Posted: November 23, 2020

An article recently published in Journal of Extension demonstrates how a team from University of Minnesota Extension quantified the economic benefits of one of their leadership programs using the “but for” attribution principle. This principle is described in detail in “The Impact Indicators Tip Booklet: Practical and Credible Methods for Using the 'But For' Rule to Document Extension Community Development Impacts," published by NERCRD and available online. Hat tip to George Morse for bringing this article to our attention.

Morse, along with Charlie French and Scott Chazdon, co-authored the “Impact Indicator Tips Booklet" after working with a team of other Northeast colleagues in 2015 and 2016 to explore methods of collecting credible data to evaluate the impact of regional CRED programs.

Of the Journal of Extension article, Morse says:

"It estimates the Return on Investment (ROI) for both the private value and public value, using the “but for" attribution principle described in the NERCRD report....While this article reports on a leadership development program, the methodology could be used on any Extension program or any program that generates public value."

  • Citation: Tuck, Brigid A., Chazdon, Scott A., Rasmussen, Catherine M. and Bohn, Hannah J. 'Measuring the Economic Benefit of Extension Leadership Programs: McLeod for Tomorrow."  Journal of Extension. August 2020. V.58-4.