Operation Round Up

About Operation Round Up

The circle of giving—you give and you receive. That is the philosophy behind Sioux Valley Energy's Operation Round Up program. Since the year 2000, members and employees have awarded more than $2-Million to worthwhile causes throughout the cooperative's service territory. The concept is easy, participating members agree to have their electric bill rounded up to the next highest dollar and that money is collected for Operation Round Up. Many Sioux Valley Energy employees also help by deducting a small amount from their paychecks. 

Operation Round Up is administered by a non-profit trust, the Sioux Valley Energy Customers' Trust, which was initiated in the fall of 2000. The purpose of the trust is to acquire, accumulate and disburse funds for charitable and educational purposes as permitted by Section 501 (c) (3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Your community, your school, and/or your nonprofit organization may be eligible for funding. Each quarter, the Board of Directors, volunteer representatives of each county, to review grant applications and make awards based on criteria guidelines of the Trust. Not all proposals are funded, and not all applications are funded at the full funding request.

The region served by the Trust includes the seven-county Sioux Valley Energy service area, as well as adjacent neighborhoods within the outer boundaries of the cooperatives service area. Money must also be spent within these boundaries. The electrical service area includes Rock and Pipestone counties in Minnesota, and Brookings, part of Kingsbury, Lake, Moody, and Minnehaha counties in South Dakota.

The major funding categories of the Sioux Valley Energy Customers' Trust include lending assistance to community service projects, economic development programs, education and youth initiatives, and emergency energy assistance. These funds are also available, should the need arise, to provide disaster relief.

Examples of the types of organizations who have received funding in the past are daycare associations, schools, nursing homes, sports clubs, vocational schools, youth groups, scholarship programs, humanity programs, fire departments, cities, special needs for individuals, and senior dining programs.

The Sioux Valley Energy Customers' Trust Board of Directors meets quarterly in the months of March, June, September, and December. Applications must be received by the 20th of the month preceding the board meeting. For example, in order to be considered at the December meeting, your application must be received no later than November 20th.

If you are a Sioux Valley Energy customer and participate in Operation Round Up, thank you for your generosity. Participation in Operation Round Up is voluntary, but as one Sioux Valley Energy customer explains, the impact is worth every penny.

If you are a customer who currently is not participating in the program but would like to join, just indicate on your next billing that you would like to participate in Operation Round Up, sign up online or call 1-800-234-1960. You too can help make a difference.

Board of Directors

Brenda Volkers

Brookings County

Alvina Harvey


Vice Chair

Dan LaRock

Rock County

Greg Benda

Lake County

Joyce DeClerk

Moody County


Connie Hillard

Pipestone County

Jeff Thompson

Minnehaha County

Can I FAX an application?

Yes, you can FAX an application to 605-256-1693.

Do I have to participate in Operation Round Up?

The Operation Round Up program is voluntary. Each new customer is automatically signed up to participate, but any customer who wishes not to participate may notify us in one of the three ways.

  1. Respond by sending us a message on our web site: Click Here
  2. Call our office at 1-800-234-1960, or
  3. Sign and return a form in their "new member" packet

How much can a person receive from the Operation Round Up Program?

Individuals are eligible to receive up to $2,500/year and groups, organizations, or charities are eligible to receive up to $10,000 annually.

How much will Operation Round Up cost a member?

The average member will contribute $6.00/year; the most they can contribute is $11.88/year. These dollars are tax deductible. The total amount you have contributed during the year will be reflected on your December electric bill.

How was the decision made for Sioux Valley Energy to participate in Operation Round Up?

The information was first presented to the Member Advisory Committee for their reaction before it was presented to the Sioux Valley Energy Board of Directors. Focus groups discussed the proposal and recommendations were made for implementation of the program. The Sioux Valley Energy Board of Directors voted to accept the recommendations and proceeded with the program.

What is Operation Round Up?

Operation Round Up gathers voluntary contributions from participating cooperative members by "rounding up" their monthly bills to the next dollar resulting in an average donation of roughly $6 per year, which is distributed to worthy local causes. Every donation is made to applicants right in our own local area, and nearly all of the contributions go to the needy, not to the administrative costs of running the program. What is most rewarding about the concept of Operation Round Up is that it is an extension of the concept of neighbor helping neighbor that built our electric cooperative.

When are applications due at the Sioux Valley Energy office?

All applications received by the 20th of the month preceding a Board meeting will be considered at the next Board meeting. For example, an application received at the Sioux Valley Energy office by February 20th will be reviewed for funding at the March Board meeting.

Completed applications should be mailed to:

Sioux Valley Energy Customers' Trust
PO Box 216
Colman, SD 57017

When are projects eligible for funding?

Whenever possible, requests for funding should be for projects that will be completed within 12-months following the grant application. Requests for funding for projects that have already been completed will be given less priority.

Where are the funds kept?

The Operation Round Up funds are kept in a trust fund and are dispersed as directed by the Operation Round Up board.

Who can apply for Operation Round Up funds?

Individuals and non-profit organizations within the Sioux Valley Energy service area may apply.

Who controls the funds that Operation Round Up generates?

The Operation Round Up is a separate entity with its own board consisting of leaders within the community. The Sioux Valley Energy Board of Directors appoints one director from each of the following counties: Minnehaha, Moody, Lake, Brookings, Rock, Pipestone and the at-large director.

Who will benefit from the Operation Round Up program?

The Operation Round Up program is intended to benefit people and organizations within the Sioux Valley Energy service area. Operation Round Up funds may be used for community service projects, economic development, education and youth programs, environmental projects, emergency energy assistance and disaster relief.

Can I opt out of Operation Round Up?

Yes, just contact us at 877-511-8062 and let us know you would like to opt out of the program.

  1. Policy and Purpose: The Sioux Valley Energy Customers' Trust will be funded by Operation Round Up voluntary contributions from members of Sioux Valley Energy, employee contributions, and from other sources of funds available to the Trust. Operation Round Up contributions will be used primarily in the local area served by the Cooperative for charitable and educational purposes, including emergency energy assistance.

  2. Major Funding Categories: Although there are many worthy charitable and educational projects and community needs in our local area, the limited availability of funds requires us to establish funding priority categories as follows, with annual budget allocation ranges for each category:
    1. Community Service (20% to 40%)
      • Programs, projects, and organizations that are important components of a community's overall quality of life, with emphasis on public safety, health care, self-sufficiency, and basic human needs.
      • Programs and projects that enhance the cultural environment of communities in our local area.
    2. Economic Development (10% to 30%)
      • Programs and projects designed to promote greater economic stability by helping to expand and diversify local economies, with emphasis on business retention and expansion, new business development and tourism.
      • Programs and projects that encourage cooperation among regional and community economic development organizations.
      • Community leadership programs designed to improve problem-solving skills and empower people to become self-reliant in identifying solutions to local economic and social problems.
    3. Education and Youth (10% to 30%)
      • School scholarships and other programs and projects with an emphasis on math and science education and cooperative educational programs.
      • Programs that are designed to combat critical social problems affecting our children and youth, with an emphasis on children and teens at risk.
      • Programs and projects that promote wellness and encourage youth participation in athletics and physical fitness activities.
    4. Environment (5% to 15%)
      • Programs and projects that promote community recycling and natural resource preservation.
      • Community-based environmental quality education programs.
      • Environmentally sensitive agricultural research programs and projects.
    5. Emergency Energy Assistance (5% to 15%)
      • Community Action Programs, Heatshare and other local and statewide fuel funds established by an energy provider, the States of South Dakota and Minnesota or any other entity that collects and distributes money for low-income emergency energy assistance and meets the minimum criteria, including income eligibility criteria, for receiving money from the Federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Program's Incentive Fund for Leveraging Non-Federal Resources.
      • Funds distributed under this funding category shall comply with Minnesota Statutes Section 268.371, and South Dakota Statutes Section 1-36-20.
    6. Disaster Relief (5% to 15%): Programs and projects to provide disaster relief for food, clothing, shelter, medical care, clean-up and repairs and reconstruction in an emergency following an accident, a severe storm or other causes.
  3. Geographic Focus: Contributions will be focused geographically within the area served by the Cooperative and adjacent areas. Organizations which provide programs and benefits to people who live in this geographic area are eligible for funding consideration, even though the organization is located elsewhere.

  4. Funding Restrictions
    1. Contributions will generally be made only to non-profit organizations that have been granted tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(C) (3).
    2. Contributions will generally not be made for:
      • Lobbying, political and religious organizations
      • Veteran, fraternal, and labor organizations
      • Fund-raising dinners, raffles, and other events
      • Individuals (except school scholarships and disaster relief)
      • Capital fund campaigns
      • National fund drives
      • Advertising
  5. Evaluation Factors
    1. The following factors will be considered in the evaluation of all funding requests:
      • Potential benefit to area residents and the entire community
      • Level of community support for the program or project or the organization requesting the funds
      • Fiscal and administrative capability of the organization to deliver a quality service or program
      • 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 purpose and intent of this policy and these guidelines.
  6. Project Timing
    1. Whenever possible, requests for funding should be for projects that will be completed within 12 months following the grant application. Requests for funding for projects that have already been completed will be given less priority.

Fill Out Application Form

After completing the application (found in the link below), attach the supporting documentation and mail to:

Sioux Valley Energy
PO Box 216
Colman, South Dakota 57017

You can also email the fillable application and materials to lori.george@siouxvalleyenergy.com.

More from My Community

Youth Scholarship Programs

Information on Sioux Valley Energy's 2023 scholarship program will be released soon. Applications are typically due in ...

Learn More

EmPOWER Youth Leadership Program

Leadership, learning, friendships and challenges. Energize your potential through the EmPOWER Youth Leadership Program!

Learn More

Co-op Connections Card

The Co-op Connections Card, Touchstone Energy’s free membership card, offers cooperative members more than 24,000 local and national deals ...

Learn More

Electricity Demonstrations

Sioux Valley Energy provides educational presentations and demonstrations to the public focusing on electricity, energy efficiency and ...

Learn More

Operation Round Up

The circle of giving—you give and you receive. That is the philosophy behind Sioux Valley Energy's Operation Round Up program. Since the ...

Learn More