Rural eNews February 2019

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

THE FOUNDATION FOR THE MID SOUTH supports efforts in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi that expand knowledge and improve lives through the following priority areas: 1. Communities – The goal of the Communities category is to build the skills and knowledge of communities to transform themselves; 2.Education –  The goal of the Education category is to improve high school graduation rates, college preparedness, and life outcomes of students; 3 Health – The goal of the Health category is to improve individual and community health outcomes in chronic disease, mental health, and access to care; and 4. Wealth Building – The goal of the Wealth Building category is to support programs and information to enable residents to manage their finances effectively and grow their wealth. Initial grant inquiries may be submitted at any time through the Share Your Ideas form. Visit the Foundation’s websitehere to learn more about the funding priorities.

THE BANK OF AMERICA CHARITABLE FOUNDATION provides grants to nonprofit organizations that serve specific states and regions. In 2019, the Foundation will issue two requests for proposals that address the following focus areas: The Economic Mobility Focused on the Needs of Individuals and Families category provides support for wraparound services and workforce development, as well as programs addressing basic needs.Deadline: 2/22/2019. The Economic Mobility and Social Progress Focused on the Needs of the Community category provides support for affordable housing, community revitalization, arts, and the environment.Application acceptance: 6/3/2019-6/28/2019. Visit the Foundation’s websitehere to learn more about the funding priorities and application procedures.

WELLS FARGO AND NATIONAL FISH AND WILDLIFE FOUNDATION RESILIENT COMMUNITIES PROGRAM has issued an RFP for projects in two focus areas:  Category 1: Adaptation through Regional Conservation Projects; Category 2: Community Capacity Building and Demonstration Projects.  This program is designed to help communities prepare for future environmental challenges by enhancing community capacity to plan and implement resiliency projects and improve the protections afforded by natural ecosystems by investing in green infrastructure and other measures.  Deadline: 2/19/2019.  Clickhere to visit the program website and review the guidelines.

THE TELLIGEN COMMUNITY INITIATIVE (TCI) is offering grants of up to $50,000 to nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies serving communities in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, and Oklahoma. TCI’s funding priorities include the following: Health Innovation, Social Determinants of Health/Health Equity, and Healthcare Workforce Development. Deadlines: the letter of interest deadline for applicants in Colorado and Oklahoma is 2/27/2019; the deadline for Illinois and Iowa applicants is 5/28/2019. Click here to visit the TCI website to download the 2019 Request for Proposals.


THE HEALTHY FOOD FINANCING INITIATIVE (HFFI) is offering grants to support projects that improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, create and preserve quality jobs, and revitalize low-income communities.  Deadline: 2/14/2019. Click here to review program guidelines.

THE BLOOMING PRAIRIE FOUNDATION provides grants to nonprofit organizations nationwide that conduct any of the following activities: developmental, research, and educational efforts in the organic industry and the cooperative community; the development of organic and natural products; and cooperative development in the natural products industry.Deadline: 3/1/2019.  Visit the Foundation’s websitehere to review the grant guidelines.

Native Americans

THE SEVENTH GENERATION FUND FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES is offering grants for projects that focus on community organizing, issue advocacy, cultural revitalization, strengthening Indigenous knowledge systems and practices, and Native leadership development. The following grant programs will be offered in 2019: Thriving Women Program and Land Defenders and Water Protectors Program. Grants will range from $250 to $50,000.The proposal deadlines for this year are 3/1, 6/7, and 10/11/2019. Visit the Fund’s websitehere to learn more about each program and to download the application materials.

INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE is offering pre-graduate scholarships for American Indian and Alaska Native students to enroll in courses leading to a bachelor’s degree in pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, pre-podiatry, or pre-optometry.  Deadline to apply:  3/28/2019.  Click here for more information and to apply.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES is offering grants for tribal community-based organizations, tribes, and village governments for social and economic infrastructure development.  This program is focused on community-driven projects designed to grow local economies, strengthen Native American families, including the preservation of Native American cultures, and decrease the high rate of current challenges caused by the lack of community-based businesses, and social and economic infrastructure in Native American communities.  Native American communities include American Indian tribes (federally-recognized and non-federally recognized), Native Hawaiians, Alaskan Natives, and Native American Pacific Islanders.
Application deadline: 4/15/2019.  Click here to review program guidelines.

Opioids/Substance Abuse

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies – “to develop and implement targeted strategies for substance use disorder treatment provision to address a specific population or area of focus identified by the community.” Maximum Amount: $375,000.  Deadline: 3/25/2019.  Clickhere for program guidelines and application materials.

Other Opportunities

THE NON-PROFIT TRAINING RESOURCE FUND, an initiative of theTD CHARITABLE FOUNDATION, provides grants to charitable organizations for employees to attend approved classes and courses that will enhance job performance. Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to organizations within the TD Bank market area on the East Coast that focus on affordable housing, economic development, financial literacy, or after-school and extracurricular programming.Deadline: applications will be accepted on a rolling basis in 2019 and will be reviewed monthly. Visit the TD Bank’s websitehere to review the application guidelines.

THE PARTNERSHIP TO ADVANCE YOUTH APPRENTICESHIP (PAYA), an initiative of New America, is offering four to eight grants of up to $200,000 each, along with technical assistance from leading experts in the education, workforce, and policy sectors for strategies to start new youth apprenticeship programs or expand and improve existing programs. All eligible collaborations must include partners from industry as well as secondary and post-secondary education. The designated lead organization must be a nonprofit organization, government entity, or educational institution.Deadline:  3/8/2019. Visit the New America websitehere to learn more about the funding guidelines and application process.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies through the Fiscal Year 2019 Consolidated Grant Program to Address Children and Youth Experiencing Domestic and Sexual Assault and Engage Men and Boys as Allies program to prevent violence against women.  Deadline: 3/14/2019.  Clickhere to review program guidelines.

AARP Purpose Prize honors extraordinary individuals 50 years of age and older who use their life experience to make a better future for all. The Prize recognizes those with the passion and experience to create new ways to solve tough social problems. Five winners annually receive $60,000 each to celebrate their achievements and broaden the scope of their work. Nominees, who may be working for organizations in the nonprofit, public, or private sectors, must be legal residents of the U.S. or U.S. citizens living abroad who have started their work at the age of 40 or later.Nomination deadline: 3/31/2019. Visit the Purpose Prize websitehere to read the official rules and access the nomination form.

Training Events and Conferences

The Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire is hosting a 30-minute webinar onThursday, February 7, 2019 EST to talk about a new low residency master’s degree in Community Development designed for adult practitioners.  The curriculum enables students to continue working while earning a master’s degree in just 14 months.  The courses, taught primarily by practitioners, focus on building skills in finance, organizational management, and project design, implementation, management and evaluation. A variety of elective courses from housing to community health to community development finance supplement the core curriculum.  Clickhere to register for the webinar.

Grant Station is hosting a 90-minute webinar,“Grantwriting 101 with Alice Ruhnke” onThursday, February 7, 2019 at 2:00 PM EST.  Alice Ruhnke, founder and owner of the Grant Advantage, will show participants how to use a Program Planning Framework to plan grant applications to tell a strong, consistent story. By the time the webinar is over, participants will (1) understand what funders are looking for in grant applications; (2) be able to decipher confusing grant-related terminology; (3) have a usable system to connect all the pieces of an application together; and (4) have strategies to infuse your organization’s strengths in your proposal to make it strong and competitive.  The registration fee is $69; register by clickinghere.

“What Really Works in Homelessness Prevention: Lessons from Literature and the Field” is the title of a webinar scheduled for Monday,February 11, 2019 at 3:00 PM EST. Presented by Abt Associates’ Center on Evidence-based Solutions to Homelessness, this webinar will feature practitioners from three communities who will discuss their experience planning or implementing prevention activities, and how the evidence aligns with their work on the ground. Clickhere for more information or to register.

The Aspen Institute will host“All Together Now: Advancing 2Gen Strategies in Rural America” via live streaming and an in-person event Thursday, February 28, 2019, 12:00 to 1:30 pm EST in Washington, D.C.  How can local organizations, businesses and parents partner to help struggling and striving rural families get ahead – and stay there? Over the past decade, innovative “two-generation (2Gen)” or “whole family” approaches have emerged as a promising answer. The 2Gen approach aims to intentionally coordinate and align often-isolated programs for kids and their parents (or grandparents) in ways that help accelerate progress on three fronts: (1) parents with family-supporting jobs; (2) children meeting developmental milestones; and (3) families able to fully support and promote their children’s development.  To register to watch or attend in person by clickinghere.

National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2019 Housing Policy Forum will be heldMarch 27-29, 2019 and will feature a panel examining the affordable housing crisis in rural areas and tribal lands, and providing strategies to better incorporate those issues in advocacy efforts to achieve real solutions.  Clickhere for more information and to register.

The 2019 AHF Live: Housing Developers Forum will take placeApril 1–3, 2019 at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The theme is “Opportunity Knocks: 
A Developer’s Road Map to Opportunity Zones and Other Advancements in Multifamily Housing Development.”  Clickhere for more information and to register.

Carsey School of Public Policy and Opportunity Finance Network are offering the “Fundamentals of the Opportunity Finance Industry” courseApril 10-12, 2019 at Self-Help in Durham, North Carolina.  The three-day certificate program is designed for practitioners who are interested in expanding their knowledge of the basics of the opportunity finance industry which provides financing and financial services to low-income, low-wealth, and other disinvested communities. For more information and to register, clickhere.

CDFA will host its 2019 Federal Policy ConferenceApril 16-17, 2019 in Washington, D.C.  The conference will highlight rural and urban financing programs, the Opportunity Zones incentive, programs for supporting small business development, as well as financing programs for infrastructure, energy, brownfields remediation, and water systems financing.  Clickhere for more information and to register.

Save the Date…

National Housing Conference will host “Solutions for Housing Communications” onTuesday, April 16, 2019 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Novogradac 2019 Affordable Housing Conference will take place May 2-3, 2019 in San Francisco, California.

Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference will take place May 9-10, 2019 in Washington, D.C.  

National Housing Coalition’s 47th Annual Housing Visionary Award Gala will be held June 6, 2019.

RCAP will host The Rural RISE SummitSeptember 16-19, 2019 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Grantmakers In Aging 2019 Annual Conference, “Aging Beyond Boundaries” will be heldOctober 16-18, 2019 in New York City.

Information and Other Resources

Rural LISC has issued aRequest for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify a select number of nonprofit community organizations operating inWyoming for admission into the Rural LISC Partner CDC Network.  Rural CDCs are nonprofit community organizations serving a low-income population in a geographically defined, rural target area. For more information, please contactJulia Malinowski at

The Center for Creative Land Recycling, in partnership with the National Development Council, are seeking input on how peer and professional mentoring could boost an organization’s ability to tackle redevelopment challenges.  The responses to the survey will help to launch the National Economic Development Mentoring Network that will facilitate exchange and mentoring among practitioners and their communities.   The Economic Development Mentoring Network Survey is open until February 8, 2019.  To participate, clickhere.

The National Development Council (NDC) released a report highlighting NDC-financed community revitalization projects has financed utilizing the federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program.  Daniel Marsh, Executive Director of NDC says “This report demonstrates the tangible impact the NMTC has in areas struggling from a lack of investment and access to capital. NDC has successfully deployed the NMTC to create more than 30,000 jobs, expand health care access to 631,000 patients, jumpstart manufacturing businesses, and assist 90 nonprofit providers supporting the needs of families and children in some of the most distressed communities across the country.”
Get the report by clicking here.

SAGE: Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders, will soon make history when it opens the first-ever LGBT-welcoming housing developments in New York City, the birthplace of the LGBT movement. Ingersoll Senior Residences will open in the summer of 2019 in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and the Crotona Senior Residences in the Bronx will open in late 2019. Individuals and couples who are at least 62 years old and income-qualified for affordable housing in New York City can apply.  For more information on SAGE and these properties, click here.

Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) publishes an “Opportunity Zones Update Newsletter” featuring articles, resources and events.  See the latest issue by clickinghere, and click here to subscribe.

A field report by National 4-H Council and The Bridgespan Group, “Social Mobility in Rural America,” showcases rural communities that are surmounting obstacles and helping their young people build a brighter future.  Click here to read and download the report.

The National Development Council, in partnership withCenter for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR) and theEPA Technical Assistance to Brownfield Communities (TAB), is seeking feedback to expand the National Economic Development Mentoring Network. The Network is a new program that will facilitate exchange and mentoring among economic development practitioners and their communities.  Fill out the brief survey linkedhere.

The Federal Reserve released two papers describing the impact of student debt on the housing market. Student debt has more than doubled in real terms in the last decade, with average student loan debt for those ages 24 to 32 rising from about $5,000 in 2005 to $10,000 in 2014.  The Fed’s study shows that “roughly 20 percent of the decline in homeo wnership among young adults can be attributed to their increased student loan debts since 2005.” Their work also documents a “rural brain drain” with a decline in college graduates living in rural areas.  Read the papers by clickinghere.

An article in the The Daily Yonder,“Pride In The ‘Two-Spirited’: Navajo LGBTQ Youth Find Champions In Elders” says that one quarter of Navajo LGBTQ youth have been expelled from their homes because they are gay, according to a Diné Policy Institute study.  These youth are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their white counterparts. Many Navajo LGBTQ youth leave the reservation for Albuquerque, Phoenix and Los Angeles, places where they’re more accepted and can marry someone of the same sex.  Elders have come to the aid of granddaughters and grandsons when the rest of the family rejects them.  Read the article by clickinghere.

Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group predicts home prices will stabilize despite a slowdown in overall economic growth, according to their January 2019 Economic and Housing Outlook. They attributed this stabilization to the Federal Reserve’s decision to slow the pace of rate hikes. The result should be increased “affordability and buyer confidence.” Additionally, researchers predicted strong labor market conditions and demographic trends to provide a buffer against slowing multifamily construction.  Read the report here.

“How Modular Construction Aids in Disaster Recovery Rebuilding Efforts,” an article from, shows how in recent years, the commercial modular building industry has been playing a bigger, more integral role in helping communities rebuild after natural and man-made disasters.  Read the article by clickinghere.

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are starting to feel squeezed by on-going threats to many of the funding sources that have helped make their work in affordable housing, health, and small businesses possible. To ensure that CDFIs can continue to serve communities, the industry must innovate and attract new sources of financing and investment.  In a Spotlight on the state of the industry, LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) Institute has compiled resources to help practitioners understand how industry leaders are thinking about changes in the community development financing field, and what the industry needs to consider to keep up with the needs and demands of our communities, as well as to engage new investors.  Access all the resources by clicking here.

Next Century Cities has released a toolkit that offers a step-by-step guide on how to assess and establish broadband options. Among the steps the toolkit recommends are having a dedicated staff member to oversee broadband access, building community support and prioritizing digital inclusion to bring in underserved residents.  Access the toolkithere.

An article in Shelterforce,“How to Fund Land Banks,” illustrates that the number of land banks grew dramatically in the wake of the foreclosure crisis, and so has our understanding of how to successfully fund them. Read the article by clickinghere.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released“Opportunities to End Homelessness and Housing Poverty in the 116th Congress,” a memo to incoming senators and representatives on concrete steps they can take to help address one of the most critical issues facing extremely low income families today: the lack of decent, accessible, and affordable housing.  NLIHC encourages advocates from across the nation to share the memo with their senators and representatives.  Get a free copy of the memo by clickinghere.

In a “Speak Your Piece” article in the The Daily Yonder,“Virginia Nonprofit Forges New Model for Community Journalism,” a group of Rappahannock County, Virginia, citizens decided their community needed a different kind of journalism. Instead of starting a new publication, they forged a partnership with the Rappahannock News. After five years on the job, the Foothills Forum looks at where they’ve been and where they’re going.  Read the article by clickinghere.

Baylor University offers a Master of Public Health (MPH), an online program with a specialization in Community Health delivered by Baylor University’s Department of Public Health in the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences.  The MPH online program will enable compassionate public health advocates to serve others and improve quality of life across populations by promoting health and wellness locally and globally.  For more information about the program, click here.

Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. has launched“Health Begins with Home,” a national initiative to harness the power of affordable homes to create healthier families and stronger communities.  This initiative will invest $250 million over five years to promote affordable housing as a way to improve the health of communities.  Learn more about this initiative by clickinghere.

RHIHub has updated its“Rural Emergency Preparedness and Response Guide.”
The guide shows how rural communities can prepare for and effectively respond to disasters and other large-scale emergencies.  Access the Guide by clicking here.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has published “Rural Communities in Crisis: A Critical Count to Save Lives During the Opioid Epidemic.” The toolkit suggests a method rural communities can use to estimate the size and characteristics of the population who inject drugs, and includes a toolkit describing the approach and an online calculation tool that can be used to estimate service needs in a community related to the opioid crisis. Access the toolkithere.

Culture of Health Blog at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation features an article“Data Maps the Impact of Where a Child Grows Up.”  The post details the Opportunity Atlas, a collaboration between researchers at the Census Bureau, Harvard University, and Brown University, which provides county-level data on children’s outcomes into adulthood. Data from each county can be analyzed by race, gender, income, and by location-specific details like access to good schools, affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, and quality healthcare. The post includes some discussion of how this data can be used and the value of local solutions. Click here to access thedata

“Transit and Livability: Results from the National Community Livability Survey” from Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute reports the results from Phase 3 of a livability study examining the connection between transit and quality of life in metro urban and nonmetro rural communities. The report features socio-demographic statistics and importance of factors affecting community livability, including access to healthcare, with breakdowns by metro and nonmetro location.  Get the report by clicking here.

RHIhub has published a“Rural Philanthropy Toolkit,” developed in collaboration with the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis.  The toolkit is designed to help rural organizations create and maintain partnerships with philanthropies, and includes guidance on conducting outreach, model programs, emerging strategies, and other resources.   Access the toolkit by clickinghereProsperity Now has released the 2019 Scorecard, which includes state and national level data, an interactive map and relevant policy information.  Access the data by clickinghere.