Operation Round Up®
The Runestone Electric Association Community Trust is a state chartered, non-profit, 501c3 Corporation that administers the funds from Runestone Electric Association’s Round Up program. The Board of Directors meet quarterly in February, May, August, and November.
Funding applications for organizations/agencies are available at the REA office, by calling REA (320-762-1121 or 800-473-1722) or Click Here for a Funding Application.
2018 Operation Round Up Application Deadlines
This is How it Works
REA rounds up the electric bills of participating members to the nearest dollar amount. For example, if a bill is $52.73, a member will pay $53, with all 27 cents going directly to the Runestone Electric Association Community Trust. On average, a member will contribute less than $6 a year, but no more than $11.88.
Operation Round Up is voluntary. If a member decides not to participate or chooses to discontinue contributions at any time, they may simply contact Runestone Electric.
Donations to Operation Round Up are tax deductible. REA informs members through press releases and postings to this website whenever the Community Trust makes donations from Operation Round Up funds.
The Runestone Electric Association Community Trust Board of Directors is made up of volunteers from Runestone’s seven districts in the service territory. Board members include the following: President Dave Dziengel, Villard; Vice-President Vern Lorsung, Alexandria; Secretary/Treasurer Jan Arneson, Glenwood; Ron Tschaekofske, Parkers Prairie; Rod Borden, Farwell; Bob Shervey, Barrett, and Jim Johnson, Alexandria.
Palmetto Electric Cooperative in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, began Operation Round Up, in 1989. Since that time over 200 other electric cooperatives nationwide have chosen to adopt the program. In Minnesota, 27 electric cooperatives participate in the program.
Operation Round Up Facts
- Program began in 2003 to help meet the local needs in our communities
- Over 64% or 8,400 of Runestone Electric Association’s 14,000 members allow their bills to be rounded up to the next dollar
- Average annual member donation is just under $6.00 or + 50¢ per month
- Together 50¢ donations make a huge difference
- Funds collected are transferred to the Operation Round Trust Account
- Operation Round Up Trust Board meets four times per year to distribute funds
- Trust Board functions separately from the REA Board of Directors
- Operation Round Up is unique to electric cooperatives
- Started in 1989 by Palmetto Electric Cooperative in South Carolina
- More than 260 cooperatives nationwide now participate
- Runestone Electric’s Operation Round Up program distributes 94% of funds collected with less than 6% spent on overhead
- This compares with an average of 25% – 40% spent on overhead for most charitable organizations
- As of October 2016, grants to local organizations exceed $800,000
- 1,564 grants have been given to local organizations in REA’s service territory to serve local needs
Breakdown of grant categories and percent of dollars distributed since 2003:
Fire & First Responders 14%
Food Shelves 9%
Youth Programs 15%
Senior Programs 6%