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Basics for Helping Organizations Identify and Promote Their Public (and Private) Value

Presenters: Jane Haskell, Extension Professor, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and George Morse, Extension Faculty Associate, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Professor Emeritus, ​Applied Economics, ​University of Minnesota Extension. Click here to learn more about our presenters.

Description: Any public service provides private value to its users or patrons as well as public value to those people who never access or use the service. When public officials only have information from the public service about the ​private ​value to those who use the service (​or direct benefit​s), funding decisions are made with incomplete information. The glitch in this scenario is that public services often have no ideas how to identify and then share information about the public value (or indirect benefits) to those who never use the service. This webinar will share how Laura Kalamb​okidis’ (University of Minnesota Economist and Minnesota State Economist) ground-breaking model for demonstrating the public value of Extension programs  has been used in Maine with non-Extension public services. Our work has involved increasing the capacity of organizations to be able to describe their public value in a way that is memorable and is also 'backed up with numbers'. Hear how 8-year old Curt who lives in southern Maine reads to Winston the therapy dog and learn how we discovered from one of our workshop participants that story telling is a pivotal component of public value messaging. We will describe how our pilot project started with public libraries in 2013, evolved through 2014, its current status, and our next steps.

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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 Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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