Public Policy and Relations Committee Update 3-3-17

Writing a good impact statement is hard to do

We had 11 impact submissions this year. Thank you! We will compile them for Anita to take to the Public Institute Leadership Development Conference in Washington, D.C.

NEAFCS impact statement template limits us to 40 words. This gives us no choice but to be concise. Many times our statements are too general. They read more like reports with not a lot of impact. True impact statements are hard to write.

Consider three questions as you frame your statement

(AFNR intranet, January 1, 2017)

  1. What was the need or problem you were trying to solve?
    • Focus on one issue.
    • Target the audience you want to reach.
    • One impact statement does not fit all audience. Select messages from statement and tailor to each audience.
  2. What service (course, conference, materials, curriculum, etc.) did you provide/facilitate to address the need?
    • Pick 1 or 2 things that had the biggest bang.
    • Include the relevance to improve people’s health, the economy, the environment.
    • Use active verbs.
  3. How did your service improve the lives of people in the community, etc.? The results
    • Lay it out like a sports page—
      • who’s playing– identify your audience
      • what happened and how
      • what was the score or so what–numbers with $ or %
      • Why does this score (program) matter?
      • What is interesting or surprising?
      • See Top 9 Tips for  your Impact Statement, Purdue Extension,

Quotes should extend the story

Our NEAFCS impact statements ask for quotes on the benefit of the program. Quotes should illustrate and extend your story.

This: “Though, I was skeptical at first, planting cover crops improved my overall yields over the past three years.”

Not this: “Of course, Food Safety Training was the main reason we attended this academy. These classes teach the specifics. It was very interesting and informative, as well as, being a requirement to legally sell cottage foods.”

Snap a photo

Pictures tell a story! Our Extension program story. Be sure to take action photos when out and about. Take photos to help educate your point. Take photos to tell the story about your program and its impact. Be sure to have your subject(s) complete Extension’s PhotoVideo Release form.

Resources for you

Impact statements tell a compelling story, gets attention (published in the national NEAFCS impact statement report) and gets funded. Check out Pitching your Story on our extension Intranet.

More to come! The professional development committee is exploring this topic for our professional development day.

Suzanne Driessen and Becky Hagen Jokela


Apply for NEAFCS Awards!

Happy Holidays!

As you are completing your 2017 Plan of Work and 2016 Assessment (& NEAFCS Impact Statements Suzanne Driessen recently emailed about) please plan to submit a NEAFCS Awards Application!  There has been a lot of really great work in MN this past year and we want to share your accomplishments with others across the nation!  It is time to tell your story!

NEAFCS MN Affiliate Award applications are due February 15, 2017.  Award applications and all supporting material need to be uploaded into the national on-line system.  Here are some tips for submitting your application(s):

  • All NEAFCS Awards information is available on the NEAFCS Awards web page
  • Identify which award categories your project fits into by reviewing the Awards-at-a-Glance document.
  • Check out the step by step instructions on how to submit an application.
  • Please note — MN Award applications will be accepted up until February 15. 
    • If you need to edit your application prior to our February 15 deadline, you will need to re-upload all of your files again. You cannot delete a file that has been previously submitted.  To remove the file, re-upload the files you want included, and upload a blank page for the file you want to delete.
    • There will not be an opportunity to edit/change your application after the Minnesota February 15 deadline
  • To ensure high quality applications it is strongly recommended that submitters have their application materials reviewed prior to submitting online by someone else to ensure that the application is complete, easy to read & understand and contains no typos or grammatical errors.
  • For your review is a ppt from National that provides insights on the awards process.  It is worth spending a few minutes to review the slides.

If you have questions about the awards submission process please feel free to contact me (Sara Croymans – or 320-226-6052) or any of the MN awards/membership committee members (Kelly Kunkel, Kathy Brandt, Sara VanOffelen, Silva Alvarez de Davila, Sharon Powell, Anita Hering, Antonio Alba Meraz or Kathy Olson).

In addition, the Awards/Membership committee also encourages members to submit a proposal to present at the NEAFCS Annual Session in Omaha October 16-19, 2017.  The call for proposals has not yet been posted … please watch for this information on the NEAFCS 2017 Annual Session web page.

We look forward to seeing awards applications from Minnesota Affiliate members!  Please reach out with any questions!


Outcomes and Impacts: The difference between ho-hum and projects with punch!

Outcomes and Impacts: The difference between ho-hum and projects with punch! 

Focus on relevance, relationships and results

Outputs, Outcomes and Impact are easily confused, because they all sound results oriented. What is the difference? Outputs, generally, are numbers of classes you offered or the number of participants that were reached. Outcomes and Impacts answer the question, “So What?” Impacts, generally, are the numbers with “$” or “%” next to them.

Outputs show where you directed your efforts, but Impacts show the strongest results of your efforts! We need both Outputs and Outcomes and/or Impacts to tell a compelling story; one that gets attention, funding or continues to get funded.

If you only have Outputs to report and no Outcomes or Impacts, you need to take the time to plan for impact data collection when you plan your project. Think ahead and incorporate the generation of Impact data in your plan of work.

Impacts, the best quality data, considered the Golden Egg in reporting project results, is what our legislators and stakeholders need to make compelling arguments to support or sustain Extension efforts. Without a large industry base to advocate for FCS Extension, it is up to us all to share powerful results of our work.

Here are 2016 NEAFCS IMPACT example sections that show Outputs and Outcomes and/or Impact:

Kansas educated 7,117 Kansans through Medicare plan comparisons and benefits covered explanations. Nearly half of participants changed prescription drug or Medicare advantage plans to a plan that better met their needs. This resulted in total savings of $3,699,295, or an average savings of $1,180 per person changing plans.

Wisconsin has over 16,000 children experiencing their parents’ divorce each year. To help families in need, Supporting Children with Parent’s Divorce or Separation was offered in 268 co-parenting programs to over 3000 participants that affected over 2400 children. Results included a reduction of inter-parental conflict and increased cooperation.

Arkansas taught personal finance in 200 communities reaching 5,896 people. As a result, program participants reported a total of $15,553 saved and in reduced debt.

In 2000 classrooms in Michigan, Extension educators provided classes to 54,329 students. Ninety-nine percent of teachers reported that children have an improved awareness about good nutrition with 85% reporting improvement in trying new foods, 73% increase in fruit and 67% increase in choosing vegetables. Overall, children are making healthier food choices.

Join us to help elevate the quality of our 2017 NEAFCS IMPACT statements. Data is due to Suzanne Driessen, by January 20, 2017.

Adapted from: Hyde, G., Garden-Robinson, J. (2016). Outcomes and Impacts: The difference between ho-hum and projects with punch! A Memo to NEAFCS Members from the Public Affairs Education Subcommittee. National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences.

Promote “Dine In” Campaign and Take the Pledge

Promote “Dine In” Campaign and Take the PledgeDiningInLogo.jpg

December 3rd, 2016 is “Dine In” day. National Extension of Family Consumer Sciences  and American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences, sponsors of the Family Consumer Science day, ask you to prepare and eat a healthy meal with your family on December 3rd. Here is checklist to promote this event:

  • Commit to dining in on December 3rd. Take the dine in pledge.
  • Take a photo of your family preparing a healthy meal and post it to Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram using #FCSday and #healthyfamselfie.
  • Change your Facebook profile photo to the I’m “Dining In” logo.
  • Ask your friends and family to “Dine In.”
  • Pin your favorite family meal recipes to a “Dining In” Pinterest board.
  • Add the “Dining In” logo to your email signature.
  • Promote “Dining In” to family, friends and program participants.
  • Visit the “Dine In”  to access resources.
  • Send us photos and stories about your “Dine In” experience to

Thanks for getting involved in your association’s public relation campaign.

Suzanne Driessen & Becky Hagen Jokela, NEAFCS-MN, Public Policy/Public Relations Co-Chairs


Congratulations to 2016 Award Winners!

Congratulations to the following 2016 NEAFCS – MN Affiliate Award Winners who were recognized at the NEAFCS – MN Professional Development Day “Creating Personal and Professional Harmony in Our Lives” on July 14, 2016 on the St. Paul Campus:

  1. Communications Educational Curriculum Package:Financial Recovery After Disaster Video Series – Sara Croymans, Lori Hendrickson, Lori Scharmer, Trish Olson, Bruce Sundeen & Scott Swanson
  2. Communications Newsletter Award:Latino Financial Literacy Newsletter – Sara Croymans, Antonio Alba, Jose Lamas, Gabriela Burk, Francisca Mendoza, Heather Lee, Mary Vitcenda & Jessica Barnes
  3. Community Partnership:Engaged Stakeholders Guide Development of Just-in-Time Disaster Recovery Video Series – Lori Hendrickson, Sara Croymans, Lori Scharmer, Trish Olson, Bruce Sundeen, Scott Swanson
  4. Continued Excellence:Suzanne Driessen
  5. Distinguished Service Award:Mary Caskey
  6. Food Safety:Safe Food Sampling at Farmers’ Markets and Community Events –  Suzanne Driessen, Kathy Brandt & Glenyce Peterson Vangness
  7. Human Development/Family Relationships: Parenting in the Age of Overindulgence Online Course – Becky Hagen-Jokela, Kelly Kunkel, Ellie McCann & Jean Illsley Clark
  8. Past President’s New Professional:Farm-to-School through Nutrition Education and Community Partnerships – Megan Jannsen
  9. Social Networking: Military Families Learning Network – Family Transitions –  Anita Hering, Sara Croymans, Mary Jo Katras, Ellie McCann, Karen Shirer, Vickie LaFollette & Bob Bertsch

The following individuals and teams were recognized at the NEAFCS Annual Session Awards Ceremony in Big Sky, Montana on September 15, 2016:

  1. Continued Excellence:Suzanne Driessen
  2. Distinguished Service Award:Mary Caskey
  3. Social Networking: Military Families Learning Network – Family Transitions –  Anita Hering, Sara Croymans, Mary Jo Katras, Ellie McCann, Karen Shirer, Vickie LaFollette & Bob Bertsch – 1st Place Central Region & 2nd Place National

Also, the following award application submitted through NEAFCS – ND Affiliate was recognized at the national awards banquet:

  • Communications Television/Video Program:  Family Financial Recovery After Disaster Video Series – Lori Scharmer, Lori Hendrickson, Sara Croymans, Trish Olson, Scott Swanson & Bruce Sundeen – 1st Place Central Region & 2nd Place National