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Electric cooperatives are unique from for-profit electric utilities, which are governed by investor decisions that boost revenue and profits. Instead, co-ops are defined by a set of core principles, chief among them a commitment to the communities they serve. United Power is an active supporter and participant in community events and programs, but depends on knowledge from members like you to ensure it is supporting causes you care about.

The co-op launched Member Choice grants to provide a way for members to put their community knowledge into action – by nominating area nonprofits for United Power grant dollars. Nominating a local nonprofit for Member Choice grants allows you to have a voice in what organizations the cooperative is supporting.

United Power has distributed more than $10,000 to nonprofits within its service territory through Member Choice grants since its launch in 2020. The first grants were awarded to local food banks early in the pandemic. Members recognized the need for additional resources at food banks as many families lost their source of income. Members also nominated nonprofits that provided for mental health needs and outdoor recreation. The cooperative renewed Member Choice grants for three rounds in 2021. Recipients provided a variety of needs, including animal rescue and adoption, youth job force training and empowerment, and ending the cycle of homelessness.

Member Choice grants have been renewed again for 2022. Your nominations will help six worthy organizations receive a total of $12,000 in grant dollars to continue providing services to the communities they reach. To receive a Member Choice grant, nominated organizations must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit operating within the cooperative’s service territory and serving United Power members. Ineligible nonprofits include organizations that further religious doctrine or support the interests of political parties.

United Power began accepting new Member Choice grant nominations in August. Nominations must be received by November 18 to ensure consideration for the next round of grants. Recipients will be notified at the end of November and posted in the cooperative’s December newsletter and on its website.

For the nomination form, qualification requirements, and previous winners, please go to our Member Choice Grants page.