About the Contest
The Touchstone Energy Cooperatives of Iowa are driven by our commitment to community. We launched this contest in the summer of 2021 to celebrate Iowa's local volunteers!
Our Shine the Light contest is an an opportunity for member-consumers and employees of Iowa’s locally owned electric cooperatives to nominate volunteers who are making a positive difference in their community.
The Iowa volunteer you nominate in June could be one of three winners who will each receive a $3,000 donation for their local charity or community organization. Additionally, the three winners will be featured in the September issue of Iowa Electric Cooperative Living magazine.
About Iowa's Electric Cooperatives
Iowa’s locally owned electric cooperatives power the lives of 650,000 Iowans throughout all 99 counties and are committed to delivering power that is safe, reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible.
Electric co-ops are locally owned and governed by the member-consumers we serve and we invest heavily in rural economic development. We serve about 15% of Iowa's population but cover about 80% of the state's land mass, including most rural areas. We're proud of our legacy of powering lives and empowering communities, which started back in the 1930s.
We're guided by seven core cooperative principles:
1. Voluntary and Open Membership
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
2. Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.
3. Members’ Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
4. Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.
5. Education, Training, and Information
Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
7. Concern for Community
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.
About Touchstone Energy
The largest utility network in the nation, the Touchstone Energy brand represents a nationwide alliance of over 750 local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives in 46 states. Championing the cause for lowest-cost, democratically governed energy, Touchstone Energy provides a unified face for hundreds of locally owned electric cooperatives across the country that power the lives of 32 million member-consumers.
Touchstone co-ops gain access to a wealth of advertising stock, education and training tools, member benefit programs and web development resources. By working jointly, the network of small cooperatives that make up Touchstone Energy generate services that would normally require the resources of a national corporation. Learn more at www.touchstoneenergy.com.