eXtension’s Critical Success Factors/Metrics #4

In this, and subsequent, eXtension UPDATE articles, we be focusing on each of the nine Critical Success Factors/Metrics developed in late 2011. While there are some metrics on which we will not be able to report at this time, we will fill these gaps in 2012 as we move forward. Note that in some cases, data will reflect periods prior to 2011.

Critical Success Factor 4: eXtension enhances outreach opportunities of the Cooperative Extension System through grants received by Communities and USDA/NIFA competitive grants including an eXtension component.

Metrics: Grants received by Communities of Practice (number, amount, provider, and nature of work), USDA/NIFA competitive grants either creating new Communities of Practice or enhancing current Communities of Practice [number, amount (total and eXtension portion), and nature of work], total amount of external grant dollars received/total investment in eXtension [USDA/NIFA appropriation and institutional assessments (ROI)].

Explanation: eXtension can be a viable alternative engagement opportunity for Cooperative Extension System. These metrics demonstrate that grants received further enhance engagement work of existing Communities of Practice and add an eXtension engagement component to USDA/NIFA competitive grants. A return on investment for external dollars received/total investment in eXtension demonstrates the added value in dollars that eXtension brings to Cooperative Extension System.

Metrics data: Since 2007, 30 Communities of Practice have been part of 76 grants awarded from 27 private, state, and federal entities. The majority of this work (83%) was to enhance current Communities of Practice. The remainder (17%) went toward creating new Communities of Practice. Approximately 95% of the funds went/are going to Extension faculty at member institutions. The following table provides specific awards and amounts by year.

From contracts, sponsorships and grants including the New Technologies for Ag Extension grant, the Cooperative Extension System receives $1.58 of additional funds for each $1 invested by Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators.