Community Fund: Generous VEC Members Making a Real Difference

Community Fund: Generous VEC Members Making a Real Difference

In 2023 the VEC Community Fund disbursed to local non-profits the largest amount of money ever. 

The fund gave out grants totaling $47,959 in 2023, almost double the $24,100 awarded the previous year and well above any previous year since the fund was launched in 2015. The fund made 61 separate grant awards in 2023 compared to 32 in 2022. 

“We’ve had our best year yet,” said Community Fund Committee chair and VEC work order specialist Ed Peterson. “Why? Because our generous members have given a big boost to the program over the last couple of years, by continuing to round up their electric bills and donating member capital,” he said. 

“The fund can do what it does because there is strength in numbers,” he said. “Currently over 2,000 members participate and we are hoping even more members will join in and keep the fund on this promising trajectory,” he said. About eight percent of VEC’s 33,000 members participate by either rounding up their monthly electric bill to the nearest dollar or donating their member capital each year, so there is still plenty of room to grow the donations, he said. 

Since it made its first donation eight years ago, the fund has sent just over $120,000 to some 150 non-profit organizations in the VEC region. The fund is supported by co-op members who voluntarily round up their electric bills to the nearest dollar, donate their member capital, or make one-time donations. The funds are entirely separate from money collected by VEC from electricity sales and support local organizations that support economic security, energy education, emergency and disaster relief, and community development.