Rural Gateway Peer-To-Peer Conference Call U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development’s Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) Funding Opportunity: A Discussion of Best Practices
USDA Rural Development’s Home Repair and Homeownership Programs 1-minute Video
Sharing this newly created 1-min outreach videos regarding USDA Rural Development’s Home Repair and Homeownership Programs: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/all-programs/single-family-housing-programs. Please share with your regional counterparts, disaster centers, and other partner organizations interested in accessing our loan programs that can support individuals and families in rural have a safe home.
Challenges & Opportunities for Co-op Development in African American Communities
During the webinar Melbah shares insights into organizing co-ops in some of the poorest rural areas of the country. She discusses challenges and opportunities for co-op development in African-American communities. Always the visionary, Melbah will also speak about future possibilities for co-op development.
Web Link: http://cc.readytalk.com/play?id=707n05
CDFI Fund Implements Annual Certification Report
The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) launched today a new mandatory Annual Certification Report for all certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The Annual Certification Report, which must be completed in the CDFI Fund’s Awards Management Information System (AMIS), will allow the CDFI Fund to annually assess certified CDFIs’ compliance with certification rules. The CDFI Fund has posted to its website’s https://www.cdfifund.gov/programs-training/certification/cdfi/Pages/reporting-step.aspx">Certification page instructions for completing the Annual Certification Report, along with a helpful glossary of terms. These guidance documents can be found on http://www.cdfifund.gov/cdficert">www.cdfifund.gov/cdficert, under How to Apply Step 2: Reporting. The CDFI Fund will host training webinars on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. ET and Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. ET to provide training for CDFIs that must report in April. Access information for the webinars can be found on the CDFI Fund’s http://www.cdfifund.gov/cdficert">Certification website under How to Apply Step 2: Reporting. Additional webinars will also be scheduled to assist CDFIs with later reporting dates. The CDFI Fund will release information about additional webinars when available.
CDFA and USDA Launch Community Facilities Infrastructure Toolkit
The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are excited to announce the release of the Community Facilities Infrastructure Toolkit (CFIT), a guide which was developed in collaboration over the past year. The CFIT contains best practices for planning, designing, developing and financing rural community facilities that can be used by nonprofits and public entities. In order to further analyze the Toolkit, CDFA, in partnership with the USDA, is offering a complimentary education webinar to examine how conventional bank loans, bond financing, or state and federal grant and lending programs can be applied broadly across organizations regardless of project type or finance resources.
“Introducing a Food Access Survey” Training Webinar Hosted by the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) Tuesday, March 15, 2:00-3:00pm ET
Join us for a webinar – part of the Michigan Good Food Charter Shared Measurement training series – that will provide an overview of a new food access survey tool and the associated Request for Applications (RFA) for piloting the tool. If you are considering applying to participate in the pilot, this webinar will help you understand both the application and the pilot process better! You may also want to sign up if you just want to learn more about the pilot or are interested in using the survey tool in another context.
Courtney Pinard, Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition, and Kathryn Colasanti, CRFS, will cover the following topics:
- Dimensions of food access and associated measures
- A walk-through of the new survey tool and where to access other tools
- Tips on conducting surveys
- An overview of the RFA to pilot the survey tool
- Other opportunities to utilize the survey tool
- Next steps in the shared measurement process
HUD's Office of Housing Counseling will discuss the FY16-17 NOFA for HUD’s Housing Counseling Training Grant Program in a webinar onMarch 2, 2016, 2:00-3:30 PM EST.
Speakers will cover changes to the application process including the new charts, funding methodology, the rating factors with information on specific charts, as well as submission requirements and other technical issues. Register for this webinar.
Branding Basics for Nonprofits
Tuesday, March 8, 2:00-3:00 pm ET | 11:00 am-12:00 pm PT
Ever wonder what makes a nonprofit's brand powerful? In this webinar, we'll show you how to lead a branding process and exercises to articulate your brand's most compelling attributes. Register Now»
Community Builders Webinar Series begins March 16, 2016, 2:00-3:00 PM EST,with “Cities Building Community Wealth”.
Sarah McKinley, Manager of Community Development Programs with the Democracy Collaborative, will present an emerging new way of doing community economic development. The work is place-based, fed by the power of anchor institutions, and built on locally rooted and broadly held ownership. Across the country, economic development professionals and mayors are working in partnership with foundations, anchor institutions, unions, community organizations, progressive business networks, workers, and community residents to implement strategies that build wealth and prosperity for everyone. Register for this webinar.
Now Available: Targeted Community Reinvestment: HUD’s Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program as a Financing Tool - 2016 Update Webinar
This webinar, held on February 10, 2016, describes how the Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program (Section 108) can serve as an important financing tool in targeting reinvestment for economic development, public facilities and improvements, and housing rehabilitation. The loan guarantees can help recipients leverage limited public resources to catalyze investment in communities, especially those facing, among other challenges, persistent poverty and the need to increase community resilience following the impact of natural disasters.
Along with this information, the webinar explains recent rule changes that permit HUD to charge borrowers a one-time fee upon loan approval. The webinar also provides an overview of how Section 108 recipients should be using HUD’s Integrated Disbursement and Information System (IDIS) to track and disburse funds. Click the video to play the Targeted Community Reinvestment: HUD’s Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program as a Financing Tool - 2016 Update Webinar.
Low-education counties are mostly rural and concentrated in the South and Southwest
The proportion of adults lacking a high school diploma or equivalent declined in rural America (defined here as non-metro counties), from 32 percent in 1990 to 15 percent in 2014. The proportion of rural adults with college degrees also increased from 12 to 19 percent during that time. Despite these overall gains, educational attainment varies widely across rural areas. ERS’s latest county typology classifies low-education counties as those where at least one of every five working-age adults (age 25-64) has not completed high school. In an average of data over 2008-12, ERS identified 467 low-education counties in the United States, 367 of which were rural. Eight out of 10 of all low-education counties are located in the South. Three-fourths of rural low-education counties also qualified as low-employment in the latest ERS county typology. Over 40 percent of rural low-education counties were both low-employment and persistently poor, reflecting the difficulty that adults without high school diplomas have in finding and retaining jobs that pay enough to place them above the poverty line. This map is part of the ERS data product on County Typology Codes, released December 2015.
Gateses' Annual Letter Calls for Improved Energy Access, Gender Equity
In their latest annual letter (28 pages, PDF or HTML), Bill and Melinda Gates argue that persistent poverty is as much about the absence of resources as it is about lack of money. The Gateses' eighth annual letter is addressed, for the first time, to high school students, who, as the couple writes, will be the ones "solving these problems." One of the problems highlighted by the Gateses is access, or lack thereof, to energy, which, as Bill Gates notes in his half of the letter, affects 1.3 billion people — 18 percent of the world's population. "Without access to energy," he adds, "the poor are stuck in the dark, denied all of these benefits and opportunities that come with power." Using a mathematical equation, he then highlights the need for an "energy miracle" — the development and transition to efficient green technologies that will boost energy production while reducing carbon emissions. Indeed, Gates argues, access to affordable sources of clean energy will transform the lives of millions of the poorest families, enabling them to study, run businesses, and power local clinics and hospitals....
Foundation Transparency Focused on Grantmaking, Goals, Survey Finds
Foundations and their grantees believe what matters most in foundation transparency is information about the substance of a foundation's work rather than disclosures about its finances or governance, a report from the Center for Effective Philanthropy finds. Based on survey data from a hundred and forty-five foundation CEOs and more than fifteen thousand grantees, as well as a review of more than seventy foundation websites, the report, Sharing What Matters: Foundation Transparency (52 pages, PDF), found that foundations see grantees and potential grantees as the primary audiences for their transparency efforts, and that community foundations also see individual donors as a key audience. Funded in part by the Fund for Shared Insight, the report also found that foundations do well when it comes to sharing information about their grantmaking processes and goals and strategies, with nearly three-quarters of the foundation CEOs surveyed saying that being transparent about the foundation's goals could significantly increase the foundation's ability to be effective and 69 percent saying the same about strategies. At the same time, only 46 percent of foundation CEOs said their foundation was "very" or "extremely" transparent about what had or hadn't worked, even though 69 percent said it could significantly increase the effectiveness of their grantmaking....
Third Round Promise Zones Competition Update
Thank you for your interest in the final round of the Promise Zones competition. HUD intends to designate five urban communities and USDA intends to designate one rural and one tribal community. Applications for Promise Zone designations will be reviewed by representatives from the federal agencies affiliated with the initiative. Announcements will be made in the Spring of 2016. Urban, rural, and tribal Promise Zone applicants were asked to put together a clear description of how the Promise Zone designation would accelerate and strengthen the community’s own efforts at comprehensive community revitalization. All Promise Zones will receive priority access to federal investments that further their strategic plans, federal staff on the ground to help them implement their goals, and five full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members to recruit and manage volunteers and strengthen the capacity of the Promise Zone initiatives. Promise Zone designations will have a term of ten years and may be extended as necessary to capture the full term of availability of the Promise Zone tax incentives if enacted by Congress. For the Third Round Promise Zones competition, there were 82 applications submitted: 64 urban applicants, 11 rural applicants, and 7 tribal applicants. View the list of applicants. Join the mailing list to receive announcements and to follow the progress of the first and second round Promise Zones. More information is available on the Promise Zones website.
Princeton University has released a new report, "Rising Morbidity and Mortality in Midlife Among White Non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st Century”.
The report demonstrates the negative impact that economic hard times have on well-being. The report speaks to the importance of economic development that generates opportunities and prosperity for all. Download the report.
The Center for Housing Policy at the National Housing Conference released "Housing Landscape 2016".
The report reveals that more low- and moderate-income working households are renting as opposed to owning their homes, with the share of households who rent increasing from 50.8 percent to 52.6 percent from 2011 to 2014. Download the report.
A white paper from the Summit on Creativity and Aging in America is now available to download from the National Education Association website.
This event, which was hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Center for Creative Aging in May 2015, brought together more than 70 experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the fields of healthy aging, lifelong learning in the arts, and design for aging communities. Download the paper.
Forbes Magazine published an article titled, "Report Illuminates Wealth-Creation Gap Among Small Business Owners". The report highlights wealth building differences for minority and women entrepreneurs, based on CFED's Asset and Opportunity Scorecard. Read the article
Nearly one-third of SNAP recipients obtain food from a food pantry
Both Federal and community food and nutrition assistance programs are important resources for low-income households and together make up the Nation’s nutrition safety net. In addition to receiving Federal food and nutrition assistance, some low-income households access community programs such as food pantries and emergency soup kitchens to cope with food hardships. In 2014, nearly one-third of low-income households (with incomes less than 185 percent of the poverty line) that reported receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits also used a food pantry. About 23 percent of low-income households that received free or reduced-price school lunches or Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food packages also used a food pantry. Among low-income households that did not receive SNAP, free or reduced-price school lunch, or WIC, 8 percent used a food pantry. Fewer low-income households ate meals at less commonly available emergency kitchens. In 2014, 3.2 percent of SNAP recipient households also ate a meal at an emergency kitchen. Emergency kitchen use is likely understated because the survey underlying these statistics does not include people who are homeless. The statistics for this chart are from Statistical Supplement to Household Food Security in the United States in 2014, AP-069, September 2015