The North Itasca Electric Co-op., Inc. Board of Directors is pleased to announce a new community oriented program called North Itasca Electric Cooperative Community Trust. This 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.
This is a voluntary program, (but you need to notify us if you're NOT interested) which allows our members to pool their resources together to help those in need. The program is scheduled to begin in November 2004. To help you better understand the program, following are questions and answers about Operation Round Up®:
Q: What is Operation Round Up®?
A: It's an ongoing charitable fund raising program to benefit worthwhile community projects. North Itasca Electric Co-op., Inc. customers who round up their electric bills 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.
Q: How does the program work?
If your bill is $68.90, your bill is rounded up to $69.00, contributing ten-cents.
A: Each month, members who wish to participate allow North Itasca Electric Co-op., Inc. to automatically round up their electric bills to the next highest dollar amount. For example, if your bill is $68.51, your bill will be rounded up to $69.00, meaning that month's contribution is 49-cents.
The extra cents will be put in the North Itasca Electric Cooperative Community Trust. The cost to you is 99 cents or less per month and averages about $6 a year per member. Individually it doesn't sound like much, but collectively it adds up in a hurry. We estimate over $20,000 in annual giving.
Q: Where and how are the funds distributed?
A: Any organization in the NIECI's service area is eligible to apply for a grant from the trust. Funds will not be used to pay utility bills or go towards political campaigns. Grant application times are published.
Q: What are some possible uses for the fund?
A: Examples of grants are funding for fire department equipment, EMS, youth & school groups, arts and education, senior citizen groups and other various community programs and projects.
Q: How do we know where the funds go?
A: A list of the funds given out is featured periodically in the WATTS NEWS and there is an annual report for the trust fund. Until the funds are distributed, they will be placed in a trust fund with the North Itasca Electric Cooperative Community Trust.
Q: Who administers the trust?
A. A nine-person volunteer board of directors from the North Itasca Electric Co-op., Inc. service area reviews the applications and makes grant recommendations.
Q: What is the role of the Operation Round Up® Trust Board of Directors?
A: Separate from the North Itasca Electric Co-op., Inc. Board of Directors, this non-paid board evaluates applications made to the program and makes recommendations for issuing grants. They have a set of bylaws by which to operate.
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. To opt-out or to opt-in please notify us by calling 218-743-3131 or toll free 800-762-4048.
You may also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or notify us in writing with your account number and name telling us of your desire to opt-out or opt-in.
We hope everyone will agree to help and make this a tremendous community support organization.
Please read the WATTS NEWS for more information on Operation Round Up®.