In 2004, Cotton Electric Cooperative began the Operation Round Up program and established the Cotton Electric Charitable Foundation.
Operation Round Up is a program designed to provide financial assistance to worthwhile individuals and organizations. Under the program, voluntary contributions from participating co-op members are collected when their monthly bills are "rounded up" to the next highest dollar. For example, if a member's bill is $49.77, the bill is rounded up to $50.00. The additional 23 cents is then deposited to the Operation Round Up fund.
The average yearly contribution from each participating cooperative member is about $6. The most a member would contribute each year is $11.88 and the least is 0 cents. Plus, contributions are tax deductible and participation is voluntary. The monthly collection of small change has had a big impact. Cotton Electric Charitable Foundation has awarded or pledged grants totaling $1,229,158.81 since the foundation was established.
The funds collected by the Operation Round Up are administered by the Cotton Electric Charitable Foundation and its five directors. The CECF board meets and discusses applications quarterly.