Operation Round Up FAQs
Q. What is Operation Round Up®?
A. It’s an ongoing charitable fundraising program to benefit worthwhile community projects. REC customers who round up their electric bill to an even dollar amount donate those funds. Many rural electric cooperatives across the country have implemented the program which was originated by Palmetto Electric Cooperative in South Carolina. Watch this video for more info.
Q. How does the program work?
A. Each month, members who wish to participate will allow Dubois Rural Electric Cooperative to automatically round up electric bills to the next highest dollar amount. For example, if your bill is $68.51, your bill will be rounded up to $69, meaning that month’s contribution is 49 cents. If your bill is $68.90, your bill will be rounded up to $69, contributing 10 cents.
The extra cents will be put into the Dubois Rural Electric Community Fund, Inc. The cost to you will be 99 cents or less per month and will average about $6.00 a year per member. Individually it doesn’t sound like much, but collectively it adds up in a hurry. We estimate $62,000 in annual giving.
Q. Where and how will the funds be distributed?
A. Any organization or individual working through a 501(c)3 organization in the Dubois R.E.C.’s service area is eligible to apply for a grant from the fund. However, funds will not be used to pay utility bills or go towards political campaigns. Grant applications are usually due on the last working day of the month in the months of February, May, August and November. Please check our website for the due date or call the office.
Q. How will we know where the funds go?
A. A list of the funds given out will be featured periodically in the Electric Consumer and there will be an annual report for the fund. Until the funds are distributed, they will be placed in a fund with the Dubois Rural Electric Community Fund, Inc.
Q. Who will administer the trust?
A. A seven-person volunteer board of trustees from the Dubois R.E.C. geographic area will review the applications and make grant recommendations.
Q. What is the role of the Operation Round Up® Board of Trustees?
A. Separate from the Dubois Rural Electric Cooperative board of directors, this non-paid board will evaluate applications made to the program and make recommendations for issuing of grants. The board will have a set of bylaws by which to operate.
Q. If I have several accounts, will each one be rounded up?
A. Any participation from our member is appreciated. However, if you’d like only one of your accounts rounded up, just let us know.
Q. What if I can’t or don’t want to participate in this program?
A. We realize that not everyone is willing or able to participate in the program at this time. You may opt-out of the voluntary program. However, if you do not notify us of your decision to opt-out, then you will automatically be in the program. You may opt-out at anytime in the future if your situation changes or you may opt-back in, as well.
Q. What happens if someone becomes an “accidental participant” or decides they no longer wish to participate?
A. Anyone can withdraw from Operation Round Up® at any time by contacting the Dubois Rural Electric Cooperative office. Members may receive a refund for up to one year’s contributions.
Q. Are donations to Operation Round Up® tax exempt?
A. YES!!! Operation Round Up® donations are tax-exempt, and Dubois Rural Electric Cooperative notifies each member on the January billing the total contributions for the preceding year.
Q. Will Operation Round Up® funds be used to pay any type of utility bills?
A. NO!!! The Trust’s bylaws specifically state that no funds will be used to pay any utility bills. Nor will funds be used for Political Contributions.
Q. Are the funds available to people that do not live in Dubois or Crawford County?
A. YES!!! Those eligible to apply for the funds include individuals, families, groups or organizations located within Dubois Rural Electric Cooperative’s territory, which covers the counties of Dubois, Crawford, Perry, Pike, Orange and Martin. Applicants need not be members of Dubois Rural Electric Cooperative. For the most part the funds will be provided to meet the needs of applications that are not being met through other sources.
Q. What are some possible uses for the fund?
A. Examples of grants would be to fire department equipment, EMS, youth and school groups, youth camps, fundraisers for an individual’s medical needs, foundation, senior citizen groups and other various community programs and projects.
Q. Is this program legal?
A. YES! Our Attorney has reviewed the By-Laws of the Operation Round Up® program and files all of the documentation to implement the program.
Q. Why is the Electric Company involved in a charitable organization?
A. One of the cooperative principles is our Concern for Communities. We feel a strong responsibility to the people in our service territory that goes beyond simply providing reliable, economical power.
One of the most rewarding aspects of Operation Round Up® is that it is an extension of the concept of neighbor helping neighbor that built our electric cooperative. Just as our forefathers joined together to build their own electric systems when private power companies refused to serve rural areas, Operation Round Up® helps co-op consumers reach out to worthy causes in their communities and work together to help others.