Washington Electric Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Washington Electric Foundation is a corporate funder that supports nonprofits in a ten-county region of Georgia in the areas of human services, domestic violence, parks and recreation, and more.

FUNDING AREAS: Human services, domestic violence, parks and recreation

IP TAKE: Nonprofits do not need to receive electricity through Washington EMC to be eligible for a grant. Pitch a proposal for program support in one of the 10 counties that the company serves.

PROFILE: The Washington Electric Foundation is the grantmaking arm of Washington EMC, and electric membership cooperation headquartered in Sandersville, Georgia. Formed in 1937, this company provides energy services to customers in the Georgia counites of Washington, Johnson, Hancock, Baldwin, Warren, Laurens, Emanuel, Glascock, Jefferson, and Wilkinson. This non-profit, consumer-owned energy supplier organized a group of volunteers to determine which community projects deserve funding throughout the year. Grantmaking topics of interest include human services, parks and recreation, and domestic violence.

The Washington Electric Foundation’s grantmaking program is called Operation RoundUp. This program involves the participation of over 15,000 accounts, as the company raises money to assist the less fortunate communities in its 10-county service area. EMC customers make voluntary contributions to the foundation when they have their electric bills rounded up to the next dollar. A foundation board consisting of retired business executives, civic leaders, educators, and bankers from diverse backgrounds oversee grantmaking decisions for Operation RoundUp. Board members hail from local Georgia towns including Sparta, Oconee, Warrenton, Wrightsville, Warthen, and Sandersville. The foundation provides program and project support, but not general operating support.

Foundation grants tend to range between $1,000 and $3,000. The maximum request is $10,000. Past grantees include the Georgia Forest Commission for the improvements to a Bartram Forest trail and the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Task Force for a memorial to dedicate to people who have lost their lives due to domestic violence. The Washington Electric Foundation is focused on the following ten counties in Georgia: Baldwin, Emanuel, Glascock, Hancock, Jefferson, Johnson, Laurens, Warren, Washington, and Wilkinson.

This foundation accepts unsolicited grant requests. Complete an application by December 31, March 31, June 30, or September to be considered at the next quarterly board meeting. The application form is available for download on the foundation website. Grantseekers can direct general questions to the foundation at 478-552-2577 and ask to speak to Bill Durden or Tony Orr for additional information about Operation RoundUp.

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