Monday, December 12, 2016

grants, events, publications and opportunities

In lieu of the usual USDA-Rural Development email, I am forwarding the Choctaw Nation's email of grants, events and opportunities along with the following 2 additional opportunities:


Small Business and Community Development Forum:

OSU Extension, along with CareerTech, are sponsoring a day-long workshop to address small business and community development issues. The morning session will feature Oklahoma-native Becky McCray talking about "Filling the Gaps Downtown" – identifying opportunities to fill empty storefronts in rural communities; the afternoon session will be a data workshop exploring Census' online data tools, including the new Census Business Builder tool, by Dave Shideler. (More details are in the attached flyer.)

When: January 23, 2017, 10 am – 3 pm

Where: Oklahoma Department of CareerTech, 1500 W 7th Ave, Stillwater (Tuttle Seminar Center)

Cost: $25 (includes lunch and materials)


National Endowment for the Humanities:

Creating Humanities, encourages partnerships and collaborations between multiple institutions or organizations in a town, county, region, or area in order to increase humanities infrastructure. NEH hopes that the relationships built and strengthened through Creating Humanities Communities will lead to increases in humanities programing for years to come.





December 12, 2016 



A Promising Future for Southeastern Oklahoma


Welcome to the Choctaw Promise Zone newsletter. In this edition you'll find resources for applying for grants with Promise Zone preference, upcoming workshops with technical assistance from federal agencies, and upcoming events in our area. Some listings from last week's newsletter are still available, as well as new opportunities. Thank you for being a valued Promise Zone partner and your commitment to the future of southeastern Oklahoma. Yakoke!  



Choctaw Nation Opportunities



Oklahoma Hunting and Fishing License

The Choctaw Nation is excited to announce that hunting and fishing license will now be available for all Choctaw citizens residing within Oklahoma regardless of age or if they are a current Oklahoma lifetime license holder.

For more information or to access the online application you can click here.


2017 Chahta Foundation Competitive Scholarship Season Quickly Approaching

The Chahta Foundation offers approximately 27 different scholarships on a competitive basis. Scholarships vary in the amounts given, and are available to all Choctaw students, undergraduate to doctorate. More information...
Applications will open January 15th. 



Federal, State, and Nonprofit Opportunities


Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries Grant 

Grants of up to $7,000 will be awarded to help libraries in schools where 85 percent or more of the students qualify for free or reduced lunches expand, update, and diversify their book collections. More information... 

Application Deadline: December 12, 2016

AFAR Research Grants for Junior Faculty 

The major goal of this program is to assist in the development of the careers of junior investigators committed to pursuing careers in the field of aging research. AFAR supports research projects concerned with understanding the basic mechanisms of aging. More information... 

Application Deadline: December 15, 2016
Source: AFAR 

Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children Access to Care 

HSHC Grants are Single-Year matching grants of up to $20,000, supporting community-based initiatives in the U.S. that provide dental care and ultimately serve as a Dental Home to underserved/limited access children. Click here for guidelines. 

Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline: December 15, 2016 


AMA Foundation Healthy Living Grant 

The grant program will focus on medical-related organizations and will encourage collaboration with nonprofits, schools, or government entities. The target audience of the project must be an underserved and/or at-risk population between the ages of 2-21. More information... 

Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline: December 16, 2016
Source: AMA Foundation

Running Strong for American Youth: Dreamstarter grant program 

Dreamstarter provides fifty $10,000 grants over five years to jumpstart the dreams of American Indian youth, and this year, we're looking for an outstanding cohort of young Native Dreamstarters, ages 14-29, with projects around the theme of education. More information...
Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline: December 16, 2016
Source: Running Strong for American Youth 


Water and Waste Disposal Technical Assistance and Training Grants 

This program helps qualified, private non-profits provide technical assistance and training to (a) identify and evaluate solutions to water and waste problems; (b) assist applicants in preparing applications for water and waste disposal loans/grants; and (c) assist associations in improving operation and maintenance of existing water and waste facilities in eligible rural areas. More information... 

Location: Nationwide 

Application Deadline: December 31, 2016
Source: USDA

Solid Waste Management Grants 

This program helps reduce or eliminate pollution of water resources through funding for organizations that provide technical assistance or training to improve the planning and management of solid waste sites. More information... 

Location: Nationwide 

Application Deadline: December 31, 2016
Source: USDA

Baseball Tomorrow Fund Invites Applications From Youth Baseball and Softball Programs 

The funds may be used to finance a new program, expand or improve an existing program, undertake a new collaborative effort, or obtain facilities or equipment necessary for youth baseball or softball programs. More information... 

Location: Nationwide 

Application Deadline: January 1, 2017


Rural Health Network Development Planning Grant Program

The purpose of the Network Planning program is to assist in the development of an integrated health care network, specifically for entities that do not have a history of formal collaborative efforts. This program promotes the planning and development of healthcare networks in order to: achieve efficiencies; expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential health care services; and strengthen the rural health care system as a whole. More information... 

Location: Nationwide

Application Deadline: January 3, 2017

Source: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Dreamstarter Teacher Grants 

Running Strong for American Indian Youth just announced a new project: Dreamstarter Teachers. They are giving away $500 - $1,000 grants to teachers serving Native students. Native or non-Native teachers or support staff (like librarians or guidance counselors) who teach and/or support Native students are eligible to apply. Grants can be used for (almost) anything teachers need for their classrooms, like educational resource materials, supplies, equipment, professional development, field trips, or stipends for bringing community liaisons into the classroom. More information...
Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline: January 9, 2017
Source: Running Strong for American Youth

Conservation Innovation Grants 

Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) are competitive grants that stimulate the development and adoption of innovative approaches and technologies for conservation on agricultural lands. More information...
Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline: January 9, 2017
Source: USDA

Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative 

The purpose of this program is to fund projects that will enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products. Priority concerns include biological, physical, and social sciences, including economics. More information... 

Location: Nationwide 

Application Deadline: January 19, 2017
Source: USDA


Environmental Justice Small Grants Program

The Environmental Justice Small Grants Program supports and empowers communities working on solutions to local environmental and public health issues. The program is designed to help communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. More information... 

Location: Nationwide

Application Deadline: January 31, 2017

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Paralyzed Veterans of America Education Foundation 

PVA's Education and Training Foundation is focused on funding educational projects that benefit and serve individuals with SCI/D, their families and caregivers. These projects should be designed to improve the quality of life for individuals with SCI/D, educate consumers about the consequences of and complications associated with SCI/D, improve the knowledge and skills of SCI/D health care professionals and to prevent the occurrence and complications of new SCI/D. More information... 

Location: Nationwide 

Application Deadline: February 1, 2017


Conservation Stewardship Program Open for Applications 

CSP is for producers who are already established conservation stewards, helping them to deliver multiple conservation benefits on working lands, including improved water and soil quality and enhanced wildlife habitat. Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat-all while maintaining active agriculture production on their land. More information... 

Applications are available in local service centers.

Application Deadline: February 3, 2017

Source: USDA


FirstRisk Advisors Initiatives in College Mental/Behavioral Health 

This award is designed to fund the development of creative initiatives that address prevention, early intervention, and treatment for mental and behavioral health disorders among students. The goal of these initiatives is to reduce the risk of mental and behavioral illness and injury among college students and to enhance both individual and community health as a strategy to support student learning. More information... 

Location: Nationwide 

Application Deadline: February 3, 2017 


Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants

This program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. More information... 

Applications are accepted at your local office.

Application Deadline: March 31, 2017

Source: USDA


Economic Development Assistance Programs 

The Economic Development Administration's (EDA's) mission is to lead the Federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for economic growth and success in the worldwide economy. More information... 

Application Deadline: Rolling

Rural & Tribal Passenger Transportation Technical Assistance 

The rural program provides technical assistance for small communities of less than 50,000 people. The focus of the program is economic development: helping small and emerging businesses and stimulating economic development through new and improved public transportation.
The tribal program is designed to help Native American tribes enhance economic growth adn development by improving transportation services. Technical assistance is limited to planning and may support transit service improvements and expansion, system start-up, facility development, development of marketing plans and materials, transportation coordination, training and other public transit problem solving activities.
For more information and to register, click here. 

Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Rolling
Source: Community Transportation Association of America

Homegrown By Heroes

The Homegrown By Heroes label is a key differentiation for farmer veteran products in competitive markets. The HBH label gives farmer veterans the point-of-sale visibility they need to be successful in the marketplace. The HBH label also affords consumers a tangible way to support veterans while providing an avenue to share the veteran's story. More information...

Dates: Annually renewable

Location: Nationwide


Rural Business Development Grant 

A competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues. More information... 

Application Deadline: Applications are accepted through local or state Rural Development offices once every year. 



Helpful Tools and Internship Opportunities


Forest Service Releases 2016 Fall Tribal Relations Newsletter


Find Your Town, a New Tool Promoting Small Towns from the White House Opportunity Project

December 1, 2016 -- Small towns and rural places hold a special place in our vision of America. They offer residents a unique and often genial place to live. Visitors and those just passing through come to enjoy distinct lifestyles, commerce, and countryside.  Yet, many rural towns have trouble promoting themselves and planning for a vibrant future. More information...

Source: USDA


Native American Congressional Internship

The Native American Congressional Internship Program provides American Indian and Alaska Native students with the opportunity to gain practical experience with the federal legislative process in order to understand first-hand the government-to-government relationship between Tribes and the federal government. More information... 

Application Deadline: January 31, 2017


The Office of Senator James Lankford Internship

The Office of Senator James Lankford is currently seeking applications for unpaid interns for the Spring 2017 semester in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa offices. Intern responsibilities may include but are not limited to: answering phones, performing administrative tasks, assisting with database management, contributing to the office correspondence process, supporting staff with projects, and conducting legislative research. Applicants should be highly organized and hardworking. They should also have strong written and verbal communication skills and have the ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment. More information... 

Interested candidates should apply by emailing a resume, cover letter, and writing sample to

Application Deadline: April 14, 2017


Chuuk Women's Council Empowers Micronesian Women to be Healthcare Leaders 

November 2, 2016 -- Although there is only one state hospital for the 50,000 residents that inhabit Chuuk, a group of women is making a difference for the state's healthcare system and for Chuuk society as a whole. Read more... 



Training Opportunities


Overtime Law Workshops

Hear up-to-date information about the Fair Labor Standards Act, and its impact upon the nonprofit sector. The changes to overtime laws go into effect December 1, 2016.

Webinar - January 11, 2017 

Pauls Valley - March 30, 2017 


Nonprofit Management Certification Program

Through training sessions taught by experts in the field, participants will have an opportunity to apply and practice new skills as well as benefit from networking and confidential space to discuss issues and gain confidence. Each day-long session will cover a different topic pertinent to management in the nonprofit sector.

Oklahoma CityJanuary 11, 2017

TulsaJanuary 25, 2017


Leaders' Circle

The Center's Leaders' Circle program is a cohort of Executive Directors who meet monthly to create a support group and learn from community professionals. The goal is to help executive directors gain the knowledge and resources to deal with the challenges facing their organizations and to create a lasting support system throughout the community.

Tulsa January 12, 2017

Oklahoma CityJanuary 20, 2017


Standards for Excellence

Standards for Excellence 2.0 includes expanded and enhanced benchmarks for nonprofit best practices, including 79 benchmarks for best practices; new sample policies in social media and information technologies all nonprofits need to know; and improved information on outcome based measurements and logic models to prove mission impact.

Oklahoma CityFebruary 9-10, 2017

StillwaterFebruary 21-22, 2017

TahlequahMarch 28-29, 2017

MuskogeeApril 18-19, 2017


2017 Advocacy Forums

This will be an advocacy and public policy discussion about the specific messaging your nonprofit needs to engage policymakers and our legislators in a conversation about how nonprofits can only create community change with the right legislative environment. While your organization might not receive state or federal funds, support for our core services through the state government means that communities and our state are stronger and healthier. 

TulsaJanuary 31, 2017

Oklahoma CityFebruary 2, 2017


2017 Oklahoma Conference on Nonprofit Law & Finance

This two-day conference will feature local and regionally recognized speakers on topics including legal compliance, charitable giving, financial oversight, Oklahoma policy and advocacy, along with new horizons: cultural competency, cyber security, and the affects of immigration policy on the nonprofit sector.

Oklahoma City University School of LawMarch 23-24, 2017


Fundraising Summits

The Fundraising Summit provides nonprofit professionals an opportunity to gain extensive knowledge about fundraising in a short, 6-hour setting. Fundraising experts present in quick succession their knowledge about best practices on the many topics every nonprofit professional needs to know. Participants will learn insider-tips for applying for grants, tried-and-true tactics for making bold asks, and flawless management for annual fundraising plans. 

Oklahoma City - April 6, 2017 




Other Opportunities


Cooperative Agreements for Adolescent and Transitional Aged Youth Treatment Implementation 

The purpose of this program is to provide funding to states/territories/tribes (hereafter known as states) to improve treatment for adolescents and/or transitional aged youth with substance use disorders (SUD) and/or co-occurring substance use and mental disorders (hereafter known as "the population of focus") by assuring youth state-wide access to evidence-based assessments, treatment models, and recovery services supported by the strengthening of the existing infrastructure system. Project lasts up to four years and does not require a match. More information... 

Location: Nationwide 

Application Deadline: December 20, 2016


EZ Guarantee Program and Micro Lender Program Status 

The EZ Guarantee Program will help lenders reduce costs of underwriting and servicing loans to help meet the unique financing needs of small farm operations. The intended effects of the rule are to make guaranteed loan programs more widely available and attractive to small farm operations and the lenders who work with those farm operations through a more flexible underwriting analysis process, reduced application requirements, and faster FSA approval. More information... 

Deadlines: Comments on the Paperwork Reduction Act - December 20, 2016. 

Comments on the regulatory changes - January 19, 2017.

Allied Arts Spring Cycle Grants

Allied Arts offers three grant programs to help ensure a dynamic, sustainable cultural community in central Oklahoma.

To learn more about these grants click here.

Application Deadline: January 13, 2017


Whitehall Foundation Invites LOIs for Bioscience Research Projects 

This program is designed for researchers at the assistant professor level who experience difficulty in competing for research funds because they have not yet become firmly established. Grants-in-Aid can also be made to senior scientists. All applications will be judged on the scientific merit and innovative aspects of the proposal, as well as on past performance and evidence of the applicant's continued productivity. Grants-in-Aid are awarded for a one-year period and do not exceed $30,000. More information... 

Location: Nationwide 

Application Deadline: January 15, 2017 (Letters of Intent) 

Sponsor: Whitehall Foundation 


NEA Foundation Invites Applications for Learning and Leadership Grants 

This program awards grants to individuals fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences, such as summer institutes, conferences, or action research. Also, grants to groups fund collegiate study, including study groups, action research, lesson plan development, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff. More information... 

Application Deadline: February 1, 2017

National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards

Each of the 12 award-winning programs will receive $10,000 and an invitation to accept their award at a ceremony at the White House. In addition, all of the winners will receive an award plaque; will have the opportunity to attend the Annual Awardee Conference in Washington, DC, in the summer of 2017; and will be featured on the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program website, as a 2017 Awardee. More information...

Application Deadline: February 8, 2017


Runnerclick Accepting Submissions for Scholarship Program

Runnerclick feels that maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and remaining active in sports as well as other outdoor activities can be beneficial in building a strong mind and good charcacter sportsmanship. The Runnerclick scholarship is awarded to three winners with an amount of $2,000. More information...
Location: Nationwide

Application Deadline: April 20, 2017






Bringing Life Downtown After Hours: Arts, Shopping, Culture After 5

Being open evening hours is not just a matter of extending store hours. It is more like opening a whole different store with different customers. Becky McCray and Deb Brown be sharing ideas and examples from real small towns. Deb will share from her experience as a Chamber of Commerce director, and Becky will share from her perspective as a business owner in a small town. More information...

When: Webinar continually available. 

Community Food Sovereignty Assessment Webinar Series (First Nations Development Institute)

This is a series of educational webinars created and hosted by First Nations Development Institute. The series aims to educate those who work in Native nonprofit and tribal organizations, or in nonprofit or for-profit enterprises engaged in Native agriculture or food systems work. These are led by Vicky Karhu, who is a longtime First Nations consultant and national expert in planning for and conducting Food Sovereignty Assessments in Native communities.

Dates: Moving forward/developing action plans (January 17, 2017).



What is the Promise Zone? How does it benefit my community? 

The Promise Zone offers preference points on many federal grant applications the Choctaw Nation and our partners seek. To gain these preference points, the Choctaw Nation Promise Zone must certify and verify applications. These preference points give applications a "leg up" as they head to federal agencies for review. HUD Form 50153 must be signed by a Promise Zone Official before it's submitted with any grant. Sara Jane Smallwood is the Promise Zone Official for Choctaw Nation.

Please visit this link to obtain HUD Form 50153 and view the full list of grants with the Promise Zone preference points.



What are the Promise Zone's geographical boundaries? 

The Promise Zone is a place-based initiative, and is confined to a set of Census tracts in southeastern Oklahoma. These areas were chosen because of their high need and opportunity for grants and programs to positively impact communities. Promise Zone preference is assigned to these areas. However, many of our school districts and communities in southeastern Oklahoma cross Census tract lines. Contact the Promise Zone team to help determine Promise Zone eligibility or for any questions on the boundaries. We have created an interactive map of the Promise Zone to help determine and highlight the Promise Zone boundaries. It's easy to use, and users can type in addresses to see if they're in the Zone. This is a helpful and effective tool for Choctaw Nation and our partners.

Please visit this link to use the interactive Promise Zone map.



Contact the Choctaw Nation Promise Zone Team

Sara Jane Smallwood, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma


Josh Riley, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma


Amber Anderson, USDA

Choctaw Nation Promise Zone Initiative Vision: To work collaboratively with community partners at the local, state, and national level to eradicate poverty, increase educational attainment, reduce criminal activity, and pursue economic development in southeastern Oklahoma.



Choctaw Nation, P.O. Box 1210, Durant, OK 74701



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