12/23: Promise Zone funding opportunities, resources, events

A weekly update for the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone

HUD has new online resource tool

PromiseZone_logoThe U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development has a rich, new online tool that allows a full website search on the HUD Exchange, a huge resource that includes results from all areas of HUD’s website that don’t require login access.

You can now use the search to find pages, resources, trainings, news, FAQs, grantees, reports, and other content. Users will be able to filter results by topic and by content type. The search will remain powered by the Google Search Appliance which adapts to user behavior, learning to deliver better results over time. Links that get more clicks automatically move up in the search ranking.

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COMPETITION: Social Innovation Fund’s Pay for Success Grants Competition

The Social Innovation Fund is inviting Community Development Financial Institutions to apply for its 2016 Pay for Success (PFS) Competition. This competition will provide up to $10.6 million to eligible organizations, including nonprofits and state and local governments, to support PFS transaction structuring – that is, to take PFS projects from development to implementation and from conception to fruition. Awarded grants will range from $350,000 to $1,800,000 per year for a three year period.  Overall, this competition will aid in advancing the emerging models that align payment for social services with verified social outcomes.  A letter of intent from interested applicants is encouraged by January 13, and applications are due by February 11, 2016.

  • More information, including information about webinars and question and answer sessions about the Pay for Success Competition, can be found on the Social Innovation Fund’s website.

 NEA: Art Works Creativity Connects Projects, FY2017

The Arts Endowment’s support of a project may start on or after January 1, 2017. Generally, a period of performance of up to two years is allowed. The official applicant must be an arts organization. An organization may submit only one application for an Art Work: Creativity Connects grant. Grant Program Description Creativity Connects* is an initiative that will show how the arts are central to the country’s creativity ecosystem, investigate how support systems for the arts have changed, explore how the arts connect with other industries, and invest in innovative projects to spark new ideas for the arts field. A key component to the Creativity Connects initiative is a pilot grant opportunity in the Art Works category to support partnerships between arts organizations and organizations from non-arts sectors that include, but are not limited to, business, education, environment, faith, finance, food, health, law, science, and technology. Art Works: Creativity Connects grants will seek to benefit the arts and non-arts sectors by: Demonstrating the value of working with the arts; supporting the infrastructure for the arts to work in new ways with new sectors; building bridges that create new relationships and constituencies; and creating innovative partnership projects to advance common goals.

MORE GRANTS: Click here to find recently-announced grant openings


WEBINARS: Learn how to use USDA Rural Development’s new application intake system

Six times: Jan. 13, 2016 to March 23, 2016

Based on extensive demand, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Telecommunications Program will host a series of six additional webinars focused on our new application intake system: RD Apply. This new system allows interested parties to apply electronically for loans and grants administered by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS).

Apply with ease for the latest RUS Farm Bill Broadband Loan Program and Infrastructure Program loans through RD Apply. Eventually, more programs will be added into the system, allowing a wider range of customers to submit applications electronically.

Learn about our new system at one of our WEBINAR training events (time and date subject to change):

  • Jan 13, 2016       2:30 – 4 PM EST
  • Jan 27, 2016       2:30 – 4 PM EST
  • Feb 10, 2016       2:30 – 4 PM EST
  • Feb 23, 2016       10 – 11:30 AM EST
  • Mar 8, 2016         10 – 11:30 AM EST
  • Mar 23, 2016       2:30 – 4 PM EST

WEBINARS: Expanding Community Development Financial Institutes coverage in underserved areas

Five webinars: Jan. 26, 2016, to April 5, 2016

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) has released the schedule of the next set of free webinars through the Capacity Building Initiative’s “Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas” series. The webinars, provided by Opportunity Finance Network and its partners, will be held between January 2016 and April 2016. The CDFI Fund launched the “Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas” series to help fill the gaps in Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) service coverage in underserved communities in the United States and its territories. The free webinars are designed to maximize CDFI industry participation in this important training. The webinars will expand upon training topics developed for in-person training sessions held during the summer of 2015, as well as new topical content on expansion developed by CDFI experts.

The five webinars are:

  • Partnerships for Financial Capability (Tuesday, January 26, 2016, 2 p.m. EST): Partnerships are often formed out of a common sense of purpose, but many fail to thrive. How can you build better partnerships? This webinar will describe five keys to success – convergent vision, complementary capacities, commitment, confidence, and coordination – and present a framework to help prospective partners to build more effective, dynamic, and durable relationships.
  • Exploring New Models for CDFI Coverage through Formation of New or Affiliated CDFIs (Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 2 p.m. EST): This webinar presents options for structures CDFIs can consider when forming new or affiliated CDFIs. Not-for-profit and for-profit corporate structures are presented, as well as de novo, acquiring, and evolving formation strategies. The risk and return spectrum will help CDFIs understand the risk-return profile for different types of financing products offered by CDFIs from debt to equity.
  • Capitalization Strategies: Raising Debt and Equity for CDFIs (Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 2 p.m. EST): Join us for a webinar on capitalization to explore various sources of capital available to CDFIs. In this webinar, you will learn to develop a plan to access the sources of capital appropriate for your CDFI.
  • Customer Acquisition (Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 2 p.m. EDT): New market challenges, increased competition, demand for diversified products, and more selective customers all make it even more imperative to reach and retain the customers your organization needs to grow. Learn how to identify and reach your most important customers.
  • Fundraising Strategies for your CDFI (Tuesday, April 5, 2016, 2 p.m. EDT): Join us for a webinar focusing on raising operating capital for your CDFI. We will provide several perspectives from the industry on fundraising during this session. Included in the discussion will be how to find funders, how to build relationships with your funders, and how to effectively tell your organization’s story.

Future webinar opportunities will be posted as they are confirmed to the “Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas” webpage. Webinars will be recorded and made available on the CDFI Fund’s Resource Bank later in 2016.

WEBINAR: Mindset, Motivation and the Argument for Change

Jan. 21, 2016, 11 a.m. to noon, CST

Jim Ott, a school psychologist and Bridges Out of Poverty Consultant with aha! Process, will discuss A Framework for Understanding Poverty and Bridges Out of Poverty principles and their application through Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World Jim will focus on these issues from a psychologist’s perspective – why the principles work and how we can apply them individually and systemically to facilitate real change in individuals and families.


HUNGER: Prevalence of food insecurity varies across the country

USDA monitors the extent and severity of food insecurity in U.S. households at the national and State levels. Food-insecure households are defined as those that had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources. Food insecurity rates differ across States due to characteristics of the population, State-level policies, and economic conditions. Estimated prevalence rates of food insecurity during 2012-14 ranged from 8.4 percent in North Dakota to 22.0 percent in Mississippi. Data for 2012-14 were combined to provide more reliable State statistics. The prevalence of food insecurity was higher than the national average of 14.0 percent in 14 States and lower than the national average in 20 States. In the remaining 16 States and the District of Columbia, differences from the national average were not statistically significant. This map appears in ERS’s Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials.

GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE: Regional Engagement for Green Infrastructure Decision-Making and Implementation

On December 17, the NADO Research Foundation, in partnership with the University of Louisville Center for Environmental Policy & Management’s Environmental Finance Center, hosted a webinar titled Regional Engagement for Green Infrastructure Decision Making & Implementation.  In cities, towns, and regions throughout the country, green infrastructure has emerged as a powerful tool for enhancing community livability, economic competitiveness, and resilience in the face of a changing climate.  At the regional level, green infrastructure is defined more broadly as an interconnected system of local interventions or a larger network of natural lands, working landscapes, and open spaces that provide a range of eco-system services.  Since these complex systems often span local jurisdictional boundaries, regional development organizations (RDOs) and other regional planning entities throughout the country are increasingly recognizing their growing role in the evolution of green infrastructure.

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