Sawnee Foundation - Operation Round Up FAQs

Q. What is Operation Round Up?
A. Operation Round Up is a program to generate and collect donations that are used to benefit charitable organizations and the communities within the Sawnee EMC service territory.

Q. How did Round Up get started?
A. The program was created by Palmetto Electric Cooperative in South Carolina in 1989. Since that time, the program has been adopted by more than 200 EMCs nation wide and by more than 17 EMCs in the state of Georgia.

Q. How does the program work?
A. Each month, the electric bills of participating EMC members are rounded up to the next dollar. For example, if your bill is $65.50, it would be rounded up to $66.00. A bill of $59.99 would be rounded up to $60.00. The funds collected are placed into the Sawnee Foundation and 100% of the funds are donated to charitable organizations through an application process. Sawnee EMC does not keep any of the money collected. On average a member will donate $6.00 a year or $12 a year for members on budget billing.

Q. Are the funds I donate tax deductible?
A. Yes, all donated funds are tax deductible.

Q. Why is Sawnee EMC participating?
A. Sawnee EMC exists to serve the changing needs of members by enhancing the quality of life through active support of community developments and indentifying and serving the member's energy needs. By adopting the Operation Round Up program, Sawnee EMC can continue with its commitment to community and better serve our members.

Q. How do I sign up?
A. Signing up is easy! A member has several options available to them. 1. Call the Customer Service Center and request to sign up. 2. Sign up online. 3. Or participate monthly by checking the round up amount on your bill.

Q. What if a member does not want to participate?
A. Sawnee EMC has never elected to do reverse sign up and never will. Participating in the Operation Round Up program is completely voluntary.

Q. How much money could Operation Round Up collect?
A. Sawnee EMC has over 130,000 members. If 75% of our membership participated in the program, Operation Round Up could potentially raise approximately $540,000 a year. With 100% of those funds going to charitable organizations within our communities, the possibilities are endless.

Q. How are request for funds handled?
A. IRS determined charitable organizations (501c3 or 501c4) seeking funding must complete a grant application. The requests are thoroughly reviewed by the Foundation Board. The Board may request additional information. A Foundation Board member and a staff member conduct site visits to all organizations applying for funds. The charitable organizations applying for funds must be within the Sawnee EMC service territory.

An organization can only receive one grant award per year. The Foundation will not fund operational cost, only specific projects.