Fall Foliage, Ovando, Montana

Operation Round Up®

The Mission

The mission of the Operation Round Up® program is to provide financial resources to support, improve or advance communities, organizations, charities and worthy causes or events, throughout MEC’s service area. 


There are seven cooperative principles that are the backbone to MEC’s daily operations. One of these core principles is Concern for Community, which is why MEC’s Board of Trustees voted to adopt the Operation Round Up® charitable-giving program in 2021.

Operation Round Up® (ORU) is a national program, that’s been serving rural communities for over three decades. Since its inception in 1989, ORU has been adopted by 260 electric cooperatives, and has generated $50 million in charitable donations.

Small Change. Big Difference.

By simply rounding monthly bills to the nearest dollar, members can make a significant group impact. Every penny that is donated, will be pooled together to help local organizations and communities address unmet needs for youth, education, public safety, health, community and emergency services.

To impact the greatest number of people, communities and organizations, and in an effort to give the Operation Round Up® program the best possible head-start, MEC will auto-enroll members into the program, on June 1st. On average, participating members can expect to donate $6 per year, and at most, $11.88. Members are always welcome to donate additional funds to the program, by calling the office.

Program donations are tax deductible. A year-end donation total will be located on January statements, for all ORU participants.

Opt Out

Operation Round Up® is voluntary and MEC fully supports a members’ decision not to participate. In March 2021, we began a three-month campaign, inviting members to opt out, pre-launch. If members missed this window, they are able to opt out, at any time, by visiting our office, calling 406.541.4433, emailing billing@meccoop.com or logging into “SmartHub” and opting out.

Upon request, the Cooperative will offer a full refund to any member whose bill was rounded-up without their prior knowledge or understanding of the program.

ORU Board

The Operation Round Up® program is run by a board of seven MEC members (one representative per district). This board will run independently of MEC’s member-elected Board of Trustees. The 2021 ORU Board is listed by district, below:

  • District 1 – Sonia Shearer, Vice Chair/Secretary
  • District 2 – Don Stout
  • District 3 – Matt Ulberg, Chair
  • District 4 – Kelly Richmond
  • District 5 – Jon Kimble
  • District 6 – Jim Lindquist
  • District 7 – Debbie Lester, Treasurer

All member donations will be placed into the Operation Round Up® Trust Fund. Each quarter, the ORU Board will meet to review and score applications, to determine which organizations, events and causes, would benefit from these funds the most.

Apply for Funding

To be considered for funding, interested parties must submit an online application. All applications will be compiled and reviewed by the ORU Board on a quarterly basis. This means, applicants need to apply at least one quarter prior to when funds are needed. The cut-off date for Q3 applications is Friday, September 24th. Each organization may only receive one donation per year.

After each quarterly ORU Board Meeting, funds will be distributed to chosen applicants. The first ORU Board Meeting, and application review, will be held October 25, 2021 at 10 AM.

Funding may be used to:

This list is a guide and is not comprehensive. 

  • Help schools, organizations and communities with limited resources, which will improve educational opportunities or economic development;
  • Assist community youth organizations and activities which promote good citizenship for strong, healthy communities;
  • Aid community and emergency service providers in their efforts to improve the quality of life for our neighbors;
  • Promote the health, wellness and safety of our communities and members;
  • Meet the quarterly goals set by the ORU Board at the beginning of each quarter.

Funding may not be used for the following:

This list is a guide and is not comprehensive. The ORU Board may reject any applications that don’t support MEC’s mission or ORU’s quarterly and/or annual goals. 

  • Individuals;
  • Political campaigns/lobbying;
  • Private foundations;
  • Requests to waive electric charges in lieu of a donation;
  • Mortgage or rent;
  • Property taxes;
  • Insurance payments;
  • Individual automotive expenses;
  • Credit card payments;
  • Religious events/expenditures;
  • National campaigns/fundraisers;
  • Advertising;
  • Fundraising raffles.

Operation Round Up® Application

To be considered for funding, interested parties must submit an online application. All applications will be compiled and reviewed by the ORU Board on a quarterly basis. Please have all Q3 applications in no later than September 24, 2021.
  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
    Please note - you MUST request funds at least one quarter PRIOR to when you need them. Applications will be reviewed on a quarterly basis and donations may be considered for up to one year. The program launches June 1, 2021. The first round of applications will be reviewed on October 15, 2021.
  • Drop files here or
    Max. file size: 20 MB.
      Please upload any supporting documents that might help the ORU Board make their decision (i.e. event flyer, sponsorship packets, etc.).