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 Runestone Electric Association Community Trust Board of Directors meets quarterly in February, May, August, and November.



Are you a nonprofit that’s ready to apply?

2024 Operation Round Up Application Deadlines

February 12
May 10
August 9
November 8

How it Works

REA rounds up the electric bills of participating members to the nearest dollar amount. For example, if a bill is $82.73, a member will pay $83, 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.

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 Jeff Gaffaney, Glenwood; Vice President Barry Wahlberg, Alexandria; Secretary/Treasurer Janet Johnson, Barrett; David Lundy, Alexandria; Mary Betterman, Parkers Prairie; Deborah Anderson, Farwell; and Rich Duncan, Kensington.

Recent Donations

February 2024
December 2023
September 2023
May 2023

Operation Round Up Facts

  • REA program began in 2003 to help meet the local needs in our communities
  • Over 64% of Runestone Electric Association’s +15,000 members allow their bills to be rounded up to the next dollar
  • As of May 2023, grants to local organizations exceed $1.2 million!
  • The average annual member donation is $6.00 or 50¢ per month
  • 50¢ donations can 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
  • Over 2,200 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:

Community 47%
Youth Programs 24%
Fire & First Responders 14%
Food Shelves 9%
Senior Programs 6%



Operation Round Up Grant Guidelines

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The Runestone Electric Association Community Trust is funded by Operation Round Up voluntary contributions from members of Runestone Electric Association. Operation Round Up contributions will be used primarily in the local area served by Runestone Electric Association for charitable and educational purposes.

The Trust Board of Directors will review and distribute funds quarterly. Grants will be awarded one time per year per organization unless determined otherwise by the Trust Board of Directors.


  1. Non-profit groups and organizations that serve communities located within the Runestone Electric Association service area.
  2. Projects should fit in one or more of these categories: Community, Youth, Fire & First Responders, Food Shelves, and Senior Citizens.


  1. Contributions will generally be made only to non-profit organizations that have been granted tax-exempt status under IRS Code Section 501(c)(3), but all non-profit organizations will be considered.
  2. Contributions will generally not be made for:
    a. Lobbying, political and religious organizations
    b. Fraternal and labor organizations
    c. Fund-raising dinners, raffles and other events
    d. Individuals
    e. Capital fund campaigns
    f. National fund drives
    g. Advertising
    h. Religious Organizations


  1. The following factors will be considered in the evaluation of all funding requests:
    a. Potential benefit to area residents and the entire community;
    b. Level of community support for the program or project;
    c. Administrative capability of the organization to deliver quality service or program;
    d. Results that are predictable and can be evaluated.
  2. It shall be the responsibility of all Trust directors to evaluate funding requests and allocate contributions to accomplish the purposes and intent of these guidelines.


  1. Completed application form.
  2. Detailed budget showing how requested funds will be spent.
  3.  Copy of the IRS tax-exempt letter if appropriate.


Submit completed application form, budget and IRS tax exempt letter, if appropriate, to:

Runestone Electric Association
6839 Power Ln SW
Alexandria, MN 56308

REA will notify applicants of grant approval status as soon as possible. Inquiries may be made by calling 320-762-1121 or 800 473-1722 or by emailing to: [email protected]