Community Dividend

Info and insights on community development issues, innovations, and best practices

Exploring innovation in early childhood development

Rob Grunewald and Ben Horowitz May 21, 2019

Research findings presented at a Minneapolis Fed conference highlight the importance of investing early to ensure kids receive high-quality care and education

Collaborating to create business spaces in North Minneapolis

Ben Horowitz April 24, 2019

People from the public, private, and philanthropic sectors are partnering to overcome barriers that can keep businesses from locating and thriving on the Northside

Changing up the child care block grant to meet market challenges

Rob Grunewald and Ben Horowitz January 8, 2019

We examine how the 2014 reauthorization of the federal Child Care Development Block Grant is—or isn’t—helping families and child care providers

What is family, friend, and neighbor child care?

Rob Grunewald and Ben Horowitz January 8, 2019

Who’s watching the kids? More often than not, it’s a grandparent, an in-law, or a trusted neighbor from down the block

How small-dollar loan programs can be a big benefit for employees (and their employers)

Ben Horowitz June 19, 2018

By providing their workers with access to affordable, low-risk credit, companies could help ease personal financial stresses—and improve their own bottom lines.

Reinventing the agricultural economy in Indian Country

Ben Horowitz July 17, 2018

A conversation with Zach Ducheneaux of the Intertribal Agriculture Council

Can Pay for Success succeed in early childhood development?

Rob Grunewald April 30, 2018

Pay for Success, a funding mechanism that covers the upfront costs of services and then pays investors back with related public savings, shows promise when applied to early childhood development—provided some accompanying complexities are addressed. 

Food-system initiatives promote health and wealth in North Minneapolis

Ben Horowitz April 20, 2018

In Northside neighborhoods deemed food deserts, cross-sector partners are using a diverse set of tools to transform the food landscape.

Fair lending laws and the CRA: Complementary tools for increasing equitable access to credit

Ben Horowitz March 8, 2018

The fair lending laws and the Community Reinvestment Act view lending through two different lenses: one focused on protected classes and one focused on income level. Yet despite the distinction, the laws can work in concert to promote more equal access to credit.

Child care rating systems promote quality and parental awareness

Rob Grunewald, Ben Horowitz, and Liza Bukingolts January 31, 2018

State-level quality rating and improvement systems, or QRISs, are designed to provide crucial information that can connect families to high-quality programs for young children.

The promise of early childhood development in Indian Country

Rob Grunewald November 17, 2017

Implementing culturally based early childhood programs may help Native communities mitigate the effects of historical trauma and give their youngest members strong foundations in life.

Mobile app helps hungry kids find free summer meals

Michael Grover November 7, 2017

The new tool connects children and their families to meal-serving sites that operate during the months when schools aren't in session.

Video: How Can Urban Farming Help Create Stronger Communities?

Community Dividend November 7, 2017

Visit CityKid Farm, an initiative of Minneapolis-based Urban Ventures that provides employment and education opportunities for kids while making high-quality food accessible to low-income families.

Reflections on 30 years of community transformation

Michael Grover August 3, 2017

A conversation with Kathy Gaalswyk of the Minnesota Initiative Foundations

A new lending gap?

Richard M. Todd and Michael Williams April 28, 2017

An analysis shows that since the housing crash, Ninth District mortgage denial rates are higher in rural areas than in urban areas.

Helping businesses and neighborhoods thrive through creative placemaking

Jacob Wascalus April 14, 2017

Some Twin Cities neighborhoods are using art-based approaches to create distinct identities, spark public interest, and address challenges their residents face.

Video: How Can Cultural Events Foster Community Development?

Community Dividend April 14, 2017

Stop by the Little Mekong Night Market, a summertime street festival in St. Paul, Minn., that celebrates Southeast Asian arts and culture.

Creating a smarter, faster, better approach to serving low-income communities

Michael Grover January 26, 2017

A conversation with Dave Glaser of Montana & Idaho Community Development Corporation

As land payments loom, Blackfeet Nation launches Piikani sudden-money awareness campaign

Jacob Wascalus January 9, 2017

Organizers aim to saturate the reservation with messages about the opportunities and pitfalls that large legal payouts present.

High-foreclosure neighborhoods see high volume of cash sales

Jacob Wascalus and Michael Williams September 19, 2016

A Minneapolis Fed analysis shows that during and after the housing market crash, the bulk of bank-owned homes in some neighborhoods were purchased with cash—likely by investors.

Early childhood Native language immersion develops minds, revitalizes cultures

Rob Grunewald August 19, 2016

Learning their indigenous languages from a very young age may prepare Native American children for success in school and life, with benefits spilling over to their families and communities.

Video: How Does Language Immersion Education Benefit Native Children?

Community Dividend August 19, 2016

Step into the classroom at Wicoie Nandagikendan, a preschool program at the Little Earth Community in Minneapolis that immerses children in the Dakota or Ojibwe language and culture.

Fostering entrepreneur development in North Minneapolis

Michael Grover June 29, 2016

A conversation with Marcus Owens of Northside Economic Opportunity Network

Sustaining early childhood education gains

Rob Grunewald February 25, 2016

Research findings discussed during a 2015 conference at the Minneapolis Fed show there are levers available to keep the benefits of early learning programs going into later school years.

Building stronger Native communities through data

Jacob Wascalus February 25, 2016

A conversation with Eileen Briggs of Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Ventures

Free CSA shares provide nutritious fare for LMI Minnesotans

Jacob Wascalus February 25, 2016

The Choose Health program offers farm-fresh produce plus an educational component that's designed to improve participants' health in the long term.

Video: How Can Communities Help the Hungry Get Nutritious, Affordable Food?

Community Dividend February 25, 2016

Lori Kratchmer, executive director of the Minnesota-based discount-food program Fare for All, describes how her organization offers nutritious, low-cost groceries to food stamp recipients and other food-insecure people at sites in and around the Twin Cities metro area. 

Key housing organizations take coordinated approach to preserving rural Minnesota's affordable rentals

Jacob Wascalus November 10, 2015

A collaborative effort among government agencies and nonprofit organizations in Minnesota aims to keep the “affordable” in rural affordable housing.

Mobile courtroom provides justice on wheels for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

Paula Woessner November 10, 2015

The first and only bus-based courtroom in the U.S. is delivering legal services to residents of remote reservation towns.

Mobility-based housing programs seek to move low-income families to low-poverty neighborhoods

Jacob Wascalus July 27, 2015

When housing voucher recipients relocate to areas of greater opportunity, the positive outcomes can be long-lasting and substantial.

CDFIs seek to innovate to compete with speedy online lenders

Jacob Wascalus November 10, 2015

Some mission-focused lenders are experimenting with innovative technology platforms to speed up their loan origination and underwriting processes.

Keeping communities informed through the open data movement: A conversation with Otto Doll of the City of Minneapolis

Jacob Wascalus November 10, 2015

The chief information officer for Minneapolis shares his insights about making a municipality’s administrative data available to the public.