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RFA Deadline Extended! ECOP Health and Workforce Program Action Teams: Resilient Economies and Community Health (REACH)

RFA: ECOP Health and Workforce Program Action Teams: Resilient Economies and Community Health (REACH)

Competitive opportunity available to ALL Land-grant universities (LGUs) (1862, 1890, 1994) by completing a simple online application.

The Extension Foundation in partnership with the ECOP Health and Workforce Program Action Teams, is offering two opportunities to apply and be selected to pilot a community development initiative in a community of their choosing. More specifically, successful applicants will have the opportunity to pilot test how Cooperative Extension can catalyze a community-driven initiative to foster entrepreneurship, workforce development, and social determinants of health using a model developed by the Innovation Collective and supported by a corporate partnership. The Innovation Collective is already showing success in Idaho, Florida, and Texas as measured by the number of attendees at community events and start-up businesses formed.

The goal of the pilot is to implement the first year of the 3-year Innovation Collective process to discover its applicability to the work of Cooperative Extension professionals who are catalyzing community health, entrepreneurship and workforce development.

AWARD AMOUNT: There are two opportunities:

Opportunity One:

  • $50,000 scholarship for participation in the next cohort of cities implementing the Innovation Collective’s process plus $50,000 to cover an Extension professional’s time in leading the one-year pilot and airfare for participation in one required event (March 2023 – February 2024)  No indirect costs are allowed. (Total Value is $100,000)

Opportunity Two:

  • $50,000 scholarship for participation in the March cohort for the Innovation Collective program described below. No funding for Extension professional time. (Total Value is $50,000)

SUMMARY: Innovation Collective’s program and support is scholarshipped for the two pilot winners and includes support and resources for both Extension and it’s board/supporters to map, launch, and grow their communities:

  • Series of live monthly one-hour cohort online coaching sessions for local leads based on community cadence, covering:
    • How to identify your innovation vertical through strengths and ecosystem mapping
    • Setting your community up for success
    • Building a stakeholder coalition
    • Monthly Fireside Chats: including training of proper interview skills, choosing speakers, and then inspiring the community with their local heroes
    • Bi-monthly Coffee & Concepts meetups where community members take their big ideas out of their head and work on them together
    • Monthly reporting
    • Understanding and identifying stages of growth: staffing, capital, and placemaking needs
    • How to paint your community’s Picture of Success and Roadmap (three year plan)
    • How to secure funding for Level 2
  • Access to sequence of on-demand event format and soft skills guides, webinars, and quizzes including:
    • Fireside Chats
    • Coffee & Concepts
    • Local Outreach
    • Facilitation
    • Securing sponsors
    • Securing stakeholder coalition
    • Monthly reporting
    • Picture of Success development
    • Stakeholder management
  • Monthly half-hour one-on-one online coaching sessions
  • Live one-hour cohort online coaching sessions for local sponsors/funders on:
    • Setting your local lead up for success
    • Building your stakeholder coalition
    • Unlocking real estate 101
    • Investment clubs and angel investing 101
    • Identifying the case to level up
  • Plug and Play rolling member and marketing services so each community has a compelling offering and promotional support:
    • Own community webpage on IC website
    • Own community channel on IC Eventbrite to list events
    • Templates for event marketing collateral
    • Own community ICx Facebook group with weekly scheduled posts
    • Global monthly Insider email newsletter flagging event cadence, full of inspiration and tips with potential to feature entrepreneurs
    • Promotion of community stories on IC social channels
    • Opportunity to feature local success stories in national marketing program
    • Eight free tickets per annum for community members to any IC Story Summit (travel and accommodation not included)
    • ICx and Level 1 event licenses
  • Access to tools and templates for local leads to run their communities effectively:
    • Access to on-demand content via learning management system with guides, videos, and quizzes
    • Access to detailed project management template mapping tasks and timings for all key experiences
    • Access to Slack for cohort and IC coaching messaging
  • Templates for your local Facebook Page, flyers, EventBrite,  and Customized Monthly Insider Newsletter


Apply for both opportunities by December 8th, 2022, January 6th, 2023, by 11:59 PM PT []

PDF of Application Questions: Available Here

All Land-Grant Universities are eligible to apply.

Program cohort begins March 1, 2023 – February 28, 2024

For questions, please contact Roger Rennekamp at

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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