Small Change Makes a Big Difference
It's only small change - 1 cent to 99 cents per month - but when you multiply that by the thousands of cooperative members who participate in Operation Round Up, it makes a big difference for our communities.
About Operation Round Up
Operation Round Up® is just what its name implies. Each month, your monthly billing statement is rounded up to the next whole dollar amount. For example, a member's monthly bill of $62.73 would be automatically rounded up to $63.00, with the additional 27 cents going to the Operation Round Up fund. Through participation in Operation Round Up®, the average yearly contribution per member is six dollars ($6). The maximum yearly contribution is $11.88. Contributions are tax deductible, and the amount donated is shown on monthly bills. The money collected is placed in a separate account held by the Beltrami Electric Cooperative Trust.
Operation Round Up Trust Board:
The Operation Round Up® Trust Board is separate from the Beltrami Electric Board of Directors. The Trust Board is made up of five members from our community who serve on the Board on a voluntary basis without any compensation. Michelle Sand, Bemidji; Sharon Lembke, Laporte; Randy Friske, Bemidji; Sherry Billups, Blackduck; Lea Perkins, Red Lake. The board meets fa minimum of twice each year to screen and approve donation requests.
The trust board allocates funds according to general guidelines. Categories include Community Service, Economic Development, Education & Youth and Environment. Grants will be awarded to non-profit or community-based organizations that demonstrate a commitment to enhancing the quality of life in our community. Contributions will be distributed primarily in the local area served by Beltrami Electric Cooperative.
|Application Deadlines||Meeting Dates||Funds Awarded|
|December 27, 2019||January 8, 2020||January 14, 2020|
|March 27, 2020||April 15, 2020||April 21, 2020|
|September 25, 2020||October 7, 2020||October 15, 2020|
Major Funding Categories
Although there are many worthy charitable and educational projects and community needs in our local area, the limited availability of funds requires us to establish funding priority categories as follows:
Programs, projects and organizations which are important components of a community’s overall quality of life, with emphasis on public safety, health care, self-sufficiency, and basic human needs.
Programs and projects which enhance the cultural environment of communities in our local area.
Programs and projects designed to promote greater economic stability by helping to expand and diversify local economies, with emphasis on business retention and expansion, new business development and tourism.
Programs and projects which encourage cooperation among regional and community economic development organizations.
Community leadership programs designed to improve problem-solving skills and empower people to become self reliant in identifying solutions to local economic and social problems.
Education and Youth
School scholarship and other educational programs and projects.
Programs that are designed to combat critical social problems affecting our children and youth, with an emphasis on children and teens at risk.
Programs and projects which promote wellness and encourage youth participation in athletics and physical fitness activities.
Programs and projects that promote community recycling and natural resource preservation.
Community-based environmental quality education programs.
Environmentally sensitive agricultural research programs and projects.
Contributions will be focused geographically within the area served by the cooperative and adjacent areas. Organizations which provide programs and benefits to people who live in this geographic area are eligible for funding consideration, even though the organization is located elsewhere.
Contributions will generally be made only to non-profit organizations which have been granted tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).
Contributions will generally not be made for:
- Lobbying, political, and religious organizations;
- Veteran, fraternal, and labor organizations;
- Fund-raising dinners, raffles and other events;
- Individuals (except through organizations);
- On-going Operational expenses; including salaries and wages, capital fund campaigns
- National fund drives; and
It’s a charitable program designed to provide financial assistance to local nonprofit organizations and community projects.
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.
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
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.
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.
The money is placed in a separate Trust account and applications are accepted quarterly from not-for-profit organizations looking to receive a grant from the Trust.
The Operation Round Up Trust Board oversees charitable giving through Operation Round Up. The Trust Board is comprised of five members appointed by Beltrami Electric Cooperative's Board of Directors. The Trust Board is responsible for reviewing applications and dispersing funds to local community organizations and projects. The Trust Board members volunteer their time and receive no pay or compensation for serving on the board. The directors have staggered three-year terms.
The Trust Board will evaluate and distribute grants within the following giving categories:
Education & Youth
A list of the administered funds will be featured periodically in the monthly member newsletter, 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 held with the Beltrami Electric Cooperative Trust Account.
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 programs and projects. Grants will not be going to large charities, they will stay in our community, for the benefit of our community.
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 the form below.
One should contribute only if they want to join other cooperative 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.
If you have previously opted out of the program and now after seeing the program results would like to contribute, please complete the form below. If you have any questions, please contact our office at (218) 444-2540 or (800) 955-6083 and we would be happy to assist you. Or, if you would like to increase your donation beyond the round up amount, or make a one-time donation, please contact our office and we will help to set this up for you.
If you would like to opt-out of the Operation Round Up Program, please complete and submit the form below.