Funding and Finance Opportunities: December 2018

Compiled and published monthly by Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (

Funding and Finance Opportunities


USDA is offering funding through the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. Loans and loan guarantees will provide funds for the construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas. Deadline: 9/30/2019. Click here for program guidelines and application materials.


RURAL LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) created the Community Facilities Fund to provide capital to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC utilizes this fund to provide permanent and construction-to-permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities in rural communities with populations under 20,000. Deadline: ongoing.

Click here for more information.

THE PEACE DEVELOPMENT FUND is offering funding through Community Organizing Grants program that provides support to community-based organizations in the United States, Haiti, and Mexico that are working for social justice. The funding priorities include organizing to shift power, working to build a movement, dismantling oppression, and creating new structures. Priority is given to new or emerging organizations; efforts that have difficulty securing funds from other sources; community organizations working on climate change issues at the local policy level; groups that have a genesis in Occupy, MeToo, or Movement for Black Lives; collaborative peace initiatives led by women; or issues that are not yet recognized by progressive funders. Grants range from $2,500 to $10,000, with an average of $5,000. The application deadline is 12/28/2018.

Visit the Fund’s website here to download the grant guidelines for the Community Organizing Grants program.

THE EQT FOUNDATION supports nonprofit organizations in the communities where the company operates in eastern Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania, and northern West Virginia. The Foundation gives priority to programs that address the following areas: The Education category focuses on providing access to programs that enhance proficiency in core academic skills, with emphasis on STEM programs. The Community and Economic Development category promotes the development of livable communities that can attract residential and commercial growth and sustain a healthy local economy. The Environment category supports the preservation of local natural resources as well as activities to minimize adverse impacts on the environment. The Arts and Culture category encourages initiatives that are designed to give communities more exposure to artistic programming, or that promote expanded awareness of the diverse culture and heritage of Appalachia. The Diversity category promotes programs that foster racial diversity. The application deadlines are February 1, May 1, August 1, and November 1, annually.

Visit the company’s website here to review the funding priorities and submit an online application.

Economic Development

USDA is offering grants through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program (REDL and REDG). The program offers loans and grants to assist in the economic development of rural areas, including funds for healthcare facilities and equipment, telecommunications networks, and job creation projects. Deadline: 12/31/2018.

Click here for funding guidelines and to apply.


BIG READ is accepting grant applications for Community-Wide Reading Programs. Seventy-five grants of up to $15,000 will be awarded to nonprofit organizations for community-wide reading programs that encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. Deadline: 1/24/2019.

Click here to review funding guidelines and to apply.


HUD is offering grants through The Fair Housing Initiative Program. Program areas include the Private Enforcement Initiative, the Fair Housing Organization Initiative, and the Education and Outreach Initiative. The application deadline is 12/10/2018.

Click here to review funding guidelines and to apply.


FEDERAL OFFICE OF RURAL HEALTH POLICY, HEALTH RESOURCES AND SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES is offering grants through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Planning. Planning grants designed to strengthen the capacity of multi-sector consortia to address prevention, treatment, and recovery from substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder in rural counties identified to be at the highest risk. Deadline to apply: 1/15/2019.

Click here to review application guidelines and to apply.

THE AMERISOURCEBERGEN FOUNDATION is offering funding through the Opioid Resource Grant Program. The Program will provide nonprofit organizations in communities across the United States with grants ranging up to $100,000 to combat the epidemic of opioid misuse. Priority will be given to organizations addressing the following three key areas of focus: safe disposal, education around prevention, and innovative solutions. (Funding requests for treatment, recovery, or treatment-related research will not be considered.) 2019 Deadlines; letters of intent will be accepted from January 1 through February 15 and July 1 through August 15.

Visit the Foundation’s website here to download the Opioid Resource Grant Program guidelines.

Other Opportunities

USDA is offering funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Technical Assistance and Training Grants program that supports communities with water or wastewater systems through technical assistance or training. Supported organizations will identify and evaluate solutions to water and waste disposal problems in rural areas, assist other organizations in preparing applications for water and waste grants made at the state level, and improve operation and maintenance of existing water and waste disposal facilities in rural areas. Deadline: 12/31/2018.

Click here to review funding guidelines.

THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) is offering funding through the FY 2019 Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grants (MAC Grants). Deadline: 1/31/2019. These grants are offered by the EPA Brownfields Program and may be used to address sites contaminated by, or perceived to be contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants and petroleum.

Click here to review funding guidelines and to apply.

The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program, administered by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and funded by the National Football League Foundation, provides support for nonprofit neighborhood-based organizations and middle or high schools to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields. Matching Field Surface Grants of up to $250,000 are available to help finance the resurfacing of community, middle school, or high school football fields. General Field Support Grants of up to $50,000 are available for capital projects not associated with the actual field surface, such as the installation or refurbishment of bleachers, concession stands, lights, etc. All organizations applying for funds must be located within NFL Target Markets and serve low- to moderate-income areas within those markets. A list of eligible communities is included in the Request for Proposals (RFP). Deadline: 1/31/2019.

Visit the LISC website here to download the RFP.

FRIENDS OF HAWAII CHARITIES is offering grants to nonprofit organizations and public agencies that benefit women, children, youth, the elderly, and the needy in Hawaii. Grants focus on the following areas: arts and education, healthcare and basic needs, and social services, such as family abuse programs, drug and job rehabilitation, elderly services, and programs for the terminally ill. Priority is given to direct services that make a significant difference in Hawaiian communities.Deadline: 1/31/2019.

Visit the Friends of Hawaii Charities website here to download the 2019 application materials.

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY is offering funding through the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program. The program provides support for community-driven projects designed to engage, educate, and empower communities to better understand local environmental and public health issues and develop strategies for addressing those issues, building consensus in the community, and setting community priorities. Deadline: 2/15/2019.

Click here to review program guidelines and to apply.

Training Events and Conferences

National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and other leaders of the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) will host a webinar on the current status and outlook for FY19 and FY20 funding for affordable housing and community development programs. The webinar will be held on December 3, 2018 at 3:00 PM EST. Register by clicking here.

Red Wind in partnership with the Native American Development Corporation PTAC, and Lakota Funds will host “Native American Entrepreneurial Empowerment Workshop” December 3-4, 2018 at the Fairfield Inn and Suites, Rapid City, South Dakota. Click here for more information and to register.

Journalist and author of “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic,” Sam Quinones, will discuss the factors that went into creating our national epidemic of opiate addiction: pharmaceutical marketing, demanding American health consumers, changes in our heroin market, and more on a webinar December 7, 2018 at 2:00 PM EST. The webinar is presented by the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development. Register for the free webinar by clicking here.

National Development Council (NDC) will host a free webinar on Opportunity Zones on Friday, December 7, 2018 at 3:00 PM EST. Presenters will provide information on the latest policy discussions surrounding community and economic development. Click here to register for the webinar.

Novogradac will hold a webinar “From Allocation to Form 8609” December 7, 2018 12:00-2:30 PM EST. This webinar addresses various requirements that low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) awardees must satisfy during the period between receiving their tax credit award and submitting their Form(s) 8609 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Nonprofit rate is $100. Click here to register.

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has announced a “How to Do Creative Placemaking” webinar series, hosted in partnership with Local Initiative Support Coalition (LISC) and supported by the NEA and The Kresge Foundation. The series continues through the spring of 2019, with six webinars offering practical advice to help local practitioners meet the challenges of collaborative creative placemaking work. The next in the series is “Digging Deep: Community Engagement Methods & Techniques” to be held Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 2:00 PM EST. Click here to register.

The Federal Home Loan Bank’s Public Policy Network Quarterly Conference Call will be held December 14, 2018 at 10:30 AM EST. The 30-minute call will provide updates on major legislation and discuss the impact of the midterm elections on the agenda. Click here to register for the call.

Novogradac will hold the “2019 Affordable Housing Conference: Using RAD and the LIHTC To Improve Communities” January 10-11, 2019 in Miami Beach, Florida. Click here for conference details and to register.

Save the Date…

The National Endowment for the Arts will hold the first Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit for 2019 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 7-9, 2019.

National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC’s) 2019 Housing Policy Forum: “Seizing the Moment for Bold Solutions” will take place in Washington, D.C., March 27-29, 2019.

American Society on Aging will hold its Aging in America Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, April 15-18, 2019.

Novogradac 2019 Affordable Housing Conference will take place May 2-3, 2019 in San Francisco, California.

Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference will take place May 9–10, 2019 in Washington, D.C.

National Housing Coalition’s 47th Annual Housing Visionary Award Gala will be held June 6, 2019.

Information and Other Resources

NORC at the University of Chicago and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have released a new community assessment tool that allows users to access data on the opioid epidemic in counties across the country. The tool allows users to see the epidemic’s relation to demographic and socioeconomic factors, and compare county-level data to the rest of the state and country, and track how data has changed over time. Access the tool here.

“Broadband: Opportunities and Challenges in Rural America” is a report presenting the results of a hearing hosted by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on broadband access in rural communities. The report features testimony from representatives of Mescalero Apache Telecom, Golden West Telecommunications, Cheyenne River Sioux Telephone Authority, and U.S. Cellular Corp. Get the report by clicking here.

“Map to Prosperity” from the Center for Rural Affairs discusses the potential of broadband’s effects on the rural economy, especially for farming operations and small businesses. The report describes broadband access in rural areas, and includes rural versus urban comparisons for rural broadband access and funding and technical assistance programs to increase broadband adoption. Access the report by clicking here.

A paper from the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS), “Measuring Housing Affordability: Assessing the 30 Percent of Income Standard,” compares two different measures of housing cost burdens: the common 30% housing cost-to-income ratio and the residual income approach. Download the paper by clicking here.

A report from the Federal Reserve System “Board of Governors Explores Affordable Housing Challenges in Rural Communities” finds that high levels of rental cost burdens are a challenge for rural communities. Despite the need, the analysis reveals that resources provided by the federal government to address rental cost burdens in rural areas is at a low point compared with recent history. Additionally, the report finds that the low income housing tax credit (LIHTC) is an important tool for the production and preservation of affordable housing in both urban and rural communities. Get the report by clicking here.

The Forum, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have produced a video “The Health and Economic Concerns of Rural Americans.” The presentation features a discussion on the role social and economic disparities play in the health of people in rural communities. Highlights include the effect the opioid crisis has had in rural areas and discusses ways communities can use local resources to combat opioid abuse. Watch the video online by clicking here.

A new report by the Dallas Fed addresses concerns about the new Opportunity Zone program and provides best practices for its implementation. The report explores three key concerns about the Opportunity Zones program related to the guidance provided by the federal government, the transparency and regulation of funds that invest in Opportunity Zones, and the possibility of gentrification and displacement. The report also discusses three actions that community-based organizations and policymakers can take to address these concerns: “integrate investments thoughtfully within the broader economic environment,” “focus on inclusivity,” and “encourage performance tracking at the local level.” Get the report by clicking here.

Rural Health Research Gateway has published “Rural Health Research Recap: Rural Communities: Age, Income, and Health Status,” that provides a summary of key findings from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy funded Rural Health Research Centers’ most recent research on the demographics and health status of rural residents. The report features statistics comparing mortality and incidence of various health conditions in rural and urban areas, and poverty rates in the South, West, Midwest, and Northeast United States. Click here to get the report.

The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) has released an online directory of multi-project Opportunity Zone funding opportunities with contact information and details such as geographic coverage and investment focus. The directory currently covers 39 publicly-announced funds and will be updated periodically. Access the directory by clicking here.

The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University released “Housing America’s Older Adults: 2018,” which highlights the need to provide safe, affordable, and accessible housing to the nation’s aging population. More than half of the nation’s householders are at least 50 years of age, and more than one-quarter are at least 65 years of age. Get the report by clicking here.

USDA Economic Research Service has released “Rural America at a Glance, 2018 Edition.” The report and maps provides an overview of social and economic factors affecting rural America. Includes statistics and data on trends in employment, infrastructure, population, race/ethnicity, poverty, and income. Get the information by clicking here.

“Rural Poverty, Part 1” from the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison showcases two papers from the Rural Policy Research Institute’s (RUPRI) March 2018 “Rural Poverty: Fifty Years After The People Left Behind” Conference. The report covers the causes and consequences of rural poverty and discusses the evolving research agenda to address the issue to improve economic opportunities. Includes data comparing rural and urban poverty rates and includes information on rural and urban poverty rates by gender, education, marital status, and employment. Get the report by clicking here.

Summary Report to the Field #4: Foundations Supporting Rural Leadership Programs” is part four of a series discussing ten, past and present, rural leadership programs supported through foundation funds. The report from Campbell University summarizes trends in rural leadership programs. Get the report by clicking here.


Rural LISC works with 86 partner organizations creating sustainable rural communities across 44 states. Visit our website here and sign up for the Rural LISC RSS feed here. If this email was forwarded to you and you would like to sign up to receive the Rural e-News each month, click here.

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