.

— 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.

— 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.

BNSF Railway Foundation Grants to organizations that operate near a BNSF railway line. Priority areas include health and human service organizations, programs that address chemical dependency treatment and prevention, spouse and child abuse, women’s and children’s aid, transitional shelters, hospitals, medical programs, youth development programs, and federally recognized tribes.  Geographic coverage: Nationwide in areas near BNSF rail lines. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Direct Relief Partnership Network A partnership program for healthcare facilities that extends medication access to patients who are unable to afford prescriptions, reduces procurement costs of medications and supplies, and leverages resources to foster healthier communities. Partner facilities order online from Direct Relief’s pharmaceutical inventory. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Discount for Rural Health Coding and Billing Specialist Online Course  Offers a 50% discount on an online self-study course for rural healthcare professionals to attain certification as a Rural Coding and Billing Specialist. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation Grants dedicated to improving the health of the public by advancing the education and training of health professionals. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

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.

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.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

— Register for MACVB Annual Conference The Minnesota Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (MACVB) Annual Conference will be held Oct. 1-2 in Faribault. The annual conference, hosted by the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, connects like-minded tourism professionals and provides an opportunity to gather for learning, networking and leadership. Whether you are a seasoned executive, a novice, or a small or large DMO/CVB, you will come away with new skills, ideas and tips that you can use in your daily work.

REGISTER HERE

— The National Development Council will offer a Mixed-Use Real Estate Finance course October 2-4, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Participants will learn how to finance mixed-use development as a way to catalyze “Main Street,” energizing it with shopping, dining, culture and entertainment. This course explores debt, equity and public/private financing tools available for Main Street redevelopment. Click here to learn more about the course and to register. Regular student registration fee is $825.  The early registration discount code is PD112MN19.

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.

— 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. To receive the discounted room block rate, please make your lodging reservations by Sept. 30 by calling Eddy’s Resort at 320-532-3657 and use the code SCE1015. 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.

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

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.

–Hold the Dates:

OPPORTUNITIES

— Public Comment Period and Webinar: 2020-23 Strategic Plan and 2020-21 Affordable Housing Plan

We are pleased to release drafts of our 2020-23 Strategic Plan and 2020-21 Affordable Housing Plan for public comment.

  • The 2020-23 Strategic Plan provides our strategic direction for the next four years.
  • The 2020-21 Affordable Housing Plan is our business plan to implement the first two years of the Strategic Plan and includes key initiatives and estimates of resources that we expect to distribute.

Your feedback is critical for developing effective plans. Submit your comments tomn.housing@state.mn.us by 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 19.

— Intelligent Community Forum Applications. The Blandin Foundation held regional meetings to encourage communities to apply to become Intelligent Communities. https://wp.me/p3if7-5cm ICF publishes research based on the data provided by communities like yours around the world. The goal is to provide cities, towns and regions of all sizes with evidence-based guidance on achieving economic, social and cultural growth in the challenging digital age. Learn more to consider your community’s options.

–Applications Now Open for the 2020 Shannon Leadership Institute. Now is the time to submit your application for the James P. Shannon Leadership Institute! The mission of the institute is to nurture the creativity and vitality of community-serving leaders from all sectors.  It provides a structured and supportive place for community leaders to dive deep into the purpose of their work and the core values they want to exemplify, enhance their focus and effectiveness, and increase their sense of fulfillment. The deadline to apply for the institute isn’t until October. Head to their website for information about joining an info session, insight from alumni, and facts about the upcoming session.

–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

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.

–CO.STARTERS with the James J. Hill Center. Are you an entrepreneur but want a little help moving your idea forward? Learn more about the CO.STARTERS program, presented by the James J. Hill Center! This 10-week program equips entrepreneurs of all kinds with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action. Over the course of the program, 10-15 entrepreneurs will meet one evening a week led by an experienced facilitator to help give you everything you need to launch.  Learn more about the program over on the James J. Hill Center website!

MISCELLANEOUS

— The Candidates and Rural Policy: A Quick Guide- Here’s a roundup of the candidates’ positions on rural policy and a sampling of their statements about rural. Read more

— GSA Provides Projected Timeline for Implementation of New Unique Entity Identifier Replacing D-U-N-S® Number. Beginning in December 2020, the D-U-N-S® number will be replaced by a “new, non-proprietary identifier” requested in, and assigned by, the System for Award Management. Learn more here. 

Promoting Positive Mental Health in Rural Schools Provides resources and information to assist with the mental health training and technical assistance needs of schools, administrators, teachers, support staff, and others serving rural and remote communities and students. Profiles a rural student who faces a variety of challenges, such as food insecurity, limited access to providers, drug use, mental health, social isolation, and more.

Age trends are transforming Minnesota  Minnesota’s ratio of working-age adults to older adults will continue to shrink over the coming decade, with potential implications for housing, transportation, and our workforce. Learn more in this month’s Featured Trend.

The Evolving Policy Landscape of Telehealth Services Delivered in the Home and Other Nonclinical Settings Issue brief identifying key findings for state officials considering adopting new policies for home-based telehealth services. Describes Medicaid and Medicare coverage for telehealth services, including those provided in rural and Health Professional Shortage Areas, Critical Access Hospitals, and Rural Health Clinics.

Three questions about internet access in greater Minnesota answered Accessing affordable and adequate broadband remains a challenge for some businesses and households in communities throughout greater Minnesota. Minnesota Compass explores the broadband landscape and internet access in Minnesota. Read the article.

— A new interactive tool from Pew’s broadband research initiative allows you to view, filter, and search all state policies pertaining to broadband deployment. Pew’s new and first-of-its-kind “broadband policy explorer” allows users to search by:  broadband programs, competition and regulation, funding and financing, infrastructure access, and definitions for speed, unserved, and underserved.  Access the tool by clicking here.

— The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has resources to help businesses prepare for and recover from natural disasters.  Disaster Help Desk for Business has resources for direct support from disaster recovery experts; click here to visit the Disaster Help Desk website.  Resilience in a Box Resource Guide is based on best practices designed to help educate business leaders on disaster preparedness and business resilience. This tool is available in Spanish as well as English and includes a list of Top 20 Tips that businesses can make use of.  Click here for Resilience in a Box.  An additional resource Disaster Recovery Quick Guides have tailored tips for small businesses looking to prepare and recover.  Click here for the Guides.

JOB OPPORTUNITY

–University of Minnesota Extension Seeking an Extension Educator The Tourism Center and Extension Center for Community Vitality are hiring a Community Economics and Tourism Extension Educator.The position will be housed in the Brained Extension Regional office, and will serve both the Central region counties and statewide for tourism programming. For information about specific Extension programs and initiatives, go to https://extension.umn.edu/community-development. Apply online at: https://extension.umn.edu/about-extension/careers (Job ID 332499).

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!

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