Have you considered offering your customers a way to contribute to a worthwhile cause? A round-up program would do just that.
It’s convenient for your customers
For customers who elect to participate, round-up programs automatically round their bill to the next whole dollar. The amount that is rounded up typically is designated for a charity or other worthy cause.
Who doesn’t appreciate having bills that are whole dollar amounts? It makes balancing checkbooks easier and raises money for a good cause at the same time!
Funds raised benefit valuable causes
I’m familiar with utilities using round-up programs to support emergency assistance programs, volunteer fire departments and schools.
Some larger utilities run their own assistance programs for deserving customers, but the more common practice is to turn the funds collected over to a trusted agency in the community that provides financial assistance with utility bills.
Only overhead is the time to set up each account
Assuming your billing software supports rounding up, the only added expense to administer a round-up program is the time it takes to set up each customer.
Many utilities use an authorization form signed by the customer as documentation in case the customer questions their bill in the future.
Contributions to the round-up program are typically credited to a separate revenue (or liability, if you are collecting on behalf of a third party) account. Periodic payments are then sent to the entity that is supported by the round-up program.
Customers can elect to contribute additional funds
You may have customers who desire to contribute more than just the odd cents to round their bill to the next dollar. To accommodate this, you can set up a new flat rate service and allow the customer to choose how much more they would like to contribute.
Why not start a round-up program for your utility?
A round-up program serves as a painless and relatively easy way for your customers to contribute to a worthwhile cause. Why not start offering this to your customers?
If you have questions about starting or administering a round-up program, please give me a call at 919-232-2320 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2013 Gary Sanders