What is the Extension Foundation?
The Extension Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded by Extension Directors and Administrators in 2006. It was originally founded as an electronic publishing service for Cooperative Extension and developed custom technology tools to help Extension publish content for public consumption at the national level. In 2014, Directors and Administrators changed the mission of the organization to meet the evolving needs of the Cooperative Extension System. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods, partners and funding. The Foundation also provides exclusive services and professional development to its members.
What is the mission of the Extension Foundation?
The Extension Foundation’s mission is to help Cooperative Extension achieve a greater, more innovative, local impact.
How does the Extension Foundation work with the Extension Committee on Organization & Policy (ECOP)?
The Extension Foundation and ECOP have a formal joint plan of work approved annually by ECOP and by the Foundation Board of Directors, and a formal MOU between ECOP and the 4-H Council. The Extension Foundation Board Chair and CEO serve as liaisons to ECOP plus the CEO serves on the ECOP Program Committee and the COO serves on the ECOP Personnel Committee. The Foundation also serves and supports ECOP Program Action Teams for system-wide initiatives.
This resulted in $1.24M in funding from the USDA-NIFA New Technology for Ag Extension Program with Oklahoma State University to the ECOP Program Committee Program Action Teams, NIFA-selected Extension projects, and all Regional Rural Development Centers. Additionally, there was $9.9M in funding with the ECOP Health Innovation Task Force, CDC and USDA-NIFA. This went from concept to funding to LGU’s in 5 months and 95% of funding received was delivered to the Cooperative Extension System.
Who’s on the Extension Foundation Board of Directors?
The Extension Foundation Board of Directors includes a Director or Administrator from all 6 regions of Cooperative Extension, and representation from ECOP and USDA-NIFA. To see who is currently on our board, please visit extension.org/board.
How can the Extension Foundation help my university directly?
The Extension Foundation has five national funded program areas including New Technologies for Ag Extension (USDA-NIFA), Extension Collaborative on Immunization Teaching and Engagement (CDC & USDA-NIFA), Pesticide Safety Education Funds Management Program (EPA), Impact Collaborative (Membership), and the 1890 Extension Leadership Academy (Fort Valley State University).
You can learn more about the impact of these programs, success stories, content and process publications, and upcoming ways to engage with the Foundation in our most recent report available here.
Whatever happened to “eXtension?”
Since 2006, the name of the organization has always been Extension Foundation. However, the logo used to say “eXtension.” This was appropriate when we were an organization focused on creating custom technology solutions for Cooperative Extension. In early 2021, we closed down the last of our legacy tools. At that time, the name “eXtension” became a point of confusion for many since the organization’s focus was no longer on technology. Therefore, we updated our logo to reflect our legal name. A timeline of our history and evolution is available here.
What does membership in the Extension Foundation mean?
Members receive exclusive services and professional development opportunities. This includes access to our Impact Collaborative program, leadership development services, special member projects, and member-led national projects and coalitions. More information about membership benefits is available at extension.org/membership. Membership also supports our ability to deliver all Extension Foundation programs and deliver new funding system-wide. 85-90% of funding that comes to the Extension Foundation goes right back to Land-grant Universities. Members approve bylaw changes and vote for Board members. A listing of current members is available at extension.org/members.
Where can I find more information about the impact of Extension Foundation programs?
Every six months, we provide a report to Extension Directors and Administrators about our progress on helping the system achieve greater local impact. Our most recent report can be found here.
What Cooperative Extension Projects is the Extension Foundation supporting?
Through our national funded programs, the Extension Foundation is supporting a range of programs and initiatives across the system representing all program areas:
- Through New Technologies for Ag Extension, we have supported 32 Extension-led projects that are early stage, but have a high potential for impact.
- As part of our EXCITE program, we are providing programmatic services to 96 immunization education programs from 72 land-grant universities.
- The Impact Collaborative has served nearly 300 Cooperative Extension projects from 60 land-grant universities and trained 193 Innovation Facilitators.
- The Pesticide Safety Education Funds Management program supports 51 Extension Pesticide Safety Education programs.
The Foundation also supports several tools that help build national capacities for Cooperative Extension:
- Connect Extension. A closed social media network and public advertising platform for Cooperative Extension professionals.
- The National Registry of Cooperative Extension Programs and Assets. A database of Extension efforts across the system, developed in partnership with various national entities across the system.
- Ask Extension. A question and answer technology that connects the public to their local Extension experts and resources.
What is the source of the Extension Foundation’s funding?
2020 & 2021