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September-October 2015- Volume XIII, Number 8
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

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

FUNDING

The Institute for Rural America has issued a request for proposals for a $5,000 Leadership Training Grant. The competitive grant is awarded for creative and educationally focused proposals targeted at groups desiring to develop and foster leadership within their member base. Successful applications will clearly outline a leadership training plan. Proposals that include cooperators who can assist with project planning, evaluation, or information dissemination will be viewed favorably. Deadline: 10/15/2015. Click here to learn more about the program and to apply.

The Explore Minnesota grant program is offered to assist communities and scenic byway organizations in attracting travelers to Minnesota. Information on the program and guidelines for grants are now available on the industry website.

The maximum grant amount is $8,000 and requires a match from the recipient. Organizations with total income of $100,000 or less qualify for a 1:1 match. Those with total income over $100,000 are required to match at 2:1.

Projects that are included in the 2016 Co-Opportunities Program are NOT eligible for grant funding. A complete list of projects is included in the grant guidelines, and grantees must confirm on the application that the project(s) they are submitting are not part of an EMT Co-Opportunities Program. Applications for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Grant Program are due Oct. 15, 2015.

If you are a Minnesota non-profit tourism or scenic byway organization and want further information on the grant program, contact your Regional Manager:

  •            Central – Carol Altepeter  888-629-6466
  •            Metro – Gayle Junnila  800-657-3637
  •          Northwest – Carol Altepeter  888-629-6466 or David Bergman  888-563-7777
  •            Northeast – Tim Campbell  888-876-6784
  •            Southern – Lisa Havelka  888-975-6766    Grant solicitation timeline

Greater Minnesota applicants must submit a letter of intent describing the key components of their project by Oct. 30, 2015. A regional representative will contact applicants to help review the project proposal and the steps necessary for delivering a federally funded project prior to local communities and regional agencies submitting a full grant application.

-Greater Minnesota.  The Transportation Alternatives Program is a competitive grant opportunity for local communities and regional agencies to fund projects for pedestrian and bicycle facilities, historic preservation, Safe Routes to School and more. Minnesota will be soliciting projects for approximately $7.5 million in available grant funding across the state.

THE HOME DEPOT FOUNDATION is seeking proposals for Veteran housing projects in rural areas. Projects may be new construction or rehab, with priority given to renovation and rehab projects, and must be either in progress or scheduled to commence within the next 12 months. The Home Depot Foundation anticipates funding several projects, with awards ranging from $25,000 to $40,000. Deadline: 10/30/2015. Click here to visit the website for funding guidelines.

Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Scholarship Grant Program. The HCBS Scholarship grant provides funding to HCBS providers to support in–house scholarship programs for their employees. The goal of the grant is to bolster and improve the education of the HCBS workforce by enhancing or creating incentives for employees to obtain degrees and training that will improve patient and client care. Applications are due October 30.

Or call Explore Minnesota at 800-657-3637; 651-757-1848 for more information.

Oct. 30, 2015 — Letter of intent deadline

Jan. 8, 2016 — Full grant application deadline

April 15, 2016 — Grant recipients announced.  

Small/Art Project Assistance 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 Individuals: Individual artists may apply for arts-related funding up to $2,500. Eligible applicants must be permanent residents of Region 7E. or email: info@ecrac.org.  The link to the application process can be found at the ECRAC website: www.ecrac.org/grants

Fuel Up to Play 60 Grants Offers funding to schools nationwide to start or maintain a healthy nutrition and physical activity program. Application Deadline: Nov. 4, 2015.

THE BUSH FOUNDATION is offering Community Innovation Grants to communities and nonprofits across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography. Grants are provided for projects that use inclusive, collaborative, and resourceful processes; are thoughtful, realistic, and address the identified community need; and are likely to make a significant, sustainable difference, now or in the future. Nonprofit organizations and government entities (including schools) may apply for grants ranging from $10,000 to $200,000. Deadline: 11/5/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website here to download the Grant Application Packet and submit an online application. Anyone with questions is encouraged to call the team at 651-379-2266 or email CommunityInnovation@BushFoundation.org.  For more information go to: www.bushfoundation.org

–THE LAURA JANE MUSSER FUND is offering grants in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wyoming through the Fund’s Rural Initiative Program. The program supports efforts that will help to strengthen individual rural towns in the targeted states in a number of civic areas, including, but not limited to, economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements, and education. Planning grants of up to $5,000 and implementation grants of up to $25,000 are provided. Deadline: 11/6/2015. Specific grant guidelines and application procedures are available on the Fund’s website here.  — Benefits Enrollment Centers (BECs) Awards funding for the establishment of a Benefits Enrollment Center, which will work to find and enroll eligible Medicare beneficiaries (seniors aged 65+ and adults living with disabilities) into benefit programs.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is offering AmeriCorps grant funding for programs that are designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems. Funds may be used for programs that utilize AmeriCorps members in the following areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, education, and veterans and military families. Deadline: Letter of Intent (required) 12/9/2015; application deadline 1/20/2016. Click here to visit the website for guidelines.

–USDA has issued a Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) program. This program is available for existing Section 515 and Section 514/516 properties. A variety of restructuring tools are available including grants, no-interest loans, soft second loans, and debt deferral. Properties with existing USDA multifamily mortgages that are maturing on or before Dec. 31, 2018 can apply for debt deferral; this continues the affordability of the property and its Rental Assistance eligibility. Deadlines: applications for MPR are due 12/1/2015; applications for debt deferral for maturing mortgages are due 12/31/2015. Click here to review the guidelines for this program.

HUD is offering “Continuum of Care” funding to nonprofit and public agencies to promote a community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, States, and local governments to quickly re-house homeless individuals, families, and persons fleeing domestic violence; promote access to and effective utilization of mainstream programs by homeless; and optimize self-sufficiency among those experiencing homelessness. Application deadline: 11/20/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

–The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care Rural Hospital Capital Improvement Grant program assists small rural hospitals in undertaking needed modernization projects to update, remodel or replace aging hospital facilities, record systems, and equipment necessary to maintain the operations of the hospital. Maximum awards will be $125,000. An eligible hospital is a general acute care hospital of 50 or fewer beds located in a community with a population of less than 15,000, according to United States Census Bureau statistics, outside the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. Pre-applications are due November 13. Go to: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/orhpc/funding/

Letter of Intent (Optional): Oct. 15, 2015. Application Deadline: Nov. 13, 2015. For further information, please call 320-396-2337

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

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.

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

–East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) wishes to announce to all local artists, art organizations, and schools within the Minnesota Counties of Pine, Isanti, Chisago, Kanabec, and Mille Lacs that the October 1st deadline to apply for arts grant funding has been extended to 11:55 p.m. Monday, November 2nd, 2015 for projects beginning in or after January, 2016. Funding is currently available through the following grant programs:

— The Immigrant International Medical Graduates (IIMG) Primary Care Residency Grant Program provides grant funding to support residency training for immigrant international medical graduates. This program is one aspect of a comprehensive program authorized by Minnesota State Statute 144.1911 to address barriers to practice and facilitate pathways to assist IIMGs to integrate into the Minnesota health care delivery system with the goal of increasing access to primary care in rural and underserved areas of the state. Eligible applicants are programs, sponsors and potential sponsors of primary care residency positions located in Minnesota that propose to train IIMG medical residents in the primary care specialties of Family Medicine, General Internal Medicine, General Pediatrics, Internal Medicine/Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Funds are available for up to $150,000 per year, per IIMG residency slot for up to four years. Applications are due by November 2. Contact Yende Anderson at 651-201-5988 for more information.

— WHOLE KIDS FOUNDATION is accepting applications for a school garden grant program in public, private, and charter K-12 schools. 2015 Deadlines: 10/31 and 11/15. Click here to visit the website to review funding guidelines.

See solicitation details.

Northwest Minnesota Entrepreneurs: Applications for the 2016 IDEA Competition are now being accepted until December 31, 2015. This competition gives ANYONE with a product or service idea the opportunity to turn the idea into a reality. The IDEA Competition gives participants access to business development tools, a chance to get your product mentioned in the media, pitch to potential investors, professional services, and finally a chance to win $10,000 in funding to get your idea moving. For more information please go to www.ideacompetition.org

— The Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Program will be opening up next year´s application cycle on November 1 and will close on Monday, January 4, 2016. Over $3.2 million is available in Fiscal Year 2017. In addition to the eligible professions of physicians, dentists, pharmacists, midlevel providers, nurses, and nurse/allied faculty, the program has been expanded to include three new professions—Rural Dental Therapists/Advanced Dental Therapists, Rural Public Health Nurses, and Mental Health Professionals as defined by Section 245.462, subdivision 18. For information on the professions covered in the program, and for instructions on applying, please see the Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs webpage, or contact Brenda Flattum at 651-201-3870 or Paia Vang at 651-201-3895.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce recently announced two new energy financing programs intended to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Minnesota: The Rev It Up Program for local government units that are seeking low-cost, long-term capital to finance community energy efficiency and renewable energy system projects, and the Public Entity Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Feasibility Study Loan Program, which provides public entities with funds needed to pay for energy audits and renewable energy feasibility studies. Read more.

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg is offering grants to nonprofit organizations for general operating, program, and capital project support to help lower income older adults to live dignified, meaningful, and engaged lives in the community and to maintain their independence for as long as possible. Deadline: letter of inquiry accepted any time. Click here for funding guidelines.

–The METLIFE Foundation is offering three kinds of financial inclusion grants to nonprofit organizations: Access to Knowledge grants support organizations with the ability to reach large numbers of underserved households around the world and work with them to develop financial strategies and capabilities to improve lives. Access to Services grants focus on organizations that deliver high-quality services like savings, microinsurance, and credit to individuals in need. Access to Insights grants partner with researchers, academics, and non-governmental organizations to better understand the problems and potential solutions within the financial inclusion field. Deadline:  financial inclusion grant requests are accepted and reviewed throughout the year. Visit the Metlife website here to download the grant application guidelines.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grants support programs that work in the areas of childhood education, healthy children, secure families, racial equity, and civic engagement. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA is accepting applications for loans and grants to support business expansion, create jobs and increase economic opportunities in rural communities. Funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). Details about how to apply for this are found in the Federal Register here. Application forms may be obtained from any USDA Rural Development State Office.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

31st Annual Minnesota Policy Conference will be held on Wednesday, October 14 at the Continuing Education and Conference Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The 2015 Cyber Security Summit takes place October 20-21 at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest. For more information or to register, go to www.cybersecuritysummit.org.

I’m Home Conference Minneapolis will be held October 26−28, 2015

CFED sponsors this conference bringing together affordable housing developers, lenders, government agency staff, policymakers, industry experts, homeowners, community organizers, researchers, and funders to consider manufactured housing as a source of affordable housing and asset building for low- and moderate-income families.

— The Northeast Small Business Development Center will be hosting the Regional Economic Indicators Forum on October 27th from 7AM to 9AM at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Cost will depend upon registration option selected. For more information, please go to http://z.umn.edu/yzo.

The Minnesota Council on Foundation will hold its 2015 Annual Conference: Impact by Design on October 28 & 29, 2015 at the Crowne Plaza St. Paul-Riverfront.  For further information go to: http://www.mcf.org/2015conference#

The Will Steger Foundation has launched a series of forums titled “Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions.” The forums aim to increase public awareness around local climate change impacts and build community resiliency through science, stories and place-based solutions. The remaining meetings will take place: Nov. 2 in Brainerd; Nov. 2 in Detroit Lakes; and Nov 17 in Marshall. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources is an exhibitor and provides energy-related resources at the events. Click here for a list of meeting dates and locations in greater Minnesota. Convenings are free and open to the public, and appetizers and desserts will be provided. Advanced registration is requested.

–Registration is now available for the 14th Annual Scenic Byway Workshop to be held on November 17 – 18. The Lake Country Scenic Byway will host the Workshop at the Lodge on Detroit Lake  This year’s agenda includes topics that will provide information and direction for the continued Sustainability of the Scenic Byways Program under MAP-21.  Please be prepared to speak on your updated byway Corridor Management Plan.  Feel free to bring any brochures you want to share.

Registration for the Scenic Byway Workshop will be accepted until Noon on Monday, Nov. 9.  Registration checks should be made payable to: “UMVRDC SCENIC BYWAY WORKSHOP”.  Registrations will not be accepted at the door.  If you have questions please contact Holly Slagle, State Scenic Byway Coordinator at 651-366-3623 or holly.slagle@state.mn.us. For more information on Minnesota Scenic Byways visit their website.

Minnesota Broadband Conference November 18-20. The Blandin Foundation and the Office of Broadband Development are working on the fall broadband conference, Border to Border Broadband: Better Together, to be held in Minneapolis on November 18-20. http://wp.me/p3if7-3dk

— Allina Health, Abbott Northwestern and the University of Minnesota are presenting Climate Change and Public Health: An Interprofessional Review to be held November 21 in Minneapolis, MN.

The Robotics Alley™ Conference & Expo is bringing a diverse group of robotics and automation experts to Minneapolis. This year’s event on Dec. 1-2 at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis will feature keynote speakers Martin Buehler, Executive R&D Imagineer at Walt Disney Imagineering; Nathan Harding, Co-Founder and CEO of Ekso Bionics; and Robert High, Chief Technology Officer for IBM’s Watson Solutions. Click here to learn more and register today!

Save the Date for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference  Mark your calendar now to attend the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, Feb. 2-3, 2016, at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.

OPPORTUNITIES

Minnesota Homelessness Study. Every three years the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation conducts a triennial statewide homelessness study to better understand the prevalence, causes, circumstances and effects of homelessness, and to promote efforts toward permanent, affordable housing for all Minnesotans either urban, suburban or rural. On October 22, 1,000 volunteer interviewers are needed for about a 4-hour time commitment at over 300 shelter locations throughout Minnesota. For more information contact Chris Lindberg at 651-280-2728.

The 5th annual National Rural Health Day is Thursday, November 19. This celebration allows the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), the State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) and our partners to showcase rural America and highlight the unique healthcare needs of rural communities. View the Celebrating the Power of Rural website to learn more.

Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship Program (NAT) Provides funding to support traineeships for licensed nurses who are enrolled in a nurse anesthesia program, with preference given to projects that will benefit rural and underserved populations. Application Deadline: Nov. 20, 2015.

Nominations for the 2015 Tourism Marketing Awards presented by Explore Minnesota are due by Monday, Nov. 30. The awards are given annually at the Explore Minnesota Conference and will be presented on Feb. 2 at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minnesota.  Copies of the new nomination forms and submission templates are now available for both the Competitive and Special Recognition Programs. These are distinct programs with different judging criteria. Please share this information with your community and encourage applications.  For more information, contact Dave Bergman at 888-563-7777 or view the Travel Marketing Award Guidelines.

2015-2016 Lights, Camera, Save! Video Contest The ABA Community Engagement Foundation sponsors this video contest for banks to engage teenagers to educate themselves and their peers about the value of saving and using money wisely. Banks host the local level of the competition and select winners to compete on the national level.

LifeSmarts Online Consumer Challenge  The National Consumers League hosts LifeSmarts, an online competition open to all students in grades 6-12. Each month focuses on a different category important to teen consumers: personal finance, health and safety, consumer rights, technology, and the environment. Teams with the highest online scores advance to state competitions in the early spring, and the winning teams advance to the National Championship (April 9-12 in Denver, Colo.).

H&R Block Budget Challenge is a free teen financial literacy program in the form of an online game that simulates real life as an adult: paying bills, managing expenses, saving money, investing in retirement, paying taxes, and more. Participants play classroom against classroom and students against students in this learning-by-doing simulation to win $3 million in grants and scholarships.

Scholarships, Loans, and Loan Repayment for Rural Health Professions – Provides an overview of scholarship, loan, and loan repayment programs available for healthcare students who intend to practice in rural areas. Visit the guide to find information and successful models for the development of programs designed to attract health professionals to rural areas.

MISCELLANEOUS

The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation has launched a new online resource of tools to help rural regions and small towns, drawing on their four-year capacity-building role with the Sustainable Communities Learning Network. Access the resources here.

The Orton Family Foundation has released the NEW –2nd Edition of the Community Heart & Soul™ Field Guide. In it you will find: more tools and resources; new success stories; tips throughout that provide helpful, practical insight into Heart & Soul. The best reason to get the guide? To be inspired to start the TRANSFORMATION in your town. Download the Field Guide today and get started on the path to making your community thrive based on three cornerstone principles: Involve Everyone, Focus on What Matters and Play the Long Game.

Rural Migrant Health – Visit this updated guide to learn about the challenges and health disparities that migrant and seasonal farmworkers face, and find solutions for your community to assist them with accessing healthcare services and gaining health insurance coverage.

Albert Lea Walking and Biking Movement   A program of walking and biking initiatives, along with high-level policy systems and environmental changes, to promote health and wellness for community members.

2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report: Chartbook on Rural Health Care  A summary of trends in healthcare quality and disparities for rural populations. Includes quality measures for rural populations addressing patient safety, person-centered care, effective treatment, healthy living, and access. Part of a series of publications related to the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report.

Employment & Education Unemployment rates in nonmetro areas are similar to rates in metro areas, though with wide geographic variation, and the impact of the 2007-09 recession was similar in metro and nonmetro areas. Average earnings, however, are substantially lower among nonmetro workers, as are education levels. The lower rural earnings levels reflect lower shares of highly skilled jobs and lower returns to college degrees in rural labor markets.

AARP-Small Business Administration Webinars. AARP and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) host new webinars and republish previous webinars to educate people who want to start businesses or expand existing ones.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released an updated edition of its 2012 Community Developments Insights report titled Small Business Investment Companies: Investment Option for Banks. This report describes the U.S. Small Business Administrations Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program, its role in capital markets, and how financial institutions can use it to expand their small-business finance activities.

A new guide from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, provides a roadmap to help community-based organizations integrate financial capability services into their programming. “Strategies to Integrate Financial Services into Community Organization Programming” suggests ten services that organizations can provide to help families build financial capability, as well as an assessment framework to determine how to deliver integrated financial capability services. It also includes tools to help organizations develop action plans and build stakeholder buy-in. Get the guide here.

–The recently re-launched website, Racial Equity Tools, compiles resources and curricula for communities and organizations working to advance racial justice. The site features learning modules, films, and discussion guides designed to build understanding of how structural racism and other forms of inequity affect employment, food justice, and other human development issues. Visit the site here.

Minnesota Compass recently released the following demographic information: Home to 5.5 million people, Minnesota is undergoing major shifts.

–Rural Assistance Center (RAC) has developed a guide titled “Rural Hunger and Access to Healthy Food”. A nutritious diet is important for maintaining good health, but accessing fresh and affordable food can be a challenge for some rural residents. This RAC topic guide provides information on how to address food security issues in every rural community, including funding and assistance programs, model programs, strategies, and more. Access the guide here.

Household Food Security in the United States in 2014 is a brief from the USDA Economic Research Service that reports on household food security, food expenditures, and use of federal food and nutrition assistance programs in 2014. Includes food insecurity statistics for metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas. Get the report here.

Check out our storyboard from the 2015 Gathering. It includes videos, articles, and presentation materials from the event. To see a list of participants, click here.

It’s all here: Videos, Tweets, Presentations, and Media Coverage from the 2015 National Rural Assembly. The 2015 National Rural Assembly welcomed 175 rural leaders from across the country to Washington, D.C., for three days of fellowship and a content-rich agenda focused on strengthening rural communities.  Participants came from communities in Appalachia, the Delta, the West, Midwest, and Southwest, Indian Country, and Alaska, and together with officials from the White House, Congress, and federal agencies, addressed topics of youth leadership and empowerment, rural child poverty and the persistent gap in philanthropic investment in rural America.

Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America View the diversity of challenges and opportunities across America’s counties. Get statistics on people, jobs, veterans, and county types. Data have been updated to reflect the latest population, poverty, and American Community Survey statistics.

6 things you should know about poverty in Minnesota: Myth-busters edition. Minnesota Compass uses new estimates from the Census Bureau to bust commonly-accepted myths about poverty in Minnesota.  Read more

The Twin Cities region has one of the lowest shares of people of color compared to other major metro areas: 22 percent, ranking twenty-fourth of the top twenty-five metros. That said, the population of color is growing rapidly and is expected to make up at least 40 percent of the region’s overall population by 2040.

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August 2015- Volume XIII, Number 7

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

–FUNDING

–TRAINING/MEETINGS

–OPPORTUNITIES

–MISCELLANEOUS

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

 

FUNDING

— Rural Impact – The White House Rural Council in February launched “Rural Impact,” a sustained campaign to enhance quality of life and upward mobility for children in rural and tribal places. Through this effort, the Obama Administration aims to build upon the progress already made in reducing rural poverty by leveraging technology, forging new partnerships, and exploring new models of program delivery, to ensure that all kids have an opportunity to succeed.

Key dates:

  • August 5:             Release of invitation to submit materials
  • August 31:         Designated communities submit their letter of interest
  • September:         Obama Administration announces approximately 10 designees

The Notah Begay III Foundation is offering funding through the Native Strong: Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures Capacity Building Grant program to organizations working to prevent or reduce childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in Native American children. Funds may be used for capacity building, community planning, or community health assessments. Grants are available nationwide, with preference given to North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Deadline: 8/19/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

Minnesota Housing has up to $7.5 million in funds available for moderate rehabilitation of existing affordable rental housing in Greater Minnesota through the Rental Rehabilitation Deferred Loan (RRDL) Pilot Program.  Proposals with the following priorities are encouraged:

  • Preservation of affordable housing opportunities in Greater Minnesota where the lack of affordable workforce housing is a barrier to economic prosperity.
  • Preservation of properties that contain existing Federal Assistance or other critical affordable units at risk of loss.

RRDL funding is available for both Specific Project and Program Model activities. Applicants may simultaneously submit applications for multiple project or program activities.  Available resources include:

  • $1.9 million in zero-interest, deferred payment, 10% forgivable loan funds for owners completing Specific Project activities outside the 7-county metropolitan area and RRDL administrator areas.
  • $4.1 million in zero-interest, deferred payment, 10% forgivable loan funds for existing and prospective administrators completing Program Model activities.
  • $1.5 million in zero-interest, deferred payment, 100% forgivable loan funds for existing and prospective administrators completing Program Model activities.

Please visit the Minnesota Housing website for complete application materials and instructions. Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 24, 2015.  For more information, please contact Susan Haugen at 651.296.9848.

–HUD is offering funding through the Fair Housing Initiative to fair housing organizations and other nonprofits that assist individuals who believe that they have been victims of housing discrimination. Deadline: 8/26/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

–Tom’s of Maine’s 50 States for Good initiative supports grassroots organizations throughout the country working to do good in their communities. In 2015, the program will provide grants of $20,000 each to one grassroots nonprofit organization in every state and the District of Columbia. Any individual 18 years of age or older is eligible to nominate a nonprofit organization for consideration. Eligible organizations must be valid 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations in good standing that are community-based. (National organizations are not eligible.) Deadline for nominations: 8/26/2015. Visit the 50 States for Good website here to review the official rules and to submit a nomination via the website, Twitter, or Instagram.

Healthy Eating Research – Building the Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity Letter of Intent (Required): Aug 26, 2015. Application deadline: Oct 7, 2015

Supports research on environmental and policy strategies designed to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity, especially among groups at highest risk for obesity: Black, Latino, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander children, and children who live in lower-income communities.  Sponsor: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

–HUD is offering funding through The HOPE VI Main Street Grant Program to small communities to assist in the renovation of historic or traditional central business districts or “main street” areas by replacing unused commercial spaces in buildings with affordable housing units. Deadline: 8/27/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

–The Department of Homeland Security is offering grants to nonprofits and public agencies through the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program. The program provides support relative to hazard mitigation planning and projects to reduce overall risk to people and structures for future disaster events. Deadline: 8/28/2015. Click here to review the application process.

–HUD is offering grant funding to institutions of higher education, public housing authorities or Indian housing authorities, and nonprofit organizations to hire service coordinators to assess the needs of public and Indian housing residents and link them to supportive services that enable participants to increase earned income, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, and make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency. Deadline: 8/31/2015. Click here to review application guidelines.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines awards one urban and one rural community the Strong Communities Award. The award demonstrates the value that communities throughout the FHLB Des Moines district derive from small business and economic development projects. The award recognizes the results of these projects and their impact on creating stronger communities. Deadline: 8/31/2015. Two winners, one urban and one rural, will each receive a $15,000 stipend to be used for the project or other community economic development needs. One runner-up finalist in each category will be awarded $3,000. For more information on how to apply, click here.

–The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), established by the Catholic bishops of the United States, is offering grants to organizations led by low-income individuals as they work to break the cycle of poverty and improve their communities. The grant programs include the following: Community Development Grants that support nonprofit organizations that nurture the participation of people living in poverty to help them change structures and policies that affect their lives, with at least 50 percent of those benefiting from the applying organization’s efforts being 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 September 1 and November 1. Visit the CCHD website here for more information.

IDEA is a Northwest Minnesota competition that turns great ideas into great businesses, a chance to win one of our $10,000 cash prizes to get your business moving and a lot more! The annual competition provides training, business coaching, and capital to participating entrepreneurs who want to turn an idea into a fast-growth business. If you have an innovative business idea, the IDEA Competition will add momentum to your business strategy, whether you’ve never started a company or you’re already in business and generating revenue.

The competition accepts applications between September 1 and December 31. For more information about the competition, you are encouraged to check out the FAQS page – it answers many of the questions that are frequently asked. It will also help you to determine if you are eligible for the competition. You are also encouraged to study the Judging Rounds page and the Judging Criteria page, which explains what the judges are looking for when they score applications.

HUD is offering funding to national nonprofit organizations with ongoing experience in rural housing, including experience working with rural housing organizations, local governments, and Indian tribes, as evidenced by past and continuing work in one or more states in five or more of the federal regions through the Rural Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Grants program. Deadline: 9/14/2015. This U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program will provide funds to help communities develop the skills and technical capabilities necessary to undertake effective community development activities. For more information and to apply, click here.

Minnesota Broadband Funds.  The 2015 Minnesota Border to Border Infrastructure Grant Program application is now available. Applications are due by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 15, 2015. Good luck! http://wp.me/p3if7-3aF

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has issued guidelines and application materials for Our Town, the NEA’s primary creative placemaking program, providing funding that supports local efforts to enhance quality of life and opportunity for residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place. Grants in 2016 will be available for projects in arts engagement, design and planning, and in knowledge building. Deadline to apply: 9/21/2015. Click here for application guidelines. To help applicants prepare competitive proposals, the NEA is offering two webinars; July 29 and August 5, 2015. Each session will be from 3:00 to 4:00 PM EDT. Click here to register for a webinar.

The Foundation for Rural Service provides grants for programs in rural communities served by the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) members. Grants are awarded in the areas of business development, community development, education, and telecommunications. Deadline: 10/1/2015. Click here to visit the program website for more information.

The Institute for Rural America has issued a request for proposals for a $5,000 Leadership Training Grant. The competitive grant is awarded for creative and educationally focused proposals targeted at groups desiring to develop and foster leadership within their member base. Successful applications will clearly outline a leadership training plan. Proposals that include cooperators who can assist with project planning, evaluation, or information dissemination will be viewed favorably. Deadline: 10/15/2015. Click here to learn more about the program and to apply.

The Explore Minnesota grant program is offered to assist communities and scenic byway organizations in attracting travelers to Minnesota. Information on the program and guidelines for grants are now available on the industry website.

The maximum grant amount is $8,000 and requires a match from the recipient. Organizations with total income of $100,000 or less qualify for a 1:1 match. Those with total income over $100,000 are required to match at 2:1.

Projects that are included in the 2016 Co-Opportunities Program are NOT eligible for grant funding. A complete list of projects is included in the grant guidelines, and grantees must confirm on the application that the project(s) they are submitting are not part of an EMT Co-Opportunities Program. Applications for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Grant Program are due Oct. 15, 2015.

If you are a Minnesota non-profit tourism or scenic byway organization and want further information on the grant program, contact your Regional Manager:

  • Central – Carol Altepeter  888-629-6466
  • Metro – Gayle Junnila  800-657-3637
  • Northwest – Carol Altepeter  888-629-6466 or David Bergman  888-563-7777
  • Northeast – Tim Campbell  888-876-6784
  • Southern – Lisa Havelka  888-975-6766

Or call Explore Minnesota at 800-657-3637; 651-757-1848 for more information.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce recently announced two new energy financing programs intended to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Minnesota: The Rev It Up Program for local government units that are seeking low-cost, long-term capital to finance community energy efficiency and renewable energy system projects, and the Public Entity Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Feasibility Study Loan Program, which provides public entities with funds needed to pay for energy audits and renewable energy feasibility studies. Read more.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grants support programs that work in the areas of childhood education, healthy children, secure families, racial equity, and civic engagement.  Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA is accepting applications for loans and grants to support business expansion, create jobs and increase economic opportunities in rural communities. Funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). Details about how to apply for this are found in the Federal Register here. Application forms may be obtained from any USDA Rural Development State Office.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Housing and the nonprofit company GRID Alternatives will host a webinar on Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 4:00 PM EDT on Solar Energy. Learn how to achieve cost and energy savings using renewable solar energy systems across a portfolio. This training is primarily for property owners of affordable multi-family housing properties. Click here to register for this free training.

The Nonprofit Essentials Conference is designed just for you!  Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, the University of St. Thomas and over 250 nonprofit peers on Thursday, August 20 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN for an indispensable overview of the management topics essential to nonprofits. Offering a wide array of practical workshops, this information-packed conference will help re-focus staff on the core elements of working in and managing successful nonprofit organizations.  Register today and get back to the basics!

2015 National Rural Assembly will be held September 8-10, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.  Register here.

The Will Steger Foundation has launched a series of forums titled “Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions.” The forums aim to increase public awareness around local climate change impacts and build community resiliency through science, stories and place-based solutions. The remaining meetings will take place: Sept. 15 in Owatonna; Sept. 21 in Mankato; Sept. 24 in Virginia, Oct. 12 in Rochester; Nov. 2 in Brainerd; Nov. 2 in Detroit Lakes; Nov. 12 in Minnetonka; and January 2016 (date TBD) in Marshall. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources is an exhibitor and provides energy-related resources at the events. Read more.

— Willmar Hack2.o – September 18-20: civic coding near the lake
Willmar is hosting a hackfest next month. It’s a three-day event (Sept 18-20) for coders and non-coders alike. It will be hosted in the WORKUP co-working space located at MinnWest Technology Campus. The setting is beautiful. The opportunities are numerous. http://workup.cc/hack2o/

The Minnesota Venture & Finance Conference is Minnesota’s premier event for entrepreneurs and investors Real Deals, Real Investors, Unbeatable Networking.  Save the date for the 29th Annual event on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. With hundreds attending each year, this event is one of the strongest in the country in terms of overall entrepreneur and investor attendance and capital raised by participants. Since 1987 the Annual Minnesota Venture & Finance Conference has been bringing together investors and entrepreneurs to engage, innovate, learn and network in order to nurture Minnesota’s innovation economy.  The full agenda and details will be announced in July 2015. For questions on opportunities to get involved contact Tonya Meyers (tmeyers@mhta.org).

Im Home Conference Minneapolis will be held October 26−28, 2015

CFED sponsors this conference bringing together affordable housing developers, lenders, government agency staff, policymakers, industry experts, homeowners, community organizers, researchers, and funders to consider manufactured housing as a source of affordable housing and asset building for low- and moderate-income families.

— Save the Date! November 18-20 Annual Broadband Conference hosted by Blandin Foundation and the Office of Broadband Development – More information to come.

Save the Date for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference  Mark your calendar now to attend the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, Feb. 2-3, 2016, at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.

OPPORTUNITIES

Jim Meeks, PA-C, DFAAPA Memorial AFPPA Student Scholarship  Application deadline: September 1, 2015. Offers a scholarship to a physician assistant student who displays a commitment to family practice and rural health. 

MISCELLANEOUS

 National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation has launched a new website of resources for planning and economic development in rural regions and small towns. Resources include materials developed over the past four years by NADO and its partners through the HUD Sustainable Communities Initiative capacity building program. On the website are links to publications, webinars, workshop materials, and other information on a variety of topics and themes including economic resilience, entrepreneurship, community engagement, downtown redevelopment, food systems, and many other areas. These materials should be helpful to planners, economic developers, elected officials, and local residents working to improve and strengthen their small towns and rural regions. Click here to visit the site. Please direct any questions to NADO Program Manager Brett Schwartz at bschwartz@nado.org. 

Understanding the Geography of Growth in Rural Child Poverty (Amber Waves feature article)  Over 1 in 4 rural children are living in families that are poor. Counties with high vulnerability to child poverty, those with both low young adult education levels and high proportions of children in single-parent families, were generally the most hard-hit by the recession of the past decade and experienced substantial increases in their already high child poverty rates.

Why Some Return Home to Rural America and Why It Matters (Amber Waves feature article) Continued population loss in rural communities is caused as much by low in-migration as by high out-migration; in remote rural communities lacking natural amenities, return migrants make up a large share of total in-migration. Return migrants potentially play a critical role in rural areas in slowing population loss, rejuvenating the population base, and generating jobs.

Rural Child Poverty Chart Gallery Factors that shape the geography of high and increasing rural child poverty are explored: economic conditions, young adult education levels, and family structure. This collection of maps complements the July 2015 Amber Waves feature, Understanding the Geography of Growth in Rural Child Poverty.”

Farm Structure and Organization USDA ERS research on farm structure examines the shift of agricultural production to larger firms and also covers the ownership and organization of farm businesses; the links among farms, farm households, buyers, input providers, and contractors; and the mix of inputs and products on farms.

USDA Economic Research Service has published “Foundation Grants to Rural Areas from 2005 to 2010: Trends and Patterns”. The study found that grants to U.S. rural-based organizations accounted for 5.5 percent of the real value of domestic grants by large foundations during 2005 to 2010. Grants to rural organizations are more likely to support direct investments in physical and human capital and less likely to support direct investments in financial or intellectual capital than are grants to urban organizations. Download the report here.

–The PEW Charitable Trusts has published a brief titled “States Struggle With ‘Hidden’ Rural Homelessness”. The brief describes rural homelessness in the United States and highlights some states’ efforts to address the growing issue. Click here to read the document.

The Center for Housing Policy has released a report:  “Housing and Service Needs of Our Changing Veterans Population”. The report examines services currently available and offers policy recommendations to better serve three distinct veteran populations: older adult veterans, female veterans and post-9/11 veterans. Get the report here. The Center has also released a Veterans Housing Communications Toolkit. While Americans generally express strong support and admiration for armed services members and veterans, affordable housing for veterans can be a hard sell. Community members are often concerned about the impact of veterans’ housing on their communities, policy makers may not see housing as a priority program and veterans themselves may not believe that the affordable homes the Center builds are really for them. Get the toolkit here.

July 2015- Volume XIII, Number 6

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

Have a great summer!!

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

FUNDING

CT Scanner Replacement Initiative  Letter of Intent (Required): Jul 17, 2015, Application deadline: Aug 28, 2015.   Offers funding to Critical Access Hospitals in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming for the purchase of a new 32 slice or higher CT scanner.  Sponsor: Helmsley Charitable Trust

USDA is accepting applications to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Eligible applicants include groups of cooperatives, cooperative development centers and individual cooperatives that serve socially-disadvantaged groups. These grants will help socially-disadvantaged business owners develop the tools and skills they need to grow their enterprises and succeed at creating jobs and expanding economic opportunities in rural areas. Deadlines: electronic applications 7/14/2015; mailed applications must be postmarked by 7/20/2015. Click here for guidelines.

THE NOTAH BEGAY III FOUNDATION’S Promising Program Grants support Native organizations working to improve nutrition and access to healthy foods for their children and communities. Preference will be given to organizations from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin; however, applications will be accepted from organizations throughout the U.S. The goal is to strengthen existing programs focused on childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes prevention through healthy nutrition and access to healthy foods. An additional focus is to assist communities and organizations in building their capacity to evaluate their programming and implement policy change. Grants of up to $40,000 will be awarded. U.S.-based Native American-controlled nonprofit organizations, tribal governments, and Native American community-based groups with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor are eligible to apply. Deadline: 7/20/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website he re to download the Request for Proposals.

The National Endowment for the Arts has issued a program solicitation for an organization to run the new Our Town Technical Assistance Pilot Program that will provide grantees with capacity building support to more effectively execute their creative placemaking projects. The purpose of this solicitation is to select an organization (Cooperator) to implement the Our Town Technical Assistance Pilot Program. Deadline: 7/21/2015. Click here to learn more about this opportunity.

The National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants to arts organizations, local arts agencies, arts service organizations, local education agencies, and other organizations that can help advance the goals of the Arts Endowment. The program seeks to support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. Deadline: 7/23/2015. Click here to visit the website for details.

–The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS) of the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting applications for the Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program to provide financial assistance to improve the economic condition of rural areas through cooperative development.  The solicitation appeared in the Federal Register (80 FR 34129, June 15, 2015). The text of the RBCS solicitation notice can be found at the following link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-06-15/pdf/2015-14676.pdf  Completed applications must be submitted by close of business on July 27, 2015 (electronic) or July 30, 2015 (paper). 

Headwaters Foundation for Justice: The Fund of the Sacred Circle supports grassroots communities working to create social, economic, environmental, and racial justice. The Fund of the Sacred Circle, administered by the Headwaters Foundation, supports American Indian organizations throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin that address issues such as language and cultural revitalization, land and environmental restoration, sovereignty and treaty rights, and self-determination and civil rights. The Fund provides Planning Grants up to $5,000 and Implementation Grants up to $10,000 for projects that focus on systemic injustice affecting American Indian communities. Deadline: 8/3/2015. Visit the Headwaters Foundation’s website here (or here) to review the online application instructions.

Christopher Reeve Foundation Quality of Life Grants Grants to nonprofit organizations that provide services to individuals with paralysis, with special consideration given to wounded military and their families.  Application deadline: August 3, 2015.  

Applications are now being accepted for the Eide Bailly Resourcefullness Awards.  Open to 501(c)(3) organizations, these awards provide recognition and support to nonprofits that have undertaken sustainable, creative and impactful revenue generation initiatives.  Select organizations in each state will be recognized with grand prize ($10,000), runner-up ($3,000) and honorable mention ($2,000) recipients. Application deadline for the awards is Wednesday, August 12 at 11:59 p.m. CDT.  To learn more about the awards go to:  http://www.eidebailly.com/industries/nonprofit/resourcefullness-award-home/ , application process or past winners, visit bit.ly/1eFNwJW or contact Katie Cloyd at kcloyd@eidebailly.com.

–USDA Rural Development has issued a NOFA for the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) which provides funding to help nonprofit housing and community development organizations support housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas. Deadline to apply: 8/13/2015. Click here to visit the website to learn more about this program.

­­–Union Pacific Foundation is offering grants to nonprofit organizations through its Community-Based Grant Program in communities served by the Union Pacific Railroad, primarily in the Midwestern and Western United States. The Foundation gives priority to requests that address the following categories: Community and Civic, and Health and Human Services. The majority of these grants are intended to help nonprofit organizations build their capacity, increase their impact, and operate more effectively. Deadlines: a preliminary application form must be submitted by 8/14/2015. Selected organizations will receive instructions on accessing the online final application form, which must be submitted by midnight CDT on 8/15/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website here for more information on the Community-Based Grant Program.

Minnesota Housing has up to $7.5 million in funds available for moderate rehabilitation of existing affordable rental housing in Greater Minnesota through the Rental Rehabilitation Deferred Loan (RRDL) Pilot Program.  Proposals with the following priorities are encouraged:

  • Preservation of affordable housing opportunities in Greater Minnesota where the lack of affordable workforce housing is a barrier to economic prosperity.
  • Preservation of properties that contain existing Federal Assistance or other critical affordable units at risk of loss.

RRDL funding is available for both Specific Project and Program Model activities. Applicants may simultaneously submit applications for multiple project or program activities.  Available resources include:

  • $1.9 million in zero-interest, deferred payment, 10% forgivable loan funds for owners completing Specific Project activities outside the 7-county metropolitan area and RRDL administrator areas.
  • $4.1 million in zero-interest, deferred payment, 10% forgivable loan funds for existing and prospective administrators completing Program Model activities.
  • $1.5 million in zero-interest, deferred payment, 100% forgivable loan funds for existing and prospective administrators completing Program Model activities.

Please visit the Minnesota Housing website for complete application materials and instructions. Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 24, 2015.  For more information, please contact Susan Haugen at 651.296.9848.

Healthy Eating Research – Building the Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity Letter of Intent (Required): Aug 26, 2015. Application deadline: Oct 7, 2015

Supports research on environmental and policy strategies designed to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity, especially among groups at highest risk for obesity: Black, Latino, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander children, and children who live in lower-income communities.  Sponsor: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines awards one urban and one rural community the Strong Communities Award. The award demonstrates the value that communities throughout the FHLB Des Moines district derive from small business and economic development projects. The award recognizes the results of these projects and their impact on creating stronger communities. Deadline: 8/31/2015. Two winners, one urban and one rural, will each receive a $15,000 stipend to be used for the project or other community economic development needs. One runner-up finalist in each category will be awarded $3,000. For more information on how to apply, click here.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has issued guidelines and application materials for Our Town, the NEA’s primary creative placemaking program, providing funding that supports local efforts to enhance quality of life and opportunity for residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place. Grants in 2016 will be available for projects in arts engagement, design and planning, and in knowledge building. Deadline to apply: 9/21/2015. Click here for application guidelines. To help applicants prepare competitive proposals, the NEA is offering two webinars; July 29 and August 5, 2015. Each session will be from 3:00 to 4:00 PM EDT. Click here to register for a webinar.

The Foundation for Rural Service provides grants for programs in rural communities served by the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) members. Grants are awarded in the areas of business development, community development, education, and telecommunications. Deadline: 10/1/2015. Click here to visit the program website for more information.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grants  support programs that work in the areas of childhood education, healthy children, secure families, racial equity, and civic engagement.  Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA is accepting applications for loans and grants to support business expansion, create jobs and increase economic opportunities in rural communities. Funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). Details about how to apply for this are found in the Federal Register here. Application forms may be obtained from any USDA Rural Development State Office.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

Build a Stronger Fundraising Plan for your Organization. The inaugural Minnesota Nonprofit Fundraising Conference will be held on Thursday, July 29 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center. Designed for the entire philanthropic community, this day-long event will help you add to your fundraising toolkit, broaden your organization’s development plan and build a strong network of like-minded peers. Highlights include a keynote from Farra Trompeter of Big Duck, 20+ breakout sessions, individual Ask the Expert question period and more! To learn more or register today, visit www.minnesotanonprofits.org/fundraising.

The Nonprofit Essentials Conference is designed just for you!  Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, the University of St. Thomas and over 250 nonprofit peers on Thursday, August 20 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN for an indispensable overview of the management topics essential to nonprofits. Offering a wide array of practical workshops, this information-packed conference will help re-focus staff on the core elements of working in and managing successful nonprofit organizations.  Register today and get back to the basics!

2015 National Rural Assembly will be held September 8-10, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.  Register here.

The Will Steger Foundation has launched a series of forums titled “Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions.” The forums aim to increase public awareness around local climate change impacts and build community resiliency through science, stories and place-based solutions. The remaining meetings will take place: Sept. 15 in Owatonna; Sept. 21 in Mankato; Sept. 24 in Virginia, Oct. 12 in Rochester; Nov. 2 in Brainerd; Nov. 2 in Detroit Lakes; Nov. 12 in Minnetonka; and January 2016 (date TBD) in Marshall. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources is an exhibitor and provides energy-related resources at the events. Read more.

The Minnesota Venture & Finance Conference is Minnesota’s premier event for entrepreneurs and investors Real Deals, Real Investors, Unbeatable Networking.  Save the date for the 29th Annual event on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. With hundreds attending each year, this event is one of the strongest in the country in terms of overall entrepreneur and investor attendance and capital raised by participants. Since 1987 the Annual Minnesota Venture & Finance Conference has been bringing together investors and entrepreneurs to engage, innovate, learn and network in order to nurture Minnesota’s innovation economy.  The full agenda and details will be announced in July 2015. For questions on opportunities to get involved contact Tonya Meyers (tmeyers@mhta.org).

I’m Home Conference Minneapolis will be held October 26−28, 2015

CFED sponsors this conference bringing together affordable housing developers, lenders, government agency staff, policymakers, industry experts, homeowners, community organizers, researchers, and funders to consider manufactured housing as a source of affordable housing and asset building for low- and moderate-income families.

— Save the Date! November 18-20 Annual Broadband Conference hosted by Blandin Foundation and the Office of Broadband Development – More information to come.

Save the Date for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference  Mark your calendar now to attend the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, Feb. 2-3, 2016, at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.

OPPORTUNITIES

Interested in discussing population health and the interface between health care delivery and public health practice? The Centers for Public Health Education and Practice at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health is looking to have a group discussion with community health and primary care leaders (including FQHCs, community health clinics, rural health centers, and other community-based primary care providers) on these topics. The overarching goals are to begin a dialog about experiences, foster or extend relationships between primary care and public health, and inform future education and training opportunities. The exact format, setting, and date of the discussion(s) will be determined by the group, with the aim of holding them between mid-July and mid-August. If you would like to learn more about this project or to sign up to participate, please contact Louise Stenberg at sten0197@umn.edu or 612-624-8470.

–The Center for Small Towns (CST) assists Minnesota’s small towns with locally identified issues. The Center prioritizes the voices of small town residents and leaders and develops projects in partnership with communities, faculty, staff, and students. CST reviews proposals three times per year. The deadline for fall project proposals is July 24; the deadline for spring project proposals is October 16. Submitting a project idea brief is the first step in the project development process. If you have questions or need assistance, contact Kerri Barnstuble at (320) 589-6467 or kbarnstu@morris.umn.edu

Help teachers bring STEM awareness to the classroom.  BestPrep is hosting Technology Integration Workshops on July 27 & 28 to help connect educators to the workforce through half-day job shadows with industry professionals and help them learn how they can best prepare and inspire students to pursue careers in STEM. Job shadow hosts, called Business Partners, are needed to make this a reality. READ MORE

Open Appointments – State Boards, Councils and Committees, applications due July 28th. Take a look at the full list of vacancies at the Secretary of State’s website and include:

  • Advisory Committee for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
  • Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage
  • Minnesota Board on Aging

Jim Meeks, PA-C, DFAAPA Memorial AFPPA Student Scholarship  Application deadline: September 1, 2015. Offers a scholarship to a physician assistant student who displays a commitment to family practice and rural health. 

MISCELLANEOUS

Foundation Grants to Rural Areas from 2005 to 2010: Trends and Patterns  ERS estimates that the value of U.S. foundation grants to benefit rural areas was 6-7 percent of total domestic grants in 2010. Since the rural population was 19 percent that year, this suggests an urban focus of foundation grants.

The Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) recently launched a new program that will allow it to work closely with farmers and rural small businesses to advance renewable energy projects. The newly funded program, Renewable Energy for Greater MN, will provide free on-site renewable energy assessments and custom project assistance to Minnesota farmers and rural small businesses. The effort is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Energy Audits–Renewable Energy Development Assistance grant program. Read more.

Crop Genetic Resources May Play an Increasing Role in Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change (Amber Waves feature article)  As agriculture adapts to climate change, crop genetic resources can be used to develop new plant varieties that are more tolerant of changing environmental conditions. The public sector plays an important role in collecting, conserving and distributing crop genetic resources, because private sector incentives for crucial parts of these activities are limited.

EPA’s Study of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources  provides access to information on an EPA study examining the relationship between hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and drinking water. Includes access to findings from the study, which addresses how rural communities’ drinking water may be impacted.

Helping Nonprofits Get a Handle on Succession Planning.   Nonprofits that are serious about their own sustainability will also be serious about planning for smooth and thoughtful transitions of leadership. While necessary for all successful organizations, the process can be a challenge for even the most forward-thinking of nonprofits.  The National Council of Nonprofits recently published tips and resources for nonprofits interested in learning more about succession planning in their organization. Succession Planning for Nonprofits includes planning tips for leadership transition, access to a Nonprofit-Executive Succession Planning Toolkit, and a list of resources available from various nonprofit state associations.  To learn more about how your organization can get a grasp on succession planning, visit the National Council of Nonprofits website.

Population & Migration  nonmetro areas in some parts of the country have experienced population loss for decades. However, 2010-14 marks the first period with an estimated population loss for nonmetro America as a whole. Opportunities for population growth and economic expansion vary widely from one nonmetro county to the next, and new regional patterns of growth and decline have emerged in recent years.

–Rural counties have 232,000 more jobs in April 2015 than April 2014 say the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  For more information go to: http://irjci.blogspot.com/2015/06/rural-counties-have-232000-more-jobs-in.html

Rural Transit Fact Book 2015 provides national and state-level statistics and information on rural transit in America. Includes rural demographic and travel behavior data. Also covers financial and operating statistics for agencies receiving section 5311 funding. Includes a section on tribal transit.

Care Coordination in Rural Communities: Supporting the High Performance Rural Health System  examines care coordination programs and processes to see how they impact rural people and places, to observe how different approaches to care coordination are working, and to make policy recommendations that support care coordination to help facilitate a high performance rural health system.

National Center for Mobility Management  provides information and resources for communities regarding transportation strategies and mobility options that enable people to live independently, and that promote health, economic vitality, and self-sufficiency. Includes a topic page specific to rural transportation.

Organization: Federal Transit Administration

AARP Small Business Administration Webinars  AARP and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) host new webinars and republish previous webinars to educate people who want to start businesses or expand existing ones.

IdentityTheft.gov This FTC site is the federal governments one-stop resource to help people report and recover from identity theft. It is also available in Spanish at www.robodeidentidad.gov.

–The Carolina Geriatric Education Center (CGEC) has an online Spanish version of the Falls Prevention Course for Community Health Workers. The course is based on the National Council on Aging curriculum which was developed in partnership with the Paraprofessional Health Institute (PHI). This course is free under the current CGEC grant.

HealthLandscape‘s customizable Population Health Mapper show county-level data for issues related to population health, including health status, healthcare services, health behaviors, demographics, socio-economic factors, and the physical environment.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Industry Job Opening in Austin The Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau is searching for a part-time tourism staff person to promote Austin as a tourism destination, host travel groups, conduct city tours, and prospect potential conventions and meetings.

May 2015 – Volume XIII, Number 4

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

–ACROSS THE FIELD
–FUNDING
–TRAINING/MEETINGS
–OPPORTUNITIES
–MISCELLANEOUS

Across the Field:

FUNDING

U.S. Bank Foundation provides grants to organizations that support: the preservation, rehabilitation and construction of quality affordable housing that assists low- and moderate-income populations and programs that provide home buyer counseling and related financial education to low- and moderate-income individuals and families. Deadline: varies by state. Click here to determine the deadline in your area.  Click here for funding guidelines.

— The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering funding to schools, state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers, and nonprofits in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. Planning grant applications are due 5/20/2015. Click here for guidelines and instructions.

–The Corporation for National and Community Service is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies for an Americorps youth internship specifically targeting youth that have been adjudicated in the juvenile justice system. This program will give disconnected youth (at least 17 but under 25 years old) the opportunity to participate in a national service program and provide them with meaningful mentoring while they are serving. Deadline: 5/20/2015. Click here to visit the program website for details.

–The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering funding to nonprofits and public agencies through the Partnerships to Increase Coverage in Communities II Initiative. Funding is offered for programs to educate various uninsured populations who are eligible for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  These populations include racial and ethnic minority people and those that are economically or environmentally disadvantaged (such as limited English proficient and immigrant and refugee populations).  Programs would offer education about the Marketplace and assist with enrollment and completion of the application process to determine eligibility and obtain or purchase health coverage offered through the Marketplace. Deadline: 5/22/2015. Click here for funding guidelines and an application.

—-The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies that are eligible adaptive sports entities to plan, develop, manage, and implement programs to provide adaptive sports activities for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces. Deadline: 5/26/2015. Click here for grant guidelines.

–The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to fund demonstration projects that provide eligible individuals with the opportunity to obtain education and training for occupations in the healthcare field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand. Deadline to apply: 5/29/2015. Click here for funding criteria.

–The Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation supports nonprofit organizations and local municipalities undertaking high-need projects such as building renovations/upgrades, grounds improvements, technology upgrades, and safety improvements. Most grants range from $10,000 to $25,000. Deadline: 5/29/2015. Visit the company’s website here to take the eligibility quiz and submit an online application.

The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) has recently approved an additional round grant funding for artists and organizations located in Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine Counties in Minnesota (Region 7E).  The deadline for the following grant applications is 4:30 p.m. Monday, June 1, 2015.   Information regarding these additional funding opportunities and application forms can be found and downloaded at the ECRAC website: www.ecrac.org/grants

The U.S. Department of Justice is offering grants to nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Indian tribes with a demonstrable history of providing community-based reentry programs and services for Latino/a youth. The objective of this program is to provide Latino/a youth with supportive services based on and matched to their assessed risks and needs and to support their successful reentry to the family and community. Deadline: 6/1/2015. Click here for additional funding guidelines.

— The U.S. Department of Justice is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to provide an array of new and expanded mentoring activities. Deadline: 6/2/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

–The U.S. Department of Labor is offering grants to public or private nonprofit organizations through YouthBuild, a community-based alternative education program for youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are high school dropouts, adjudicated youth, youth aging out of foster care, youth with disabilities, homeless youth, and other disadvantaged youth populations. The YouthBuild program simultaneously addresses several core issues important to low-income communities: affordable housing, education, employment, leadership development, and energy efficiency. Funding available: $700,000 to $1,100,000 over 40 months. Deadline: 6/5/2015. Click here for application guidelines.

The U. S. Department of Education is funding programs for American Indians with disabilities who reside on or near federal or state reservations so that they may prepare for and engage in high quality employment that will increase opportunities for economic self-sufficiency. Deadline: 6/8/2015. Click here for application guidelines.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants through the Assets for Independence (AFI) Demonstration Program. Deadline: 6/15/2015. AFI enables community-based nonprofits and government agencies to implement and demonstrate an assets-based approach for supporting low-income individuals and their families. View information about resources, trainings, and other assistance for grantees and potential applicants on the Assets for Independence Resource Center website here.

–The Tony Hawk Foundation is offering grants to nonprofit and public organizations for funding 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. Deadline: 6/17/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review grant criteria and submit an online application.

–The HOME DEPOT Foundation’s Veteran Housing Grants Program is offering grants to nonprofit organizations nationwide that address the development and repair of veterans housing. Grants are provided for single family or multifamily housing, permanent supportive housing, and transitional housing projects. Grants ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 are awarded solely for the physical construction or repair of housing for veterans. Organizations that have previous experience developing, and either currently manage or own, veteran specific housing are eligible to apply. Deadline: 6/23/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website here for online application instructions.

The National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants to arts organizations, local arts agencies, arts service organizations, local education agencies, and other organizations that can help advance the goals of the Arts Endowment. The program seeks to support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. Deadline: 7/23/2015. Click here to visit the website for details.

MEETINGS/TRAINING

The Will Steger Foundation has launched a series of 12 forums titled “Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions.” The forums aim to increase public awareness around local climate change impacts and build community resiliency through science, stories and place-based solutions. The first two forums were held April 14 in Bemidji and April 15 in Crookston. The remaining meetings will take place: May 12 in Burnsville; May 18 in Duluth; Sept. 15 in Owatonna; Sept. 21 in Mankato; Sept. 24 in Virginia, Oct. 12 in Rochester; Nov. 2 in Brainerd; Nov. 2 in Detroit Lakes; Nov. 12 in Minnetonka; and January 2016 (date TBD) in Marshall. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources is an exhibitor and provides energy-related resources at the events. Read more.

The Midwest Solar Expo 2015 will be held May 13-14 in Minneapolis at the Downtown Hilton Minneapolis. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is a sponsor. Read more.

The Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will host free agritourism workshops in May. The workshop is intended for owners or event planners of agritourism operations, such as farm tours, pizza farms, apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Topics to be covered include: petting zoo safety, food licensing and handling requirements, and much more.  Two dates are scheduled for the upcoming workshop: Wednesday, May 13, at the Chanhassen Recreation Center, and Tuesday, May 19, at the Coon Rapids Civic Center. The event is free and includes a boxed dinner for registered attendees. Download a copy of the invitation here: 2015 Agritourism Workshop   Registration is open until Tuesday, May 12. Register for the 2015 Agritourism Workshop For more information, contact Joni Scheftel at joni.scheftel@state.mn.us or 651-201-5414.

EDAM Webinar: Business Finance-Putting Puzzle Pieces Together will be held online from noon to 1:15PM on May 21st. You may register up until the day of the event. Cost is free to EDAM members and $25 to nonmembers. For more information and to register, please go to http://z.umn.edu/vzr.

Creating an Arts Destination Workshop  The 7 Rivers Alliance is hosting the workshop “Creating an Arts Destination” at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona on Wednesday, May 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

MN CARH’s 24th Annual Conference and Meeting will be May 27-28 at Jackpot junction Casino in Morton, MN.  Registration is now open.

Please review the conference brochure and registration form or visit www.mncarh.org for more information.

Rural Arts and Culture Summit – June 2-4, 2015, University of Minnesota Morris MORE

EDAM Summer Conference will be held on June 3–5 in Duluth at the Duluth Entertainment & Convention Center.  For more information go to:  http://www.edam.org/events/event_details.asp?id=462051

The 11th annual Small Wind Conference will be held June 15–17, 2015 at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center in Stevens Point, Wis. The event brings together small wind installers, site assessors, manufacturers, dealers and distributors, supply chain stakeholders, educators, public benefits program managers, and advocates. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is a sponsor. For more information and to register, read more.

The Midwest Farm Energy Conference will be held June 17-19 at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, Minn. The conference offers strategies for implementing energy-efficient and renewable energy systems on farms, with tours available of renewable energy systems in the region. Stacy Miller, solar policy specialist with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, will participate in a panel on “Incentives, Grants, and Loans for Renewable and Energy-Efficient Systems.” For registration and more information, read more.

–The 2015 Minnesota Rural Health Conference will be held June 29-30, 2015 in Duluth. Get more info https://minnesotaruralhealthconference.org/

Use Social Media to Promote Your Festivals and Events  In this one-week online course from the University of Minnesota Tourism Center, students will learn about a variety of applications for social media usage before, during and after an event or festival.

OPPORTUNITIES

Apply now for the Humphrey School 2015-2016 Policy Fellows program

Applications are now available for the 2015-2016 Policy Fellows program, one of the country’s most respected leadership programs for emerging and mid-career professionals. Connect with a cohort of 35 people across the work and political spectrum who will broaden your perspectives and expand your network as you engage in a high-level professional experience. Gain practical skills and experience to take your own career and civic work to the next level.  Applications are due June 1, 2015. Click here for more information and application form.

The Environmental Quality Board and the Department of Employment and Economic Development are working on a water report including results of a survey of water-related organizations in Minnesota. The survey results will help develop an economic profile that quantifies the current employment and wages in water-related organizations. The survey will go to public and private sector entities involved in (but not limited to) the research, development, treatment, manufacture, assembly, management, sales, or distribution of water-related products or services. Link to survey.

The goal is to understand their present employment, revenue, and products in the sector. This will be combined with administrative datasets to build a profile of water employment and wages in the state. It follows a method laid out by MN Clean Energy Economy Profile. For more information, contact Anna Sherman, anna.sherman@state.mn.us., 651-259-7468. 

MISCELLANEOUS

A great tool Community Broadband Planning Tool: What you need before you think about financing

OCC’s HelpWithMyBank.gov Web site, which provides answers to 300 common banking questions covering such topics as credit cards, bank accounts, mortgages, consumer loans, insurance, identity theft, and safe deposit boxes. The site also includes links and references to financial information and an online consumer complaint form.

CFED has released “Building Financial Capability: A Planning Guide for Integrated Services”, an interactive resource to help a wide range of community-based and social service organizations integrate financial capability services into their existing programs (e.g., housing, workforce development or Head Start). CFED developed the publication in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Community Services (OCS), with input from a number of local, state and national partners that tested and reviewed its 13 tools. Get the resource guide here.

Advancing K−12 Financial Education: A Guide for Policymakers The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers this resource guide designed to encourage financial education in schools. The guide contains strategies for furthering the development and implementation of financial education.

AARPSBA Webinars  AARP and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) host new webinars and republish previous webinars to educate people who want to start businesses or expand existing ones.

–The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has published new healthy community design data. The CDC estimates that, for every dollar invested in community design projects, between $1.20 and $3.80 is saved as a result of reduced health care utilization and fuel consumption. View the data here.

Enterprise Community Partners has released its 2015 Green Communities Criteria. Enterprise created these criteria in 2004 as the first green national standard designed specifically for affordable housing. These updated criteria incorporate resilient design features as well as Active Design criteria to improve resident health. Click here for a copy of the guidelines.

–The nation’s older adult population has grown and is continuing to grow dramatically, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. The population 65 and older is expected to reach 73 million by 2030, an increase of 33 million over 20 years. The number of lower-income older adults is also increasing; from 2003 to 2013, the number of households aged 62 and older earning less than 50 percent of area median income (AMI) increased by 21 percent. To view the data, click here.

Frontier and Remote Area Codes Updated  The Economic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, has updated the Frontier and Remote Area (FAR) codes based on 2010 data. http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/chart-gallery/detail.aspx?chartId=52650

— At Main Street Project, the importance of women in the present and future of the agricultural system is recognized.  To read about this go to:  http://mainstreetproject.org/blog/2015/03/women-in-agriculture/

Minnesota ranked seventh for total wind-generated electricity in 2014 and was seventh in the nation for percent of its net electricity generated from wind power, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report, released April 15 by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). In 2014, Minnesota generated 9,060 thousand megawatt hours (MWh) of wind power that provided 15.9 percent of all in-state electricity production, enough to power 830,000 homes. Read more.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Otter Tail County Seeks Tourism and Economic Development Director

The position will serve in a dual role as the economic development/tourism liaison for Otter Tail County and as the executive director of the Otter Tail Country Tourism and Economic Development Authority.

August 2014- Volume XII, Number 6

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

  • –ACROSS THE FIELD
  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS

Across the Field: Will return in September! 

We’ve been attending several conferences this summer and have a collection of great people and ideas to share with you once we catch our collective breath. In the meantime, mark your calendars now for the Community Development Society’s annual conference in late July 2016, hosted here in Minnesota (last time we hosted was in 2001), with a working theme on Community Change. Read about the most recent CDS conference at the CDS website.

FUNDING           

–The Corporation for National and Community Service is offering RSVP grants that support volunteers age 55 years and older in activities that serve community needs and respond to the National Performance Measures in the following focus areas: disaster; education; economic opportunity; environment; healthy futures; and veterans and military families. Deadline to apply: Letter of Intent 8/8/2014; application 9/9/2014. Click here to read the funding guidelines and to apply. http://tinyurl.com/kve8opg

–The Minnesota Judicial Branch is accepting applications for court technology funds. Deadline is August 11http://wp.me/p3if7-2JW

–HUD is offering Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Planning Grants to public housing authorities, local governments, tribal entities, and nonprofit organizations to support the development of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans. Deadline: 8/12/2014. Click here for application guidelines. http://tinyurl.com/lvr47e2

–The HOME DEPOT Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using volunteers to improve the physical health of their communities. Priority is given to projects for veterans that include housing repairs, modifications, and weatherization work. Grants of up to $5,000 are made in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services. Deadline: requests will be accepted through August 15, 2014. Visit the Home Depot website here to submit an online application. http://tinyurl.com/6vrjyzo

–The Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children (HSHC) program seeks applications for Access to Care grants. The grants provide up to $20,000 in matching funds for community-based initiatives that provide dental care and ultimately serve as a Dental Home to underserved/limited-access children. Letters of intent are due August 18. http://www.aapd.org/foundation/kids/

–HUD is offering grants to public housing agencies, tribes, tribal housing entities, resident associations, and nonprofits for the Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency-Service Coordinators Program.  Funding will support services and activities for public and Indian housing residents. Deadline: 8/18/2014. Click here for application materials.  http://tinyurl.com/lvr47e2

–The Department of Health and Human Services has announced the availability of grants for nonprofit and public agencies for funding to expand access to high-quality, comprehensive services to low-income infants and toddlers and their families through Early Head Start-Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnerships, or through the expansion of Early Head Start services. Deadline: 8/20/2014. Click here to learn more about this program and to apply. http://tinyurl.com/lt5dw4a

–Application materials for the Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program (MN SLRP) are now available. The program provides funds for repayment of qualifying educational loans of up to $20,000 annually for full-time primary care providers and up to $10,000 annually for half-time primary care providers. For 2014, an estimated 5-10 loan repayment awards will be available. Applications due by August 20.

–USDA Rural Housing Service is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to enable very low- and low-income rural homeowners to repair and rehabilitate their homes. Deadline: 8/23/2014. Click here for more information and to apply.  http://tinyurl.com/73au54f

–The Healthier Minnesota Community Clinic Fund has issued a 2014 Request for Proposals seeking applications from safety net primary care providers for projects that improve access to and the quality of primary care clinical services for low-income people, communities of color, and the medically underserved. All eligible projects will be considered, but priority will be given to reproductive, dental and mental health care initiatives. Applications are due September 11. http://tinyurl.com/mdbj2v8

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless Launches Greater MN Shelter Capacity Grant.  Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless has funds available for 501 c 3 agencies in select Minnesota communities for the purpose of increasing their capacity to serve more homeless individuals or families. Those homeless due to domestic violence are also eligible.  This is a Special Project of Open Your Heart. Applying for or receiving grant through this project does not affect an agencies eligibility to apply for any other Open Your Heart Grants within the calendar year 2014.

DUE DATESeptember 15, 2014 for consideration at our October 20th Board Meeting.  Funds for successful applicants will be available no later than November 1, 2014. Grant funds must be expended by December 31, 2015.

MAXIMUM GRANT: $20,000.

Learn more on the Open Your Heart website http://tinyurl.com/mw65bcz

— The 2014 Minnesota Film, Video, and Digital Production Grant Program will award grants to emerging film, video, and digital makers in the disciplines of experimental, narrative, documentary, and animation. Deadline September 26, 2014.

The Explore Minnesota guidelines for 2015 grants are now available. The grant program is offered to assist communities and scenic byway organizations in attracting travelers to Minnesota. Information on the program and guidelines for grants are posted on the industry website at http://www.exploreminnesota.com/industry-minnesota/ways-to-get-involved/grants/

The maximum grant amount is $8,000 and requires a match from the recipient. Organizations with total income of $100,000 or less qualify for a 1-to-1 match; those with total income over $100,000 are required to match at 2-to-1.  Very little was changed in the 2015 grant guidelines, however, prospective applicants are encouraged to carefully review the guidelines as they consider projects that might be included in the grant application. Applications are due Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014.

Minnesota non-profit tourism or scenic byway organizations who want further information on the grant program should contact their respective regional manager: Central or Northwest – Carol Altepeter, 888-629-6466, or David Bergman, 888-563-7777 Metro – Gayle Junnila, 800-657-3637; 651-757-1852 Northeast – Tim Campbell, 888-876-6784 Southern – Dave Vogel, 888-975-6766

–MPCA Environmental Loan Program. Consider applying if you’ve been thinking about a project in green chemistry, pollution prevention, source reduction, recycling, or source-separated composting. Eligible applicants for the EA Loan Program include Minnesota-based, small- to medium-sized businesses and political subdivisions of Minnesota. Candidates that are contemplating smaller projects are particularly encouraged to apply this spring. Priority eligible applicants are Minnesota-based small to medium-sized businesses and political subdivisions of Minnesota. Applications are being accepted until June 30, 2015. Visit the MPCA Environmental Assistance Loan Program for more information

–Blandin Foundation trustees voted to extend broadband work and allocate $1.5 million more for broadband grants. More information here.  http://tinyurl.com/otl6mh5

MPCA Small Business Environmental Loan Program. To qualify, a borrower must:  be an existing small business corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership or association and have less than 50 full-time employees, have an after-tax profit of less than $500,000 and a net worth of less than $1,000,000, demonstrate an ability to repay the loan. To receive an application, contact the MPCA’s Small Business Ombudsman, Mike Nelson at michael.nelson@state.mn.us or 651.757.2122.

–The Toro Company’s Centennial Legacy Grant Program is currently accepting applications from non-profits that are located within 30 miles of a Toro community (in Minnesota: Shakopee, Windom, and the Twin Cities). Grants will support non-profit organizations in their efforts to beautify and preserve outdoor environments and enhance green spaces at home, work and play. The objective of the program is to provide funding for projects in these focus areas that will serve the community for many years to come.  Grants will be made to qualified organizations in the communities where Toro employees live and work. For more information or to apply go to: http://tinyurl.com/oqv3r49

The G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation is offering general support grants to nonprofit organizations for general support for religious, charitable, scientific, literary and education causes. Deadline: letters of inquiry may be submitted at any time. Click here to visit the website for application guidelines.  http://tinyurl.com/pupeczx

— The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it has set a goal of investing $50 million to increase access to mental health care in rural areas over the next three years. The funding will be used for the construction, expansion or equipping of rural mental health facilities and will be provided through the USDA’s Community Facilities direct loan program. http://tinyurl.com/bndtlo8

Competitive Grant To Establish a USDA Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice Research.  USDA ERS in partnership with USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is inviting proposals to establish the USDA Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice Research. The USDA Center will apply behavioral economics to food choice behaviors, including consumer, food industry, and retailer behaviors, that are relevant to USDA policies, with special attention to the SNAP and WIC programs. http://tinyurl.com/pupeczx

TRAINING/MEETINGS

–On May 20, 2014, Governor Mark Dayton signed into law the new Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program. This $20 million grant program will be used to fund the build out of infrastructure to promote the expansion of broadband service to areas of the state that are unserved or underserved.

The Office of Broadband Development at DEED is working to set up the grant program and application process. To ensure potential applicants have a preliminary understanding of the grant program and can start to make initial preparations, the office will make information available here as soon as practicable. Notification of significant updates will also be distributed by email; sign up at their Contact Us webpage. Currently, meetings will be held at the following locations to discuss the proposed application process and obtain feedback. At those meetings, we will work from the Border-to-Border Infrastructure Grant Program Overview slides.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014  1:30 to 3:00 p.m.  Wyoming Library  26855 Forest Boulevard  Wyoming, MN 55092

Tuesday, August 19, 2014  2:00 to 3:30 p.m.  University of Minnesota at Crookston  2900 University Avenue  Bede Ballroom A, B and C  Sargeant Student Center 2nd Floor  Crookston, MN 56716

Friday, August 22, 2014   1:30 to 3:00 p.m.  Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation   525 Florence Avenue   Owatonna, MN

Tuesday, August 26, 2014  Time and location TBD  Perham, MN

These meetings are open to anyone. Potential applicants are also reminded of some available resources. First, if you are working to identify broadband availability for your project, any inquiries you have regarding the data shown on the broadband map can be submitted to Connect Minnesota for clarification-just fill out the form at that website. County maps (make sure you enter the name of the county you are interested in reviewing) have also been posted showing unserved and underserved areas as defined by the grant program requirements and as reflected by the current data.  Finally, we encourage all potential applicants to subscribe to the Office of Broadband Development’s email list which will be used to distribute information on the grant process as it develops.

Earn a Certificate in Festival and Event Management Online  The University of Minnesota Tourism Center offers a comprehensive online course in festival and event management to help organizers run successful events.

— Grant Program and Outcome Evaluation Information Sessions.  The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) is holding free information sessions about the ECRAC funding opportunities available for artists, arts organizations, schools, community organizations, and non-profit organizations. These sessions includes an overview of all Regional Arts Council grant programs followed by a question and answer period. The outcome evaluation session includes an overview by Dr. Pat Shifferd of the SMART model to be used in the ECRAC Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) grant proposals plus a question and answer period.  Individual appointments with either ECRAC staff or Dr. Shifferd are also being offered. http://tinyurl.com/l4n3kel

Sessions are being held:

  • ECRAC Grants – Wednesday, August 6, 2014: 10 – 11 a.m.
  •  ECRAC Grants – Thursday, September 11, 2014: 5 – 6 p.m.

Location: 

East Central Regional Arts Council

112 Main Avenue S.

Braham, MN  55006

 

Registration: The information sessions and individual appointments are free of charge, but advance registration is required. To register call the Regional Arts Council office at (320) 396-2337 or email info@ecrac.org.

 

–Farm Fest (Redwood County) will be held August 5-7thFor more information go to: http://www.ideaggroup.com/farmfest

 

— TheMinnesota Mentoring Conferenceis the region’s only annual conference focused exclusively on supporting quality mentoring. In celebration of its 20th Anniversary, the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota (MPM) is hitting the road and offering Minnesota Mentoring Conferences in Cloquet (September 22) and Maple Grove(October 20). With a mission to lead the state in building and sustaining quality mentoring for every child, MPM’s conference is not to be missed by all youth mentoring program practitioners, AmeriCorps members who work to support youth through mentoring and tutoring, policymakers and funders. Register now. http://tinyurl.com/n2nbyv7

 

-The 2014 Many Faces of Community Health Conference: Community Centered Care and the People We Serve, will be held October 23-24 in Minnetonka. http://www.manyfacesconference.org/

 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is offering aquatic invasive species (AIS) training to owners of lake service provider businesses so they can legally work in lakes and rivers throughout the state. Businesses such as resorts and outfitters that rent, lease or decontaminate boats and other water-related equipment are now required to attend AIS training and acquire a permit. These businesses are considered lake service providers, which means that every three years they must attend a training session, apply for a permit, and pay a $50 application fee to comply with Minnesota law.

Seventeen AIS training sessions are planned around the state. Registering for the winter and early spring sessions will give businesses time to attend training and get a permit before ice-out. Registration deadlines are one week prior to each training. To register for training, find out if the business needs a permit, or for more information, visit the DNR website. A list of all 2014 training sessions is also available. http://tinyurl.com/mfbzlmf

 

 

OPPORTUNITIES

 

Community Vitality and Rural Healthcare Topic Guide – this new guide, developed by the Rural Assistance Center focuses on the linkage between rural healthcare and the economic strength and overall vitality of the community.

 

—-Savings Innovation Cluster — CFED, in partnership with the MetLife Foundation, is soliciting applications from organizations serving low- and moderate-income households to join a yearlong learning cluster and receive extensive technical assistance to design and implement innovative savings products or strategies for their clients.

 

MnDOT Seeking Input for Statewide Bicycle System Plan  MnDOT is hosting a series of workshops around the state to discuss the development of a Statewide Bicycle System Plan. http://tinyurl.com/nghqkhl

 

— Leadership Growth & Development Scholarships The Northwest Minnesota Foundation recognizes nonprofit organizations (NPOs) and small businesses are experiencing dramatic changes in their current environments. In an effort to best meet the changing needs of the area’s NPOs and small businesses, the Northwest Minnesota Foundation is offering Leadership Growth and Development Scholarships.

 

–The Eide Bailly Resourcefullness Award provides recognition and support to 501(c)(3) organizations that have undertaken sustainable, creative and impactful revenue generation initiatives. In Minnesota, three prizes ranging from $2,000 – $10,000 will be awarded to nonprofits judged on sustainability, creativity, implementation and impact. Award applications are due by August 29, 2014.

Rural Health Fellows ProgramA year-long, intensive program designed to develop a community of rural health leaders. Application deadline: Aug. 31, 2014. http://tinyurl.com/kvfg9w7

 

Jim Meeks, PA-C, DFAAPA Memorial AFPPA Student ScholarshipOffers a scholarship to a physician assistant student who display a commitment to family practice and rural health. Application deadline: Sept. 1, 2014. http://tinyurl.com/kqktl68

 

MISCELLANEOUS

 

–The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently published “America’s Rental Housing: Evolving Markets and Needs”. The study finds that significant erosion in renter incomes over the past decade has pushed the number of households paying excessive shares of income for housing to record levels. Download a free copy http://tinyurl.com/nvb2gmy

 

–The National Low Income Housing Coalition has released its annual “Advocates’ Guide to Housing and Community Development Policy” to educate advocates of all kinds about the programs and policies that make housing affordable to low-income people across America. Read the guide http://tinyurl.com/m84ynyf

 

–Right to the City’s Homes for All Campaign has released a report detailing a growing need for, but lack of affordability of, rental housing. The report explores the causes of the issue and lays out key solutions. Read it by clicking  http://tinyurl.com/nutg25y

 

–The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University has released the “State of the Nation’s Housing 2014”. One of the key themes of the report is the ongoing crisis of affordability, as 40.9 million American households (35.3 percent), both homeowners and renters, spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. This number includes 19.8 million (17.1 percent) who spend over half of their income for housing. The site also includes an Interactive Housing Cost Burdens Map which allows users to see both homeowner and renter cost burdens around the country. Click here to download the report and view the map. http://tinyurl.com/nfxexuu

 

–HUD released “Continuity and Change: Demographic, Socioeconomic, and Housing Conditions of American Indians and Alaska Natives”. Written by the Urban Institute, the report is a comprehensive look at the state of housing and the overall economy on tribal lands. Download the report by clicking http://tinyurl.com/lngb6ot

 

Housing Resources for Consumers, Bankers The American Bankers Association  (ABA) has developed resources to help bankers promote consumer awareness about their housing options. The resources include tip sheets in English and Spanish and calculators to help educate consumers on housing options, such as renting versus buying, choosing a lender, saving for a down payment, and improving credit scores. http://tinyurl.com/ou5up6z

 

–In a Carsey Institute brief, “Proposed EITC Expansion Would Increase Eligibility and Dollars for Rural and Urban ‘Childless’ Workers”, authors Jessica Carson and Marybeth Mattingly use data from the 2013 Current Population Survey to examine how President Obama’s proposal to expand eligibility and raise credit values for the Earned Income Tax Credit among those without a qualifying child might affect tax filers in both rural and urban America. Download the brief http://tinyurl.com/psoglg8

 

–“Remembering Rural Philanthropy in an Urban-Focused Society” is the title of an article in Nonprofit Quarterly by Rick Cohen that describes a lack of rural focused funding, highlighting a pattern over the years of rural philanthropy being considered an afterthought.  The article calls for a change in perspective by current philanthropic leadership. Read the article http://tinyurl.com/ok2c9rc

 

–“How Artists Can Revive Rural Manufacturing” is the title of a podcast featuring Janet Kagan of Art-Force, a non-profit organization that brings innovation to small communities by putting artists and designers at the center of rural industrial renewal. Art-Force’s mission is to “stimulate and diversify economic development in distressed communities”. They ally artists, designers, and creative thinkers with entrepreneurs, small businesses, educational institutions, and local agencies to reaffirm connections to place through cross-currents of artistic design and production. Click here to listen to the podcast. http://tinyurl.com/okwebod

 

–USDA announced the implementation of new Farm Bill measures and other policy changes to improve the financial security of new and beginning farmers and ranchers. It also unveiled www.usda.gov/newfarmers, a new website that will provide a centralized, one-stop resource where beginning farmers and ranchers can explore the variety of USDA initiatives designed to help them succeed. Click here to visit the website. http://tinyurl.com/mrhn46f

 

–The National Endowment for the Arts’ “Our Town” creative placemaking initiatives have grown and expanded. The Endowment has decided to invest in an e-storybook of case studies that will be launched this fall on arts.gov called “Exploring Our Town”. It will have 70 case studies, including pictures and videos, and analysis of what has been occurring in the projects, with links to key technical assistance resources. The site will launch in September 2014, but there are some organizations hosting some of the content now. Check out one of these project profiles from Exploring Our Town, at LISC’s Institute for Comprehensive Community Development http://tinyurl.com/ojgqzbo

 

–The Nemours Foundation has published a brief on childhood obesity in rural communities including common themes and lessons learned, and the role of early care, education, and out-of-school time in obesity prevention. The document also provides examples of community initiatives and recommendations to policymakers for preventing obesity. Click here to download a copy. http://tinyurl.com/oej77te

 

–Vital Communities Toolkit.  From the Vital Aging Network, this toolkit helps build the capacity of individuals to create vital communities in which people of all generations work together to find the right balance between meeting individual needs and achieving the common good. http://tinyurl.com/maofshm

 

–Google Educator Groups   This new free resource from Google is a platform for educators to collaborate with one another, pick up creative ideas from one another, and help each other best meet the needs of their students with Google solutions, through GEG activities taking place both online and offline. http://tinyurl.com/kofe87z

 

AARP Fraud Watch Network AARP offers this Web site that provides alerts on the latest frauds and scams affecting adults 50 and over. The site also contains an interactive map for consumer stories and communication from attorneys general about fraud.

 

AARP & SBA Webinars AARP and the U.S. Small Business Administration host new webinars and publish previous webinars to educate people who want to start businesses or expand existing ones.

 

Consumer Action HandbookUSA.gov offers this publication containing information on consumer rights and filing complaints. USA.gov also offers social media profiles and videos highlighting stories of how the handbook has helped consumers.

 

Road to Financial Responsibility The ABA partnered with CFED to create a resource available in English and Spanish giving pointers that help parents instill financial capability at every stage in a child’s life.

 

Financial Literacy Resource Directory The OCC’s Financial Literacy Resource Directory provides information on financial literacy resources, issues and events that are important to bankers, organizations, and consumers of all ages. The Web directory includes descriptions of, and contact information for, government programs on financial literacy education and capability, a sampling of organizations that have undertaken financial literacy initiatives as a primary mission, fact sheets, newsletters, conference materials, publications, and links to Web sites.

To contribute articles, notices, and random comments, please send such items to Jane Leonard.

HAPPY VALENTINE’s DAY!

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

February 2014- Volume XII, Number 2  (Ya-we can’t believe we’ve been publishing continuously this long, either!)

–ACROSS THE FIELD
–FUNDING
–TRAININGS/MEETINGS
–OPPORTUNITIES
–MISCELLANEOUS
–EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES – New section!

Across the Field: What If?

–by Jane Leonard

I woke up this morning with this crazy idea in my head (after watching the Winter Olympics, where we all unite as the USA for a few weeks – not individual towns or states), and thought, What if?

What if we didn’t separate ourselves into rural, urban, suburban, exurban identities, but saw ourselves as part of a larger interconnected place, where we understood and supported each other, no matter what.

After years of individual competition, even Olympic figure skaters do team events now. It’s inspiring to see them cheer for each other, work together to achieve a common goal, and rally around their team member when his or her scores are announced – for the team.

What if we had more of that attitude across our state and across our country? Think of the things we could accomplish, together. What if, indeed!

–Jane Leonard is a community development consultant. She can be reached at jane@janeleonard.net

FUNDING                 

USDA has announced the availability of nearly $10.5 million in grants through the Value-Added Producer Grant program. Grants are available to help agricultural producers create new products, expand marketing opportunities, support further processing of existing products or goods, or to develop specialty and niche products. The maximum working capital grant is $200,000; the maximum planning grant is $75,000. Deadline: 2/24/2014. NOFA for more information http://tinyurl.com/mc3ncwc

Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program Now Accepting Applications! The Minnesota Department of Commerce is now accepting applications for the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program.  This 10-year, $15-million-a-year program will be taking applications until February 28 for Minnesota residents and businesses to apply for the incentive to help defray the cost to install a solar electric system.  Made in Minnesota is one component of last year’s solar energy bill passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor that is aimed to grow the solar energy sector in Minnesota.

Who can apply for the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program?  The solar incentive program will be available to customers of the following investor-owned utilities: Xcel Energy, Alliant Energy, Minnesota Power, and Otter Tail Power.  Consumers and businesses that would like to participate in the Made in Minnesota Program will need to install solar electric systems (also known as solar photovoltaic or PV) using solar modules or collectors certified as manufactured in Minnesota. Currently, modules certified for the program are available from two Minnesota companies – tenKsolar and Silicon Energy.

Qualified solar electric systems must be less than 40 kilowatts (kW) to qualify for incentives. Applications for the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program will be accepted annually between January 1 and February 28 each year through 2023 and will be selected by lottery.  Applications are available online http://tinyurl.com/m2g9vjh The Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program is administered by the Department of Commerce with an annual budget of up to $15 million for 10 years, of which up to $250,000 per year is reserved for solar thermal rebates. Questions about the program can be directed to solar.help@state.mn.us or the Commerce Energy Information Line: 651-539-1886 or toll-free at 1-800-657-3710.

Small towns in west central MN are invited to apply for Capital Improvement Plan grant. West Central Initiative’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) grant program provides funds for cities with populations less than 5,000 in the counties of Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse, and Wilkin. The 2014 CIP grant round is open until March 3, 2014. http://www.wcif.org/page/cip

–ACT on Alzheimer’s is accepting applications from Minnesota communities interested in becoming dementia capable. Eligible communities will use the ACT on Alzheimer’s Dementia Capable Communities Toolkit, undertake the processes defined by the toolkit, and implement at least one (1) major priority goal area identified through the process. Applications due March 4. Learn more on the http://www.actonalz.org/

–The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for 2014 Planning and Developing Infrastructure to Improve the Mental Health and Wellness of Children, Youth and Families in American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) Communities (short title: Circles of Care VI) grants. The grants are intended to increase the capacity and effectiveness of mental health systems serving tribal and urban AI/AN communities. Applications due March 7. http://tinyurl.com/muutfe8

–Southeast CERT Round 2 RFP.  The Southeast Clean Energy Resource Team (SE CERT) seeks applications for limited financial assistance for energy efficiency and/or renewable energy projects requiring technical assistance.  The primary objectives of this funding are to:

  • Encourage the implementation of      community-based energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in      Minnesota.
  • Provide a forum for community      education about energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and      their economic, ecological, and community benefits.

Proposals are due by 4:00 PM on Monday, March 10th, 2014.  For more information, go to: http://www.cleanenergyresourceteams.org/se-rfp 

–The Bush Foundation is once again accepting applications for Community Innovation Grants to support organizations working to create or implement a breakthrough in addressing a community need. Grants will range from $10,000-$200,000 for problem-solving processes that lead to more effective, equitable and sustainable solutions. Applications due March 13th. http://tinyurl.com/qxv4yyd 

–The Department of Commerce is offering grants to support the implementation of regional economic development strategies designed to create jobs, leverage private capital, and strengthen America’s ability to compete in the global marketplace. Deadline: 3/14/2014. Click here for application guidelines. http://tinyurl.com/publ55b

–The Economic Development Administration is offering funding to public agencies, nonprofits, Institutions of Higher Education and Indian Tribes for a wide variety of planning, community development and economic development projects to improve economic conditions for low-income people in economically distressed communities. Deadline: 3/14/2014. http://tinyurl.com/pkhoeb5

–West Central Initiative’s 2014 grant round for its Competitive Workforce Grant program is open through March 14, 2014. WCI will provide one-year grants to qualified organizations and partnerships that want to try out innovative ideas and pilot new ways to address skill shortages in west central Minnesota. For more information visit http://www.wcif.org, or contact Wendy Merrick at 800-735-2239, wendy@wcif.org.

 —The Community Assistantship Program (CAP), a program of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, is pleased to announce a summer 2014 grant program. The grant will allow rural communities to hire a student to work on a project defined by those communities. The deadline for project proposals is March 15th, 2014. Approved projects will run from May 25th to August 24th 2014. Eligible organizations include community groups, organizations, and local governments outside the seven county metro. See: http://www.cura.umn.edu/CAP 
What is CAP?  The Community Assistantship Program provides applied research assistance to community-based groups outside the Twin Cities Metro Area. The research needs of community organizations are matched with the support of talented students. The idea is simple: get the resources of the University working with communities to address the significant issues facing the people of Minnesota. CAP projects typically place students in a community defined and directed part time research assistantship for one semester or over the summer. Students are selected by and report to the community organization. Throughout the project students are supported by a community supervisor, faculty and community mentors.

This year CAP has an Expanded Rural Opportunity grant from the Blandin Foundation.  This grant emphasizes three areas:

  • Community Economic Vitality.       Obvious topic areas include increasing the number of jobs and      increasing the income of holding those jobs.
  • Intentional Inclusion. Focus on      marginalized people of different race, ethnicity, gender, income level,      age, or ability.
  • Education Success.  The      traditional focus is preK-12 education, but education and training for      young adults is also valid.

CAP is particularly looking for projects that would be a fit for one or more of these guidelines. For more information and how apply: http://www.cura.umn.edu/CBR/how-to-apply   Contact: Jeff Corn, CURA,  jcorn@umn.edu, (612) 625-0744.

–Violence Against Women Tribal Governments Program.Offers grants to develop and enhance effective plans for the Tribal government to reduce violent crimes against Indian women and increase safety for Native women. Among other things, funds domestic violence prevention campaigns, direct victim services, and training programs for certain professionals who work with victims. Application deadline is March 24, 2014. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice. http://www.raconline.org/funding/3420 

–The Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) has issued its 2015 Request for Proposal (RFP) for funding from Minnesota’s Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund beginning July 1, 2015. The Trust Fund represents the money that, since its inception in 1991, has been generated by the Minnesota State Lottery to provide a constitutionally dedicated funding source for protection of the state’s unique natural resources. Approximately $44 million is expected to be available for projects being sought in environment and natural resource areas that will provide multiple ecological and other public benefits.  Proposals are being requested in the following seven areas:

  • *         Foundational Natural Resource Data and Information
  • *    Water Resources
  • *         Environmental Education
  • *    Aquatic and      Terrestrial Invasive Species
  • *    Air      Quality, Climate Change, and Renewable Energy
  • *    Methods to      Protect, Restore, and Enhance Land, Water, and Habitat
  • *    Land      Acquisition for Habitat and Recreation

Proposals responding to the 2015 RFP are due Friday, March 28, 2014. For more information on the LCCMR funding process or the 2015 RFP, visit http://www.lccmr.leg.mn 

–The Blandin Foundation invites applications from rural communities interested in pursuing better broadband. Funding is available through several programs, all of which have a deadline of April 4. Learn more http://broadband.blandinfoundation.org/programs/ 

And, ….if you are into community and economic vitality like most of us are, read this latest report on ROI on broadband posted by the Blandin Foundationand also consider the ROI value of an older, but still exceedingly relevant information technology: small town – rural newspapers. They can be key builders of social capital — which is the foundation for any community capital creation to follow (Jane started her career on one –the Ada, MN-based Norman County Index).

–EPA Announces Availability of $400,000 for Green Infrastructure Technical Assistance.  The U.S. EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management has announced the availability of $400,000 in technical assistance for communities interested in implementing green infrastructure to protect water quality and build more sustainable communities.  Communities across the country are interested in implementing green infrastructure to protect water quality, provide ecosystem services, increase resiliency to climate change, create economic opportunities, and support a high quality of life. Many communities, however, lack the tools, resources, or information to achieve these goals. As part of EPA’s commitment to engaging with local communities, the Agency is offering direct assistance to communities interested in implementing green infrastructure. This technical assistance will serve both to advance the adoption of green infrastructure programs in selected communities and to develop knowledge and tools that can be transferred to other communities and to a national audience.

The value of the EPA assistance available in 2014 is approximately $400,000, and EPA anticipates providing assistance to 5 to 7 communities. Interested communities are encouraged to respond to the Request for Letters of Interest at http://tinyurl.com/m4joxqd 

— The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it has set a goal of investing $50 million to increase access to mental health care in rural areas over the next three years. The funding will be used for the construction, expansion or equipping of rural mental health facilities and will be provided through the USDA’s Community Facilities direct loan program. http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/HAD-CF_Loans.html 

TRAINING/MEETINGS

–Register today for the 4th annual MN Entrepreneur KickOff Event. Wednesday, February 19th at the Base Camp in Fort Snelling MN. Crowdfunding and Start Up Finance are the highlighted topics for this very well attended networking event! www.mnentrepreneurs.org 

–Greater St. Cloud Community Priorities Forum.  The Initiative Foundation and the Central Minnesota Community Foundation have joined forces for a community visioning project to identify ways to increase the St. Cloud area’s vitality. The forum is part of the visioning project. It will be held from 7:30-10:30 a.m., February 20, at the River’s Edge Convention Center. http://tinyurl.com/n78vuva 

–Capitol Code: An Open Data Jam is coming Saturday, February 22 to CoCo in Uptown Minneapolis.   An event for techies and civic-minded folks to come together to CREATE great civic applications. Hosted by the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, Capitol Code will give passionate and  engaged citizens the opportunity to explore and drive solutions using public data from the Secretary of State, including (but not limited to) data and election results, as well as information from the office’s Business Services Division. This will be a fun and enriching event where teams of community leaders, developers, public servants, designers and government officials will turn ideas into action, for the good of the citizens of Minnesota. This will be an extremely active day focused on doing, not just talking. Register for Capitol Code today and be a part of realizing the future of open data in Minnesota: capitolcode.mn.gov and follow on Twitter for updates at @MNSecofState, @CapitolCode, and #CapitolCode.

–The 24th annual Energy Design Conference & Expo, hosted by Minnesota Power, will be held at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center on Feb. 25-26. This event will once again offer a diverse set of seminars and workshops about the latest in energy-efficient building and technologies, renewable energy, best practices, and responsible design. Each year the Expo attracts about 1,000 participants and 75 exhibitors. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources is a partnering sponsor and exhibitor. Visit www.duluthenergydesign.com to register and for conference details.

–A Solar Powering Minnesota Conference is planned on March 7 to help grow solar power in Minnesota. Utilities, policy makers, lenders, developers and contractors, local governments, and training and workforce development professionals will come together at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul to learn and connect about solar programs, incentives, and resources to help solar power shine. The conference features a keynote address by Minh Le, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Program manager, breakout sessions, and time to network. http://tinyurl.com/o24vr9b 

–The University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business’Forum on Workplace Inclusion is the largest diversity and inclusion conference in the country. Being held on March 18-20, 2014, the Forum will provide a compelling learning experience fostering business and thought leadership in workplace diversity and inclusion.

At the Forum participants will find:

  • Active      collaboration: participants will meet today’s organizational and      business challenges head on with invigorating presentations, discussions      and rich, interactive experiences.
  • Thought      leadership: participants will be challenged by a unique,      expertly curated gathering of the field’s most passionate thought leaders,      fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to identify evolving trends and      better prepare for what’s next.
  • Valuable      tools: participants will leave with smart, real-world,      transferrable tools they can put to work within their      own organization to help grow diversity, inclusion and success.

“Welcome” is a word heard every day, but its power is often underestimated. Welcoming more people with more diverse backgrounds into all conversations, organizations and lives has never been more important than it is today. Register for the Forum now!

–The 2014 Great Plains Telehealth Resource & Assistance Center’s Forum, “Telehealth and HIT: Partners in Patient Care” is now open for registration. This year’s event will focus on how telehealth and other Health Information Technologies (HIT), including mHealth, can help provide coordinated patient care. It takes place April 3-4 in Minneapolis. Learn more and register http://tinyurl.com/pslh8ct

–Minnesota Campus Compact’s 20th Anniversary Summit & Awards Luncheon will be held on April 16, 2014, at the University of St. Thomas.  Registration is now open at http://mncc20thsummit.eventbrite.com  – early bird deadline March 14th.  Plan to join campus, community, and student leaders from across the state in this day not only celebrating excellent civic work to date but also addressing strategic issues for our collective work moving forward. A morning plenary featuring keynotes by Trista Harris, President of the Minnesota Council on Foundations, and John McKnight, Co-Director of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University, will be followed by an awards luncheon and breakouts on key issues.

–Red Hot Hack April 26 – Make it a Weekend Getaway!  A hackathon hosted by Red Wing Ignite, where techies gather to create apps that everyone can use.

  • Create applications that make      use of Gig connectivity (YES – a Gig in Red Wing!!)
  • Come ready to jump in no matter      what stage you’re at fresh idea or nearly finished project
  • Can’t code? That’s OK — all      skills are needed
  • Expand your relationships and      networks.

We’re working with team, organizations and individuals from Red Wing, the Twin Cities and beyond! Learn more: http://www.redwingignite.org/ 

–The Minnesota Inventors Congress will be held May 2 & 3, 2014 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Mark your calendars and register online, to showcase your product or promote your business that supports inventors. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to call the office at 507.627.2344.   There are just 3 easy steps to register:

1. Review the Registration Information

2. Download  and complete the fill-in-able Registration Form http://tinyurl.com/kxfl929

3. Submit Payment through ticket-e-split. http://tinyurl.com/ptlbg9t

— “Understanding Rural Migration: Myths, Trends, and Opportunities Exposed” – Symposium on Small Towns, June 4th & 5th, 2014, University of Minnesota, Morris,

http://www.morris.umn.edu/cst/symposium/

— The 10th anniversary Minnesota e-Health Summit, Looking Back to Celebrate, Looking Forward to Innovate, will be held June 11-12 in Bloomington. http://tinyurl.com/p4delkb

–The 2014 Minnesota Rural Health Conference will be held June 23 and 24 in Duluth.

—-The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) offers a free monthly videocast providing news and public policy updates on the use and deployment of telemedicine, including remote clinical services, mHealth and online consultations. To see upcoming videocast dates and/or to listen to past videocasts, visit the This Month in Telemedicine Videocast page. http://tinyurl.com/opwb5du

OPPORTUNITIES

–Opportunity to benchmark Minnesota schools against high-performing countries. The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) is partnering with a national non-profit to benchmark local schools against those in other high-performing countries. The Innovate + Educate partnership is aimed at closing the skills gap by using internationally recognized test results to refine curriculum within individual schools. Limited opportunities for schools to participate remain – the deadline to apply is February 28th.  http://tinyurl.com/m69nc4x

–Thank Volunteers! The nonprofit sector relies heavily on amazing volunteers who give hours of time to support our communities. Now organizations can give back to those volunteers by nominating them to receive a free tank of gas. Cenex®, the CHS energy brand, has announced that it will continue the Tanks of Thanks® program for a third year. Since its launch in 2012, the Minnesota-based cooperative has collected and shared more than 10,000 inspiring stories of people who go above and beyond to make a difference in their communities. To date, Tanks of Thanks has awarded nearly $280,000 in free fuel to people doing good deeds for their communities. http://withyou.cenex.com/

–Solid Waste Trainings and On-Site Assessments.  The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) at the University of Minnesota is providing solid waste trainings and on-site assessments http://tinyurl.com/kb2b7wp  free to attendees in 53 Minnesota counties through partnerships with counties, cities, tribal entities, Chambers, Rotaries, and other civic organizations.

Trainings are flexible and customizable. They may be provided as a stand-alone event, as part of an existing event, or before or after a site assessment. Assessments involve a facility walk-through to look at areas where waste is generated and current waste management practices. The assessment includes a report with tailored recommendations on how an organization can improve waste reduction and diversion.

MnTAP’s objective is to conduct trainings and assessments in ten communities with populations under 10,000. To date, MnTAP has conducted five events through partnerships with Becker, Cass, Otter Tail, and St. Louis Counties and the Perham and Pelican Rapids Rotaries.

Call or email Anna Arkin, MnTAP Solid Waste Specialist, at 612-624-0808 or  aiarkin@umn.edu for additional details and to reserve trainings and assessments tailored to fit your government, community, or association needs and interests.

–Call for Programs – Proposals due February 28th for the Minnesota High Tech Association(MHTA) annual Spring Conference to be held May 6th at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  They are seeking proposals for one hour educational sessions that should address central questions associated with one or more of the areas listed below:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Information Technology
  • Innovation
  • Leadership Development
  • Workforce Development
  • Doing Business

Read full details about topics and program proposals here.  Programs will be reviewed and selected by the conference advisory committee. All applicants will be notified of their status by April 1. Selected presenters will receive complimentary admission to the conference as well as promotion on the conference website and materials. http://tinyurl.com/ktwjy25

–STEM Scholarship applications now open.  The entry period for the Minnesota High Tech Association Foundation 2014 STEM scholarships is now open. Applications will remain open until April 1. Scholarships are offered to help Minnesota undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines work toward their degrees. These awards range from $2,500 – $5,000 and can include internship opportunities at MHTA member companies.  http://tinyurl.com/kh466cb

–Savings Innovation ClusterCFED, in partnership with the MetLife Foundation, is soliciting applications from organizations serving low- and moderate-income households to join a yearlong learning cluster and receive extensive technical assistance to design and implement innovative savings products or strategies for their clients. http://tinyurl.com/nghqkhl

–Youth Voices of Change: The Climate Change Youth Video Contest.  The Will Steger Foundation and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency are sponsoring Youth Voices of Change to raise awareness about climate change and the amazing youth engaged in solutions throughout Minnesota. Young people in Grades 4-12 are invited during the 2013-2014 school year to share their solutions and/or help raise awareness about climate change issues in the form of a video.  Ten finalist videos will be chosen and the competition winners will be announced the evening of August 22, 2014 on the Sustainability Stage at the Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair. Videos must fall into one of two categories: Action or Awareness:

  • Action videos      show a real or proposed project that you are working on and are eligible      for a seed grant to help accomplish it. These videos should educate your      peers, families, or the public about the project and its impact.
  • Awareness      videos should be educational and intentionally leave the viewer with      helpful information, and/or a compelling story. These videos should      educate your peers, families, or the public about climate change impacts      and solutions.

Entries must be received or postmarked by May 16th, 2014.  For more information on the contest go to: http://tinyurl.com/pm64ysm

MISCELLANEOUS

 

–A new study that finds increasing the federal minimum wage would produce widespread benefits in Minnesota.  National study confirms: minimum wage increase good for our economy and communitieslooks at areportfrom the Economic Policy Institute that concludes increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would directly and indirectly increase wages for about 462,000 Minnesotans. http://tinyurl.com/okbme89 

–A report from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) on financial security finds over a quarter of Minnesotans don’t have enough liquid assets to cover an emergency in the face of job loss.  Minnesota’s policies promote financial security, but communities of color often left behind. For more information about the Assets & Opportunity Scorecardand Minnesota’s ranking. http://tinyurl.com/ode3srv 

–The Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture released an update to the rural-urban commuting area (RUCA) codes that classify U.S. census tracts using measures of population density, urbanization and daily commuting. The update uses both the 2010 Census and the American Community Survey (ACS) five-year estimates to create two levels of classification. ORHPC will be updating its Minnesota maps with the new codes in early 2014, but in the meantime, more information and the new codes are available on the http://tinyurl.com/pk4fuzs 

–Farm to school movement connects kids and healthy foods.  More and more schools are using their local purchasing power to change the relationship students have with food.  Featuring a video supplement: What Is Farm to School? http://tinyurl.com/mjedv63 

–Minnesota Department of Commerce posts three new energy reports.  The Minnesota Department of Commerce (DOC) has posted three reports as required by state legislation passed in 2013. The three reports, commissioned by DOC, include:

The Scoping an Energy Future Study for Minnesota develops scope for a study of how Minnesota can achieve a sustainable energy system that does not rely on fossil fuels. The report identifies potential approaches and considerations to assess cross-sector opportunities in electrical, transportation, thermal, industrial, and agricultural sectors.

The Value of Solar Heating and Cooling in Minnesota report analyzes the potential costs and benefits of expanding the installation of solar thermal projects in residential and commercial buildings in Minnesota. The report identifies the most promising opportunities for deployment.

The White Paper Analysis of Utility-Managed, On-Site Energy Storage in Minnesota examines the potential costs and benefits of grid-connected electrical energy storage technology located at the utility customer in the State of Minnesota. The investigation included standalone storage and storage integrated with solar photovoltaic (PV), and it considered both residential and commercial customer sites.

The three reports are available as PDFs on the Energy Reports section of the Division of Energy Resources website. http://tinyurl.com/m86nwsl

–It pays for Minnesota manufacturers to buy materials, components and products from each other instead of from out-of-state or foreign suppliers.  Now a new directory of products and supplies manufactured in the state makes it easy for Minnesota companies to find — and be found by — home-state suppliers that are a perfect fit.  The Made in Minnesota directory is a free online database you can use to find nearly 800 Minnesota manufacturers who make everything from food products to textiles, fabricated metals, machinery, and computers and electronics. Search by product, company name, county and NAICS codes.

There’s more: The Made in Minnesota Directory contains the names and addresses of participating companies, year the businesses were established, corporate contact information, number of employees, products they make and products they are interested in buying from Minnesota suppliers.  The directory also contains information on renewable energy products and suppliers to key Minnesota industries like medical devices.  If you’d like to list your company information in the database, just go to the Made in Minnesota website at www.tinyurl.com/MadeinMinnesotaDirectory and provide your businesses information – and you’re done. It’s that easy.

–IRS Proposed Regulations on 501(c)(4) political activity.  In November 2013, the IRS proposed new 501c4 regulations intended to clarify the definition of political activity, remedying the problems related to the currently vague “facts and circumstances” test, and provide new standards around what is allowed. The proposed regulations define that all voter registration, get out the vote, voter guides and candidate events are considered “political activity.”

While the regulations are not designed to affect 501c3 organizations, the nonprofit sector is concerned about the spillover impact that is likely to occur as the activities newly defined as “political” have long been core 501c3 non-partisan, non-political activities used to increase civic participation and voter engagement among under-represented populations. To learn more about this issue, consider watching a recent Independent Sector webinar on the proposed 501c4 regulations. http://tinyurl.com/oeyj2gx

–Did you know that the Department of Human Services (DHS) operates five community dental clinics for individuals with developmental disabilities, severe/persistent mental illness or traumatic brain injury who are unable to obtain care from other community providers? Clinics are located in Brainerd, Cambridge, Faribault, Fergus Falls and Willmar. The Faribault office also provides out-patient psychiatric services. Download a Dental Clinic brochure or visit the State Operated Services website to learn more. http://tinyurl.com/pg5hcyw

–What Are the Top Five Risks the World Faces in 2014?  Wharton’s Howard Kunreuther and Erwann Michel-Kerjan, contributors to the World Economic Forum’s newly released “Global Risks 2014” report, comment on global interdependence and what it means for risk management. http://knlg.net/1advriZ 

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

-Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce Seeks Executive Director  The Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce (LACC) is seeking a new executive director. http://tinyurl.com/pva3y33 

–West Central Initiative Seeking Active Transportation Planner  West Central Initiative in Fergus Falls is seeking an Active Living/Transportation Planner for regional planning activities, including active living, active transportation, and Safe Routes to School planning work. http://tinyurl.com/pva3y33 

–The Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation (BLAEDC), a nonprofit organization designed to help new and expanding businesses find the resources they need to succeed, is seeking an Office Administrator.  The ideal candidate will have knowledge and experience with SharePoint, Microsoft Office, QuickBooks and social media. Must have accounting/bookkeeping experience. Must be able to prioritize workload and accept interruptions in workflow and adjust accordingly. Excellent organizational skills, communications skills, time management, critical thinking, detail oriented, and soft skills are a MUST.  For more information, and application instructions, visit our webpage at BLAEDC Employment. http://tinyurl.com/nym5xh8 

–RETAP Hiring New Members.  The MPCA’s Retiree Environmental Technical Assistance Program (RETAP) is hiring new members to conduct energy efficiency and waste reduction assessments.  Members are retired environmental professionals, are comfortable working independently, and are compensated at $14/hr.   RETAP employs skilled, retired professionals to provide facility assessments and community sustainability assistance to small businesses, institutions, and communities in Minnesota.  Check out www.pca.state.mn.us/retap  for more information about RETAP and the member positions. http://tinyurl.com/446tm86 

–Vice President for External Relations at the Initiative Foundation.  

The Initiative Foundation is searching for a proven leader for its External Relations team. The Vice President for External Relations is responsible for leading a five-person donor services and marketing/communications team while managing the Initiative Foundation’s development strategy to meet annual goals for its endowment fund, donor-advised funds and grant funding sources. This position requires a comprehensive knowledge of fundraising, planned giving and external relations.  For additional information or to apply, contact:  Richard Thompson Associates, Inc.222 South 9th St., Suite 1600Minneapolis, MN 55402 Phone: (612) 339-6060 Email: rpt@rthompassoc.com

To contribute articles, notices, and random comments, please send such items to Jane Leonard at jane@janeleonard.net

The MRP Rural Round-Up is published once per month around the second Tuesday of each month (or when we can get to it!). Items for posting in the newsletter should arrive in our box by the second Monday of the month to be included in that month’s edition.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

October 2010 – Volume VIII, Number 10

Edited and Compiled by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Emily Kissane

  • ACROSS THE FIELD
  • FUNDING
  • MEETINGS/TRAININGS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS

ACROSS THE FIELD – Rural-Urban Partnering Steering Committee Launched

by Emily Kissane

A new collaboration kicked off on October 1 with the first meeting of the Minnesota Rural Urban Partnering Steering Committee.  The formation of the steering committee is part of a larger project begun last October aimed at strengthening rural-urban connections and understanding. A mapping systems and report on rural urban connections in education, workforce, and enterprise is also underway.

When plans for the possible formation of a Rural Urban Partnering Council were announced during the June 9-10 Symposium on Small Towns and Rural-Urban Gathering at the University of Minnesota Morris, 20 people from across the state generously volunteered to serve as a steering committee.  The Steering Committee has geographic diversity and represents a variety of sectors, including community development, business, economic development, higher education, information services, healthcare and state government.

Committee members gave a variety of reasons for wanting to be involved in shaping a Partnering Council.  From addressing the growing divide between rural and urban policymakers, to helping people understand the economic interdependence of rural and urban Minnesota, to seeing the need for innovative ways for rural and urban youth to connect, the group viewed rural-urban partnering as a more comprehensive frame for statewide discussions and decision-making on a wide range of important issues that are affecting Minnesota’s future.

Over the next few weeks, Steering Committee members will poll their individual networks for reactions to the idea of a Rural Urban Partnering Council and for ideas about possible priorities and goals.  The Committee will then meet to review feedback and incorporate these ideas into the Partnering Council’s structure and agenda.  We will keep you posted on these discussions.  You can also check on the rural urban partnering project at www.rurb.mn.

Many thanks to Steering Committee members for their enthusiasm and support for this project and to the William Mitchell College of Law for hosting the meeting.

FUNDING

–Dept. of Energy Releases 2011 SBIR/STTR Solicitation. The Department of Energy (DOE) has released its 2011 SBIR/STTR Phase I solicitation. The official solicitation is available here. http://tinyurl.com/2bymm96 DOE SBIR/STTR topic areas are available herehttp://sbir.er.doe.gov/sbir/Docs/2011TopicDescriptions.pdf To obtain the application packet, go to www.Grants.gov and select “Apply for Grants.”  Enter DE-FOA-0000413 in the “Funding Opportunity Number” box, then select “Download Package.”  Contact Becky Aistrup, Program Director of SBIR/STTR with any questions. You can reach Becky at becky.aistrup@state.mn.us or 651.259.7634.  Visit www.positivelyminnesota.com/scitech for more information.

— Messerli & Kramer Foundation Grants. The mission of the Messerli & Kramer Foundation is to financially assist and support Minnesota communities in their attempts to eliminate the disparities in healthcare and education and to improve the quality of life experienced by low-income and disadvantaged individuals and families. To be considered for a Messerli & Kramer Foundation grant, an organization must be a tax exempt nonprofit and offer solutions in making a difference in the lives of low-income and underprivileged Minnesotans regarding healthcare and education.  The deadline for December grant awards is October 29, 2010. Grant application forms are available for download from http://www.messerlikramer.com/?s=aboutus_mkfoundation

— Excitement has been building for the InCommons Collaboration Challenge, one of the first ways to get involved with InCommons. This Challenge recognizes the innovative local collaborations to solve problems that are happening across Minnesota…Now through October 29, 2010 at InCommons.org/CollaborationChallenge you can:

  • Enter your collaboration into the running for $25,000.
  • Nominate other collaborations you admire.

For more information, check out InCommons.org/CollaborationChallenge.

Service-Learning in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) grants available. Deadline: October 29, 2010.  Funding provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service through the Learn and Serve America Program and coordinated by the Midwest Campus Compact STEM Consortium (comprised of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin Campus Compacts).

$250,000 is available for grants supporting the integration of service-learning into college and university courses in the STEM disciplines that address local community concerns about food, its production, and its distribution and/or nutrition and related health issues. Proposals may be submitted requesting $15,000-$25,000. At least 10 grants will be made for activities taking place during a nine-month period, from January 1 to December 31, 2011. Depending on performance and availability of continued federal funding, there is a possibility of renewal for one or two additional years.  See the full RFP http://tinyurl.com/2dpxbmw

Organic Certification Rebates Available.  Minnesota organic farmers and processors can apply now for a rebate of up to $750 toward the cost of organic certification.  Organic certification assures consumers that products are truly organic, and that they are produced in compliance with federal organic regulations. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is accepting applications for the Minnesota Organic Cost Share Program until October 30, 2010. www.mda.state.mn.us/food/organic

Certified operations are eligible for reimbursement of 75 percent of National Organic Program certification-related costs incurred during the period between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010, up to a maximum of $750.  To qualify, applicants must submit an MDA application form, proof of certification during the qualifying period, and proof of certification expenses. Additional information is detailed in the program guidelines which are available on the web site above.

MPCA Environmental Assistance Grants. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency invites applications for 2011 Environmental Assistance Grants. The deadline for submittal of applications is November 1, 2010, by 3:00 p.m., except where specified otherwise.  Approximately $1,208,770 is available for grant awards among the following four focus areas to encourage outcome-oriented, economically driven approaches to pollution prevention, waste reduction, toxicity reduction, water quality protection, and resource conservation:

* Resource Conservation and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction: focus on providing assistance in identified regions of the State for implementing projects achieving measurable outcomes in waste and toxicity reduction, reuse, and/or recycling that advance the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Council and Integrated Solid Waste Management Stakeholder Process goals of a 0% increase in waste generation per capita by 2020, a reduction of 3% in waste generation per capita by 2025, achievement of a 50% recycling rate by 2011 and a 60% recycling rate by 2025.

* Source-Separated Composting: focus on providing assistance to Minnesota political subdivisions to reduce the amount of organic wastes entering disposal facilities that advance the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Council and Integrated Solid Waste Management Stakeholder Process goals of a 10% composting rate by 2012 and 15% by 2020.

* PAH Contaminated Stormwater Pond Sediment: focus on providing assistance to municipalities for the removal and management of stormwater pond sediments contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).

* Metropolitan Landfill Abatement: focus on providing assistance to the seven metropolitan counties of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington for implementation of projects featuring resource conservation, reuse, waste and toxicity reduction, and recycling activities that advance the goals, policies, and objectives identified in the 2010 Metropolitan Solid Waste Management Policy Plan (applications due by 3:00 p.m. CST, November 15, 2010).

For more information and to access the Request for Proposals go to:  http://tinyurl.com/38u2zem

— $1.5 Million in Grants Available from MPCA for Monitoring Lakes and Streams – apply by November 5, 2010. Water monitoring is often the first step toward protecting or improving water resources. Volunteers across Minnesota have been measuring the health of lakes and streams to see if the waters meet standards set for fishing and other uses since 2007 as part of the Surface Water Assessment Grant program.

Eligible applicants include counties, soil and water conservation districts, watershed districts, water management organizations, nonprofits, Minnesota colleges and universities, and American Indian tribes. No matching or in-kind funds are required under this program.  The MPCA seeks applicants with experience in project administration, water quality monitoring and data management. The agency prefers projects that involve volunteers and that gather data for determining whether lakes and streams meet state water quality standards for aquatic life and/or aquatic recreation such as fishing.

High-priority areas include the following watersheds:

* Cannon River

* Rock River

* Little Sioux River

* Thief River

* Sandhill River

* Redeye River

* Long Prairie River

* Nemadji River

* Lake Superior (South)

* Big Sioux River (Medary Creek near Pipestone)

Go to: http://www.pca.state.mn.us/water/swagrant.html Applications are due November 5, 2010 at 4:00 pm.  For more information, contact Ron Schwartz, MPCA at (651) 757-2708 or CWLA.surfacewater@pca.state.mn.us

–PUBLIC ART! Workshop and new grant deadline. This is the 2nd year of ECAC’s annual grant program with Forecast Public Art.  This grant program supports emerging, visual artists and interdisciplinary teams led by visual artists located in Region 7E.  These grants provide artists the chance to develop and create projects for a public audience anywhere in region 7E, receive increased recognition, and advance their artistic careers.  In addition, consulting and/or facilitation time is provided by Forecast Public Art staff to the grantees. There are 3 ECAC Planning Grants available at $2,000 each and 2 ECAC Project Grants available at $7,000 each.

The 2011 grant applications are available and have a November 15, 2010 deadline. Go to:  http://forecastpublicart.org/grants-program-info.php for the details.  To attend a grant workshop on Thursday, October 14, 2010 at the ECAC office, 100 Park Street South, in Mora call 320-679-4065 x 33 or e-mail ecac@ecrdc.org. There is no charge but you must register in advance.

— USDA Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program$5 million dollars is available from the US Department of Agriculture for community food projects that (1): (A) meet the food needs of low-income people; (B) increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for their own food needs; and (C) promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues; and/or (2) meet specific state, local, or neighborhood food and agriculture needs for (A) infrastructure improvement and development; (B) planning for long-term solutions; or (C) the creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers.  http://tinyurl.com/2c72r39

Only private, nonprofit entities meeting the following three requirements are eligible to receive one of these grants: (a) have experience in the area of (i) community food work, particularly concerning small and medium-size farms, including the provision of sustainably produced food to people in low-income communities and the development of new markets in low-income communities for agricultural producers; or (ii) job training and business development activities for food-related activities in low-income communities; (b) demonstrate competency to implement a project, provide fiscal accountability, collect data, and prepare reports and other necessary documentation; and (c) demonstrate a willingness to share information with researchers, evaluators, practitioners, and other interested parties, including a plan for dissemination of results.

Sixteen awards are expected of up to $300,000 per grant. The closing date for applications is November 17, 2010. For more information, see the web site above, or click directly on http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/rfas/community_food.html for the Request for Applications.

— USDA RCDI Grant Applications due by December 22. Over $6.2 million in grants are available through Rural Development’s Rural Community Development Initiative http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rhs/rcdi/index.htm (RCDI) program. RCDI grants are made to intermediary organizations. These intermediaries then provide financial and technical assistance to recipients that want to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities and economic development.

Applications must be submitted to the State Office http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn/Offices/stateoffice.htm by 4 p.m. on Dec. 22. Changes to the RCDI program for this fiscal year include additional points for projects in local communities, additional points for projects that promote “Great Regions” as outlined in the NOFA, and additional categories added to average recipient median income.  For more information on the RCDI program, contact Rick Jackson at the State Office in St. Paul.

MEETINGS/TRAININGS

Thursday, October 21, 2010 2-4 p.m. at Winona State University, or Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10 a.m.-Noon at the University of Minnesota Morris – civic engagement’s contributions to student achievement and economic development. Join campus and community leaders for a rich discussion of civic engagement’s positive impact on the critical public priorities. Hear stories of specific, effective efforts across Minnesota. Share your own perspective. Learn about the growing body of literature documenting civic engagement’s contributions to student achievement and economic development. Build the movement advancing higher education’s public purposes. Registration is free and open to all. Simply RSVP from the links above. If you have a powerful success story to share at a forum please email John Hamerlinck or call 320-308-4271. www.mncampuscompact.org/forums

The 2010 Minnesota Scenic Byways Workshop will be held on October 26 and 27 at Gunflint Lodge, located on the Gunflint Trail, which was recently designated as a National Scenic Byway by the Federal Highway Administration. The workshop will highlight the new Chic Wauk Museum and Nature Center and will feature programs on byway marketing, fundraising, project facilitation and other scenic byways issues. The program will also include an update on grant opportunities through the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. For program and registration information, contact Holly Slagle, Minnesota Department of Transportation, 651-366-3623 or Holly.slagle@state.mn.us.

Connected: Establishing your Business Online
The question is no longer whether or not you should have a website. The question is now, “how do I get online and what is the best way to use my website.” This workshop focuses on the use of the internet for a business, how to get the most out of your website, setting up e-commerce, and how to market your company online. You will leave this workshop ready to effectively establish your business online. (Fee: $49)

October 19 | Duluth | 1 pm – 3 pm

October 20 | Virginia | 6 pm – 8 pm

October 27 | Grand Rapids | 1 pm – 3 pm

Logged In: Social Media for your Business
The use of social media in marketing is no longer revolutionary. It’s crucial. Social media has positioned itself in our daily lives and has given business owners and marketing teams an effective and interactive way to communicate with their audiences. This workshop focuses on practical guidelines for understanding social media, developing a social media marketing strategy, and implementing social media trends into your marketing campaigns. You will leave this workshop with a strategic plan on how you will use social media to position your business. (Fee: $49)

November 2 | Virginia | 6 pm – 8 pm

November 3 | Duluth | 1 pm – 3 pm

November 10 | Grand Rapids | 1 pm – 3 pm

To register for either of the above trainings go to: www.entrepreneurfund.org or call 1-800-422-0374.

OPPORTUNITIES

— MNREM http://www.mnrem.org (Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace) is surveying members (and others) about current use and interest in various broadband-supported business applications. The survey will take less than 5 minutes; we hope you will participate. The answers you provide will help inform our next step towards offering training and consulting to improve use of technology in the Renewable Energy Marketplace. Here is the link to the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KF9NDNQThe survey will close October 22, 2010. MNREM is a partner in the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities http://tinyurl.com/2c6mhh4 (MIRC) project. This survey is part of that project.

MN Council for Nonprofits is looking for your ideas and suggestions for topics to address at the 2011 Nonprofit Technology and Communications Conference, taking place on Wednesday, February 23 in Minneapolis. This conference, sponsored by Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) and MAP for Nonprofits, is a full day event of breakout sessions, plenary sessions, exhibits and new this year – a Genius Bar filled with tech tips and tricks.  Nonprofits of all types and sizes use technology to communicate their organization’s mission and message. From website design and storytelling to social media and database integration, nonprofits face the challenge of understanding how and when to use the right technology to reach and engage their audiences. http://www.mncn.org/nptech/rfp.htm

The theme for the 2011 Nonprofit Technology and Communications Conference is  #MNnptech): Is There an App for That? – A salute to the various tools nonprofits can use for effective communications and higher impact. They are seeking breakout session proposals and ideas that are current, creative and engaging.  See a description and listing of the types of sessions we’re looking for.  http://www.mncn.org/nptech/rfp.htm#sessions

Consider submitting a proposal or idea for the 2011 Nonprofit Technology and Communications Conference. The deadline to submit is Wednesday, October 20. The process is easy. Visit MCN’s website for details and information about how to submit your proposal or idea today! http://www.mncn.org/nptech/rfp.htm

Call for Presentations for the Midwest Environmental Education Conference, April 7 – 9, 2011 in Rochester, MNDeadline October 20th.  The Minnesota Association for Environmental Education (MAEE) is hosting the 2011 Midwest Environmental Education Conference, in partnership with the state environmental education associations of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. Individuals from these as well as other states will attend the conference to learn from knowledgeable professionals.

The conference theme, Environmental education: Naturally healthy, was chosen to highlight environmental education’s role in fostering the benefits of human and environmental health. Five strands will focus thinking about these topics: Environment, People, Schools, Organizations, and Current Research.  Those interested in presenting are invited to submit a proposal for a session that provides helpful information, program models and/or resources for helping their organizations and audiences to be part of Naturally Healthy solutions in today’s world.

Applicants will be notified by November 15, 2010 about the status of their application.  For more information and to access application forms, see the Minnesota Association for Environmental Education’s web site athttp://www.minnesotaee.org/MEEC

The Community Assistantship Program is pleased to announce a spring 2011 grant program. The grant will allow rural communities to hire a student to work on a project defined by those communities. The deadline for project proposals is October 30, 2010. Approved projects will run from January 13th to May 29, 2011.  Winning communities will review job applications and select the student who best meets their needs. For details on how to apply see the attachment or apply on line: http://www.cura.umn.edu/Programs/ApplicationProcess.php

Eligible organizations include community groups, organizations, and local governments outside the seven county metro. What is CAP? The Community Assistantship Program (CAP) provides applied research assistance to community-based groups outside the Twin Cities Metro Area. The research and technical needs of community organizations are matched with the support of talented students. The idea is simple: get the resources of a great University working with communities to address the significant issues facing the people of Minnesota. CAP projects typically place students in a community defined and directed part time research assistantship for one semester or over the summer. Students are selected by and report to the community organization. Throughout the project students are supported by a community supervisor, faculty and community mentors http://www.cura.umn.edu/cap.php.

Legal Scholarship for Equal Justice course (spring 2011).  LSEJ is a collaborative project designed to address broad legal issues of current importance to poverty lawyers and their clients. It discerns which systemic problem areas facing legal services clients could be best addressed through a thoughtful legal analysis in a law school journal article or other faculty or law student scholarship.                  http://www.mnjustice.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={2747729C-777B-4BCE-BB14-8E9674E9626C}

As part of LSEJ, 16 students, four from each of the four Minnesota law schools, working singly or in small groups, produce research papers addressing legal issues chosen from a list of issues submitted by local poverty law practitioners (posted on www.lsej.org). Topics vary from semester to semester and may include both civil and criminal law issues that have a significant impact on low-income people. Past topics include Hmong Marriage Legislation, Criminalization of the Mentally Ill, The Connection between Traffic Fines and Poverty, Housing Problems for Evicted Tenants, Mixed Use of Brownfield Reclamation, Using Law and Medicine to Reduce Asthma, Tenant Blacklisting, and Racism in the Child Protection System, to name only a few. Completed works can be found at the LSEJ Completed Works Website. http://www.lsej.org/RTF1.cfm?pagename=Completed%20Works

CERTs (Clean Energy Resource Teams) http://tinyurl.com/2bg7uq2 recently produced a heartwarming and inspiring 18 minute video about a 9th grader at Mayo High School in Rochester, MN who won local, national, and international awards and scholarships for her clean energy-related science fair project.  She and the program that supported her can be a model for others who want to help young leaders rise up through outstanding and innovative science fair projects. Watch the video to learn more!

The folks at CERTs are interested in working with community members who want to help young people get more involved in solving our energy and environmental problems. If you want to get involved or do more with your local science fairs or to otherwise help youth to become more involved with energy and environmental projects, contact NE CERT Coordinator Bill Mittlefehldt at 218/726-6146 orbill@cleanenergyresourceteams.org

MISCELLANEOUS

–Immigrants and refugees in Minnesota: Today’s students, tomorrow’s workforce
More than 150 leaders in business, philanthropy, education, nonprofit, and government met August 30 to see key findings from a new Wilder Research report on immigration, commissioned by The Minneapolis Foundation, and discuss how communities can work together on this issue. See the report, videos of presentations, and more. http://www.mncompass.org/twincities/event-spotlight-immigration-event.php

RURAL AMERICA AT A GLANCE, 2010 EDITION.  Rural America at a Glance, 2010 Edition highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. The 2010 edition focuses on the U.S. rural economy, including employment trends, poverty, and demographics. See http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/EIB68/

Affordable Care Act websites to help you keep up:

–As part of its ongoing Farm Energy Efficiency Program, the nonprofit Minnesota Project has recently launched its Farm Energy Efficiency Resource Center. This online resource center contains a wide variety of documents related to promoting energy efficiency improvements on farms.

The documents are grouped into the following broad categories:

* Technical Resources and Evaluation Tools

* Buildings

* Equipment

* Crops

* Dairy Specific

* Beef Specific

* Pork Specific

* Poultry Specific

Within each of these broad categories, there are several relevant subcategories, for example HVAC, Motors and Pumps, Grain Drying, Water Heating Systems, Lighting, and many others. The resource center also includes case studies of past successful energy efficiency projects, do-it-yourself farm energy assessment tools, and much more.

There are helpful brief annotations for the actual resources when you click on them. And in addition to the organized category menu at the web site above, one can also search the posted resources at http://www.mnproject.org/e-EE_ResourceCenter.html

The Role of Agriculture in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions.  Agriculture could play a prominent role in U.S. efforts to address climate change if farms and ranches undertake activities that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or take greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. These activities may include shifting to conservation tillage, reducing the amount of nitrogen fertilizer applied to crops, changing livestock and manure management practices, and planting trees or grass. The Federal Government is considering offering carbon offsets and incentive payments to encourage rural landowners to pursue these climate-friendly activities as part of a broader effort to combat climate change. The extent to which farmers adopt such activities would depend on their costs, potential revenues, and other economic incentives created by climate policy. Existing Federal conservation programs provide preliminary estimates of the costs of agricultural carbon sequestration. See http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/EB15/

New Global Midwest Policy Brief Released:  “The Midwest’s Liquid Gold” http://tinyurl.com/276o39m The Midwest can foster regional economic growth by capitalizing on its vast freshwater resources, argues Sammis B. White, in “The Midwest’s Liquid Gold,” the fifth Global Midwest Policy Brief published by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. White, a professor of urban planning and associate dean of the School of Continuing Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, highlights Milwaukee’s current leadership in water research and technology and urges regional collaboration to better leverage this $483 billion industry. http://tinyurl.com/276o39m

--In 2008, surging commodity prices triggered promises of a new golden era for agriculture. While prospects dimmed during the recession, the recovery is rekindling hopes with rising commodity prices. More than 180 agricultural business and finance leaders examined agriculture's potential at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's symposium, "Farming, Finance and the Global Marketplace." The latest issue of The Main Street Economist summarizes the 2010 Regional Symposium and is available at:http://www.kc.frb.org/publications/research/mse/index.cfm?ealert=MSE0920
In addition, resources from the symposium, including final papers and remarks available by session or in a compiled publication, are available on the symposium website at: http://www.kansascityfed.org/publications/research/rscp/rscp-2010.cfm.

— Check out the NEW Minnesota Business Resource Guide developed by SBA at: http://www.sba.gov/idc/groups/public/documents/mn_minneapolis/mn_resourceguide.pdf

 

How to Stop the Yellow Pages from Being Delivered.  Those in Minnesota who wish to request that yellow pages phone books no longer be delivered to their address can use this new web site above. Don’t Trash the Phonebook is sponsored by Conservation Minnesota and yellow pages publishers. It’s simple to use this site for those in either the Twin Cities Metro area or Greater Minnesota.

The site also has instructions about how to recycle directories, which in some parts of Minnesota are now collected with curbside recycling. Note: this depends on the location, and the site allows for you to search for your specific area.  Interestingly, according to the site, Minnesota statute currently requires all telephone directory customers to receive white pages directory. So Don’t Trash the Phonebook is just for yellow pages.  Go to:  http://www.donttrashthephonebook.org/

HUD Designates Difficult Development Areas For Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The designations of DDAs in this notice are based on final Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Fair Market Rents (FMRs), FY 2010 income limits, and 2000 Census population counts. To read the notice, please see: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-22535.htm.

–The USDA Rural Housing Service has amended its regulations to offer options to reduce foreclosures for section 502 guaranteed homes. The Agency will extend loans for up to 40 years, and will allow lenders to advance funds on behalf of borrowers in amounts necessary to bring defaulted loans current – up to 30 percent of the unpaid principal balance of the loan. To read the Federal Register, please go to: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-21261.pdf.

–“Wealth Creation, Capture and Retention for Low-Wealth People and Places in Regional Systems.” The latest paper from the Wealth Creation Working Group examines several sectors with strong potential for regional wealth creation, highlighting preconditions that are necessary for wealth creation efforts to benefit low-wealth families and individuals. To download a copy, go to: http://www.yellowwood.org/Wealth%20Creation%20Capture%20and%20Retention.pdf.

–An article in The Daily Yonder, called “Community Developers, the Hour’s Late” stems from a meeting of the Community Development Society and the International Association for Community Development held in July in New Orleans. United Kingdom practitioners sounded the alarm that with rural outmigration and globalism, community development is more urgent than ever. To read more, go to: http://www.dailyyonder.com/collins-what-uk-community-has-teach/2010/08/17/2894.

–Rural Transportation. The Rural Assembly released a statement on September 9, 2010 regarding a report from the American Association of State Highway Officials which focuses on building highways to improve rural transportation needs. The statement from the Rural Transportation Policy Group identifies other needs than just roads and highways. To read more, go to: http://www.ruralassembly.org/sites/ruralassembly.org/files/rural_transportation_statement_9-10.pdf.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has launched a journal on Childhood Obesity. The journal will be published bi-monthly as a forum for ideas, best practices, research and narratives to help end the epidemic of childhood and adolescent obesity. The premier issue is available free online at: http://tinyurl.com/2bk8l92

–Walking Away is the title of a report by the Pew Research Group on the practice of homeowners “walking away” from a home mortgage. According to the report, a majority of Americans say it is “unacceptable” for homeowners to stop making their mortgage payments and abandon their homes. But more than a third (36%) say the practice of “walking away” from a home mortgage is acceptable, at least under certain circumstances. To get the report, go to: http://pewsocialtrends.org/assets/pdf/765-walking-away.pdf.

Rural Income, Poverty, and Welfare.  This is a synthesis of USDA ERS research, analysis, and data on rural Americans’ income, poverty and welfare.  See:  http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/IncomePovertyWelfare/

— Check out the latest edition of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank’s Fedgazette, featuring an interview on small towns by editor Ron Wirtz, with Bart Finzel, Center for Small Towns interim director; Dave Engstrom, executive director of the Minnesota Association of Small Cities; and Jane Leonard, former president of Minnesota Rural Partners, now with the Bush Foundation.- http://www.minneapolisfed.org/pubs/fedgaz/10-10/fedgazette_oct10_smalltown.pdf

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