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Sumter EMC Foundation Guidelines

Funds available to the Sumter EMC Foundation, Inc. are raised through members allowing their monthly electric bills to be rounded up to the next whole dollar. The extra change is collected and awarded by a Board of Trustees for worthy community projects. The following guidelines will help in understanding how these funds are awarded. 

  • The Foundation does not provide grants to individuals and religious organizations (see footnote1), nor does it fund political campaigns or causes. 
  • Projects must be located in or serve populations of the Sumter EMC eleven county service area (Chattahoochee, Dougherty, Lee, Marion, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Stewart, Sumter, Terrell, and Webster). 
  • An organization receiving a grant may be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, but such tax-exempt status is not required in order to receive funding. Funding for proposed projects that otherwise qualify for funds will not be disallowed because the organization receiving the funds and undertaking the project may be an incidental beneficiary of the project. The determination of the Foundation regarding compliance with this guideline shall be final, subject only to the decisions of the Sumter EMC Board of Directors. 
  • The Foundation prefers to support specific programs and capital campaigns on a prospective basis, as opposed to funding a project that has already been completed. 
  • Preference will be given to projects in counties where the funds are collected. 
  • In order to maintain flexibility in giving, the Foundation does not provide multiyear funding commitments. 
  • The foundation does not award funds for pageants, field trips, and athletic or academic tournaments. 
  • Grant requests must be reviewed and approved by the Foundation board, which meets in January, May, and September each year. Proposals for board consideration should be submitted one month prior to the respective board meetings. All grant applicants will be notified within 10 days of the Board's decision. 
  • Organizations may make application once per 12-month period and may reapply on an annual basis. Applications must be made using the latest published application (approved 1/20/2015). Click here for approved application form.
  • A public or private school system (K-12), university or college must apply as an organization representing all of its schools or departments no more than once a year. The Superintendent (for grades K-12) or President (for a university or college) must sign the application, or a letter of support signed by the Superintendent or President must accompany the application. 


Grant awards typically range from $500 to $5,000 dollars. The amount awarded is based on several factors. Some key elements include:

  • The number of individuals who will benefit from the project. ($ per individual) 
  • Favor giving to projects with lasting value over projects of short-term value. 
  • Indications of community wide support and involvement. 
  • Organizations that demonstrate the managerial and financial capacity to implement and complete the project. 
  • Credible evidence of the organization's ability to sustain the project beyond the duration of the grant. 
  • Whether or not the organization or project is supported by regional or national funds. 
  • A clear statement of the project or organization's purpose. 
  • Stability of organizational finances. 
  • The relationship between the scale of the project budget and the size of the annual operating budget of the organization. 
  • The impact of full or partial funding. (Partial funding given once full amount is pledged.) 


1 – While the Foundation is not authorized to provide grants or funds to a particular religious organization, group, or denomination, community- related projects which are determined by the Foundation to be consistent with the bylaws, purposes and objectives of the Foundation will receive funding consideration, even where such projects are to be conducted by a religious organization, if the Foundation determines that such project is to be conducted by the sponsor for a secular or non-religious purpose or undertaking . Any funds provided in such cases must in no way impact the budgets of the sponsoring religious organization.

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