Lots of good materials here from our colleagues at USDA-Rural Development!
Thanks to the hard work of Rural Americans, along with record investments in infrastructure under the Recovery Act and the 2014 Farm Bill, over the last seven years America was able to pull itself out of one of the deepest economic recessions since the Great Depression. While we’ve seen wages rise and unemployment fall in rural areas over the last several years, workers in rural America still receive less hours and earn less pay than those in urban areas. Fortunately, for those who need help making ends meet, the Earned Income Tax Credit can help.
In an essay written by its president, Clara Miller, the New York City-based Heron Foundation is calling on "its philanthropic peers to jettison outdated operating models that leave resources untapped in the face of systemic social ills." The essay, "Building a Foundation for the 21st Century" (19 pages, PDF), argues that the twenty-first century global economy demands a different model of philanthropy, one that "makes use of all of its resources to actively engage with the capital markets for the public good." Miller further argues that such a shift is necessary if philanthropies are to avoid undermining with their investments the progress they are helping to support with their grants, and she highlights the changes Heron itself is making with respect to the way it invests its capital....
Net cash farm income and net farm income are two popular, but distinct, measures of farm sector profitability. The first measure tracks cash receipts and cash expenses, while the second also includes noncash transactions, including implicit rents, changes in inventories, capital replacement costs, and others. Following several years of high income, both measures have trended downward since 2013. ERS forecasts that net cash farm and net farm income for 2016 will be $90.9 billion and $54.8 billion, respectively, or $81.1 billion and $48.9 billion, respectively, in inflation-adjusted dollars. These amounts are below their respective 10-year average, in both nominal and inflation-adjusted terms. Before recent dips, the 10-year averages for both income measures have largely trended upward. Over the 2010 to 2013 period, surging crop and animal (including animal-product) cash receipts led net cash farm income and net farm income higher. Prices are expected to have declined for a broad set of agricultural commodities in 2015, and fall further in 2016. Production expenses are forecast to contract in 2016, but not enough to offset the commodity price declines. Find additional information and analysis in ERS’ Farm Sector Income and Finances topic page, released February 9, 2016.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the 25 awardees that will receive $10 million under the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) 2015 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. The 2015 RIS program is managed by EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) and is designed to advance innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country through two different competitions: the i6 Challenge and the Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grants competition.
The United States Department of Energy released the Energy Investment Partnerships Guide, a technical document authored by the Council of Development Finance Agencies that examines how state and local governments can leverage private capital to drive clean energy investment and development.
Rural Healthcare Quality
This topic guide has been updated with new frequently asked questions and covers how healthcare quality is measured and defined, as well as differences that exist for rural healthcare providers related to quality. The guide is maintained by Brandon Baumbach, RHIhub Rural Health Policy Specialist.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced the finalization of new federal standards to reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter in ground chicken and turkey products, as well as in raw chicken breasts, legs, and wings. Based on scientific risk assessments, FSIS estimates that implementation of these standards will lead to an average of 50,000 prevented illnesses annually.
HUD Releases Notice CPD-16-01: Guidance on Submitting Consolidated Plans and Annual Action Plans for FY16
Notice CPD-16-01 instructs all Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME, Housing Trust Fund (HTF), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) formula grantees on the timing of submission of fiscal year (FY) 2016 consolidated plans and action plans. This Notice provides instructions to grantees/participating jurisdictions under each of these programs regarding costs incurred prior to execution of a grant agreement. This Notice further informs Entitlement CDBG grantees and HOME participating jurisdictions of waivers being made available to certain grantees/participating jurisdictions to assist in the implementation of the pre-award costs instructions. These procedures apply equally to grantees’ 3-5 year consolidated plans as well as to annual action plans (either as a stand-alone document or as a component of the overall consolidated plan submission).
Conducting Rural Health Research, Needs Assessment, and Program Evaluation
This guide includes identifies the similarities and differences among rural health research, assessment, and evaluation. It also discusses common methods, provides contacts, addresses the importance of community-based participatory research in rural communities, looks at CHNA requirements, and examines the importance of building a rural evidence-base. Includes new questions related to strategies to share rural health research results. This guide is maintained by Maren Niemeier, RHIhub Information Resources Manager.
The Rural Financing Best Practices by CDFA explores how rural communities can leverage a wide range of tools and approaches to build on their assets, protect their resources, and make strategic investments that offer long-term benefits for residents and local businesses.
This Q&A with Traci Bruckner, Senior Policy Associate, addresses resources available for beginning, small- and mid-sized farms through federal agricultural policy. According to UC Food Observer, the Center for Rural Affairs is important to generate creative approaches to economic development.
The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation has announced it is joining with nine other donors to launch Blue Meridian Partners, a new funders collaborative that aims to invest $1 billion in high-performance nonprofits poised to have national impact for economically disadvantaged children and youth. Incubated at the McConnell Clark Foundation and chaired by philanthropist Stanley Druckenmiller, the venture has secured $750 million toward its initial fundraising goal, including commitments of at least $50 million from its general partners — the Ballmer Group, EMCF, Stanley and Fiona Druckenmiller, the Duke Endowment (with a focus on North and South Carolina), the George Kaiser Family Foundation (with a focus on Tulsa, Oklahoma), and the Samberg Family Foundation.
National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program
Provides loan repayment funding to primary healthcare professionals who agree to serve in Health Professional Shortage Areas.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Apr 5, 2016
Sponsor: National Health Service Corps
Microgrids Knowledge reports that within a $220M effort to modernize the US energy grid, the Department of Energy is allocating more than $10M for microgrid funding.
Telehealth Network Grant Program (TNGP)
Funding to demonstrate how telehealth programs and networks can improve access to quality health care services in rural, frontier and underserved communities.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Apr 8, 2016
Sponsor: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (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.
This program are intended to help rural homeowners and rental housing owners repair and improve their properties. Funds may be used to resolve health or safety issues, make accessibility modifications for people with disabilities, or make energy efficiency improvements to reduce utility costs.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, and Paul Rovey, dairy farmer and leader of the National Dairy Council (NDC), announced the availability of $35 million in grants to help schools upgrade their kitchen equipment and infrastructure in order to offer students better access to nutritious foods. Schools can apply for USDA funding through their state, or for funds from Fuel Up directly through the organization's website. In both cases, funding will support the purchase of new equipment and/or the renovation/replacement of equipment. Equipment may include large and small items including utility carts, utensils, large-capacity food processors, industrial scales, steamers, freezers etc. Infrastructure elements may include building needs related to physical space, electricity, plumbing, ventilation and other remodeling needs.
Update for Capital Magnet Fund Applicants: Electronic Application Now Available
The electronic application for the fiscal year (FY) 2016 round of the Capital Magnet Fund is now available in the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund)’s Awards Management Information System (AMIS) and in Grants.gov. All applicants must be registered in SAM.gov, Grants.gov, and AMIS to apply for funding. Organizations should confirm that their AMIS accounts are up-to-date as soon as possible in order to avoid potential application submission problems. New potential applicants are encouraged to begin the registration process now. Registration guidance for Grants.gov and SAM.gov can be found on the websites for those systems. Guidance on using AMIS (including registration) can be found at https://amis.cdfifund.gov/. The CDFI Fund strongly recommends that the instructions and application timelines are reviewed closely by both first-time and repeat applicants and that applicants give themselves adequate time to submit their applications using AMIS. To assist potential applicants, the CDFI Fund has provided application guidance and frequently asked questions on its website, www.cdfifund.gov/cmf, under Step 2: Apply. There, applicants can also find information about upcoming live webinars about the FY 2016 Capital Magnet Fund application and AMIS application submission process.
POSTED: February 3, 2016
DEADLINE: March 9, 2016
Grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded to projects focused on youth and incorporating culture and tradition to address social issues in Native communities....
POSTED: January 30, 2016
DEADLINE: March 21, 2016
Grants of $20,000 will be awarded in recognition of the creativity and expression of exceptional Native artists who have had significant impact in their field....
POSTED: February 1, 2016
DEADLINE: October 1, 2016
Awards of up to $40,000 are available to executives from Alaska tribes and nonprofits for sabbaticals of two to six months....
Newman's Own Award
Offers grants to organizations working to improve the quality of life for military members and their families, including job training, housing, caregiver support, and mental health programs.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Apr 28, 2016
Sponsor: Fisher House Foundation
Community Impact Grants Program
Funding for nonprofit organizations, public schools, and public service agencies in the United States that are using the power of volunteers to improve the physical health of their communities.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsor: Home Depot Foundation
Dr. Jessica Gordon-Nembhard Presentation: A History of African-American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice
Dr. Jessica Gordon-Nembhard, author of Collective Courage: A History of African-American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice, presented her perspective on African American history and cooperative development during National Cooperative Month in October 2015 at the USDA Whitten Building. She explained how the African American community used cooperative development as a key strategy to overcome economic, social, and political struggles. Given the emphasis on pooled resources, cooperative development is an approach that gets around the constraints of limited wealth among African American individuals and families. Dr. Gordon-Nembhard also provided examples on how a cooperative frequently produces other valuable social services, civic involvement, leadership development, and managerial expertise that is transferable to activities beyond the particular cooperative enterprise. She concluded that cooperatives have been successful in the past and also present the opportunity for expanded self-reliance in the future. To listen and view her presentation, see this link: http://cc.readytalk.com/play?id=10c6m6
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has announced the launch of an initiative to help communities embrace racial healing and uproot conscious and unconscious beliefs in the hierarchy of human value. Through the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) initiative, the foundation and a coalition of more than seventy partners will work to develop and support inclusive, community-based healing activities and policies aimed at changing collective community narratives and broadening the understanding Americans have for their diverse experiences. To that end, TRHT will assemble national and local commissions to hold public meetings on the consequences of racial inequity and build systems and structures aimed at creating more equitable opportunities.
Webinar | Choosing a Retirement Solution for Your Small Business
February 25, 2016 @ 2:00 - 3:15 PM ET
As part of America Saves Week, the U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration, in coordination with the Consumer Federation of America, is holding a webcast for small businesses and their service providers on the retirement savings options and the use of direct deposit for saving for retirement and more.
Learn practical information to help compare the employer-based options
The U.S. Department of the Treasury will discuss a new savings option - myRA
The Consumer Federation of America will focus on the use of direct deposit as a way to make saving easier
USDA & EPA announce a webinar series on their Cool & Connected program
On February 9th and February 16th (2:30 - 4:00 pm EST) the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS), in conjunction with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host a series of webinars focused on Cool & Connected, a program in which a team of experts assist community members in developing strategies and action plans for using planned or existing broadband service to promote smart, sustainable community development.
Web Conference Information: Due to the limited amount of seats available for each session, interested parties must preregister with the USDA & EPA. Seats for each session will be reserved in the order in which the requests are received by the RUS.
HOW TO REGISTER:
· Click on the following link: https://www.livemeeting.com/register **
· Fill in the required information.
· Note: Registration is only needed for one event. Both webinars will present the same program details.
** Having problems with the link? Cut & paste this link into your web browser: https://www.livemeeting.com/lrs/8002989786/Registration.aspx?pageName=bb2tgzjv6fxl996n
GroupGAP: USDA's New Cooperative Approach to Farmer Food Safety Certification - an NGFN webinar
GroupGAP is a new service (available Spring 2016) from USDA to audit farmers to Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). Small farmers are feeling the pressure to get third-party certified as more buyers are requiring GAP certification, and as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) puts them under new regulatory oversight.
In GroupGAP, a food hub, support organization, or central business entity collaborates with producers to establish site-specific best practices for complying with a food safety standard. The group develops and implements a quality management system (QMS) built to an international standard that can be measured, analyzed, reviewed, and continually improved.
Thursday, February 18
3:30 - 5:00pm ET (12:30 - 2:00pm PT)
New HOME FACTS and Upcoming Webinar: Receipt Fund Types in HOME Investment Trust Fund Local Account
HUD has issued a new HOME FACTS and scheduled an upcoming webinar on the receipt of fund types in the HOME Investment Trust Fund Local Account. This issue of HOME FACTS explains and illustrates how to use program income (PI), repayments to the local account (IU), and recaptured homebuyer funds (HP) that are deposited in a Participating Jurisdiction’s HOME Investment Trust Fund local account. This HOME FACTS also explains the impact of local account funds on committing and disbursing HOME Treasury account funds in the Integrated Disbursement and Information System (IDIS), including changes due to the implementation of grant based accounting for FY 2015 and subsequent years’ grants.
Date: March 9, 2016
Time: 1:30 PM EST
You did it! You hired your first employee. What a relief to have someone to help you grow your business. But what about when it’s time to hire a second employee, and a third? How can you make sure to manage your employees fairly?
Given the right amount of market research, business planning, and financial support, starting a retail business can offer many rewards to the right kind of entrepreneur.
Many untapped opportunities exist outside the United States, but small firms often do not have the resources and personnel to leverage them, and rely heavily on negotiated free trade agreements to reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers for their products or services.
If you’re looking for a solution on how to grow your small business in 2016, the SBA may have the answer.
Webinars | Affordable Care Act 101
SBA and Small Business Majority will host free Affordable Care Act 101 webinars so small business owners can learn the basics of the Affordable Care Act and how they can enroll in health insurance marketplaces. The webinars begin at 2pm ET.
February 18 Register now
March 3 Register now
March 17 Register now
March 31 Register now
April 14 Register now
April 28 Register now
Webinar: Social Media and Disaster Recovery
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 | 2:00 - 3:00 PM ET
During an emergency, it’s imperative that those within your organization know how to communicate effectively. During this session, we will address:
· The value of Social Media and its use in crisis situations
· Best practices
· Simple steps to build your presence in social channels
· Ways to bolster your Crisis Communications plan by integrating Social Media
Newsletters and email from which we gather this information include:
v Foundation Center RFP Service - To subscribe visit: http://foundationcenter.org/newsletters/
vTo subscribe to the RAC Health Listserv - click here to go to the subscription form.
v Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City newsletter: http://www.kansascityfed.org/alert/’
v Blue Avocado Nonprofit Magazine - They have a newsletter on boards and nonprofit management, down-to-earth and useful. http://www.blueavocado.org/
v Rural LISC e-newsletter - http://www.lisc.org/rural
v National Association for Development Organizations (NADO) – www.nado.org
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 http://www.ers.usda.gov/Updates/
v Orton Family Foundation – email sign-up - http://www.orton.org/sign_up
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