Operation Round Up FAQ

  • What is Operation Round Up?

    Operation Round Up is a program to generate and collect charitable donations that are used to benefit individuals and organizations in the community.

  • How did it get started?

    The program was created by Palmetto Electric Cooperative in South Carolina in 1989, and since that time has been adopted by more than 200 other EMCs nationwide. Since its introduction, Operation Round Up has raised more than $41 million for charity.

  • How does it work?

    Each month, the electric bills of participating EMC members are rounded up – increased to the next dollar amount. So, if your bill is $50.99, it is rounded up to $51.00 and if your bill is $75.53, it is rounded up to $76.00. The money collected is deposited in a separate bank account for the Jackson EMC Foundation.

  • Why is Jackson EMC participating?

    Jackson EMC has a long history of supporting charitable and community organizations, from children's programs and shelters for battered women to food banks and scouting. We are introducing Operation Round Up as part of our cooperative heritage and values – people coming together to help their neighbors. More than 60 years ago, local residents came together to form Jackson EMC to get electricity to their homes and farms. It was something they couldn't do individually. Now, through Operation Round Up, local residents can come together to create change in their communities through a foundation – something they couldn't do individually on this scale.

  • What other EMCs participate?

    There are currently about 200 EMCs participating in Operation Round Up nationwide, 17 of them in Georgia. In the Northeast Georgia area, Walton EMC has been participating since 1997, Habersham EMC since 2002 and Sawnee EMC since 2003.

  • Why is Jackson EMC automatically signing up all members?

    We felt our members would want their Foundation to have as much impact in the community as possible. The experience of other EMCs that have introduced Operation Round Up in this way has shown that more members participate – an average of 75% as opposed to an average participation of 25% where members were required to sign up. So for the sake of efficiency, we began the process in 2005 with a list of all members who, over a six-month period, were provided a variety of easy methods to decline participation in Operation Round Up. Those methods included bill inserts; forms in the member newsletter; and an online form.

    New Jackson EMC members will be automatically signed up for Operation Round Up, but will be given the opportunity to decline participation. When new members sign up for service, they should receive a letter explaining Operation Round Up that provides them with a form to include in their bill to decline participation. We will also tell new members about Operation Round Up in the New Member Guide that each new member receives.

  • What if a member doesn't want to participate?

    Even after they are signed up for Operation Round Up, members may leave the program at any time simply by calling Jackson EMC or completing the form on this web site.

  • If a member doesn't wish to participate now, can they join Operation Round Up in the future?

    Yes, members may join or rejoin Operation Round Up by calling us.

  • Will new members automatically become part of Operation Round Up?

     

  • How much money will Operation Round Up collect?

    About 90% of Jackson EMC members participate in the program, contributing an average of $86,400 a month, which raises more than $1 million annually for charitable purposes.

  • How are requests for funding handled?

    Individuals and organizations that seek funding from the foundation must complete a very thorough grant application. Those applications will be reviewed by the foundation board, which may request additional information or determine if personal visits are necessary for fact gathering. The board then votes on all grant requests.

    Individuals and organizations may receive only one grant award from the foundation each year. Awards are  limited to $3,500 for individuals and $15,000 for organizations. Additional guidelines are found here.

  • Who can apply for funding?

    Any individual or organization in any of the counties served by Jackson EMC – Banks, Barrow, Clarke, Franklin, Gwinnett, Hall, Jackson, Lumpkin, Madison and Oglethorpe counties.

  • Will Jackson EMC continue to support organizations it has supported in the past?

    Yes. Jackson EMC has sponsored a wide variety of organizations and programs in our community, and continues to support them. Project SHARE, to which Jackson EMC members contribute around $48,000 each year, will continue to be a part of Jackson EMC's community outreach programs.  Our members are free to participate in either or both programs.

  • If you're not a Jackson EMC member, could you still participate in Operation Round Up?

    Only if you are an employee of Jackson EMC. Otherwise, only members can participate.

  • Are contributions tax deductible, and will participants receive a statement for income tax purposes?

    Yes. The Jackson EMC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Members are provided an annual contribution total on their January electric bill and can save that bill for income tax purposes. Those who are not Jackson EMC members receive a letter acknowledging their contribution, which they can save for income tax purposes.