Building a Stronger Community
Good¢ents is a voluntary round up program funded by the members of Golden Valley Electric Association. It began on March 1, 2011.
Good¢ents rounds up a monthly electric bill to the next highest dollar. For example, a monthly bill of $97.65 would be rounded up to $98.00, with the additional 35 cents going to the Good¢ents fund. This small change, about 50 cents per month, raises thousands of dollars every year that go to building a stronger community.
Nonprofit organizations, meeting our criteria, are welcome to apply for Good¢ents funds. Individuals, in cases of emergency or disaster only, may also apply. A six-member, volunteer board of trustees reviews applications quarterly and selects projects or programs (within GVEA's service territory) to be funded.
Good¢ents awards are documented on our blog. Look in the sidebar for a list of the awards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can apply for funds?
Nonprofit organizations (meeting our criteria) and individuals/families (in cases of emergencies and disasters only) in our service territory are welcome to apply. Groups based outside of our service territory are also welcome to apply if their projects affect those in our service territory.
The annual application deadlines are: January 31, April 30, July 31 and October 31.
Why should I participate?
Good¢ents is an inexpensive and easy way to give back to your community. By pooling our small change together, we can do far more than we could alone. The average member will give $6 per year; that's a mere 50 cents per month.
If I have multiple accounts, will they all be rounded up?
Yes. Every GVEA account will be rounded up to the nearest whole dollar. If you would prefer only certain accounts participate, please contact us.
Are my contributions tax deductible? Come tax time, how will I know how much I contributed over the year?
Yes, these contributions can be considered tax deductible, charitable donations. On your bills during first quarter of each year, we will include a line indicating how much you contributed over the previous year.
What are the award amount guidelines?
Individual: $3,500 per year
Organization: $15,000 per year
If an organzation has received an award in the past, their application will be reviewed only after all first-time applications have been reviewed.
Who reviews applications and selects which projects or programs will be funded?
A volunteer, six-member board of trustees oversees the Good¢ents funds.
Why does GVEA automatically enroll everyone in the program rather than asking members to join?
Golden Valley’s Member Advisory Committee and Board of Directors debated the notion of automatically enrolling all members versus voluntary enrollment. Research among the more than 250 cooperatives nationwide participating in similar programs showed we would have much better involvement if we chose the former. It’s not because people don’t want to participate, it’s because most people simply wouldn't take the initiative to contact us to sign up.
The program is voluntary in the sense that a member can choose not to participate at any time.
What do I do if I don’t want to participate in Good¢ents?
Additionally, if at any time within the first three years of enrollment you decide you want a refund of any contributions made to this program, let us know; a refund of the entire amount you've contributed can be arranged.
Note: If you decide not to participate outside that initial 36-month window, no refund will be offered and your only option is to no longer participate.
Who chose to implement this round-up program?
In the spring of 2010, all GVEA members were mailed Bylaw election ballots. The addition of a round-up program, or Good¢ents, was one of the ballot initiatives members were asked to vote on. More than 70 percent voted in favor of a round up program.