Operation Round Up Q & A
The Beltrami Electric Cooperative, Inc. Board of Directors is pleased to announce a new community oriented program called Operation Round Up. This voluntary program encourages members to round up “the change” on their electric bill to the next highest dollar with the money going into a fund for charitable community projects and local needs.
To help you better understand the program, we have provided some questions and answers about Operation Round Up®.
Q: What is Operation Round Up®?
A: Palmetto Electric Cooperative (South Carolina) created Operation Round Up in 1989. Since that time, this program has been adopted by more than 200 electric cooperative's nationwide, 37 of those in Minnesota. It’s a charitable program designed to provide financial assistance to local nonprofit organizations and community projects. Co-op members can voluntarily participate by “rounding up” electric bills each month to the nearest dollar. What is most rewarding about the concept of Operation Round Up® is that it is an extension of the concept of neighbor helping neighbor that built our electric cooperative over 75 years ago
Q: How much money will each member donate?
A: The average member donation with be around 50 cents per month, or $6 per year, while the maximum annual contribution possible is $11.88 per year. (This would only happen if your bill was rounded up by 99 cents for 12 months in a row) Your contributions to Operation Round Up® are tax deductible and will be shown on your billing statement.
Q. How does Operation Round Up® work?
A: This program is designed to “round up” each electric bill to the nearest dollar and use the additional change to fund the Operation Round Up® program for charitable giving purposes. Although the individual change is a small amount, when combined with other participating co-op members, the potential impact could make a substantial difference in our communities.
Q. What are some possible uses for the fund?
A. Examples of grants for funding would be local fire department equipment, youth and school groups and activities, local arts and education, senior citizen groups and many other various community program and projects. Grants will not be going to large charities; they will stay in our community, for the benefit of our community.
Q: How do we know where the funds go?
A: A list of the administered funds will be featured periodically in the NORTHERN LIGHTS and on our website. There will also be an annual report for the Trust fund. Until the funds are distributed, they will be placed in a trust fund with the Beltrami Electric Trust.
Q: Who administers the funds donated by Beltrami Electric Cooperative members?
A: The Trust Board oversees charitable giving through Operation Round Up®. The Trust Board is comprised of five members appointed by Beltrami Electric Cooperative Board of Directors. The Trust Board is responsible for reviewing applications and dispersing funds to local community organizations and projects.
The Trust Board will evaluate and distribute grants within the following giving categories:
• Community Service • Education and Youth • Economic Development • Environment
Trust Board members volunteer their time and receive no pay or compensation for serving on the board. The directors will have staggered terms.
Q. What if I can’t or don’t want to participate in this program?
A. Participation in the program is voluntary. We realize that not everyone is willing or able to participate in the program. You may opt-out of the voluntary program any time by contacting us at (218) 444-2540 or toll free (800) 955-6083 or by completing our online opt out form.
Q. Why should I participate?
A. One should contribute only if they want to join other co-op members in a community development effort AND only if they feel they can afford to contribute an average of $6 per year. Through a cooperative and unified program, members will have a means of donating to worthy causes, and, through Operation Round Up®, the small change of individuals can add up and make a big difference for our area. Together, we can do some wonderful things for our local communities.
Q. When will this program start?
A. To allow members who do not wish to participate several months in which to contact us, we will not be implementing this program until May 2016.