Friday, December 20, 2013

FW: Publications, Tools, Learning, and Funding

From our colleague at USDA-Rural Development.


From: Agans, Suzette - RD, Washington, DC []
Sent: Friday, December 20, 2013 1:50 PM
Subject: Publications, Tools, Learning, and Funding


Some especially good items in this week's email.  Have a great New Year everyone! There will be no email next Friday.  Suzette




GAO Releases Report on Local Area Challenges for Skilled Workforce
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on how local areas are having difficulty assisting employers fill certain jobs. According to the report, 80 percent of local areas reported that employers had difficulty filling certain "middle skilled" jobs such as welders and machinists because those jobs re​quire more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree. The GAO also found that local areas had difficulty supplying workers because participants lacked relevant qualifications or basic skills needed to participate in training programs. As a result of these findings, GAO recommended that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) collect and disseminate information on how local areas have used career pathways approaches to prepare workers for jobs that employers have difficulty filling. Click here to read the full report.


First Person Nonprofit: A Day in the Life of a Major Gifts Officer - - a portion excerpted below:

So exactly how do you lead someone up to a $1 million ask? The director of major gifts at a large regional environmental organization agreed to tell us everything . . . as long as we didn't reveal her name or organization.

And best of all: post your questions to her in the Comments section and she'll answer them there at the end of the week!

Major gifts aren't the right strategy for every organization, but we can still appreciate how this fundraiser talks about her job:

Q: Can you walk us through a major gift ask? – read the rest of the article for the answer and more.


SNAP participation rates for elderly households in Texas higher when non-elderly person present

Many people who meet the eligibility requirements for USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) do not apply to receive program benefits. Elderly Americans, in particular, tend to participate in SNAP at a much lower rate than other age groups. Just over one in three elderly individuals—those age 60 and older—eligible for SNAP participated in the program in fiscal year 2010, compared to about nine out of every ten eligible children, and seven out of ten eligible non-elderly adults. However, estimates from Texas SNAP administrative records linked to the American Community Survey reveal that the elderly are more likely to participate if they live with at least one non-elderly individual, rather than living alone or only with other elderly individuals. In 2009, only 35.9 percent of eligible elderly Texans living alone participated in SNAP, roughly the same rate as those living with other elderly individuals. By contrast, the participation rate among individuals in elderly households with at least one non-elderly member was 53.5 percent. A chart appears in "New Analysis Reveals Significant Within-State Variation in SNAP Participation Rates" in ERS's December 2013 Amber Waves magazine.


How to Staff and Support a Committee By Jan Masaoka - December 10, 2013

Is staffing a committee more like herding cats or like herding turtles? Actually it's more like Dancing with the Stars. An important skill for nonprofit managers is knowing how to support a committee of volunteers, such as an Advisory Committee, a Board Finance Committee, or a coalition:

Staff at many levels support your organization's volunteer committees. For instance, an administrative assistant may support a committee that is planning the spring fundraiser. Or the CFO may support the board Finance Committee. And, of course, the executive director supports the board.

When supporting a committee, the most seductive trap for a staffperson is . . .> Read more




Using Data to Understand Your Community
Provides ideas and steps in using data to understand your community's population. Includes a directory of websites for demographic, population, health, and other data for ZIP codes, cities, counties, and states. Organization: Rural Health System Analysis and Technical Assistance


One-Stop for Organics at USDA - - As an organic farmer, I know how frustrating it can be to search the internet for information that might help my operation. It might be there somewhere but finding it takes precious time, especially if I don't know exactly what I'm looking for.  Now, USDA has solved part of that problem with a centralized web resource center on for all the programs, services, and data we have that support organic agriculture.  Not only is this web resource center a "one-stop shop" for information about organics at USDA, but there is lots in store!





Recorded Webinar: Regional Innovation Acceleration Network (RIAN)
On December 6, NADO and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) hosted an informative webinar about SSTI's Regional Innovation Acceleration Network (RIAN). This was the fourth in a series of free webinars about various data tools developed with support from EDA. RIAN is intended to establish and support a virtual nationwide community of nonprofit Venture Development Organizations (VDOs). A VDO is a business-driven, public or nonprofit organization that promotes regional growth by providing a flexible portfolio of services including: assisting in the creation of high-growth companies; providing expert business assistance to those companies; facilitating or making direct financial investments; and speeding the commercialization of technology. Click here for more information about RIAN and to watch the webinar recording.


Recorded Event: Brookings Institution Hosts Event Addressing the Nation's Skills Gap
Employers routinely cite the "skills gap," or lack of qualified, trained candidates, as a primary hiring hurdle. Talented workers are at the heart of a company's economic success and key drivers for broader economic prosperity. Moreover, skilled workers command higher wages, plus enjoy greater potential for upward economic mobility than their less-skilled counterparts. On December 4, the Brookings Institution hosted an event "Fixing the Skills Gap: Getting Americans Back to Work via Workforce Development Programs" in Washington, DC to highlight the importance of understanding the workforce skills gap in order to create effective public policies aimed at creating equitable economic growth in America. Click here to watch a recording of the discussion and click here to read a summary of the event.    


METHOD; Live Health Assessment in a Virtual Class: Eliminating Educational Burdens for Rural Distance Learners
Describes a study that allowed nursing students in a distance education program to demonstrate skills acquisition and get faculty feedback online. This approach could allow rural students to remain in their communities while continuing their education. Date: 12 / 2013. Journal: Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care Volume: 13 Issue: 2 Pages: 6-22


WEBINAR: Funding Rural America (Free) – January 30 - Register now for this webinar with Cynthia Adams of GrantStation on January 30th. Cindy will share trends and resources for small communities seeking funding for local projects. Space is limited, so register early!


CFED Announces Savings Innovation Learning Cluster

Selected participants will receive extensive TA and $30,000 stipend


FUNDING FOR LEARNING AND A WEBINAR: MetLife Savings Innovation Learning Cluster (SILC) - In partnership with the MetLife Foundation, CFED is soliciting applications from organizations to join a year-long learning cluster and receive extensive technical assistance to design and implement innovative savings products or strategies for their clients. Participation in this SILC will allow you to develop (or refine), implement and evaluate a savings innovation that has potential to achieve meaningful scale and impact. Selected participants will have experience in providing asset-building services to low- and moderate-income individuals and families. Additionally, the participants will have the ability to develop and test innovative strategies for helping LMI families to save.

Download the Request for Proposals here, and fill out the Participant Application here.

Organizations who are selected to participate in the Learning Cluster will receive a $30,000 stipend, the opportunity to learn and problem-solve with other members of the Learning Cluster through virtual and in-person convenings and extensive technical assistance from asset-building experts.

If you are interested in participating, carefully review the Request for Proposals and submit your project proposal via the Participant Application Form no later than 5 pm EST on January 24, 2014. CFED will hold a webinar discussing the opportunity on January 7, 2014, from 4-5 pm EST. Please click here to register for the webinar.

If you have any questions, email Parker Cohen.


WEBINAR: Owning Our Future presented by Marjorie Kelly, The Democracy Collaborative, January 23, 2014, 1-2 pm ET Marjorie will be sharing insights from her new book of the same title. If you haven't had a chance to read it, Marjorie is a superb writer and this book reflects incredible research and stories about a variety of ownership models. To register for the webinar, click here.




Rural Health Policy Institute Tuition Assistance - Application deadline: Dec 31, 2013
Provides grants to be used toward travel and registration costs to attend the Rural Health Policy Institute. Sponsor: National Rural Health Association


Funding Community Design and Development Projects - You've got great ideas and a plan for moving forward, but let's face it: Your community lacks the cash it needs to make it real.  Join CommunityMatters® and the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) on January 9th for our free conference call, Funding Community Design and Development Projects. This call will focus on key sources of funding and resources to help make design and development projects happen. We'll also cover strategies for creating successful funding pitches and positioning your project for funding applications.  Read more on our blog >
Funding Community Design and Development Projects, Thursday, January 9, 2014, 3-4:15 PM EST Register now!  
This is the second call in our three part series on Making It Happen.


  • Cynthia M. Adams, CEO of GrantStation
  • Erin Barnes, Executive Director and Co-Founder of ioby
  • Jen Hughes, Design Specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts

Cynthia will offer an introduction to grant funding for community design and development projects, with a focus on grants for small communities. We'll also hear from Erin who will share case studies and tips on successful crowdfunding campaigns. Jen will tell us about opportunities and strategies for finding and securing federal funding to support your next project.

Healthy Start Eliminating Disparities in Perinatal Health - Level 1 - Application deadline: Jan 17, 2014
Funding to enhance the capacity of a community's perinatal and women's health service systems in order to reduce ethnic, racial, and other disparities in perinatal health. Funding is available for rural communities and communities along the US/Mexico border. Sponsor: Maternal and Child Health


Healthy Start Eliminating Disparities in Perinatal Health - Level 2 - Application deadline: Jan 17, 2014
Funding to enhance the capacity of a community's perinatal and women's health service systems in order to reduce ethnic, racial, and other disparities in perinatal health. Grantees must also be a catalyst for community collaboration and coordination and develop and conduct measurement approaches.
Sponsor: Maternal and Child Health


Healthy Start Eliminating Disparities in Perinatal Health - Level 3 - Application deadline: Jan 17, 2014
Funding to enhance the capacity of a community's perinatal and women's health service systems in order to reduce ethnic, racial, and other disparities in perinatal health. Grantees will also serve as a hub for networking and collaboration with other Healthy Start programs, providing technical support and leadership.
Sponsor: Maternal and Child Health


Reducing Health Disparities Among Minority and Underserved Children (R21) - Application deadline: Oct 16, 2014
Awards funding for research that targets the reduction of health disparities among children, including rural, low-income, geographically isolated children.
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health


USDA Announces Support for Mental Health Facilities in Rural Areas
Dec 12, 2013 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has set a goal of investing up to $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 Community Facilities direct loan program.


RSF: Financing Social Enterprises - RSF currently provides $75 million in financing to over 80 for-profit and non-profit social enterprises.

Watch this new video to learn more about three of these organizations: Camphill Communities California, Guayaki, and Ceres Community Project. Hear their senior leaders talk about why they chose a mission-aligned financing partner and the relationships we're building with them on our journey to transforming the way the world works with money.


EPA Announces FY 2014 Funding Opportunity under Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant Program; Boards Eligible to Apply; Applications Due February 13, 2014. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the availability of funds and solicits proposals from eligible entities, including nonprofit organizations, to deliver environmental workforce development and job training programs that recruit, train, and place local, unemployed and under-employed residents with the skills needed to secure full-time employment in the environmental field, with a focus on solid and hazardous waste remediation, environmental health and safety, and wastewater-related training. In Fiscal Year 2014 , EPA anticipates providing some funding preference to applicants who choose to deliver other types of environmental training,


The total funding available under this competitive opportunity is approximately $2,400,000, subject to availability of funds, quality of proposals received, and other applicable considerations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. EPA anticipates awarding approximately 12 environmental workforce development and job training cooperative agreements at $200,000 each.


Note that local Workforce Investment Boards are eligible to apply.  Under the criterion "Community Partnership Building" applicants are required to describe the plan for involving the affected community (e.g., local community groups, Workforce Investment Boards, and academic institutions located in or near the affected community) in the proposed job training program.

The application can be found at  Applications are due by February 13, 2014. 


EPA Announces Funding Opportunity under the Environmental Education Model Grants Program; Applications Due by February 4, 2014

The purpose of the Environmental Education Regional Grant Program is to increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues and provide the skills that participants in its funded projects need to make informed environmental decisions and take responsible actions toward the environment.


The Environmental Protection Agency announced a funding opportunity under this program today, identifying $2,778,940 nationwide to support a range of grants.  EPA expects to award two or three grants per Region and two at Headquarters for an expected 22 - 32 grants nationwide.  The total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity is approximately. The award amounts for the Regional grants will be no less than $75,000 and no more than $200,000 in federal funds. Each award at Headquarters will be for no greater than $200,000 in federal funds. The award amounts and the number of awards are subject to the availability of funds, the quality and quantity of applications received, and other applicable considerations.

Applications must be postmarked by February 4, 2014. Additional background / access to application package


Crayola Invites Proposals From Elementary Schools for 2014 Creative Leadership Grants - DEADLINE: JUNE 23, 2014
Twenty cash grants of $2,500 each as well as in-kind grants of Crayola products valued at $1,000 will be awarded in support of innovative creative leadership-team building programs at the elementary school level....


American Honda Foundation Invites Applications for Youth Education Programs - DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 1, 2014
Grants of up to $75,000 will be awarded to nonprofits and schools for programs that support the teaching of science, technology, engineering, and math....


Earth Day Network Seeking Entries for Healthy and Sustainable School Food Journalism Prize - DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 28, 2014
The writing competition, which offers a first-place prize of $500, is designed to highlight the hard facts about school food in the words of students who eat it....



Newsletters and email from where I gather this information include:


v  Foundation Center RFP Service -  To subscribe or unsubscribe, or to change your e-mail address, visit:

v  To subscribe to the RAC Health Listserv - click here to go to the subscription form.

v  Electronic newsletter of the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, Rural Entrepreneurship NewsTo subscribe,  

v  Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City newsletter:'

v  The npEnterprise Forum ( ) - 5000+ subscribers discuss practical ways that organizations can advance their social missions through entrepreneurial, earned-income strategies.

v  Blue Avocado Nonprofit Magazine - They have a newsletter on boards and nonprofit management, down-to-earth and useful.

v  Rural LISC e-newsletter -

v  National Association for Development Organizations (NADO) –

v  ERS - A notification service is provided by USDA's Economic Research Service for Charts of Note and other research to keep you informed of the latest and most relevant research on the topics that interest you. You can subscribe at

v  Department of Labor – Email Subscription Service -

v  Good Done Great - Knowledge Sites – webinars and websites geared to nonprofits – to subscribe -



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