Section 4.10 Cost Recovery through Program Fees, Publications, Use of the UMaine Extension Logo, Creating and Maintaining Official Web Page(s) and Online Groups, and Linking to External Web Sites
Fees for Programs
Charging for UMaine Extension Programs
University of Maine Cooperative Extension has been charging participants a fee for our programming for many years. This Manual provides some guidance for employees; however, the implementation of fees has not been uniform and there have not been clear organizational guidelines for determining appropriate program fees. History has shown that Maine citizens will pay for programs that they know, value, and trust to have high educational quality. Beginning January 1, 2014, UMaine Extension staff will be expected to determine the cost of delivering educational programming to the citizens of Maine, and to charge a participant fee to recover some or all of our direct costs. The fees generated are intended to cover the direct costs of program delivery, and will hopefully provide funding for new or expanded programming in the future. Programs for the members of Maine Extension Homemakers Council and the 4-H Youth Development program are exempt from these guidelines.
Please use these very general guidelines to establish the fee to be charged for a program:
1) Market Demand — The charge for a program should reflect the value of that program in the educational market place. For example, if the program offered through Extension is available in the private sector, then our participant fee should be close to the market price. Otherwise, we are unfairly competing with private enterprise. We also need to if it is appropriate that we are offering a program that is available elsewhere — is there an unmet need? If the program is unique and not available in the private sector, the cost to participants should reflect the direct costs for Extension.
2) Direct Costs — Determine the cost of delivering the program for the target audience. Direct costs include supplies, materials, room or equipment rental, refreshments/meals, promotion or marketing, publications or photocopying, speaker fees, travel, postage, staff time, and other potentially unique considerations.
Staff Time — The most expensive part of any Extension program is employee staff time. The average hourly staff cost for program delivery is $42 for faculty, $35 for professionals, and $19.50 for classified staff. When determining the number of hours spent delivering a program, do not include the time associated with program development time in every program, but try to amortize it over an appropriate number of programs.
3) Total Program Cost — Fixed Costs and Per Participant Costs, Discounts and Reserves: Some costs are incurred each time an event takes place (Fixed Costs), and some are dependent on how many people attend (Per Participant Costs). Consequently it is important for you to have a good idea of how many people you can accommodate and how many might be likely to attend. Add the fixed costs and per participant costs (multiplied by the estimated number of people attending minus discounts), to get the Total Program Cost, and divide by the number of people attending. The Total Program Cost divided by the number of participants will determine your cost per participant. How does this compare with the market? Adjust as necessary.
4) Offsetting the Cost Per Participant — As long as it is consistent with the intentions of the funder, external funding such as grants/contracts, gifts, or sponsorships can help offset the cost per participant and reduce program fees, as well as provide financial assistance so that program fees are not a barrier to participation in Extension programs.
5) Total Cost for the Program Participant — Consider the other expenses program participants will have to meet to attend your program. Their travel, lodging, time away from a job, child care or other expenses should all be considered when setting program fees. The higher these other expenses are, the less likely it is that customers will pay the fee for an Extension program.
6) Income Level of the Target Audience — Seek to understand the income level of the target audience. Build into your program costs the ability to offer financial assistance to those citizens who are financially unable to pay the fee for the program.
7) Registration and payments — All program fees will be managed through the University of Maine. Registrations for Extension programs are done through The Centralized Database Management System (CDMS) at UMaine Extension Workshops, Classes, and Events website. Staff will work with the database manager and other trained staff to set up information for the event to allow participants to register online, and pay associated fees. Customers can pay for materials and events through the CDMS using credit/debit cards, or electronic funds transfer (also known as an electronic check). It is important to note that payments in cash or check prior to or at an event are strongly discouraged and every effort should be made to help participants register online.
8) Currently Extension policy allows all revenues from program fees to be available to offset the costs of programs and be managed through PeopleSoft accounts that are controlled by staff. Program fees are not currently used to supplement the UMaine Extension base budget. HOWEVER, it is important to acknowledge that revenue generated by the activities of Extension employees is ultimately managed at the discretion of Extension leadership, UMaine leadership, and/or UMaine System leadership.
9) Carry-forward funds — Under current UMaine policy, program revenue remains within the control of UMaine Extension and can be carried forward from fiscal year to fiscal year. Employees should understand that this policy could change in the future.
10) Questions? When planning a program with fees, please contact your Program Administrator and/or contact the Financial Administrator for advice and direction.
A registration fee will be charged to participants of online non-credit Extension courses. The fee per course will be determined by agreement between the course developer, Extension’s financial office, and the appropriate PA.
Disposition of Revenue
Revenue generated from registration fees for online non-credit Extension courses will be distributed as follows:
- 60% will offset the expense of creating the online course, managing course registration, and managing revenue; and
- 40% will benefit the staff member(s) responsible for developing the online course through credits for future program and staff development related expenses.
Publications distributed through the publication catalog have statewide relevance, support our current Plan of Work, and meet professional editorial, design, and production standards. They are either authored or reviewed by UMaine Extension staff. Authors work together with program colleagues and the communications office in the proposal and development of catalog publications, and seek peer review. The author should be the appropriate subject-matter specialist or staff member and consult with his or her program administrator and program team in proposing the publication. The communications office provides developmental editorial direction, ensuring that the end product meets client and organizational needs and trends and that the medium, reading level, design, content, style, and hyperlinks are appropriate for the intended audience, facilitate understanding, and serve organizational goals. Extension communications office staff are trained and experienced in producing materials for Extension audiences handle production and distribution of catalog publications in all media. Authors must sign a UMaine Extension Copyright Checklist and a UMaine License Agreement (PDF) before a publication will be distributed through the catalog. The Checklist ensures that the author is not infringing copyright. The License Agreement assigns copyright ownership of the publication content to the author(s) and grants the University of Maine System a royalty-free, nonexclusive license to copy, sell, distribute, or sublicense the work.
All catalog publications that are suitable for online formats will be made available in HTML, for free browsing and downloading directly from the online catalog.
Non-catalog materials (including newsletters, fliers, brochures, promotional items, advertisements, etc.)
Materials are often produced by county and program staff that are not appropriate for the catalog but rather are for specific, limited audiences and uses. Staff are encouraged to seek advice from the Extension communications office staff to ensure that materials meet UMaine brand standards and do not violate copyrights.
- UMaine Extension logo (See “Use of UMaine Extension logo” below.)
Any material that advertises or invites people to participate in our programs also needs the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Notice.
Sales and Distribution of Educational Materials
- UMaine Extension’s centralized information system will support educational programming by providing high quality, reliable, credible, accessible, research-based information that addresses the current and emerging needs of Maine citizens.
- Customers, internal and external, will be served efficiently and professionally.
- Centralized information system will include multiple publication formats and points of access.
- Centralized information system will accurately manage and report on information resources, and analyze costs and benefits for all resources.
- Accurate inventory control will result in financial and educational outcome accountability.
- Labor and dollar resources will be maximized by reducing waste and ensuring accountability.
Counties and all UMaine Extension offices can download publications from the online publications catalog. UMaine Cooperative Extension also offers a variety of books and publications for sale through the UMaine Cooperative Extension Store. These books are available to staff at a discounted price. Price lists can be found on Plugged In.
Online publications catalog
The publications catalog is online and is located at extension.umaine.edu/publications/ and includes over 700 titles. All catalog publications that are suitable for online formats will be made available in HTML, for free browsing and downloading directly from the online catalog.
Inventory and distribution of catalog materials
All catalog materials are housed in and distributed from the Publications Distribution Center (PDC) in Libby Hall, on the University of Maine Campus in Orono. Typically, county and unit offices will provide publications for walk-in customers and workshops but may choose to refer them to the online catalog.
Publications Distribution Center
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
5741 Libby Hall
Orono, ME 04469-5741
These guidelines are intended to help UMaine Extension staff give uniformity, consistency, and integrity to Extension’s identity and image using the UMaine Extension logo. For more detailed information, reference the Branding Guide.
Extension’s official logo is required on all University of Maine Cooperative Extension materials, including brochures, flyers, fact sheets, newsletters, posters, promotional items, print advertisements, etc. Electronic files of official versions of the logo are available through the communications office or may be downloaded from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Logo web page. Use high-resolution files on all UMaine Extension printed materials, and lower resolution files on UMaine Extension web pages. If you have questions regarding logo use that are not answered here or in the Branding Guide, please contact the communications office.
The standard logo is printed in the official UMaine color combination of PMS 292 and PMS 289. The high-contrast logo should be used for printing in a single color. The crest and the typewritten words constitute an entire logo; the elements should not be separated.
Size, proportion, and placement
The logo should be placed prominently on all printed materials. The logo should be no smaller than 1.25” W x 0.5” H. Do not distort its shape or proportions.
With other logos
When materials are created in collaboration with other agencies, and UMaine Extension is the primary program sponsor, the UMaine Extension logo should predominate. Where Extension is cooperating as a joint (co-equal) sponsor, the logo may be treated in the same manner as logos from cooperating agencies.
Products (such as t-shirts or mugs) printed with UMaine licensed names and marks must be produced by licensed vendors and comply with UMaine branding standards. Contact the UMaine Extension Communications and Marketing Team (email@example.com) for guidance on the review and ordering process.
If you want to utilize programmatic promotional items in your work, talk with the appropriate administrator of your unit. Programmatic promotional items must be part of strategic organizational goals and approved by the administrator for your unit prior to proceeding with the design review and approval process.
For all fundraising questions dealing with promotional items, please speak to the administrator for your unit.
The 4-H name and/or emblem is protected by federal statute. When the 4-H emblem is used, the following wording (exactly as printed below) will be displayed to the right of the base of the clover stem or along the angle of the right lower leaf:
The ONLY exception will be when the wording “Protected Under 18 U.S.C. 707″ becomes too small to be legible (when the 4-H emblem is a size of .5 inch or smaller). In these cases, use an asterisk at the same location (to the right of the base of the clover stem or under the right lower leaf), and place the statement “Protected Under 18 U.S.C. 707″ in a prominent place on the page. On packaged items (e.g., lapel pins and jewelry) place the statement on the outside package. When large versions of the 4-H Emblem are used (e.g., T-shirts, posters and banners), the statement can be somewhat smaller in proportion to the Emblem.
A reference sheet has been prepared listing the complete 4-H emblem guidelines.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension staff may determine that pursuing corporate sponsorship of an Extension program or event will enable them to carry out or will enhance their ability to achieve Plan of Work (POW) goals.
Before soliciting and contracting with a potential sponsor, staff should review the organizational values and goals section of the Policies & Procedures Manual (Section 1.1) and consider the extent to which the sponsors’ work is compatible with our mission and goals. It may be appropriate to share our mission and goals with the sponsor to ensure that they are fully aware of the context of our work.
Before contacting a potential sponsor, staff should discuss their plan with the appropriate Program Administrator and the UMaine Extension resource development officer. This will help to ensure that there are no reasons why a particular sponsor would be considered unacceptable.
Once sponsorship is approved, the sponsors may request that their logo appears on sponsored program and promotional materials. In the event that we will be including the sponsor logo, staff members must work with the UMaine Extension communications office to ensure that program materials meet the following guidelines:
- The official University of Maine Cooperative Extension logo appears larger than the corporate logo, occupying a first/central position and prominently displayed.
- Wording is included to distinguish the level of involvement of the sponsor (e.g., “This program was made possible in part by XYZ Corporation”)
- This disclaimer is included that specifies the impartiality of our program content: “Brand names and trade names are included to show sponsorship or for educational purposes. No endorsement is implied nor is discrimination intended against similar products or services.”
Religious Statements in Program Material
Religious statements in Extension materials have been deemed unconstitutional, violating the doctrine of the separation of church and state. The First Amendment requires governmental neutrality with regard to religion. UMaine Extension staff members should be alert for religious statements in program material and change them as they are found. For example, “Christian life” may properly become “American life”; “divine light” may become “ethical traditions.” This opinion has been given by the Office of the General Counsel, USDA, in “Virginia Cooperative Extension Homemakers Creed and Separation of Church and State.”
Please note the following qualifications offered in an interpretation by the ES-USDA Equal Opportunity staff in a letter to the UMaine Extension Director, January 27, 1981:
Religious statements in the written creed of the Extension Homemakers’ Council and in the written Homemakers’ Prayer are not permissible.
Requirement of individuals enrolled in homemakers’ council, college activities, and 4-H camps to participate in religious ceremonies held during these programs is not permissible
Only current UMaine Extension employees may set up and maintain University of Maine Cooperative Extension web pages and social media accounts. Volunteers, club members, retirees, alumnus, students — either individually or as part of a committee — are welcome to participate in social media groups created and maintained by UMaine Extension staff. They are also welcome to suggest content for web pages/social media that are maintained by staff. However, to help protect UMaine Extension and its employees from potential lawsuits, UMaine Extension will not provide support to nonemployees who want to create or maintain websites and social media for Extension.
UMaine Extension web and social media content is subject to University of Maine policies regarding harassment and discrimination (UMaine Harassment and Violence Policy and Procedures; Equal Opportunity Policy (Resources, Policies/Procedures section of the Office of Equal Opportunity website) as well as Digital Communications Policies and Guidelines and Best Practices.
Links to external sites should be considered carefully on a case-by-case basis. Adding links to external sites implies that we endorse everything on those sites, despite our disclaimer. Staff should thoroughly review sites before linking, in order to determine if the content is appropriate and useful to University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s clients.
UMaine Extension websites may link to an external site if the site
- is owned by a recognized, not-for-profit partner (like USDA);
- supports UMaine Extension’s mission;
- is a credible source of research-based knowledge; or
- provides information that’s not available on our site, but is deemed credible and of value to our clients.
This link is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any content on the linked site.
UMaine Extension websites may NOT link to an external site if the site
- promotes a business or organization, unless they are a partner of UMaine Extension and/or sponsoring a UMaine Extension program (see Corporate Sponsorship Policy); or
- promotes the use or sale of alcohol and tobacco; or contains religious messages, political opinions, sexually explicit images or text, racial slurs, or any material that is libelous or illegal, or does not conform to UMaine’s online advertising policies or UMaine Extension’s mission and values (as stated in Section 1.1 of the Policy Manual).
In addition, linking to material that “competes” with our own is discouraged. For example, if we have information about XYZ online, it is preferable to link to our own resource rather than point clients to another site.