Operation RoundUp & the Choptank Electric Trust
One of the 7 Cooperative Principles of being a cooperative is Concern for Community. As a Co-op, the quality of life for our members and the community has always been at the center of what we do. Based on that Cooperative Principle, Choptank Electric Cooperative adopted Operation Round Up ® as our community assistance program in 2004.
Operated as the non-profit Choptank Electric Trust, Inc., this is a simple and rewarding way to enable members to contribute funds for local charities, needy individuals, and service organizations.
Palmetto Electric Cooperative in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, began Operation Round Up in 1989, and since then, hundreds of other electric cooperatives nationwide have chosen to adopt the program.
How is the program funded?
The cooperative will "round up" a member's monthly electric bill automatically to the next highest dollar, unless the member chooses not to participate, and use that extra change to fund the trust program. For example, if the bill is $6.54, it is rounded up to $7.00 and the extra 46 cents is contributed to the Choptank Electric Trust. The average annual contribution is approximately $6.00. All administrative costs of the program are absorbed by Choptank Electric.
How does the program work?
Choptank Electric members are automatically enrolled in Operation Round Up when they sign up to receive electricity. If a member does not wish to participate, they should call the Member Service Center at 1-877-892-0001 and request to opt out of the program or email us. Most participating cooperatives nationwide administer the program in this way. A member may choose to discontinue their contribution at any time, but members will not be refunded contributions made prior to cancelation.
How will I know how much I have contributed?
The monthly billing statement shows how much is being contributed to Operation Round Up. The amount a member contributes is tax deductible because the Choptank Electric Trust is a 501(c)3 organization. Members receive a year-end statement for tax purposes.
What type of donations are made with Operation Round Up funds?
According to its bylaws, the Trust board may make donations to any worthwhile community cause, except for political purposes or to pay electric bills. The current mission statement of the Choptank Electric Trust allows for donations to be made for food, clothing, shelter, equipment, medical, and educational needs.
Are Operation Round Up awards limited to cooperative members?
Awards may be made to any individual in need or any organization within the nine counties of the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
How is the Trust Board selected?
The Trust Board is appointed by Choptank Electric Cooperative Board of Directors. Each Co-op board member appoints a Trust board member from the same county the Cooperative Board member represents.
How do organizations/individuals apply for Trust funds?
Applications are designated for either an individual or an organization in need. The correct form must be completed and mailed to:
Choptank Electric Trust, Inc.
P O Box 426
Denton MD 21629
Applications are reviewed at the monthly meeting of the Trust Board of Directors and at those meetings they also decide on the disbursement of funds. Application forms are available here: Individual/Family or Organization. For more information, click here or contact Laurie Bireley at 877-892-0001 extention 7733.