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Rural Update: Funding and Finance Opportunities | Training Events and Conferences | Information and Other Resources

Funding and Finance Opportunities

THE FIRST NATIONS DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE Native Youth and Culture Fund is providing grants of $5,000 to $20,000 for projects that focus on youth and incorporate Native culture and tradition to address issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, mental health, and other social issues. Funded projects should address one or more of the following priority areas: preserving cultural or spiritual practices, beliefs, and values; engaging both youth and elders in activities that demonstrate methods for documenting traditional knowledge, practices, or beliefs; increasing youth's capacity to lead through integrated educational or mentoring programs; and increasing access to cultural customs and beliefs through the use of appropriate technologies as a means of preserving tribal language, arts, history, etc. Deadline:  Online Phase One proposals must be submitted by March 9, 2016. Visit the First Nations’ website to review the funding guidelines.

THE LAURA JANE MUSSER FUND is accepting applications for the Rural Arts and Environmental Initiative grants programs. The Fund’s Rural Arts Program assists arts organizations in targeted states that offer artistic opportunities for adults and children in the areas of literary, visual, music, and performing arts. Grants of up to $10,000 are provided to organizations in rural communities with a population of 20,000 or under throughout Colorado, Hawaii, and Wyoming, as well as rural communities in selected counties in Michigan and Minnesota. The Fund’s Environmental Initiative Program supports projects that enhance the ecological integrity of publicly owned open spaces, while encouraging compatible human activities. The goal is to promote public use of open space that improves a community's quality of life and public health, while also ensuring the protection of healthy ecosystems. Organizations in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wyoming are eligible to apply for grants of up to $35,000. Deadlines: applications for the Environmental Initiative Program must be submitted online by March 10, 2016; applications for the Rural Arts Program must be submitted by March 17, 2016. Visit the Fund’s website to review the application guidelines.

USDA is offering grants through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program to state and local governmental entities, Federally-recognized Tribes, nonprofits, for profit businesses, and consortia of eligible entities to help rural communities use telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. For example, this program can link teachers and medical service providers in one area to students and patients in another. Deadline: March 14, 2016. Visit the USDA website to review funding guidelines.

USDA Rural Development is seeking applications for grants to make housing repairs for low- and very-low-income rural residents, and has extended the deadline to March 15, 2016. The grants are being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Housing Preservation Grant Program. Visit the USDA website to review funding guidelines.

The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund has opened the fiscal year (FY) 2016 funding round for the Capital Magnet Fund. The Capital Magnet Fund is a competitive grant program through which CDFIs and qualified nonprofit housing organizations receive awards to finance affordable housing and economic development activities in underserved areas. The CDFI Fund estimates that about $80 million will be available through the Capital Magnet Fund’s FY 2016 round. Deadline: March 6, 2016 for submissions through www.grants.gov; March 30, 2016 for submissions through the CDFI Fund’s Award Management Information System (AMIS). Visit the CDFI website for application details.

U.S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS and WELLS FARGO are offering grants through the CommunityWINS grant program. Launched in 2015, the CommunityWINS program includes a $3 million investment by the Wells Fargo Foundation over three years to support neighborhood revitalization, economic development and job creation in local municipalities. Deadline: March 18, 2016. Visit the CommunityWINS website for additional information.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES is offering funding through the Drug-Free Communities Support Program to community-based coalitions addressing youth substance abuse. Deadline: March 18, 2016. View the program guidelines.

HUD has announced the availability of $40 million to directly support housing counseling services that help low- and moderate-income families improve their housing conditions. Grant winners can use the money to help homebuyers evaluate if they are ready to buy a house, understand their financing and down payment options and navigate what can be an extremely confusing and difficult process. Grantees also help families find affordable rental housing and offer financial literacy training to help struggling families repair credit problems. Deadline: April 4, 2016. Review the application guidelines and apply.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to provide comprehensive wrap-around services/programs which incorporate the use of trained mentors to promote the safe and successful reintegration into the community of adults who have been incarcerated. Deadline: April 12, 2016. View funding guidelines and to get an application.

THE SPARKPLUG FOUNDATION provides grants to start-up nonprofit organizations or new projects of established nonprofits that are addressing the fields of music, education, and community organizing. In the Music category, the Foundation supports emerging professional musicians or music-development programs. In the Education and Teaching category, the Foundation funds projects that deal with "the whole student" and with learning as a community activity. In the Grassroots Organizing category, the Foundation encourages activist strategies for addressing institutional injustices and for building a reasoned, just society. The current focus is on ground-level community organizing at the intersection of utilities/energy infrastructure, housing/community resources, and racial justice. Deadlines: online questionnaires must be completed by April 15, 2016; letters of intent are due April 22,2016; and the deadline for final applications is May 13, 2016. Visit the Foundation’s website to review its mission and funding guidelines as well as the online application instructions.

HUD has announced the availability of $15 MM in funds for the Supportive Service Demonstration for Elderly Households in HUD-Assisted Multifamily Housing. Owners of elderly Section 202, Section 8, Section 515/Section 8 properties with at least 50 units are encouraged to apply. This demonstration will provide funding for a full-time on-site Enhanced Service Coordinator and/or a part-time Wellness Nurse to assist seniors aging in place. HUD is encouraging multiple applications from the same city or state, in order to produce evidence about the impact of supportive services models in existing assisted senior developments. Deadline: April 18, 2016. Review the application guidelines.

CDFI Fund is offering grants for financial assistance and technical assistance to improve low-income communities through economic development, affordable housing and other community development financial services. To assist potential applicants, the CDFI Fund has provided three guidance documents—a Quick Start Guide, an Application Evaluation Document, and the FY 2016 Frequently Asked Questions for the CDFI Program and NACA Program application—on its website. Deadline: April 18, 2016. Visit the website for application guidelines.

NEWMAN'S OWN, FISHER HOUSE FOUNDATION, AND MILITARY TIMES have joined together to offer grants to recognize volunteer and nonprofit organizations supporting military families. Eligible applicants to the Newman’s Own Awards Program must be comprised primarily of volunteers or be a nonprofit organization, and be working with the families of Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve units, or veterans. Applying organizations will be evaluated on their innovative plans for improving the quality of life for members of the military and their families. Deadline: April 28, 2016. Visit the program’s website to submit an online application.

RETIREMENT RESEARCH FOUNDATION is accepting applications for projects that improve lives of aging Americans. Deadline: May 2, 2016. View funding guidelines and get an application.

USDA is offering money through Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) program. The purpose of SECD is to advance projects which support long-term community and economic growth strategies that reflect both multi-jurisdictional stakeholder collaboration and capitalize upon the unique strengths of the rural area. Through this provision, USDA Rural Development is empowered to work further with rural communities to align resources with long-range and multi-jurisdictional challenges and needs by leveraging federal, state, local, or private funding. Deadline to apply: June 30, 2016. Review funding guidelines.

THE HOME DEPOT FOUNDATION 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. Proposals for the following community improvement activities will be considered: repairs, refurbishments, and modifications to low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities (schools, community centers, senior centers, etc.); weatherizing or increasing energy efficiency of low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities; engaging veterans as volunteers to help other veterans in their community through service projects focusing on the renovation, repair, and improvement of homes and other properties serving veterans; and planting trees or community gardens or landscaping community facilities that serve veterans. Requests will be accepted through December 31, 2016. Visit the Foundation’s website to submit an online application.

Training Events and Conferences

HUD's Office of Housing Counseling will discuss the FY16-17 NOFA for HUD’s Housing Counseling Training Grant Program in a webinar on March 2, 2016, 2:00-3:30 PM EST. Speakers will cover changes to the application process including the new charts, funding methodology, the rating factors with information on specific charts, as well as submission requirements and other technical issues. Register for this webinar.

Results for America and the Collective Impact Forum will host “Community Engagement Matters (Now More Than Ever)”, a forum based on an article by Melody Barnes and Paul Schmitz, on Monday, March 7, 2016 from 12:30-2:00 PM EST at the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC. View more information on the forum and register.

View the event live on March 7, 2016.

Community Builders Webinar Series begins March 16, 2016, 2:00-3:00 PM EST, with “Cities Building Community Wealth”. Sarah McKinley, Manager of Community Development Programs with the Democracy Collaborative, will present an emerging new way of doing community economic development. The work is place-based, fed by the power of anchor institutions, and built on locally rooted and broadly held ownership. Across the country, economic development professionals and mayors are working in partnership with foundations, anchor institutions, unions, community organizations, progressive business networks, workers, and community residents to implement strategies that build wealth and prosperity for everyone. Register for this webinar.

National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) will hold its annual conference March 16-19, 2016 in Washington, DC. View the conference agenda, and to register.

South Dakota Indian Business Alliance will hold a Policy Roundtable Thursday, March 17, 2016, 8:45 AM-3:00 PM CST, in Pierre, South Dakota. Leaders and policy makers will share successful strategies that are supporting Indian business development in South Dakota. RSVP via email to info@sdibaonline.org with your name, organization, and email.

Novogradac 2016 Affordable Housing Conference will be held May 26-27, 2016 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, California. Register for this conference.

National Low Income Housing Coalition will hold its 2016 Housing Policy Forum April 3-5, 2016 in Washington, DC. The theme is “Overcoming Housing Poverty, Achieving Housing Justice”. The event brings together housing and homeless advocates and policy analysts from across the nation to discuss the challenges of ending housing poverty and homelessness. View information and register.

The National Housing Conference (NHC) will hold their Housing Visionary Awards Gala June 2, 2016 at the National Building Museum. Two housing organizations, Housing Assistance Council (HAC) and Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Rural LISC) will be honored. The next day, NHC will hold their Annual Policy Symposium, where speakers will address the challenges facing rural America and highlight solutions by which housing policy can help people lift themselves out of poverty and strengthen communities. Visit the website for details.

Save the Date

The Federal Reserve Board, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and U.S. Department of Agriculture will host a conversation on the future of housing in rural America on May 10, 2016 in Washington, DC.

CASA of Oregon will host a Farmworker Housing Conference in Hood River, Oregon July 27 to 29, 2016.

Information and Other Resources

“Local Food Fuels Rural Main Street Mojo” is the title of an article in the Good Food Economy Digest at the Wallace Center that highlights rural Corbin, Kentucky, where a main street revival is rooted in the economic stimulus that local food can provide. Read this article.

Carsey School of Public Policy has examined counties across the country with high child poverty and persistent poverty over a 30 year period from 1980 to 2010, and finds that child poverty is higher and more persistent in rural America. Their research includes maps showing regional trends, and looks at poverty at the county level related to minority child population distribution. Get the report, "Child Poverty Higher and More Persistent in Rural America".

Princeton University has released a new report, "Rising Morbidity and Mortality in Midlife Among White Non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st Century”. The report demonstrates the negative impact that economic hard times have on well-being. The report speaks to the importance of economic development that generates opportunities and prosperity for all. Download the report.

The Center for Housing Policy at the National Housing Conference released "Housing Landscape 2016". The report reveals that more low- and moderate-income working households are renting as opposed to owning their homes, with the share of households who rent increasing from 50.8 percent to 52.6 percent from 2011 to 2014. Download the report.

A white paper from the Summit on Creativity and Aging in America is now available to download from the National Education Association website. This event, which was hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Center for Creative Aging in May 2015, brought together more than 70 experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the fields of healthy aging, lifelong learning in the arts, and design for aging communities. Download the paper.  

Forbes Magazine published an article titled, "Report Illuminates Wealth-Creation Gap Among Small Business Owners". The report highlights wealth building differences for minority and women entrepreneurs, based on CFED's Asset and Opportunity Scorecard. Read the article.


 
            
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