Newsletter – Rural Round Up


August 2017- Volume XV, Number 8
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

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

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

–The Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation is offering grants through the Foundation’s Community Partners grant program to nonprofit organizations and local municipalities undertaking high-need projects such as building renovations and upgrades, grounds improvements, technology upgrades and safety improvements. Grants range from $2,001 to $100,000. Applications for the fall funding cycle will be accepted until 8/25/2017. Visit the company’s website here to review the giving guidelines and to take the eligibility quiz.

–HUD is awarding Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants to support the development of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans which focus on directing resources to address three core goals: Housing, People and Neighborhood. To achieve these core goals, communities must develop and implement a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy, or Transformation Plan. The Transformation Plan will become the guiding document for the revitalization of the public and/or assisted housing units while simultaneously directing the transformation of the surrounding neighborhood and positive outcomes for families. Deadline: August 28, 2017. Click here to learn more and to apply.

–The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will provide funding to nonprofit agencies to enable refugees to obtain self-sufficiency by obtaining the means to secure professional or skilled employment drawing upon previously-acquired knowledge, skills, and experience. Deadline: 8/29/2017. Click here for funding guidelines.

–A new round of grant funding to develop and improve shooting ranges throughout the state is available for 2017 from the Department of Natural Resources. There is $1.2 million in grant funds available, with grants requiring a match from the applicant organization. The application deadline is Sept. 1.  There are two levels of grant funding available: those at or below $25,000, and those above $25,000. Each has a separate request for proposal (RFP) form, which can be found on the DNR website.

–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 two types of grants: Community Development Grants support nonprofit organizations that nurture the participation of people living in poverty to change structures and policies that affect their lives: at least 50 percent of those benefiting from the applying organization’s efforts must be people experiencing poverty. Economic Development Grants support economic development institutions 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 may be submitted between 9/1/2017 and 11/1/2017. (Organizations are encouraged to submit their pre-application prior to the November 1 deadline.) Visit the CCHD website here for more information.

–The Kent Richard Hofmann Foundation is offering grants throughout the United States, with a particular focus in smaller communities and rural areas. The Foundation supports community-based nonprofit organizations that focus on HIV/AIDS care and direct services, education, or research. Grants are provided to developing or established programs, with emphasis on those that provide direct benefit to clients or target audiences. Requests are reviewed two times per year. Deadlines: letters of inquiry 9/1/2017; invited grant applications will be due 9/22/2017. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online letter of inquiry.

–The National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies through the Our Town Program. Grants will support arts engagement, cultural planning and design projects. Deadline: 9/11/2017. Click here for more information and to review funding guidelines.

Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Awards  offers a monetary award to programs or projects that focus on supporting family or informal caregivers of adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, including projects that focus on rural and low-income communities.  Application Deadline: September 11, 2017.

–Foundation for Rural Service is offering grants to nonprofits seeking to create programs that promote business development, community development, education or telecommunications in rural communities served by National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) members. Awards range from $250 to $5,000. Preference will be given to proposals that foster collaboration among and community engagement, and that can be fully funded by the grant or have 75 percent or more of the project currently funded. Deadline: 9/15/2017. To learn more and apply, click here.

–The Transportation Economic Development Infrastructure Program (TEDI) is a competitive grant program available to communities for road and public infrastructure projects that create jobs and support economic development. DEED’s program is combined with the Transportation Economic Development Program (TED) administered by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for highway projects. A total of approximately $22.6 million is available through the 2017 programs. This includes approximately $18.4 million in MnDOT trunk highway funds and approximately $4.2 million of DEED general obligation bond funding. The programs may provide a portion of the costs for trunk highway improvements and other road and infrastructure improvements.  Application Deadline – September 15, 2017. For full eligibility guidelines and application instructions, please see DEED’s website.

–Blandin Foundation Broadband Grants: Broadband Innovation and Robust Network Feasibility Fund grant award amounts range from $1,000 to $25,000, and matching funds are required. Grant application deadline September 22. http://wp.me/p3if7-3M7

–HUD is offering grants to public and private agencies to promote a community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness and to optimize self-sufficiency among those experiencing homelessness. Deadline: 9/28/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines.

Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program This U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Rural Utilities Service  program furnishes loans and loan guarantees to provide funds for the construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.
Application Deadline: Sep 30, 2017.

–LOCAL INITIATIVES SUPPORT CORPORATION AND THE NFL GRASSROOTS FOUNDATIONhave issued the 2017 RFP for proposals to provide nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations, middle schools, and high schools with financing and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields. Deadline: 10/16/2017. Click here for more information and to apply.

–The Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples is offering funding in the following program areas: Arts and Creativity, Health and Well-Being, Rights of Mother Earth, Sustainable Communities and Economies, Leadership Development, and Rights, Equity, and Justice. Grants from $250 to $10,000, with an average of $5,000, are provided to Native communities that address one or more of the Fund’s program areas. The remaining postmark deadline for 2017 is 12/1/2017. (Mini-grants of up to $500 are reviewed throughout the year.) Application guidelines and forms are available on the Fund’s website http://www.7genfund.org/apply-grant

BNSF Railway Foundation offers grants to organizations that operate near a BNSF railway line. Among others, 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, and youth development programs. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

SBA Certified Development Company (504) Loan Program provides small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets, such as land and buildings. 504 Loans are good options for healthcare practitioners who want to build a new office, or expand or renovate an existing medical building.

Stand Down Grants provides funding for events that offer homeless veteran populations a variety of social services.

Hearst Foundations Grants to support well-established nonprofit organizations working in the fields of education, health, culture, and social service.

Walgreens Community Grant Program  provides funding for access to health and wellness, pharmacy education programs and mentoring initiatives, civic and community outreach, and emergency and disaster relief.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

— Water Quality Town Hall Meetings Across Minnesota Begin Monday in Rochester

A series of ten Water Quality Town Hall meetings began on Monday, July 31, 2017 in Rochester. Governor Mark Dayton and his administration have organized the ten town halls to offer Minnesotans an opportunity to discuss the water quality challenges facing their communities and our state, learn from experts, and engage with policymakers. The town hall meetings continue Governor Dayton’s efforts to protect and preserve Minnesota waters, including is “25 by 25” Water Quality proposal announced earlier this year.

Ten town hall meetings have been scheduled in communities across Minnesota. These town hall meetings are free to attend and open to the public. Each town hall meeting will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m. with registration beginning at 5:30 p.m. A complete list of dates and locations is available on the Environmental Quality Board website. RSVP for an event by visiting the Governor and Lt. Governor’s Facebook page. No advance registration is necessary.

Mankato – Water Quality Town Hall
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 – 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Minnesota State University, Mankato. Centennial Student Union – 620 S Road
South Central Minnesota Information Packet
Mankato Town Hall on Facebook

Marshall – Water Quality Town Hall
Thursday, August 17, 2017 – 6:30-8:30 p.m
Southwest Minnesota State University Conference Center, 1501 State Street
Southwest Minnesota Information Packet
Marshall Town Hall on Facebook

Crookston – Water Quality Town Hall
Tuesday, September 5, 2017 – 6:30-8:30 p.m.
University of Minnesota – Crookston.  Bede Ballroom –Sargeant Student Center, 2900 University Ave.
Northwest Minnesota Information Packet
Crookston Town Hall on Facebook

St. Cloud – Water Quality Town Hall
Wednesday, September 6, 2017 – 6:30-8:30 p.m.
St Cloud Community and Technical College Cafeteria, 1540 Northway Drive
West Central Minnesota Information Packet
St. Cloud Town Hall on Facebook

Ely – Water Quality Town Hall
Tuesday, September 12, 2017 – 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Grand Ely Lodge, 400 North Pioneer Road
Northeast Minnesota Information Packet
Ely Town Hall on Facebook

Bemidji – Water Quality Town Hall
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 – 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Bemidji State University  American Indian Resource Center, 1500 Birchmont Dr. NE
North Central Minnesota Information Packet
Bemidji Town Hall on Facebook

— Blandin Webinar Aug 10: Breaking broadband barriers with affordable computers and connectivity http://wp.me/p3if7-4cR Register now for this free webinar

–The 1st annual Minnesota Alliance of Rural Addiction Treatment Programs Late Summer Conference is August 23-24 in Willmar.

–Midwest Energy Storage Summit is Sept. 15 at U of Minnesota.  The University of Minnesota’s Energy Transition Lab, in partnership with the Minnesota Energy Storage Alliance, will host the Midwest Energy Storage Summit on Friday, September 15, 2017, at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The Summit will include over 300 participants from throughout the Midwest representing energy leaders from industry, the public sector, academia and nonprofit sectors. The goal of the Summit is to gather energy stakeholders and reach a shared understanding of energy storage trends, opportunities, and barriers in our region and nationally. The Summit will run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will be followed by a networking reception from 4-6 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Campus Club. The event is open to the public but space is limited so register today. For details and registration fees, read more.

–Be a part of this important discussion on Native American nutrition! Register here for the Second Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition
September 18-20, 2017
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
Prior Lake, Minnesota

2017 MCN Annual Conference will be held Thursday – Friday, October 12 – 13, 2017 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, Saint Paul.

–2017 Border to Border Broadband Conference.  Mark your calendar for the fall broadband conference October 25-26 at Madden’s on Gull Lake. The theme this year is Bridging the Gaps – Expanding the Impact. http://wp.me/p3if7-48o

–The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) announced recently that it will hold the fourth-annual “MnSEIA – Midwest Gateway to Solar” Conference in Bloomington, Minn., on Nov. 14-15. This year’s conference will provide educational opportunities, networking, and exhibits. Read more to register and for more information.

Nov. 29-30: 2nd Biennial STEM and Afterschool conference  Save the date for the SciMathMN and Ignite Afterschool 2nd Biennial joint conference at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education Center on November 29-30.   Workshops will investigate, connect, and advance formal and informal STEM education and workforce development. Learn more.

–Save the Date!  Minnesota Campus Compact 2018 Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 19, 2018 at Hamline University.

OPPORTUNITIES

–Share Your Expertise: Present a Workshop at a 2018 Nonprofit Conference sponsored by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. Does your nonprofit have a skill, system, strength or strategy that you’d like to share with other nonprofits? We’re now accepting workshop proposals for two exciting professional development events coming in early 2018.

2018 Communications & Technology Conference Request for Proposals coming to Minneapolis on March 21, 2018. Submission deadline, 8 a.m., August 23. We’re looking for a broad array of sessions on these themes: Marketing and Communications, Fundraising, Leadership, Website, Social Media, Program Delivery & Evaluation, Technology Planning & IT, Community Engagement or Demonstration/Skill-building.

2018 Finance Conference Request for Proposals coming to Brooklyn Center on April 19, 2018: Submission deadline, 8 a.m., September 18. We’re looking for workshops on themes such as fiscal management, ethics of finances and compliance, financial leadership, entrepreneurship, transparency and accountability, legal topics and government policy issues.

–In mid-July, the Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) will roll out the “Renewable Energy for Greater Minnesota II” program that will run through September 2019. A USDA Renewable Energy Development Assistance grant enables CERTs to perform small wind site assessments for Minnesota farms and small businesses and help people through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) or other funding mechanism process. A fact sheet about the program is available. If you would like to discuss a potential project, email Fritz Ebinger or call him at 612-626-1028.

MISCELLANEOUS

Starting a Family Child Care Business  DEED is offering a free manual on how to start a family child care business. “First Considerations in Starting a Family Child Care Business” was created in response to a shortage of child care services in the state, particularly in Greater Minnesota.

Rural Minnesota Health System Tackles Opioid Epidemic Highlights the work of a rural Minnesota hospital to implement a care coordination program focused on prescription drug abuse in their community. The care team uses physicians, pharmacists, and social workers to manage prescription drug use and to address other patient concerns like behavioral health needs, homelessness, insurance, and transportation.

Rural Tobacco Control and Prevention Toolkit This new toolkit, developed by the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, provides information, strategies, and resources to help rural communities implement tobacco control and prevention programs. Browse program models and examples, and learn how to implement, evaluate, and sustain a program in your community and disseminate program results.

National Survey of Area Agencies on Aging 2017 Report and Toolkit  an overview of the work of Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), covering staffing, budget and services, and initiatives underway at AAAs. Includes information on rural AAAs. Also provides access to state-level reports for states that met the required survey response rate, as well as a presentation slidedeck and brochure that agencies can customize and use.

–Minnesota Immigrant & Refugee Rights Helpline The Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota launched the Minnesota Immigrant & Refugee Rights Helpline. Immigrants and refugees in Minnesota can call the helpline at 651-287-3715 on Tuesdays 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. and Thursdays 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. to access an attorney for a free consultation.

–The New York Times, in an article “To Close the Digital Divide, Microsoft to Harness Unused Television Channels,” summarizes Microsoft’s announcement that it is harnessing the unused channels between television broadcasts, known as white spaces, to help get more of rural America online. Microsoft plans to soon start a white-spaces broadband service in 12 states including Arizona, Kansas, New York, and Virginia to connect two million rural Americans in the next five years who have limited or no access to high-speed internet. In an interview, Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, said white spaces were “the best solution for reaching over 80 percent of people in rural America who lack broadband today.” Check out the full story here.

–The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design has a free pre-recorded hour-long webinar on how farmers’ markets and food co-ops are addressing their local community needs while stimulating downtown development. In small towns, the local food movement is doing more than putting meals on plates—it is nourishing economies by keeping farms vital and downtowns alive. Speakers include Kelly Verel from Project for Public Spaces, Jason Moore from Montana Food Co-op, and more. Watch the webinar here.

–The new edition of Why Rural Matters, from the nonprofit, nonpartisan Rural School and Community Trust, provides an overall “priority” ranking of the 50 states, showing the greatest needs in rural education. The report also ranks the states and includes state-by-state data on demographics and poverty, student achievement, state resources, and college and career readiness. The new 50-state report urges state and federal leaders to make rural students and their communities a far greater priority. “While some rural schools thrive, far too many rural students face nothing less than a national emergency. Many rural schools and districts face vastly inequitable funding and simply cannot provide the opportunities that many suburban and urban schools do,” said Robert Mahaffey, the executive director of the Rural School and Community Trust, based in Washington, D.C. For key findings and to read the full report, click here.

JOB OPPORTUNITY

Executive Director, Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, Southwest
UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA. We would like to invite you to visit our employment site to complete your application.

If you are not a current University of Minnesota employee, please use the following link:
https://www.myu.umn.edu/psp/psprd/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/HRS_HRAM.HRS_APP_SCHJOB.GBL?Page=HRS_APP_JBPST&Action=U&FOCUS=Applicant&SiteId=1&JobOpeningId=318815&PostingSeq=1

If you are a current University of Minnesota employee, please use the following link instead:
https://hr.myu.umn.edu/psp/hrprd/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/HRS_HRAM_EMP.HRS_APP_SCHJOB.GBL?Page=HRS_APP_JBPST&Action=U&SiteId=1&FOCUS=Employee&JobOpeningId=318815&PostingSeq=1

__________

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

July 2017- Volume XV, Number 7
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard This newsletter is also available online:

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS
  • –EMPLOYMENT

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES –USDA is offering grants through the Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant Program. Public bodies, non-profit organizations and Federally- recognized Tribes are eligible to apply for this funding. The maximum grant is $150,000. Deadline: 7/24/2017. Click here for application guidelines. –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is inviting applications for grants to support economic development in rural communities through the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI). These grants support partnerships between community development groups and rural communities to develop essential facilities and create jobs and business opportunities. Deadline: 7/25/2017. Click here to visit the RCDI website for more information on applying

— The State of Minnesota’s Border-to-Border Broadband Grant Program is up and running for a fourth round, with $20 million allocated by the state legislature and an application deadline of September 11, 2017.  The grant application is available for review now (click here for grant info and access to the application). The deadline for submitting applications is September 11, 2017 at 4 p.m.  However, please note, if you are considering submitting a broadband grant application, you must contact wireline broadband providers in your proposed project area by July 31 to comply with the pre-application notification portion of the application process (or six weeks before you file your application, if you file before September 11). —Empowered Communities for a Healthier Nation Initiative Grants to reduce significant health disparities impacting racial and ethnic minorities and/or disadvantaged populations through implementing evidence-based strategies with the greatest potential for impact, especially in communities disproportionately impacted by the opioid epidemic, childhood obesity, and serious mental illness. Application Deadline: Aug 1, 2017.

–The Walmart Foundation State Giving Program awards grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico for programs that give individuals access to a better life. There are three funding cycles per year; the first two funding cycles are targeted to specific states. For the final funding cycle of the year, requests are accepted from organizations nationwide in the following two categories: Hunger Relief supporting programs such as food pantries, backpack programs, and SNAP outreach; and Community Engagement supporting other programs that focus on the unmet needs of underserved low-income populations. Examples of eligible programs include career opportunity, disaster preparedness, education programs, healthcare access, shelters, etc. Grants range from $25,000 to $250,000; the average grant size is $40,000. Deadline: applications for the final funding cycle will be accepted from 8/7/2017 through 8/11/2017. Visit the Foundation’s website here to learn more about the State Giving Program.

Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health Community Outreach/Education Grants funding for new agricultural health and safety research, prevention, intervention, community outreach, and translation projects that have high likelihood of leading to more comprehensive projects or activities. Application Deadline: Aug 14, 2017.  –The Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation is offering grants through the Foundation’s Community Partners grant program to nonprofit organizations and local municipalities undertaking high-need projects such as building renovations and upgrades, grounds improvements, technology upgrades and safety improvements. Grants range from $2,001 to $100,000. Applications for the fall funding cycle will be accepted until 8/25/2017. Visit the company’s website here to review the giving guidelines and to take the eligibility quiz.

–THE KENT RICHARD HOFMANN FOUNDATION is offering grants throughout the United States, with a particular focus in smaller communities and rural areas. The Foundation supports community-based nonprofit organizations that focus on HIV/AIDS care and direct services, education, or research. Grants are provided to developing or established programs, with emphasis on those that provide direct benefit to clients or target audiences. Requests are reviewed two times per year. Deadlines: letters of inquiry 9/1/2017; invited grant applications will be due 9/22/2017. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online letter of inquiry.

–The National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies through the Our Town Program. Grants will support arts engagement, cultural planning and design projects. Deadline: 9/11/2017. Click here for more information and to review funding guidelines.

–Foundation for Rural Service is offering grants to nonprofits seeking to create programs that promote business development, community development, education or telecommunications in rural communities served by National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) members. Awards range from $250 to $5,000. Preference will be given to proposals that foster collaboration among and community engagement, and that can be fully funded by the grant or have 75 percent or more of the project currently funded. Deadline: 9/15/2017. To learn more and apply, click here.

–The Transportation Economic Development Infrastructure Program (TEDI) is a competitive grant program available to communities for road and public infrastructure projects that create jobs and support economic development. DEED’s program is combined with the Transportation Economic Development Program (TED) administered by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for highway projects. A total of approximately $22.6 million is available through the 2017 programs. This includes approximately $18.4 million in MnDOT trunk highway funds and approximately $4.2 million of DEED general obligation bond funding. The programs may provide a portion of the costs for trunk highway improvements and other road and infrastructure improvements.  Application Deadline – September 15, 2017. For full eligibility guidelines and application instructions, please see DEED’s website.

–Blandin Foundation Broadband Grants: Broadband Innovation and Robust Network Feasibility Fund grant award amounts range from $1,000 to $25,000, and matching funds are required. Grant application deadline September 22. http://wp.me/p3if7-3M7

–The Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples is offering funding in the following program areas: Arts and Creativity, Health and Well-Being, Rights of Mother Earth, Sustainable Communities and Economies, Leadership Development, and Rights, Equity, and Justice. Grants from $250 to $10,000, with an average of $5,000, are provided to Native communities that address one or more of the Fund’s program areas. The remaining postmark deadlines for 2017 are 8/4/2017 and 12/1/2017. (Mini-grants of up to $500 are reviewed throughout the year.) Application guidelines and forms are available on the Fund’s website http://www.7genfund.org/apply-grant

BNSF Railway Foundation offers grants to organizations that operate near a BNSF railway line. Among others, 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, and youth development programs. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

SBA Certified Development Company (504) Loan Program provides small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets, such as land and buildings. 504 Loans are good options for healthcare practitioners who want to build a new office, or expand or renovate an existing medical building.

Stand Down Grants provides funding for events that offer homeless veteran populations a variety of social services.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS —2017 Nonprofit Fundraising Conference  co-hosted by Association of Fundraising Professionals Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center, Brooklyn Center. –DEED is pleased to be partnering with the Council of Development Finance Agencies to offer the Development Finance Certified Professional Program.  The CDFA Summer School will be held August 7-11, 2017 Minneapolis. Complete Half of the DFCP Program in One Week!  [Note we ran into a temporary error trying when testing the following links – hopefully they will link at time of publication.]

— The 2017 Nonprofit Essentials Conference, will give you a back-to-basics overview of the many management topics essential to nonprofits, and re-focuses staff on the core elements of working and managing nonprofit organizations.  It will be held Thursday, August 10 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the University of St. Thomas Minneapolis. Sessions include:

  • Grantwriting: Getting the Most Out of Your Grant Proposal
  • Human Resources Basics
  • Identifying Foundation and Corporate Grant Prospects
  • Nonprofits as Advocates
  • Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence
  • Scholarships Whether you are a student, job-seeker, AmeriCorps member or are simply new to the nonprofit sector, MCN may be able to help you take advantage of this valuable learning opportunity. Learn more.

–The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Mental Health Promotion Branch, Division of Prevention, Traumatic Stress, and Special Programs, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in collaboration with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) are offering a Rural Behavioral Health Webinar Series. The last event in the series is A Focus on Suicide Prevention in Rural Communities, August 16, 2017, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT. Click here to register. —2017 MCN Annual Conference will be held Thursday – Friday, October 12 – 13, 2017 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, Saint Paul. –2017 Border to Border Broadband Conference.  Mark your calendar for the fall broadband conference October 25-26 at Madden’s on Gull Lake. The theme this year is Bridging the Gaps – Expanding the Impact. http://wp.me/p3if7-48o –The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) announced recently that it will hold the fourth-annual “MnSEIA – Midwest Gateway to Solar” Conference in Bloomington, Minn., on Nov. 14-15. This year’s conference will provide educational opportunities, networking, and exhibits. Read more to register and for more information.

Nov. 29-30: 2nd Biennial STEM and Afterschool conference  Save the date for the SciMathMN and Ignite Afterschool 2nd Biennial joint conference at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education Center on November 29-30.

Workshops will investigate, connect, and advance formal and informal STEM education and workforce development. Learn more. –Save the Date!  Minnesota Campus Compact 2018 Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 19, 2018 at Hamline University. OPPORTUNITIES –The application and nomination period for the 2017 Tekne Awards is open! The awards celebrate the individuals and organizations that play a significant role in discovering new technologies that educate and improve the lives of Minnesotans and people around the world. Now in its 18th year, the Teknes have honored hundreds of companies and leaders who continue to make Minnesota a home to cutting-edge innovation.

The 2017 Tekne Awards have 15 categories, and applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of judges with experience and expertise in each of the categories. Applications are due by Friday, July 28th. Finalists will be announced at a reception in September. The 2017 Teknes will recognize the growing importance of STEM education and our future workforce with an award honoring innovation in a Minnesota science or technology classroom.  New categories will also celebrate the rapid development in communications technology as well as building design and infrastructure that is driven by emerging technologies. 2017 Tekne Award Categories –ADVANCED MANUFACTURING –ANALYTICS –BUILDING DESIGN & INFRASTRUCTURE — NEW –COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY — NEW –COMMUNITY IMPACT –CYBER SECURITY –HEALTHCARE (Established Companies and Small & Growing Companies) –INDUSTRY IMPACT — NEW –INTERNET OF THINGS –SOFTWARE (Established Companies and Small & Growing Companies) –START UP –STEM EDUCATION — NEW –WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT For nominations and applications go to: http://www.tekneawards.org/
–In mid-July, the Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) will roll out the “Renewable Energy for Greater Minnesota II” program that will run through September 2019. A USDA Renewable Energy Development Assistance grant enables CERTs to perform small wind site assessments for Minnesota farms and small businesses and help people through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) or other funding mechanism process. A fact sheet about the program is available. If you would like to discuss a potential project, email Fritz Ebinger or call him at 612-626-1028.

MISCELLANEOUS

Population & Migration  Non-metro areas in some parts of the country have experienced population loss for decades. However, 2010-16 marks the first period with an estimated population loss for non-metro America as a whole. Opportunities for population growth and economic expansion vary widely from one non-metro county to the next, and new regional patterns of growth and decline have emerged in recent years.

Rural Population Change Varies Across the United States Map showing nonmetropolitan counties that lost population, saw population growth below 4.5%, or grew 4.5% or more between 2010 and 2016.

Nonmetro Population Change, 2010-16 Map identifying which non-metro counties gained population and which lost population between 2010 and 2016.

Real Median Household Income by Residence, 2007-15 (in 2015 Dollars) Line chart comparing metropolitan and non-metro household income from 2007 through 2015.

In 2015, Annual Earnings in Rural Areas Were 15 Percent Lower than Earnings in Urban Areas  Bar chart showing rural and urban median earnings by industry, covering a variety of industries including mining, manufacturing, finance, agriculture, and recreation.

Minnesota high school graduation rates rise  Over the past decade, the proportion of Minnesota students graduating from high school on time has increased by nearly 7 percentage points. Black and Hispanic students’ on-time graduation rates have each increased by 24 percentage points, from 41 percent in 2006 to 65 percent in 2016. Read now.

Six facts about Minnesota’s 65+ population There are currently about 806,000 adults age 65 and older in Minnesota, making up about 15 percent of Minnesotans. Two decades from now, that population is projected to top 1.3 million. Wilder Research analyst Megan Chmielewski shares six interesting facts about this growing population of Minnesotans. Read now.

— With the support of The EDA Center, the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality now has Economic Composition reports for all regions of Greater Minnesota available. The reports completed are: North CentralNortheastNorthwestHeadwatersSouthwestSoutheastSouth Central, Mid-Minnesota, Upper Minnesota River ValleyEast CentralCentral, and West Central regions. Please click on each region or go to the research publications page to go to each report.

–The Office of Broadband Development has posted new maps and statistics on broadband access. Goods news, almost 70 percent of the state meets the 2026 goals. http://wp.me/p3if7-49l Check it out to see how your county ranks based on speeds of 25 Mbps down 3 Mbps up (25/3) or 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up (100/20). http://wp.me/p3if7-49p (Speaking of maps, the FCC has also released fixed broadband deployment and CAF eligible areas maps. http://wp.me/p3if7-499)

Urban-Rural Divide: Mapping Broadband Access describes how access to broadband varies across the country. Includes a county-level map of broadband access. Discusses how broadband impacts rural people, including its impact on healthcare access.

Minnesota Veterans Behavioral Health Needs Assessment The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) contracted with Wilder Research to conduct a behavioral health needs assessment of Veterans in Minnesota. This assessment set out to identify the mental and behavioral health needs of Minnesota Veterans, the existing mental and behavioral health resources available to them, and the opportunities to address any unmet mental or behavioral health needs of this population.

While Minnesota Authorities Focus on Opioid Abuse, Meth Is Making a Comeback Details the resurgence of methamphetamine use in Minnesota, now run primarily by cartels rather than by individuals with meth labs. Includes charts and data on the amount of meth seized, meth treatment admissions, and overdoses in Minnesota by year.

HRSA: Lists of Designated Primary Medical Care, Mental Health, and Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas Notice from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announcing the availability of the complete lists of all geographic areas, population groups, and facilities designated as primary care, mental health, and/or dental care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). Lists are available on HRSA’s HPSA Find website, and are current as of May 1, 2017.

Health, United States, 2016: With Chartbook on Long-term Trends in Health  Presents an annual overview of national trends in health statistics. Covers health status and determinants, healthcare utilization, access, and expenditures. Includes data on rural areas – see index under “Metropolitan/nonmetropolitan data.” This year’s edition focuses on long-term trends in health, with 114 tables focused on health status and determinants, healthcare utilization, healthcare resources, and expenditures. Additional links: Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Charts and Tables

EMPLOYMENT

Arts Alert – Job Opportunity at the East Central Regional Arts Council!!!

The East Central Regional Arts Council in Braham is looking for an Office-Communications Coordinator. This position is open immediately and is up to 40 hours per week. Duties include maintaining: databases, the arts calendar, social media, the newsletter; and also performing receptionist and clerical tasks.  Applicants must have MS Office and Google App skills plus excellent interpersonal and written communication.

Artists or those with a strong arts interest are encouraged!

To apply send a cover letter, your work resume, and 2 professional letters of reference via email  to director@ecrac.org before July 15, 2017. No calls please.

June 2017- Volume XV, Number 6
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS

ACROSS the FIELD: Help spread the word — Minnesota Border-to-Border Broadband Grant Application Informational Webinars to be held in June & July — $20 million available

A special shout out to those of you interested in broadband infrastructure investments — the State of Minnesota’s Border-to-Border Broadband Grant Program is up and running for a fourth round, with $20 million allocated by the state legislature and an application deadline of September 11, 2017.  Check out these upcoming informational webinars offered by the staff at the MN Office of Broadband Development:.

The first webinar will be held on Monday, June 26, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Central Time). There are three more scheduled, all repeats of the first:

  • Friday, July 7 at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Monday, July 10 at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 12 at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The first hour of each webinar will cover the grant program and application process details. The second hour will be available for any additional questions attendees may have.

To register to attend the webinars, please go to the registration links below for the date/time you wish to select, click on the URL, fill out the form, and then click on “Register Now.” Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the meeting.

To register for the Monday, June 26, 2017 meeting, go to: https://intercall.webex.com/intercall/j.php?RGID=r0d9c21dd3d7de63f4fd6ed318844adda

To register for the Friday, July 7, 2017 meeting, go to: https://intercall.webex.com/intercall/j.php?RGID=reac3f726ca1a5f828fbeec23be8530c2

To register for the Monday, July 10, 2017 meeting, go to:
https://intercall.webex.com/intercall/j.php?RGID=r769d112a67e75ef8c603112215f3f163

To register for the Wednesday, July 12, 2017, go to: https://intercall.webex.com/intercall/j.php?RGID=r60d39322f2fdba92781b563601eeda79

If you have difficulty with the registration process via the registration links above, please send an email with your contact information to deed.broadband@state.mn.us and OBD staff will assist you in registering for the webinars, or call 651-259-7610 to reach the office by phone.

The grant application is available for review now (click here for grant info and access to the application). The grant application filing period opens on July 3, 2017.

The deadline for submitting applications is September 11, 2017 at 4 p.m.  However, please note, if you are considering submitting a broadband grant application, you must contact wireline broadband providers in your proposed project area by July 31 to comply with the pre-application notification portion of the application process (or six weeks before you file your application, if you file before September 11).
FUNDING

–Community Development Financial Institutions Fund has announced the availability of funding through the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program. This program provides tax incentives for investments in business or economic projects in distressed rural or urban counties, including capital investments in healthcare facilities. Investors give to Community Development Entities who then offer low-interest financing to businesses. Deadline: 6/21/2017. Visit the website here for details.

–State Farm is offering grants through the “State Farm Neighborhood Assist,” a program which provides grants of $25,000 for projects related to safety, community development or education. The program awards grants to 40 nonprofit organizations to help fund neighborhood projects involved in education, safety and community development. Deadline: 6/21/2017, or until 2,000 applications are received, whichever comes first. For more information on this opportunity, click here.

Strategic Economic and Community Development Program  A program that allows USDA to give priority for projects that support the implementation of regional economic development plans through several USDA Rural Development funding programs. Application Deadline: June 30, 2017.

–Wells Fargo is providing financial resources to local nonprofit housing organizations to create affordable and sustainable homeownership opportunities for low-to-moderate income (LMI) people through its Homeownership Counseling Grant Program (HCGP). This is a small grants program with an average size of approximately $7,500. The grants are provided for costs directly associated with programs or projects focused on homebuyer counseling, homebuyer education, and foreclosure prevention activities. Deadline: 6/30/2017. To learn more and apply, click here.

–The Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation is offering grants through the Foundation’s Community Partners grant program to nonprofit organizations and local municipalities undertaking high-need projects such as building renovations and upgrades, grounds improvements, technology upgrades and safety improvements. Grants range from $2,001 to $100,000. Applications for the fall funding cycle will be accepted from 7/3/2017 to 8/25/2017. Visit the company’s website here to review the giving guidelines and to take the eligibility quiz.

–USDA is offering grants through the Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant Program. Public bodies, non-profit organizations and Federally recognized Tribes are eligible to apply for this funding. The maximum grant is $150,000. Deadline: 7/24/2017. Click here for application guidelines.

–The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is inviting applications for grants to support economic development in rural communities through the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI). These grants support partnerships between community development groups and rural communities to develop essential facilities and create jobs and business opportunities. Deadline: 7/25/2017. Click here to visit the RCDI website for more information on applying.

Empowered Communities for a Healthier Nation Initiative Grants to reduce significant health disparities impacting racial and ethnic minorities and/or disadvantaged populations through implementing evidence-based strategies with the greatest potential for impact, especially in communities disproportionately impacted by the opioid epidemic, childhood obesity, and serious mental illness.
Application Deadline: Aug 1, 2017

–Foundation for Rural Service is offering grants to nonprofits seeking to create programs that promote business development, community development, education or telecommunications in rural communities served by National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) members. Awards range from $250 to $5,000. Preference will be given to proposals that foster collaboration among and community engagement, and that can be fully funded by the grant or have 75 percent or more of the project currently funded. Deadline: 9/15/2017. To learn more and apply, click here.

–The U.S. Department of Education is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies through the Veterans Upward Bound Program to prepare, motivate and assist military veterans in the development of academic and other skills necessary for acceptance into and success in a program of postsecondary education. Deadline 6/21/2017. Click here to review application guidelines posted in the Federal Register.

–The U.S. Department of Education is also offering grants through the Small, Rural School Achievement Program that provides support to local educational agencies to address the unique needs of rural school districts. Deadline: 6/30/2017. Click here to review application guidelines.

–The Transportation Economic Development Infrastructure Program (TEDI) is a competitive grant program available to communities for road and public infrastructure projects that create jobs and support economic development. DEED’s program is combined with the Transportation Economic Development Program (TED) administered by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for highway projects. A total of approximately $22.6 million is available through the 2017 programs. This includes approximately $18.4 million in MnDOT trunk highway funds and approximately $4.2 million of DEED general obligation bond funding. The programs may provide a portion of the costs for trunk highway improvements and other road and infrastructure improvements.  Application Deadline – September 15, 2017. For full eligibility guidelines and application instructions, please see DEED’s website.

For detailed information on how to apply, please join us for one of the informational sessions below.

Date City Location Time
June 13 Rochester MnDOT District 6 Office
Mississippi River East Room
2900 48th Street NW
Rochester, MN 55901
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
June 15 Brainerd/Baxter MnDOT District 3 Office
7694 Industrial Park Rd.
Baxter, MN 56425
10:00 AM – Noon
June 16 Roseville MnDOT Waters Edge Building
Conference Rooms A-C
1500 W. County Road B-2
Roseville, MN 55113
10:30 AM – Noon
June 19 Mankato MnDOT District 7 Office
Northwoods Conf. Room
2151 Bassett Drive
Mankato, MN 56001
10:00 AM – Noon
June 20 Willmar MnDOT District 8 Office
Green Lake Conference Room
2505 Transportation Rd.
Willmar, MN 56201
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
June 21 Thief River Falls Pennington County Joint Operations Facility (also MNDOT –Office)
248 125th Ave
Thief River Falls, MN 56701
10:00 AM – Noon
June 22 Detroit Lakes MnDOT District 4 Office
Conf. Rooms B109-B110
1000 Highway 10 West
Detroit Lakes, MN 56501
10:00 AM – Noon
June 28th Duluth MnDOT District 1 Office
1123 Mesaba Ave.
Duluth, MN 55811
10:00 AM – Noon

–Blandin Foundation Broadband Grants: Broadband Innovation and Robust Network Feasibility Fund grant award amounts range from $1,000 to $25,000, and matching funds are required. Grant application deadlines for 2017 are June 23 and September 22. http://wp.me/p3if7-3M7

— Asthma Friendly Schools The Minnesota Department of Health’s Asthma Program in partnership with the American Lung Association in Minnesota is offering mini-grant funding to create asthma friendly schools. Grant money up to $1,500 is available to implement a variety of school-based projects in elementary, middle or high school settings. The funds are available to public schools, charter schools, and private schools and can be applied to individual schools or across districts. Six project areas are available to choose from: Asthma Data; Environmental Policy; Partnering with Parents and Caregivers; Teaching an Asthma Self-Management Curriculum; Linking Schools and Health Care; and Health Office Staff Training. Applications are currently being accepted through June 30, 2017. For more information, go to the Minnesota Asthma Program–Asthma Friendly Schools Mini-Grant Program to learn how to submit your application. You may also contact the MDH Asthma Program at 651-201-5909 or asthma@health.state.mn.us

–The Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples is offering funding in the following program areas: Arts and Creativity, Health and Well-Being, Rights of Mother Earth, Sustainable Communities and Economies, Leadership Development, and Rights, Equity, and Justice. Grants from $250 to $10,000, with an average of $5,000, are provided to Native communities that address one or more of the Fund’s program areas. The remaining postmark deadlines for 2017 are 8/4/2017 and 12/1/2017. (Mini-grants of up to $500 are reviewed throughout the year.) Application guidelines and forms are available on the Fund’s website http://www.7genfund.org/apply-grant

–The Walmart Foundation State Giving Program awards grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico for programs that give individuals access to a better life. There are three funding cycles per year; the first two funding cycles are targeted to specific states. For the final funding cycle of the year, requests are accepted from organizations nationwide in the following two categories: Hunger Relief supporting programs such as food pantries, backpack programs, and SNAP outreach; and Community Engagement supporting other programs that focus on the unmet needs of underserved low-income populations. Examples of eligible programs include career opportunity, disaster preparedness, education programs, healthcare access, shelters, etc. Grants range from $25,000 to $250,000; the average grant size is $40,000. Deadline: applications for the final funding cycle will be accepted from 8/7/2017 through 8/11/2017. Visit the Foundation’s website here to learn more about the State Giving Program.

–Border to Border Broadband Grant opportunity opens July 3! Office of Broadband Development is soliciting proposals for Minnesota Border to Border Broadband Development Grants. The grant application period opens on July 3, 2017. The application deadline is September 11, 2017. http://wp.me/p3if7-48f

–The National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies through the Our Town Program. Grants will support arts engagement, cultural planning and design projects. Deadline: 9/11/2017. Click here for more information and to review funding guidelines.

–The Ford Family Foundation is offering small grants to organizations working in rural communities with populations of less than 35,000 in response to unexpected needs or simple projects. These grants are highly competitive and limited; priority is given to short-term grant requests for simple projects, unforeseen emergencies that interrupt programming or services, and one-off events or activities. Grants can range from $1,000 to $10,000 and funds are released within 60 days. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. To learn more and to apply, click here.

— The Ford Family Foundation is providing grants that support the development of physical places that are open to the public and have multiple uses in order to encourage civic participation, community collaboration and other ways of bringing residents together for the well-being of the community. Community Building Spaces grants may be used toward land acquisition, purchase of buildings, new construction and renovation, fixtures, furnishings and equipment, and architecture, engineering and planning fees in rural communities with populations of less than 35,000. Typical grant sizes range from $50,000 to $250,000, and funds requested may not exceed one-third of the project’s total budget. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. For more information on eligibility, criteria and how to apply, click here.

— The Ford Family Foundation (TFFF) supports educational projects, programs and out-of-school time facilities in rural communities that encourage the development of skills, confidence and support needed for school-aged youth (5-18 years) to connect with quality mentors, excel in school, develop leadership skills, graduate with a plan for the future and become successful citizens. Typical grant sizes range from $25,000 to $150,000 per year. While there are exceptions, TFFF prefers to fund no more than one-third of the proposed budget. The fund types include programs, operating requests and capital projects. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Click here to learn more and to apply.

–W.K. Kellogg Foundation provides grants to support programs that focus on developing a healthy start and quality learning experiences for all children, helping families get stable, high-quality jobs and connecting employers with talented candidates, and/or advancing racial equity, developing leaders, and fostering community engagement. Award amounts have ranged from $5,000 to $1,500,000. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. To learn more and to apply, click here

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

–The Minnesota Rural Health Conference Shaping Sustainable Solutions will be held June 19-20 in Duluth.

–The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Mental Health Promotion Branch, Division of Prevention, Traumatic Stress, and Special Programs, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in collaboration with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) are offering a Rural Behavioral Health Webinar Series. The last two events in the series are: Responding to Natural Disasters in Rural Communities, June 21, 2017, 3:00-4:30 PMEDT; and A Focus on Suicide Prevention in Rural Communities, August 16, 2017, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT. Click here to register.

— Economic Development Association of Minnesota is hosting the 2017 Summer Conference June 28-30 at the Grand View Lodge in Nisswa. Please go to http://z.umn.edu/1d2w for more information. EDAM celebrates i’s 50th year of operation this year.

2017 Nonprofit Fundraising Conference  co-hosted by Association of Fundraising Professionals Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center, Brooklyn Center

–DEED is pleased to be partnering with the Council of Development Finance Agencies to offer the Development Finance Certified Professional Program.  The CDFA Summer School will be held August 7-11, 2017 Minneapolis. Complete Half of the DFCP Program in One Week! Early Bird Rates Expire July 14, 2017

CDFA Summer School is a week long series of courses presented by the CDFA Training Institute held in Minneapolis, MN from August 7-11. These courses qualify for the CDFA Training Institute’s Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Complete three courses, and you will have fulfilled half of the requirements for the DFCP Program. Start down the road to personal and professional advancement today. Participants may register for one, two, or three courses during CDFA Summer School. Click on the course names below to learn more about the specific topics and agendas:

Monday August 7, 2017 – Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance Course

Tuesday & Wednesday August 8-9, 2017 – Intro Bond Finance Course Intro Brownfields Finance Course

Thursday & Friday August 10-11, 2017 – Intro Revolving Loan Fund Course Intro Energy & Water Finance Course

When you register for three courses during CDFA Summer School, you will receive a $200 discount off the total registration fee.  For complete information, including lodging details, scholarship options and registration, visit the CDFA website.

2017 MCN Annual Conference will be held Thursday – Friday, October 12 – 13, 2017 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, Saint Paul.

–2017 Border to Border Broadband Conference.  Mark your calendar for the fall broadband conference October 25-26 at Madden’s on Gull Lake. The theme this year is Bridging the Gaps – Expanding the Impact. http://wp.me/p3if7-48o

–The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) announced recently that it will hold the fourth-annual “MnSEIA – Midwest Gateway to Solar” Conference in Bloomington, Minn., on Nov. 14-15. This year’s conference will provide educational opportunities, networking, and exhibits. Read more to register and for more information.

–Save the Date!  Minnesota Campus Compact 2018 Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 19, 2018 at Hamline University.

OPPORTUNITIES

–The application and nomination period for the 2017 Tekne Awards is open! The awards celebrate the individuals and organizations that play a significant role in discovering new technologies that educate and improve the lives of Minnesotans and people around the world. Now in its 18th year, the Teknes have honored hundreds of companies and leaders who continue to make Minnesota a home to cutting-edge innovation.

The 2017 Tekne Awards have 15 categories, and applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of judges with experience and expertise in each of the categories. Applications are due by Friday, July 28th. Finalists will be announced at a reception in September.

The 2017 Teknes will recognize the growing importance of STEM education and our future workforce with an award honoring innovation in a Minnesota science or technology classroom.  New categories will also celebrate the rapid development in communications technology as well as building design and infrastructure that is driven by emerging technologies.

2017 Tekne Award Categories

ADVANCED MANUFACTURING
ANALYTICS
BUILDING DESIGN & INFRASTRUCTURE — NEW
COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY — NEW
COMMUNITY IMPACT
CYBER SECURITY
HEALTHCARE (Established Companies and Small & Growing Companies)
INDUSTRY IMPACT — NEW
INTERNET OF THINGS
SOFTWARE (Established Companies and Small & Growing Companies)
START UP
TEM EDUCATION — NEW
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

For nominations and applications go to: http://www.tekneawards.org/

MISCELLANEOUS

–The current issue of the Housing Assistance Council’s Rural Voices presents some of the highlights of their 2016 Rural Housing Conference: Building Rural Communities. Held in Washington, DC, November 29 through December 2, 2016, the conference offered educational and networking opportunities for rural housing practitioners to advance their efforts to provide decent and affordable housing for our nation’s rural poor. The issue includes several articles adapted from speeches given, a set of maps taken from a conference presentation by HAC’s Research Director providing a dramatic view of some current “ruralities” (the ways rural America’s demographics and housing are changing), and a series of five articles addressing a rapidly changing rural America on topics ranging from persistent poverty to creative placemaking. http://www.ruralhome.org/calendar/nrhconf

–As part of its Policy Brief series, the Centers for Disease Control has released a brief on rural health policy, specifically addressing mental health services for children in rural areas. This brief presents a selection of potential policies and practices that may help rural children with mental, behavioral, or developmental disorders (MBDDs) to access behavioral health services, including telemedicine, integration of behavioral health and primary care, and school-based care. Across the country, people with mental health issues may struggle to get care due to a shortage of providers, and this problem is magnified in rural areas. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), 61 percent of areas with a mental health professional shortage are rural or partially rural. Read the full brief here.

–“Raising the Children of the Opioid Epidemic: Solutions and Support for Grandfamilies” is a report from Generations United that highlights the opioid epidemic and its impact on grandparents raising grandchildren. The report also offers recommendations to help guide the development of supportive federal and state policies and services for grandfamilies. Get the report here.

–The Census Bureau has a new tool called My Tribal Area that gives quick and easy access to detailed demographic, social, economic, and housing statistics for the nation’s American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) population from the American Community Survey (ACS). My Tribal Area is powered by the Census Application Programming Interface (API), and includes data from the 2011-2015 ACS. Check out the tool here.

–A National Public Radio article “In Some Rural Counties, Hunger Is Rising, But Food Donations Aren’t” highlights partnerships that have developed to address some of the underlying problems, including poverty, unemployment, poor health and a lack of health insurance. Read the article here.

–Feeding America has produced a map providing county-level data on food insecurity and child food insecurity. Data includes estimates of eligibility for nutrition programs among food insecure people, and identifies the annual food budget shortfall. Click here to view the interactive map.

–“Rural Community Violence: An Untold Public Health Epidemic” is a policy brief from the National Rural Health Association that examines the prevalence and nature of violent crime in rural communities across the U.S. The report examines the problem in a public health context, seeking to draw attention to an often overlooked and misunderstood issue, and provides a series of policy recommendations aimed at reducing violence in rural areas. Get the report here.

Deaths from Alzheimer’s Disease — United States, 1999–2014 Provides data on age-adjusted rates of Alzheimer’s mortality. Compares rates in 1999 and 2014 by urban-rural classification as well as by age, gender, race/ethnicity, and state. Also includes a map showing county-level average annual age-adjusted death rates from Alzheimer’s disease for 2005-2014.

Prevalence of Arthritis and Arthritis-Attributable Activity Limitation by Urban-Rural County Classification — United States, 2015  Provides detailed data on prevalence of arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation for six urban-rural categories. Includes urban-rural data by age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, employment, body mass index, smoking status, physical activity, self-rated health, and functionally disabled status.

Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse in Rural Communities Webinar recording discusses the challenges and strategies in stemming the rate of substance abuse in rural communities. Introduces the Rural Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse Toolkit, designed to help communities implement substance abuse programs. Presents several examples of state level programs focused on increasing access to naloxone and training for first responders to recognize and prevent overdoses. Additional links: Audio RecordingPowerPoint HandoutWebinar Transcript

–Three new briefs are now available from the Office of Rural Health & Primary Care, all looking at changes in rural Minnesota since implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

KEY FINDINGS

From Health care access in rural Minnesota: Results from the MN Health Access Survey, produced in partnership with the Health Economics program:

  • The uninsurance rate dropped dramatically in rural Minnesota between 2013 and 2015.
  • Dental uninsurance rates were higher in rural than in urban areas.
  • Despite higher rates of health insurance, affordability and access issues remained in rural parts of the state, and disparities within rural Minnesota based on income and education persisted.

From Public and individual health insurance trends in rural Minnesota: Enrollment during implementation of the ACA:

  • Both before and after ACA implementation, rural Minnesota had a greater share of its nonelderly population enrolled in both Medical Assistance (MA) and MinnesotaCare than urban areas did (27 percent compared to roughly 20 percent).
  • In the individual market between 2015 and 2016, entirely rural counties had a much higher proportion of enrollees than other county types, with 14 percent of their population covered by individual policies compared to 6 percent of the state overall.
  • While individual enrollment via MNsure increased across county types, it did so most substantially in entirely rural counties (where enrollment via MNsure tripled) and in small town/rural mix counties (where enrollment increased by 70 percent).

From Finance in rural and urban hospitals:

  • From 2011 to 2015, the percent of total charges billed to public insurance programs (both Medicare and Minnesota state programs) increased among all Minnesota hospitals.
  • Compared to urban hospitals, rural hospitals continued to receive a larger percent of their revenue from self-pay charges.
  • Both CAHs and urban hospitals saw an increase in operating margins between 2011 and 2015, but non-urban hospitals had a lower median operating margin than urban hospitals.
  • More CAHs had a negative operating margin than other types of hospitals, and the number of CAHs with negative margins increased from 2011 to 2015.

The full briefs are available at Rural Health and Primary Care Reports & Briefs

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

May 2017- Volume XV, Number 5
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

  • –ACROSS the FIELD
  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS
  • –EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

ACROSS THE FIELD:
FUNDING

–The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is accepting applications for its Youth Literacy Grant Program. Grants of up to $4,000 will be awarded to schools, public libraries and nonprofit organizations in support of efforts to help students who are reading below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. Deadline: 5/18/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines.

–Kendal Charitable Funds is offering Promising Innovations grants to nonprofit organizations that work to meet the needs of a burgeoning population of elders. In 2017, the program is seeking proposals that support aging in place and combat isolation of older adults through engagement in purposeful and meaningful ways within the greater community, designed to affirm their value and connectedness. The program hopes to identify factors that lead to isolation and to address them before and/or after they occur, especially utilizing new, replicable models. Grants will range up to $50,000 for a two-year period. Deadlines: letters of intent must be submitted by 5/19/2017; invited proposals will be due 8/4/2017. Visit the Kendal website here to learn more about the application process.

–USDA is offering funding through the Rural Cooperative Development Grant program. The Program provides support to improve the economic condition of rural areas by assisting in the startup, expansion or operational improvement of rural cooperatives and other business entities. The application deadline is: electronic applications 5/26/2017; paper applications 6/2/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines.

–Minnesota Department of Education 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grants
Deadline: June 1, 2017  DETAILS

Phyllis and Milton Berg Family Respite Care Grant  Funding to help alleviate the cost of respite care for families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.  Application Deadline: June 1, 2017.

–USDA is offering funding through the Food Safety Outreach Program. This Program will build upon the National Food Safety Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Competitive Grants Program national infrastructure, with a sustained focus on delivery of customized training to members of the target audiences. Awardees will develop and implement food safety training, education, extension, outreach and technical assistance projects that address the needs of owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. Grant applications will be solicited directly from those in local communities – to include those from community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, food hubs, farm cooperatives, extension, and other local groups. Deadline: 6/6/2017. Click here for more information and to apply.

–The Tony Hawk Foundation is dedicated to promoting the construction of new, quality skateparks located in low-income communities throughout the United States. The Foundation primarily supports projects that can demonstrate a strong grassroots commitment, particularly in the form of planning and fundraising by local skateboarders and other community groups. Priority is given to projects that are designed and built from concrete by experienced skatepark contractors and include local skaters in the planning, fundraising and design process. Grants of $1,000 to $25,000 are provided to nonprofit organizations and state or local agencies, including public school systems and public projects. Deadline: 6/14/2017. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review the grant criteria and to submit an online application.

–Blandin Foundation Broadband Grants: Broadband Innovation and Robust Network Feasibility Fund grant award amounts range from $1,000 to $25,000, and matching funds are required. Grant application deadlines for 2017 are June 23 and September 22. http://wp.me/p3if7-3M7

— Asthma Friendly Schools The Minnesota Department of Health’s Asthma Program in partnership with the American Lung Association in Minnesota is offering mini-grant funding to create asthma friendly schools. Grant money up to $1,500 is available to implement a variety of school-based projects in elementary, middle or high school settings. The funds are available to public schools, charter schools, and private schools and can be applied to individual schools or across districts. Six project areas are available to choose from: Asthma Data; Environmental Policy; Partnering with Parents and Caregivers; Teaching an Asthma Self-Management Curriculum; Linking Schools and Health Care; and Health Office Staff Training. Applications are currently being accepted through June 30, 2017. For more information, go to the Minnesota Asthma Program–Asthma Friendly Schools Mini-Grant Program to learn how to submit your application. You may also contact the MDH Asthma Program at 651-201-5909 or asthma@health.state.mn.us

–The Ford Family Foundation is offering small grants to organizations working in rural communities with populations of less than 35,000 in response to unexpected needs or simple projects. These grants are highly competitive and limited; priority is given to short-term grant requests for simple projects, unforeseen emergencies that interrupt programming or services, and one-off events or activities. Grants can range from $1,000 to $10,000 and funds are released within 60 days. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. To learn more and to apply, click here.

— The Ford Family Foundation is providing grants that support the development of physical places that are open to the public and have multiple uses in order to encourage civic participation, community collaboration and other ways of bringing residents together for the well-being of the community. Community Building Spaces grants may be used toward land acquisition, purchase of buildings, new construction and renovation, fixtures, furnishings and equipment, and architecture, engineering and planning fees in rural communities with populations of less than 35,000. Typical grant sizes range from $50,000 to $250,000, and funds requested may not exceed one-third of the project’s total budget. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. For more information on eligibility, criteria and how to apply, click here.

— The Ford Family Foundation (TFFF) supports educational projects, programs and out-of-school time facilities in rural communities that encourage the development of skills, confidence and support needed for school-aged youth (5-18 years) to connect with quality mentors, excel in school, develop leadership skills, graduate with a plan for the future and become successful citizens. Typical grant sizes range from $25,000 to $150,000 per year. While there are exceptions, TFFF prefers to fund no more than one-third of the proposed budget. The fund types include programs, operating requests and capital projects. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Click here to learn more and to apply.

–W.K. Kellogg Foundation provides grants to support programs that focus on developing a healthy start and quality learning experiences for all children, helping families get stable, high-quality jobs and connecting employers with talented candidates, and/or advancing racial equity, developing leaders, and fostering community engagement. Award amounts have ranged from $5,000 to $1,500,000. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. To learn more and to apply, click here

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

— On May 16-17 the National Digital Inclusion Alliance and the St. Paul Public Library welcome digital inclusion practitioners, advocates, academics, Internet service providers and policymakers to Net Inclusion 2017: The National Digital Inclusion Summit. St. Paul, Minnesota. https://digitalinclusion.org/netinclusion2017/

–The 2017 Midwest Solar Expo returns to Minneapolis for its 4th annual conference, exhibition and Smart Energy Symposium on May 22-24 at the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot in Minneapolis. Participants will gain insights from solar industry experts, receive hands-on product training, and network with over 450 solar industry leaders from across the country. Read more.

— Early Bird Registration Open for the 2017 Rural Arts & Culture Summit  The 2017 Rural Arts and Culture Summit will take place June 6-8 at the University of Minnesota – Morris.

— 2017 Nonprofit Leadership Conference to be held at the University of MN in Minneapolis on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

–The Minnesota Rural Health Conference Shaping Sustainable Solutions will be held June 19-20 in Duluth.

— Economic Development Association of Minnesota is hosting the 2017 Summer Conference June 28-30 at the Grand View Lodge in Nisswa. Please go to http://z.umn.edu/1d2w for more information. EDAM celebrates i’s 50th year of operation this year.

2017 Nonprofit Fundraising Conference  co-hosted by Association of Fundraising Professionals Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center, Brooklyn Center

2017 MCN Annual Conference will be held Thursday – Friday, October 12 – 13, 2017 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, Saint Paul.

–The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) announced recently that it will hold the fourth-annual “MnSEIA – Midwest Gateway to Solar” Conference in Bloomington, Minn., on Nov. 14-15. This year’s conference will provide educational opportunities, networking, and exhibits. Read more to register and for more information.

OPPORTUNITIES

–The 2017 Nurse Corps Scholarship Program Application cycle is now open. Applicants may view the 2017 Application and Program Guidance and the on-demand 2017 NURSE Corps Scholarship Technical Assistance Webinar. The webinar provides you with more information on the application process and the service requirements. The application deadline is May 11, 7:30 pm ET.

–Scholarships are available for individuals from the East Central region to participate in the 2017 Rural Arts and Culture Summit, which will be held in Morris, MN on June 6 ­ 8, 2017.   Scholarships are being awarded on a first come, first served basis for artists, arts enthusiasts, community and economic developers, and other community leaders. Carpooling is encouraged to allow as many people as possible to participate.  Participants will be reimbursed by the East Central Regional Arts Council for the attendance fee, $40 per night for lodging, and travel expenses ($0.53 per mile) with a maximum total reimbursement of $400.

Organized by Springboard for the Arts and the Center for Small Towns, the Summit gathers rural artists, arts organizations and community leaders to highlight arts ­based strategies to rural community and economic development. People from across the state and country will gather to celebrate the imaginative and creative thinking that has helped to create vibrant small town cultures.

For more information about the Summit and to register please go to their website: www.ruralartsandculturesummit.com  For information on these scholarships call 320­-396­-2337 extension 1 or email: info@ecrac.org before May 15, 2017.

— Nominations are now open for some amazing awards: The Nonprofit Mission and Excellence Awards and the Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards!  MCN and MAP for Nonprofits award six organizations Mission and Excellence Awards each year in the areas of Innovation, Anti-Racism Initiative, Advocacy, Responsive Philanthropy and Excellence (for large and small organizations).  Nomination Deadline: May 15 (Innovation, Anti-Racism, Advocacy, Responsive Philanthropy) and May 26 (Excellence).

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 his/her work in the past.

Nomination Deadline: May 19.  For more information on the awards and to nominate, head to the MCN website!

National Native American Youth Initiative (NNAYI)  Offers a summer program designed to prepare American Indian/Alaska Native high school students to pursue careers in the health professions and/or biomedical research.  Application Deadline: May 31, 2017.

–The American Indian College Fund, through its Full Circle Scholarships program, is providing a number of scholarship opportunities for American Indians and Alaska Natives who are pursing undergraduate degrees at a Tribal College. Eligibility and amounts vary by scholarship. Deadline: May 31, 2017. To learn more and to apply, click here.

–Meyer Foundation is accepting applications for nonprofit leader sabbaticals. Up to three organizations will be awarded grants of $50,000 each to allow their executives to take a three- to four-month sabbatical. Deadline to apply: 6/1/2017. Click here for an application.

–Humphrey School of Public Affairs Policy Fellows Deadline: June 1, 2017  DETAILS

Apply to Host the 2018 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener  Explore Minnesota is seeking proposals to host the 2018 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener.
MISCELLANEOUS

EOP: Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America  Executive order revoking the establishment of the White House Rural Council, and directing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. Chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture, the USDA will provide funding and administrative support to maintain the Task Force. The Task Force will identify legislative, regulatory, and policy priorities to promote rural prosperity in the following areas: agriculture, economic development, jobgrowth, infrastructure improvements, technological innovation, energy security, and quality of life.

Rural Education at a Glance, 2017 Edition Educational attainment is growing in rural America, but gains vary across demographic groups. Low education in some rural areas is closely related to high poverty and unemployment rates.

Employment & Education ERS research in this area focuses on labor market conditions and educational attainment in rural (nonmetropolitan) America. Indicators of labor market conditions include the unemployment rate, employment growth, and earnings levels. 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.

The Role of Medicaid in Rural America  Uses data from the 2013-2015 American Community Survey to examine the role of Medicaid in rural areas, and discuss how potential expansions or cuts could affect rural healthcare. Highlights the importance of Medicaid for many rural residents who are often faced with limited access to insurance and providers, longer travel times, and greater health needs when compared to their urban counterparts. Includes several charts and graphs to illustrate important statistics and demographic comparisons.

–The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program released their 2016 Key Findings Report, which demonstrates that rural counties have had the highest rates of premature death for many years, lagging far behind other counties. While urban counties continue to show improvement, premature death rates are worsening in rural counties. Ranking the health of nearly every county in the nation, the County Health Rankings illustrate what we know when it comes to what is keeping people healthy or making people sick. The Roadmaps show what we can do to create healthier places to live, learn, work and play. Download the full report here.

–National Endowment for the Arts has created a Creative Placemaking Artistic Field landing page on its website. Listed are creative placemaking-related news, features, videos, podcasts, resources, partnerships, funding guidelines and initiatives all in one place. Visit the page here.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

Position Opening at Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism  The Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism is seeking applications for President/CEO.

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

April 2017- Volume XV, Number 4
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING
–Corporation for National and Community Service is offering funding to Indian Tribes for programs that are designed to strengthen tribal communities and solve local problems through service and volunteering. Deadline: Letter of Intent (optional) 4/19/2017; application 5/10/2017. Click here to visit the website for funding guidelines.

–The United Fresh Start Foundation (UFSF) is providing grant opportunities to organizations interested in increasing children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables outside of school. UFSF is looking for creative methods to get fresh produce to children during the summer months, after school, and on the weekends. Deadline: 4/20/2017. Learn more about the initiative here and download the application here.
— Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program  Grants to city, county, and state governments to expand opioid abuse prevention and education efforts while also promoting treatment and recovery. Application Deadline: Apr 25, 2017.

–Bush Foundation is accepting applications for the Bush Prize for Community Innovation. Grants of up to $500,000 will be awarded to community-based organizations in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota with a track record of making great ideas happen. Deadline: 4/27/2017. Click here for an application.

–The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grant funds to CDCs for community-based efforts to improve the economic and physical health of people in areas designated as food deserts or where applicants can point to indicators of need, such as poor access to a healthy food retail outlet, a high percentage of individuals with low-income, incidence of diet-related health conditions, or high concentrations of persons eligible for food assistance programs. Through the Community Economic Development (CED) program and within the framework of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), the Department seeks to fund projects that implement strategies to increase healthy food access, foster self-sufficiency for individuals and families with low income, and create sustained employment opportunities in communities with low incomes. Deadline: 4/28/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines and download an application package.

–The Singing for Change Charitable Foundation is dedicated to supporting nonprofit organizations that inspire personal growth, community integration, and the enhanced awareness that collectively people can bring about positive social change. The Foundation provides grants to progressive, community-based nonprofit organizations nationwide that address the root causes of social or environmental problems. The Foundation primarily provides grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for projects that serve children and families, the environment, and disenfranchised groups. Priority is given to inclusive, grassroots organizations that rely strongly on volunteer efforts, where Foundation support makes a significant difference. Deadline: letters of interest by 5/1/2017. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review the funding guidelines and to submit an online letter of interest.

–Newman’s Own, Fisher House Foundation and Military Times are offering $200,000 in grants to recognize volunteer and nonprofit organizations supporting military families. Eligible applicants to the Newman’s Own Awards Program must be comprised primarily of volunteers and/or be a nonprofit organization, and be working with Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve units, veterans, and their families. Applying organizations will be evaluated on their innovative plans for improving the quality of life for members of the military and their families. Grants of up to $50,000 are provided. Deadline: 5/2/2017. Visit the program’s website here to submit an online application.

–The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is offering six grants of $60,000 to support teams building healthy, child-centered communities through its Raising Places initiative. Raising Places catalyzes local momentum for cross-sector collaboration, engaging diverse partners to build healthier communities where all children and their families can thrive. Deadlines: the full application is now released and will be due 5/5/2017. For more information and to apply, click here.

–Blandin Foundation Broadband Grants: Broadband Innovation and Robust Network Feasibility Fund grant award amounts range from $1,000 to $25,000, and matching funds are required. Grant application deadlines for 2017 are June 23 and September 22. http://wp.me/p3if7-3M7
— Asthma Friendly Schools The Minnesota Department of Health’s Asthma Program in partnership with the American Lung Association in Minnesota is offering mini-grant funding to create asthma friendly schools. Grant money up to $1,500 is available to implement a variety of school-based projects in elementary, middle or high school settings. The funds are available to public schools, charter schools, and private schools and can be applied to individual schools or across districts. Six project areas are available to choose from: Asthma Data; Environmental Policy; Partnering with Parents and Caregivers; Teaching an Asthma Self-Management Curriculum; Linking Schools and Health Care; and Health Office Staff Training. Applications are currently being accepted through June 30, 2017. For more information, go to the Minnesota Asthma Program–Asthma Friendly Schools Mini-Grant Program to learn how to submit your application. You may also contact the MDH Asthma Program at 651-201-5909 or asthma@health.state.mn.us

–Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) created the Community Facilities Fund to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC provides permanent and construction to permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities, in rural communities with populations under 20,000. Deadline: ongoing. Click here for more information.

Developing Healthy Places.  The Kresge Foundation provides funding to improve the places that shape health, including programs that promote healthy housing and neighborhoods, food systems for low-income communities, and equitable transportation and land use. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

–The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced a new funding opportunity announcement for up to $6 million to install energy efficiency measures and deploy clean energy systems on Indian lands. The Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications from Indian tribes and tribal energy resource development organizations to install energy efficiency measures and clean energy systems on tribal buildings and deploy clean energy systems on a community scale.

–The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) FY17 solicitation of applications. REAP offers two types of funding assistance: (1) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses, and (2) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants to state, tribal, or local governments; institutions of higher education; rural electric cooperatives; or public power entities. The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance provides grants of $20,000 or less and guaranteed loans to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. For assistance with applications, interested parties in Minnesota should contact Ron Omann, Rural Development Energy Coordinator, at 651-602-7796 or ron.omann@mn.usda.gov.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

— MCN and Nonprofits Assistance Fund will be hosting the sixth-annual Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference on Thursday, April 13 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center. This year’s conference will feature a keynote addressing charitable endowments by Alan Cantor, consultant and frequent contributor to The Chronicle of Philanthropy; 20 timely breakout sessions and opportunities to network with sector peers.  Early Bird rates for MCN members are available until February 24. Scholarships and team registrations specials are also available. Learn more!

Riverland Tourism Conference Held April 18 in Crookston The Riverland Tourism Association will be holding a conference titled “Building Your Business One Visitor at a Time” on Tuesday, April 18, at the University of Minnesota in Crookston.
–The National Housing Conference will host “Solutions for Housing Communications 2017” will be April 27-28, 2017, in Minneapolis.

Save the Date for a Tourism Research Showcase The U of M Tourism Center celebrates National Travel & Tourism Week by hosting a Tourism Research Showcase and lunch event on Monday, May 8.

–Minnesota High Tech Association Spring Conference registration is open for our May 9 Spring Conference! This year’s conference will be held at the Minneapolis Depot Renaissance and feature more than 15 breakout sessions and 40 exhibitors in addition to our keynote speakers. Conference tracks will focus on digital transformation, cybersecurity and Minnesota’s leadership in the next wave of innovation. LEARN MORE
— On May 16-17 the National Digital Inclusion Alliance and the St. Paul Public Library welcome digital inclusion practitioners, advocates, academics, Internet service providers and policymakers to Net Inclusion 2017: The National Digital Inclusion Summit. St. Paul, Minnesota. https://digitalinclusion.org/netinclusion2017/

— Early Bird Registration Open for the 2017 Rural Arts & Culture Summit  The 2017 Rural Arts and Culture Summit will take place June 6-8 at the University of Minnesota – Morris.
— SAVE THE DATE!  2017 Nonprofit Leadership Conference to be held at the University of MN in Minneapolis on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

–The Minnesota Rural Health Conference Shaping Sustainable Solutions will be held June 19-20 in Duluth.

— Economic Development Association of Minnesota is hosting the 2017 Summer Conference June 28-30 at the Grand View Lodge in Nisswa. Please go to http://z.umn.edu/1d2w for more information.

2017 Nonprofit Fundraising Conference  co-hosted by Association of Fundraising Professionals Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center, Brooklyn Center

2017 MCN Annual Conference will be held Thursday – Friday, October 12 – 13, 2017 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, Saint Paul.

OPPORTUNITIES

–Minnesota Cup launches 2017 competition. The nation’s largest startup startup contest, has opened applications — with $450,000 in total prizes! Participants have until April 28 to submit applications. LEARN MORE

–The Minnesota Rural Health Conference is currently accepting nominations for the 2017 Minnesota Rural Health Awards! There are three awards to be considered:

  • The MN Rural Health Hero Award recognizes one individual who has made an positive or innovative contribution to rural health
  • The MN Rural Health Team Award recognizes an organization or a group of individuals who have made a positive or innovative contribution to rural health
  • The MN Rural Health Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes one individual who has made a lasting contribution to improving rural health over the span of his or her career

All the awards will be presented during the Conference Awards breakfast on June 20 in Duluth. To nominate someone for an award, please complete and return the nomination form by May 1 to maria.rogness@state.mn.us

If you do not receive an email confirmation, please call to check on the receipt of the nomination form at 651-201-3863. For more information about the conference, view the MN Rural Health Conference website.

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’s Summer and Winter Institute courses at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Application Deadline: May 1, 2017.

–The 2017 Nurse Corps Scholarship Program Application cycle is now open. Applicants may view the 2017 Application and Program Guidance and the on-demand 2017 NURSE Corps Scholarship Technical Assistance Webinar. The webinar provides you with more information on the application process and the service requirements. The application deadline is May 11, 7:30 pm ET.
Apply to Host the 2018 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener  Explore Minnesota is seeking proposals to host the 2018 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener.
MISCELLANEOUS

–The Department of Health and Human Services released its annual poverty guidelines update to account for the last calendar year’s increase in prices as measured by the Consumer Price Index. Get the guidelines and further information here.

–Minnesota Compass held its annual meeting in February, and shared information about important data and trends affecting communities around the state. Go to: http://www.mncompass.org/_pdfs/compass-points-2017.pdf

–Public Health Data Access Portal  Find data, charts and maps at the MN Public Health Data Access portal to help advance your public health initiatives. Information about environmental hazards and public health risks are updated and maintained by the MN Environmental Public Health Tracking Program at the Minnesota Department of Health. Download your quick reference guide outlining the available topics.

How We Can Help Children in Rural Communities Thrive Discusses challenges facing rural families and children with mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders. Highlights steps that states, healthcare systems, and primary care providers can take to support them.

Creating Change through Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development: A Policy and Practice Primer This report offers a framework for moving equitable development policy across multiple sectors – aided by and strengthening the use of arts and culture practice.

Minnesotans with Disabilities: Demographic and Economic Characteristics  This brief provides a primer about persons with disabilities in Minnesota, to better understand their demographic characteristics and experiences.

State of the State’s Housing 2017  This report spotlights key trends in Minnesota housing like the gap between housing costs and salaries, ranks counties on benchmarks like renter cost burden, and showcases issues like aging housing stock with dynamic maps. Building on the county profiles released each year since 2009, this report continues to benchmark progress at the state, region and county levels.

–The Washington Post released an interactive tool that allows readers to find out how many structurally deficient bridges are in their counties using the latest data available from the 2015 National Bridge Inventory. There are more than 130,000 structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridges across the country. Access the tool here.

–Census Bureau’s new OnTheMap Tool can be used to better understand Indian reservations’ employment and housing markets and infrastructure needs, including where American Indian reservation residents work, where reservation workers live, and the resulting commuting patterns to and from a reservation. Learn more about this usage here, and click here to access the tool.

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

March 2017- Volume XV, Number 3

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

This newsletter is also available online: http://wp.me/pkVGJ-7l

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING

— THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION is offering grants to nonprofit groups and public agencies through the Upward Bound Math and Science Program. Grants will be awarded for a wide array of activities to encourage at-risk youth to complete high school and go on to college and, ultimately, careers in math and science. Deadline: 3/22/2017. Click here to review program guidelines and an application package.

–USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of $8.8 million in funding to support agricultural science education at Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs). The Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Education Grants Program promotes and strengthens HSI programs that attract, retain, and graduate outstanding students capable of enhancing the nation’s food, agricultural, natural resource, and human sciences work force. Deadline to apply: 3/22/2017. Click here to learn more about these grants.

–USDA has announced requests for applications for the Farmers Market Promotion Program, and the Local Food Promotion Program to fund innovative projects designed to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses. Deadline for both programs: 3/27/2017. Click here for information on the Farmers Market Promotion Program, and here for the Local Food Promotion Program.

–Health Equity in Action Grants. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation will award a total of up to $1,000,000 to further health equity in communities across the state of Minnesota. Healthy Communities 2017: Health Equity in Action provides grants up to $100,000 per year, and applicants can apply for one- or two-year grants. An optional webinar and community workshops will be held throughout the state in February and early March. The deadline to submit applications through the online application system is March 30, 4 p.m., Central Time.

–Management Improvement Fund. Many nonprofits struggle to finance their day-to-day operations, let alone invest in long-term planning and management consultants. The Management Improvement Fund, a community initiative of The Saint Paul Foundation, is dedicated to strengthening the internal operations of organizations. Grants are now available statewide thanks to support from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation. Grants may be used to finance management consultants, training services and other programs that improve service to the greater community. Before applying, all interested applicants must contact Stephanie Battle, director of Community Impact, at 651-325-4236 to ensure that the Fund fits the requested need.

Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program furnishes loans and loan guarantees to provide funds for the construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.  Application Deadline: March 31, 2017.

–Minnesota Festival Support is a grant program of the Minnesota State Arts Board designed to provide meaningful arts experiences to Minnesotans through festivals that celebrate the arts, build community, and expose communities to diverse art forms including folk and traditional arts. The program provides funding for sponsoring or presenting organizations to feature Minnesota individual artists and Minnesota arts groups in arts festivals, or in the arts component of broader, community festivals. The program is open to Minnesota 501(c)(3) organizations, unincorporated groups with at least one paid staff person and a Minnesota 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, and public agencies.

All applicants must have produced the proposed festival at least once before, prior to the March 31st deadline. Grants range from $5,000 to $75,000, with a 25% cash match requirement. Program guidelines, sample applications, webinar registration information, and contact information for the program officer can be found on the Arts Board website at http://www.arts.state.mn.us/grants/machf-mfs.htm.

–East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) wishes to remind to all local artists, art organizations, and schools within Region 7E (the Minnesota Counties of Pine, Isanti, Chisago, Kanabec, and Mille Lacs) that there is an April 1st grant deadline for all of these grant programs.

– Art in Our Schools Grants: School districts may apply for arts-related funding up to $3,000.

– Small/Art Project Grants: Nonprofit organizations, art groups, school districts, and local units of government may apply for arts-related funding ranging from $500-$5,000.

– Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Organizations: Nonprofit organizations, art groups, school districts, and local units of government may apply for arts-related funding ranging from $5,000-$15,000.

– Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Individuals: Individual artists may apply for arts-related project funding up to $2,500. Eligible applicants must be permanent residents in Region 7E.

– McKnight Individual Artist Grants: Individual artists may apply for arts-related project funding up to $1,000. Eligible applicants must be permanent residents in Region 7E.

The link to the online application processes can be found at the ECRAC website: www.ecrac.org/grants    For further information, please call 320-396-2337 extension 2 or email: grantinfo@ecrac.org.

— Blandin Foundation Broadband Grants: Broadband Innovation and Robust Network Feasibility Fund grant award amounts range from $1,000 to $25,000, and matching funds are required. Grant application deadlines for 2017 are April 7, June 23 and September 22. http://wp.me/p3if7-3M7

School Grants for Healthy Kids awards funding to support school breakfast and physical activity programs. Application Deadline: April 7, 2017.

— THE SPARKPLUG FOUNDATION is offering grants to start-up nonprofit organizations or new projects of established nonprofits that are addressing the fields of music, education, and community organizing. In the Music category, the Foundation supports emerging professional musicians or music-development programs. In Education and Teaching, the Foundation funds projects that deal with “the whole student” and with learning as a community activity. Through Grassroots Organizing, the Foundation encourages activist strategies for addressing institutional injustices and for building a reasoned, just society. The current focus is on ground-level community organizing at the intersection of utilities/energy infrastructure, housing/community resources, and racial justice. Deadlines: online questionnaires must be completed by 4/10/2017; letters of intent are due 4/17/2017; and the deadline for final applications is 5/5/2017. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review its mission and funding guidelines as well as the online application instructions.

Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program  Grants to city, county, and state governments to expand opioid abuse prevention and education efforts while also promoting treatment and recovery. Application Deadline: Apr 25, 2017.

–The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grant funds to CDCs for community-based efforts to improve the economic and physical health of people in areas designated as food deserts or where applicants can point to indicators of need, such as poor access to a healthy food retail outlet, a high percentage of individuals with low-income, incidence of diet-related health conditions, or high concentrations of persons eligible for food assistance programs. Through the Community Economic Development (CED) program and within the framework of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), the Department seeks to fund projects that implement strategies to increase healthy food access, foster self-sufficiency for individuals and families with low income, and create sustained employment opportunities in communities with low incomes. Deadline: 4/28/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines and download an application package.

— Asthma Friendly Schools The Minnesota Department of Health’s Asthma Program in partnership with the American Lung Association in Minnesota is offering mini-grant funding to create asthma friendly schools. Grant money up to $1,500 is available to implement a variety of school-based projects in elementary, middle or high school settings. The funds are available to public schools, charter schools, and private schools and can be applied to individual schools or across districts. Six project areas are available to choose from: Asthma Data; Environmental Policy; Partnering with Parents and Caregivers; Teaching an Asthma Self-Management Curriculum; Linking Schools and Health Care; and Health Office Staff Training. Applications are currently being accepted through June 30, 2017. For more information, go to the Minnesota Asthma Program–Asthma Friendly Schools Mini-Grant Program to learn how to submit your application. You may also contact the MDH Asthma Program at 651-201-5909 or asthma@health.state.mn.us

Developing Healthy Places.  The Kresge Foundation provides funding to improve the places that shape health, including programs that promote healthy housing and neighborhoods, food systems for low-income communities, and equitable transportation and land use. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

–The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced a new funding opportunity announcement for up to $6 million to install energy efficiency measures and deploy clean energy systems on Indian lands. The Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications from Indian tribes and tribal energy resource development organizations to install energy efficiency measures and clean energy systems on tribal buildings and deploy clean energy systems on a community scale.

–The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) FY17 solicitation of applications. REAP offers two types of funding assistance: (1) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses, and (2) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants to state, tribal, or local governments; institutions of higher education; rural electric cooperatives; or public power entities. The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance provides grants of $20,000 or less and guaranteed loans to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. For assistance with applications, interested parties in Minnesota should contact Ron Omann, Rural Development Energy Coordinator, at 651-602-7796 or ron.omann@mn.usda.gov.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

–Free e-Learning Courses. Normandale Community College and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Bloomberg School of Public Health are jointly offering free e-Learning courses designed for busy, working adults to upgrade their skills in the transforming healthcare industry. Short e-learning courses are available for Healthcare Data Analytics, Population Health, and Value-Based Care. Courses are appropriate for all roles and levels of work within healthcare. Training is provided by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Normandale Community College through a federal grant opportunity. To register, begin by viewing the Course page. Training is free and available until capacity is met or until May 2017.

— Broadband Day on the Hill March 15: Minnesota Broadband Coalition members have come together to organize Minnesota’s first ever Broadband Day on the Hill on March 15. The Coalition’s goal is to bring directly to legislators rural perspectives on the critical role that broadband plays in Minnesota rural communities’ economic vitality and quality of life. http://wp.me/p3if7-3T

–AURI Invites You to Register for its New Uses Forum Today!  The forum, scheduled for March 22 at the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth, MN, is bringing together experts and entrepreneurs across the new uses arena, including university and industry R&D experts, Minnesota business and agbioeconomy partners, as well as the financial community. Together, they will participate in open discussions about the latest innovations and opportunities for developing new uses for Minnesota grown crops and agricultural processing byproducts. The day’s events include:

  • Industry panel discussions
  • Minnesota’s activities and resources,
  • Regional and global research efforts,
  • Networking opportunities, and
  • Keynote addresses tailored to the interests of MN agriculture.

AURI is inviting you to register today.  Learn More

— Starting a Business in MN workshop is being hosted by the University of Minnesota Duluth Center for Economic Development at the Workforce Development Center in Duluth on March 28 from 2-4 PM. There is no charge, but you may register at http://z.umn.edu/1d2x.

–Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 5, 2017 at the University of St. Thomas. Join colleagues from across the state both to celebrate good work and to discuss opportunities for advancing our civic commitments even more powerfully together. Campus selections for the Presidents’ Awards for community partners, student leaders, and faculty/staff civic engagement stewards will be due February 24, 2017. Questions or to sponsor a team with a designated table at the awards luncheon, contact Julie or go to:http://mncampuscompact.org/event/2017-state-summit-and-awards-luncheon/

–13th Annual Worthington Bioscience Conference will be held April 6-7, 2017 in
Worthington, MN.  The Worthington Regional Bio Conference is an annual gathering of industry professionals, research scientists and business leaders. This annual event highlights the deep roots of bioscience in Minnesota as it relates to farming and animal health. What evolves out of one area of bio-tech often has implications in other areas of importance to overall quality of life.

Who should attend?  Farmers, farm and energy cooperatives, researchers, teachers and students, human and animal health professionals, veterinary medicine practitioners, financial institutions, policy makers, business and economic development professionals.  This year’s conference will focus on “Research and Development” and is full of quality speakers and presentations.  In addition to a full schedule of speakers, highlights of the event include a technology and entrepreneurs showcase and an exhibit hall.

Register Now!

— The 10th annual International Biomass Conference & Expo, North America’s largest and fastest growing biomass conference, taking place April 10-12 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 2017 agenda — featuring four comprehensive tracks — is tightly focused on leading edge developments in the biomass industry, from feedstock cultivation, harvest and storage to conversion technology, project finance and regulatory guidance.  For more information go to: http://www.biomassconference.com/ema/DisplayPage.aspx?pageId=Home

— The 13th annual Small Wind Conference will be held April 10-11 at the Crown Plaza AiRE in Bloomington, Minn., near the MSP airport. The Small Wind Conference connects installers, site assessors, manufacturers, supply chain stakeholders, national labs, and more. This gathering of distributed wind industry leaders is a source of continuing education and shared information to power homes, schools, farms, businesses, and transportation with clean, local wind energy. Visit the conference website to register.

— MCN and Nonprofits Assistance Fund will be hosting the sixth-annual Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference on Thursday, April 13 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center. This year’s conference will feature a keynote addressing charitable endowments by Alan Cantor, consultant and frequent contributor to The Chronicle of Philanthropy; 20 timely breakout sessions and opportunities to network with sector peers.  Early Bird rates for MCN members are available until February 24. Scholarships and team registrations specials are also available. Learn more!

–SAVE THE DATE!  The National Housing Conference will host “Solutions for Housing Communications 2017” will be April 27-28, 2017, in Minneapolis.

— Registration is now open for the Minnesota High Tech Spring Conference on May 9th. Neel Kashkari, President of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, will be the Keynote Speaker. This year’s conference will be held at the Minneapolis Depot Renaissance and feature more than 15 breakout sessions and 40 exhibitors in addition to our keynote speakers. Conference tracks will focus on digital transformation, cybersecurity and Minnesota’s leadership in the next wave of innovation. LEARN MORE & REGISTER

— SAVE THE DATE May 16-17 the National Digital Inclusion Alliance and the St. Paul Public Library welcome digital inclusion practitioners, advocates, academics, Internet service providers and policymakers to Net Inclusion 2017: The National Digital Inclusion Summit. St. Paul, Minnesota. https://digitalinclusion.org/netinclusion2017/

— SAVE THE DATE!  Springboard for the Arts, the Center for Small Towns, and the Forum of Regional Arts Councils of Minnesota will host the 2017 Rural Arts & Culture Summit, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

— SAVE THE DATE!  2017 Nonprofit Leadership Conference to be held at the University of MN in Minneapolis on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

— Economic Development Association of Minnesota is hosting the 2017 Summer Conference June 28-30 at the Grand View Lodge in Nisswa. Please go to http://z.umn.edu/1d2w for more information.

2017 Nonprofit Fundraising Conference  co-hosted by Association of Fundraising Professionals Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center, Brooklyn Center

2017 MCN Annual Conference will be held Thursday – Friday, October 12 – 13, 2017 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, Saint Paul.

OPPORTUNITIES

— Hand Your Website Strategy to a Nerd!  Applications are now open for The Overnight Website Challenge, a volunteer-run program of The Nerdery Foundation. This event is aimed at maximizing the community impact of nonprofit organizations through digital strategy and custom software design and development—all pro bono. How could a group of nerds further your organization’s mission through better use of interactive technology? Between now and March 17, apply and let them know—your organization could be chosen to participate!

For more information on The Overnight Website Challenge and to apply, visit the event website. The Twin Cities Overnight Website Challenge is taking place on April 22 – 23, 2017.

— Event Scholarships from Bush Foundation.  The Bush Foundation is offering scholarships for individuals from Minnesota, the Dakotas, and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography to attend national events and conferences. Deadlines: March 22, 2017. DETAILS

2016‒2017 Student Essay Contest  The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis sponsors this contest for high school students in the Ninth Federal Reserve District. Students answer the question: “Can the U.S. economy still grow the way it once did?” to win monetary prizes. Essays are due by March 31, 2017.

— MINNESOTA HOUSING PARTNERSHIP has opened a call for local organizations to take advantage of their Strengthening Rural Communities Program. This program provides technical assistance to rural communities to overcome impediments to successful planning, and implementation of affordable housing and community development projects. From innovative planning practices, to knowledge of complex federal housing programs, this program gives organizations the ability to build and preserve housing and community assets. Deadline: 3/31/2017. Click here to review program guidelines.

–This is the 30th year of IMAGE, an annual judged art show, sponsored by the East Central Regional Arts Council.  ECRAC will host the show at its office and gallery in downtown Braham, MN. The show opens Saturday evening, April 22, 2017, and will be open for viewing through Friday, April 28. There is no fee to attend or participate in IMAGE. However, artists wishing to exhibit a work of art at the IMAGE Art Show must read and complete this online entry form and submit it before or on the deadline date of Monday, April 3, 2017. For more information on IMAGE Art Show 2017 go to:   http://www.ecrac.org/news/image-art-show-2017

You can also call us at 320-396-2337 extension 1, or email info@ecrac.org

— Innovation acceleration: Midwest Cleantech Open is accepting applications.  Do you know a Cleantech entrepreneur who could benefit from mentoring by experienced investors and from competing for up to $200,000 in the Midwest Cleantech Open’s 2017 Accelerator? Encourage them to apply now. The Cleantech Open welcomes companies of all stages (from concept to commercialized) with a mission to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems through clean tech and sustainable solutions. See the Cleantech Open Midwest website for more opportunities. The Cleantech Open is the oldest and largest cleantech startup accelerator program, with the mission to find, fund, and foster entrepreneurs with ideas to solve the greatest environmental and energy challenges.

MISCELLANEOUS

Managing Agricultural Risk Under Different Scenarios: Selected 2014 Farm Act Programs (Amber Waves feature article)  The 2014 Farm Act introduced several new programs for crop and livestock producers. A recent ERS study analyzed how these programs provide options for risk management under different scenarios.

Growing Organic Demand Provides High-Value Opportunities for Many Types of Producers (Amber Waves feature article) In 2015, the Organic Trade Association estimated U.S. organic retail sales at $43.3 billion, showing double-digit growth during most years since 2000, when USDA set national organic standards. Since setting national organic standards, USDA has streamlined trade arrangements with multiple foreign governments to expand international markets for U.S. organic producers.

FAR Codes Added to Am I Rural? Tool by The Rural Health Information Hub.  These Frontier and Remote Area (FAR) codes have been added to the list of rural definitions provided in their popular Am I Rural? tool. Type an address into the tool to see if your location meets the FAR criteria.

–The Minnesota Department of Health has published a Dental Therapy Toolkit (PDF) for prospective employers of Dental Therapists (DT) and Advanced Dental Therapists (ADT). The purpose of the toolkit is to assist employers and organizations who are considering or planning to hire a Dental Therapist and integrate this emerging profession into their team.  The Dental Therapy role is a “mid-level” dental provider educated to provide evaluative, preventive and dental care within their scope of practice and to serve underserved populations. Dental Therapists can:

  • expand the population served by a clinic,
  • improve efficiency,
  • increase volume, and
  • allow supervising Dentists to provide more complex procedures.

The toolkit and background resources are available on our Toolkit webpage at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/orhpc/toolkit.html

Rural Health Workforce Maps These new maps show county-by-county data on Health Professional Shortage Areas for Primary Care, Dental Care, and Mental Health Care. Nonmetropolitan and micropolitan shortage areas are identified with a separate color scale from metropolitan shortage areas.

— 2016 National Solar Jobs Census: Solar jobs increase by 44% in Minnesota.  Solar jobs in Minnesota increased 44% from November 2015 to November 2016, according to the 2016 National Solar Jobs Census conducted by The Solar Foundation. Minnesota now employs 2,872 people in the solar industry, up from 1,995 a year ago. Over the last three years, state solar jobs have increased by 253%, from 814 in 2013 to its 2016 total. Minnesota ranks 25th among all states. Nationally, solar jobs increased 25%, the fourth straight year in which solar employment grew by about 20% or greater. One out of every 50 new jobs in the United States over the 12-month period was created by the solar industry. The Jobs Census is available at The Solar Foundation’s website.

— USDA has released an Applicant Orientation Guide Video to assist Section 502 Direct Housing Loan program applicants with the process. The program helps low- and very-low-income applicants obtain decent, safe, and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas by providing payment assistance to increase an applicant’s repayment ability. Access the orientation video here.

Rural Poverty & Well-being  ERS research in this topic focuses on the economic, social, spatial, and demographic factors that affect the income and poverty status of rural residents. The poverty analysis has been updated to reflect the most recently available (2015) data.

February 2017- Volume XV, Number 2

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

This newsletter is also available online: http://wp.me/pkVGJ-7h

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING

–The MPCA Small Business Environmental Loan Program has low-interest loans for small businesses to upgrade old equipment that meets regulations or reduces environmental impact, and for costs related to site clean-up.  The program offers financial and technical help with your environmental project. Other common benefits are a healthier workplace, lower waste bills, and simpler permits and/or cost savings from reduced regulatory obligations.  Typical loan programs only offer 4 to 5-year payback options, while the MPCA small business loan offers up to a 7-year payback. With its competitive interest rates, easier application process, and flexible collateral options, it is a good choice for your next environmental project.

Many business types can apply. An applicant must have:

  • an existing small business corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership or association,
  • less than 50 full-time employees
  • an after-tax profit of less than $500,000
  • a net worth of less than $1 million

The terms:

  • loan amount between $1,000 and $50,000
  • current interest rate of 4 percent
  • repayment term up to seven years
  • flexible collateral options

The application process is now shorter and awarded throughout the year. Applicants are evaluated on their ability to secure and repay the loan, and the project’s expected environmental benefits. All projects costs must be pre-approved and cannot be made until the application process is complete. Borrowers must report on the project’s realized environmental and economic benefits. For more information and to apply contact Eric David: 651-757-2218 or eric.david@state.mn.us.

— The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is offering grants through Art Works 1 for FY 2018. An organization may submit only one application through one of the following two FY 2018 categories: Art Works 1 or Challenge America. An organization may submit one additional application under the FY 2018 Art Works category for a Creativity Connects project. Deadlines: Art Works 1; 2/16/2017; Challenge America; 4/13/2017. Click here to review application guidelines for an Art Works 1 grant. Click here for guidelines on Challenge America grants.

2017 Day of Service Grants  for day of service projects in observance of September 11th and/or Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Projects may focus on child welfare, safety, and health; healthcare access; assistance to veterans and active duty military families; and human services such as the provision of housing and emergency food.
Application Deadline: Feb 22, 2017.

— DNR Park and Trail Grants. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced grant funding opportunities for park and trail projects across Minnesota.  Go to: http://www.exploreminnesota.com/industry-minnesota/news/emt-express/emt-express-details/?nid=1379&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

–Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) is offering $100,000 in Incentive Grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations or units/agencies of local, state, or federal government. Grants up to $20,000 are available to support collaborative projects or programs in early childhood and economic development areas. Applications for this grant round are due February 28, 2017, with awards announced in May. Full guidelines and online application can be found at www.smifoundation.org. For more information email Jennifer Heien, Grants Coordinator, at jenniferh@smifoundation.org; or call 507-455-3215.

–Applications for the fourth year of the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program are open until Feb. 28, 2017. The 10-year, $150-million program helps fund new solar electric and solar thermal systems for Minnesota residents, businesses, and communities. The program is administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. During the first three years of the program, funding was awarded for 1,048 solar electric projects and 36 solar thermal installations. The solar electric projects equal about 15 megawatts (MW) of electric capacity. Read more (pdf) for information on how to apply, application guidelines, and more.

Community Connect Broadband Grant Program  grants for communities without broadband service to provide residential service and connect facilities, such as police and fire stations, healthcare, libraries, and schools. Priority will be given to rural areas that demonstrate the greatest need for broadband services. Application Deadline: March 13, 2017.

Charles A. Frueauff Foundation Grants awards grants in the areas of education, human services, health, and hospitals. Specific project initiatives include food and hunger; economic development; daycare programs; hospital and healthcare agencies; health screenings; health education; AIDS/HIV prevention and education; and equipment for healthcare facilities.  Application Deadline: March 15, 2017.

–USDA has announced requests for applications for the Farmers Market Promotion Program, and the Local Food Promotion Program to fund innovative projects designed to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses. Deadline for both programs: 3/27/2017. Click here for information on the Farmers Market Promotion Program, and here for the Local Food Promotion Program.

Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program furnishes loans and loan guarantees to provide funds for the construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.  Application Deadline: March 31, 2017.

–Minnesota Festival Support is a grant program of the Minnesota State Arts Board designed to provide meaningful arts experiences to Minnesotans through festivals that celebrate the arts, build community, and expose communities to diverse art forms including folk and traditional arts. The program provides funding for sponsoring or presenting organizations to feature Minnesota individual artists and Minnesota arts groups in arts festivals, or in the arts component of broader, community festivals. The program is open to Minnesota 501(c)(3) organizations, unincorporated groups with at least one paid staff person and a Minnesota 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, and public agencies.

All applicants must have produced the proposed festival at least once before, prior to the March 31st deadline. Grants range from $5,000 to $75,000, with a 25% cash match requirement. There will be a Webinar and conference call on February 28th at 3:00pm for anyone interested learning more about the program. Program guidelines, sample applications, webinar registration information, and contact information for the program officer can be found on the Arts Board website at http://www.arts.state.mn.us/grants/machf-mfs.htm.
–East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) wishes to remind to all local artists, art organizations, and schools within Region 7E (the Minnesota Counties of Pine, Isanti, Chisago, Kanabec, and Mille Lacs) that there is an April 1st grant deadline for all of these grant programs.

– Art in Our Schools Grants: School districts may apply for arts-related funding up to $3,000.

– Small/Art Project Grants: Nonprofit organizations, art groups, school districts, and local units of government may apply for arts-related funding ranging from $500-$5,000.

– Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Organizations: Nonprofit organizations, art groups, school districts, and local units of government may apply for arts-related funding ranging from $5,000-$15,000.

– Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Individuals: Individual artists may apply for arts-related project funding up to $2,500. Eligible applicants must be permanent residents in Region 7E.

– McKnight Individual Artist Grants: Individual artists may apply for arts-related project funding up to $1,000. Eligible applicants must be permanent residents in Region 7E.

The link to the online application processes can be found at the ECRAC website: www.ecrac.org/grants    For further information, please call 320-396-2337 extension 2 or email: grantinfo@ecrac.org.

— Blandin Foundation Broadband Grants: Broadband Innovation and Robust Network Feasibility Fund grant award amounts range from $1,000 to $25,000, and matching funds are required. Grant application deadlines for 2017 are April 7, June 23 and September 22. http://wp.me/p3if7-3M7

School Grants for Healthy Kids awards funding to support school breakfast and physical activity programs. Application Deadline: April 7, 2017.

–The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grant funds to CDCs for community-based efforts to improve the economic and physical health of people in areas designated as food deserts or where applicants can point to indicators of need, such as poor access to a healthy food retail outlet, a high percentage of individuals with low-income, incidence of diet-related health conditions, or high concentrations of persons eligible for food assistance programs. Through the Community Economic Development (CED) program and within the framework of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), the Department seeks to fund projects that implement strategies to increase healthy food access, foster self-sufficiency for individuals and families with low income, and create sustained employment opportunities in communities with low incomes. Deadline: 4/28/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines and download an application package.

— Asthma Friendly Schools The Minnesota Department of Health’s Asthma Program in partnership with the American Lung Association in Minnesota is offering mini-grant funding to create asthma friendly schools. Grant money up to $1,500 is available to implement a variety of school-based projects in elementary, middle or high school settings. The funds are available to public schools, charter schools, and private schools and can be applied to individual schools or across districts. Six project areas are available to choose from: Asthma Data; Environmental Policy; Partnering with Parents and Caregivers; Teaching an Asthma Self-Management Curriculum; Linking Schools and Health Care; and Health Office Staff Training. Applications are currently being accepted through June 30, 2017. For more information, go to the Minnesota Asthma Program–Asthma Friendly Schools Mini-Grant Program to learn how to submit your application. You may also contact the MDH Asthma Program at 651-201-5909 or asthma@health.state.mn.us

Developing Healthy Places.  The Kresge Foundation provides funding to improve the places that shape health, including programs that promote healthy housing and neighborhoods, food systems for low-income communities, and equitable transportation and land use. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

–The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced a new funding opportunity announcement for up to $6 million to install energy efficiency measures and deploy clean energy systems on Indian lands. The Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications from Indian tribes and tribal energy resource development organizations to install energy efficiency measures and clean energy systems on tribal buildings and deploy clean energy systems on a community scale.

–The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) FY17 solicitation of applications. REAP offers two types of funding assistance: (1) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses, and (2) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants to state, tribal, or local governments; institutions of higher education; rural electric cooperatives; or public power entities. The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance provides grants of $20,000 or less and guaranteed loans to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. For assistance with applications, interested parties in Minnesota should contact Ron Omann, Rural Development Energy Coordinator, at 651-602-7796 or ron.omann@mn.usda.gov.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

–The 27th annual Energy Design Conference & Expo being held Feb. 20-22, 2017, in Duluth, Minn.  For more information go to: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/eSites/206400/Login

— 2017 Nonprofit Communications & Technology Conference will be held on Tuesday, February 21st in Minneapolis! You’ll dive into nonprofit strategies for everything from branding to cloud computing, from podcasting to website redesigning and much, much more.  Learn more

–Save the Date! Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation’s 2017 Annual Meeting will be Monday, March 6, 2017 from 11:30am – 1:15pm at the Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes, Baxter.

— Broadband Day on the Hill March 15: Minnesota Broadband Coalition members have come together to organize Minnesota’s first ever Broadband Day on the Hill on March 15. The Coalition’s goal is to bring directly to legislators rural perspectives on the critical role that broadband plays in Minnesota rural communities’ economic vitality and quality of life. http://wp.me/p3if7-3TO

–Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 5, 2017 at the University of St. Thomas. Join colleagues from across the state both to celebrate good work and to discuss opportunities for advancing our civic commitments even more powerfully together. Campus selections for the Presidents’ Awards for community partners, student leaders, and faculty/staff civic engagement stewards will be due February 24, 2017. Questions or to sponsor a team with a designated table at the awards luncheon, contact Julie or go to:

http://mncampuscompact.org/event/2017-state-summit-and-awards-luncheon/

— MCN and Nonprofits Assistance Fund will be hosting the sixth-annual Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference on Thursday, April 13 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center. This year’s conference will feature a keynote addressing charitable endowments by Alan Cantor, consultant and frequent contributor to The Chronicle of Philanthropy; 20 timely breakout sessions and opportunities to network with sector peers.  Early Bird rates for MCN members are available until February 24. Scholarships and team registrations specials are also available. Learn more!

–SAVE THE DATE!  The National Housing Conference will host “Solutions for Housing Communications 2017” will be April 27-28, 2017, in Minneapolis.

–AURI Invites You to Register for its New Uses Forum Today!  The forum, scheduled for March 22 at the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth, MN, is bringing together experts and entrepreneurs across the new uses arena, including university and industry R&D experts, Minnesota business and agbioeconomy partners, as well as the financial community. Together, they will participate in open discussions about the latest innovations and opportunities for developing new uses for Minnesota grown crops and agricultural processing byproducts. The day’s events include:

  • Industry panel discussions
  • Minnesota’s activities and resources,
  • Regional and global research efforts,
  • Networking opportunities, and
  • Keynote addresses tailored to the interests of MN agriculture.

AURI is inviting you to register today.  Learn More

— SAVE THE DATE May 16-17 The National Digital Inclusion Alliance and the St. Paul Public Library welcome digital inclusion practitioners, advocates, academics, Internet service providers and policymakers to Net Inclusion 2017: The National Digital Inclusion Summit. St. Paul, Minnesota http://www.digitalinclusionalliance.org/netinclusion2017/

— SAVE THE DATE!  Springboard for the Arts, the Center for Small Towns, and the Forum of Regional Arts Councils of Minnesota will host the 2017 Rural Arts & Culture Summit, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

— SAVE THE DATE!  2017 Nonprofit Leadership Conference to be held at the University of MN in Minneapolis on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

2017 Nonprofit Fundraising Conference  co-hosted by Association of Fundraising Professionals Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center, Brooklyn Center

2017 MCN Annual Conference will be held Thursday – Friday, October 12 – 13, 2017 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, Saint Paul.

OPPORTUNITIES

–The National Rural Assembly needs YOUR input now!  We are working on a “big ideas” initiative with support from The Duke Endowment. We are convening a diverse group of 40 rural leaders, February 21-23, for some creative and intense brainstorming. We’ll ask them to put forward their best thinking around how we achieve a stronger, more just nation, and we hope to emerge with one or more “big ideas” that can be carried forward in rural America.

You can participate in this initiative and in the ensuing work from your desk! Please complete one or all of these steps:

  1. Fill out the initialparticipant questionnaire. Your responses will be shared on the Rural Assembly Big Ideas webpage and with those gathering in February.
  2. Give us your big idea: Just open with, “What If We…” andemail it to us. We’ll share your Big Ideas with meeting participants, and we may ask you to expand it as a blog post.
  3. Follow the Big Ideas Forum on our Facebookand Twitter platforms. Use #ruralbigideas

–Comment now on possible changes to MPCA air quality rules affecting small facilities. There is currently a comment period open on possible changes to air quality rules for exempt sources and insignificant activities. The request for comments was published in the State Register on January 9th, 2017. Stakeholders should provide comments by February 23, 2017.

Small facilities that may be impacted by these changes include auto body finishing shops, wood working manufacturers, coating operations, and others. This rule change may make it easier for small shops to know if they need an air permit and simpler to stay in compliance.  Read the proposed rule change ideas, review questions the MPCA has for stakeholders, find public comment opportunities, and watch the webcast at www.pca.state.mn.us/air/exempt-source-conditionally-insignificant-activities.

— MN companies: Green chemistry and engineering intern grant, $9,500 is available to support the placement of the intern at a Minnesota facility this summer.  Intern activities this type of grant has supported, beyond what “green chemistry & engineering” might suggest:

  • Compare life cycle impacts of candidate materials;
  • Support safety and/or performance testing of alternative materials or designs;
  • Work with design, manufacturing, and cross-functional teams to assess candidate materials and their supply and cost feasibility;
  • Catalog supplier safety data sheets and certifications as part of green/sustainable purchasing initiatives;
  • Update inventories of chemical regulations and support audits of internal and supply chain compliance;
  • Learn and perform hazard and alternatives assessment processes;
  • Support sales and marketing of new or improved products.

Product chemistry or design change is a complex process of many steps over time, and this internship can support one or more of those steps.  Please consider how an intern could help your company, and ask clarifying questions through p2.pca@state.mn.us.  Application materials are available here.

2016‒2017 Student Essay Contest  The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis sponsors this contest for high school students in the Ninth Federal Reserve District. Students answer the question: “Can the U.S. economy still grow the way it once did?” to win monetary prizes. Essays are due by March 31, 2017.

— The Energy Department released a request for proposal (RFP) for colleges interested in participating in the U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition 2018. The organizers will select 10 to 12 teams of students to compete in the challenge, co-located with the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER Conference in Chicago on May 7–10, 2018. Interested students and faculty can learn more about the RFP and its requirements by visiting the FedBizOps listing and watching an informational webinar.

— Submit Your Location for Possible Film, Television or Commercials Do you have a one-of-a-kind Main Street in your town, a neighborhood of beautiful homes or picturesque parks, or even spooky abandoned buildings?

— Show Off Your Postcard-Worthy Destination or Attraction  Explore Minnesota is actively seeking postcards from tourism destinations and attractions to show off our picturesque state.

MISCELLANEOUS

HHS: Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines   The updated 2017 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) federal poverty guidelines for the 48 contiguous states, Alaska, and Hawaii, which took effect January 26, 2017. The HHS poverty guidelines are a simplified version of the poverty thresholds issued by the U.S. Census Bureau and are used to determine eligibility for a number of federal programs.

Rural HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment Toolkit  this new toolkit, developed by the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, provides information, strategies, and resources to help rural communities implement HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs. Browse program models and examples that span the HIV/AIDS care continuum. Learn how to implement, evaluate, and sustain a program in your community and disseminate program results.

Capital Funding for Rural Healthcare  this guide has been updated to include new information and frequently asked questions related to capital funding for rural facilities. Find resources to help you run a successful capital campaign, as well as funding sources that support capital projects.

Measuring our children’s well-being   Minnesota’s Risk and Reach, a new section within the Early Childhood topic of Minnesota Compass, takes a county by county look at potential risks to the healthy development of young children and the reach of public services to address areas of need. In this new Insight article, Risk and Reach project directors Elizabeth Carlson, University of Minnesota, and Richard Chase, Wilder Research, explain why it matters and suggest ways you might use this information. Read now

Veterans in Rural America: 2011-2015 reports detailed demographic, social, and economic characteristics of rural veterans, based primarily on 2011–2015 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates. Includes comparisons of rural veterans to both urban veterans and rural nonveterans. Topics addressed include health insurance coverage, disability status and service-connected disability, and use of VA healthcare.

Food Access Research Atlas The Food Access Research Atlas (formerly the Food Desert Locator) is a mapping tool that allows users to investigate multiple indicators of food store access. This tool expands upon previous estimates of food desert census tracts, incorporating alternative estimates of low income and low access census tracts, and by offering contextual information for all census tracts in the U.S.

–Solar capacity in Minnesota increased more than seven-fold in the past year, from 33 megawatts (MW) in 2015 to 250 MW at the end of 2016, according to preliminary findings compiled by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The majority of the new solar electric capacity came from two utility-scale projects for Xcel Energy: the 100-MW North Star solar project in Chisago County, which began operation in December, and the 100-MW Aurora solar project, with 14 of its 16 sites generating power in 2016. Community solar gardens and residential and commercial rooftop solar systems make up the remainder of solar growth in 2016. In a Dec. 25, 2016 Star Tribune article, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said it expects Minnesota to add more than 1,200 MW of solar in the next five years. Xcel Energy says 400 MW of that will come from its Community Solar Garden program in 2017 and a total of 668 MW of community solar from Xcel is expected by 2020.

–The MPCA recently released its biennial report on air quality, The Air We Breathe: The state of Minnesota’s air quality, 2017.  The report looks at the state’s air quality, and what the MPCA and its partners are doing to protect the health of all Minnesotans. Overall, Minnesota’s air quality is good.  Levels of outdoor air pollution have been going down for 30 years, even while the gross state product increases.  Nonetheless, air pollution still impacts people’s health, especially lower-income communities and communities of color, who are more vulnerable to the effects of air pollution.  The MPCA is working to reduce air pollution across the state, with particular emphasis on reducing exposures in overburdened communities.  To learn more, check out our report website.

–The International Downtown Association and Springboard for the Arts have launched a toolkit “Guide for Business Districts to Work with Local Artists” to support creative placemaking partnerships between artists and local business initiatives. This work is made possible through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts from its Our Town program. To access the toolkit, click here.

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