1/15: Promise Zone funding opportunities, resources, events

An update for the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone


Grant process open

Deadline: Applications due by March 14, 2016

USDA Rural Development is seeking applications for grant funding in its Distance Learning and Telemedicine program to help rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and the world to overcome the effects of remoteness and low population density. “For example, this program can link teachers and medical service providers in one area to students and patients in another,” according to USDA RD.

Organic Transition Program grants

Deadline: April 15, 2016

The overall goal of the Organic Transitions Program (ORG) is to support the development and implementation of research, extension and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers, as well as those who are adopting organic practices.

American Academy of Pediatrics:
Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) Planning Funds Program

Deadline: Jan. 29, 2016

Grants for pediatricians to develop community-based child health projects related to medical home access, immunization services, and specific health services not otherwise available.

American Academy of Pediatrics:
Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) Resident Funds Program

Deadline: Jan. 29, 2016

Grants to support pediatric residents in the planning of community-based child health initiatives that increase children’s access to medical homes, immunization services, and specific health services not otherwise available. Funding is also available for projects that focus on overweight and obesity, nutrition, or physical activity.

Lowe’s Foundation:
Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Program

Deadline: Feb. 12, 2016

Provides grants for school improvement projects, including school gardens, physical fitness areas, and walking trails.

Connections for Cardiovascular Health

Deadline: Feb. 25, 2016

Provides grants to nonprofit organizations working to improve cardiovascular health at the community level.

Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Grant Program (SHCPQI)

Deadline: March 4, 2016

The purpose of this program of the Health Resources and Services Administration is to provide support to rural primary care providers for planning and implementation of quality improvement activities. $4.15 million is available to 21 recipients.

Children’s Initiative related to domestic violence

Deadline: Aug. 1, 2016

Funding for new programs designed to create and promote stability and resiliency for children who have witnessed domestic violence.


NEW WEBINAR: Learn about health and technology grants

2 p.m., Jan. 19, 2016

Grants Office will hold a one-hour Grantscast to help people learn about technology-friendly grant programs that can fund data agility; offer tips for developing fundable technology-enabled projects and how to improve how you use and manage data. According to an invitation, “Healthcare providers currently function in an environment where medical inflation and increased financial risk combine to create razor thin operating margins. In order to survive, it is essential for these providers to understand federal funding priorities and effectively target grant money to fill in the gaps.”

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

Five times: Jan. 27, 2016 to March 23, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Telecommunications Program will host a series of 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 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.


Efficient Strategies for Rural Transport Infrastructure

This report by Ernst and Young explains how administrations can make rural projects effective and leverage what public funds they do have available for investment growth through financial innovation, competition, and appropriate private sector engagement.

Rural Financing Best Practices: Unlocking the Development Finance Toolbox in Rural America

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.

HUD Publishes CDBG Broadband Infrastructure FAQs

HUD has published Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Entitlement Program and State CDBG Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding broadband infrastructure.

HUD continues its efforts to narrow the digital divide in low-income communities served by HUD by providing, where feasible and with HUD funding, broadband infrastructure to communities in need of such infrastructure. Broadband is the common term used to refer to a very fast connection to the Internet. Such connections are also referred to as high-speed. Although HUD plans to issue regulations that will formalize its steps for narrowing the digital divide, current CDBG funds can be used for broadband installation infrastructure and service delivery.

Study: One in five rural counties had child poverty rates over 33 percent

Child poverty rates varied considerably across nonmetropolitan (rural) counties according to 2009-13 county averages (data on poverty for all U.S. counties are available from the American Community Survey only for 5-year averages). According to the official poverty measure, one in five rural counties had child poverty rates over 33 percent. Child poverty has increased since the 2000 Census (which measured poverty in 1999) and the number of rural counties with child poverty rates of over 33 percent has more than doubled. Improving young adult education levels tended to lower child poverty rates over the period, but increases in single-parent households and economic recession were associated with rising child poverty. Metropolitan counties had average child poverty rates of 21 percent in 2009-13. This map appears in the July 2015 Amber Waves feature, Understanding the Geography of Growth in Rural Child Poverty.

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