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Community Support

We serve the energy needs of hundreds of cities and towns throughout our service territory, and we are integral members of those communities. We are literally connected to the communities we serve through active and ongoing investment in their infrastructures.

We believe we have a responsibility to have a positive impact in all we do—as a good neighbor, community advocate and environmental steward. Our community impact is far-reaching—from charitable giving to employee volunteering to economic development and support for energy assistance programs.

Xcel Energy Total Corporate Giving
  2013
Corporate Giving & Community Investment
(managed through the Xcel Energy Foundation)
$12,093,208
Volunteer Time $726,222
Energy Assistance $24,467,790
Economic Development $1,775,979
Total $39,063,199

Learn about our support for energy assistance programs and our low-income energy efficiency programs.

Xcel Energy Foundation

Xcel Energy Foundation recipients

The mission of the Xcel Energy Foundation is to use the collective knowledge, resources and skills of our staff and colleagues to meet the needs of our communities and ensure that our service territory is a highly desirable place for everyone to live, work or own a business. Formed in 2001 as the philanthropic arm of the company, the Xcel Energy Foundation oversees the charitable activities and supports the volunteer programs of Xcel Energy and its subsidiaries. The annual budget is determined by prioritizing what the seven-member Xcel Energy Foundation board hopes to accomplish with the available resources.

The foundation’s board of directors meets three times a year and approves monthly financial statements, as well as the annual budget. The board sets policy on a number of items, including the levels at which we provide matching funds for employee efforts and our focus areas for giving. They also oversee the foundation’s investments. The majority of Xcel Energy Foundation funding comes from Xcel Energy shareholder dollars.

Xcel Energy Community Investment (managed through the Xcel Energy Foundation)1
  2013 2012 2011
Focus Area Grants $4,105,455 $3,928,486 $3,928,270
Math and science education $1,412,510 $1,266,020 $1,205,570
Environmental stewardship $884,600 $874,620 $886,620
Job training and placement $1,159,255 $1,151,080 $1,165,180
Access to the arts $649,090 $636,766 $670,900
United Way Contributions $5,236,942 $5,761,246 $5,532,470
Employee contributions $2,753,178 $2,830,522 $2,771,235
Company match & corporate gifts $2,431,346 $2,930,724 $2,761,235
Company in-kind $52,419    
Matching Gifts Program $1,240,523 $1,619,269 $1,321,317
Employee contributions $660,836 $941,490 $720,862
Company contributions $579,687 $677,779 $600,455
Volunteer Matching Dollars $236,480 $279,170 $247,735
Disaster Relief $116,570 $134,491 $30,000
Employee contributions $8,410 $15,713  
Company contributions $108,160 $118,778  
Volunteer Paid Time Off (VPTO)      
VPTO Hours 13,017 14,690  
VPTO Dollars $489,742 $537,834  
Other Contributions $1,298,497 $1,248,090 $2,005,287
In-kind Contributions $95,211 $116,911 $111,079
Total $12,819,430 $13,625,496 $13,176,158
Employee Volunteer Hours 40,210 44,847 31,018
1 Other Contributions are sponsorships, including tables, sports venues and charitable contributions made outside of the Xcel Energy Foundation. In-Kind Contributions refers to the value of donated equipment and supplies; it also includes supplies purchased for sponsoring or participating in community and volunteer events. Employee Volunteer Hours are only provided for those programs that we consistently track, which include Volunteer Paid Time Off, Dollars-for-Doing and Volunteer Energy. Actual employee volunteer hours are greater than reported here because the company promotes and sponsors a number of employee volunteer activities in addition to the programs we consistently track. Volunteer Matching Dollars includes company payments to community organizations through Dollars-for Doing and Volunteer Energy. Disaster Relief includes corporate contributions to the Red Cross and similar organizations, as well as employee donations and company matching dollars to these organizations.

See the Xcel Energy Foundation board of directors and staff.

Focus Area Grants

In 2013, the foundation distributed more than $4.1 million in focus area grants to promote math and science education, environmental stewardship, job training and placement and access to the arts in the communities we serve. These grants ranged from $2,000 to $12,000 across all focus areas and across our eight-state service territory.

The foundation underwent a strategic planning process in 2013 with the goal of helping to achieve larger corporate goals and improving overall effectiveness of charitable programs for both the company and the communities we serve. We held internal focus groups, compared benchmarking against other corporations and public utilities, and studied best practices for taking Xcel Energy’s corporate citizenship to the next level. Through this process, we learned that our level of corporate giving is in line with other leading companies, but there are opportunities to improve.

In our two largest urban areas—greater Twin Cities in Minnesota and metro Denver in Colorado—we funded signature projects to help build stronger community partnerships. In Minnesota, we donated $75,000 to The Works, a hands-on engineering program for kids, to take its Engineering Connections program to elementary schools in Roseville, St. Cloud, Winona, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Mankato and Monticello. The program includes professional development for teachers to learn about the engineering requirements of the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in Science, workshops for kids during the school day and Xcel Energy Family Nights at each of the schools to engage parents and students in hands-on engineering projects. Xcel Energy volunteers will help staff Family Night events. The Engineering Connections program is meant to create long-term impact in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and to inspire the next generation of innovators, engineers and creative problem solvers.

In Colorado, we donated $50,000 toward a statewide effort to train and place at least 150 high school math and physics teachers for the 2013-2014 academic year. Xcel Energy is the sole industry partner in the program, also funded by a private foundation and the National Education Association. The aim is to improve the Colorado Progressive Science and Progressive Math Initiative STEM teacher training program. A similar program in New Jersey has yielded increased achievement in math and science proficiency, as well as greater numbers of students participating in advanced placement courses. The partnership will be used to leverage the expertise and energy of our employees as mentors and volunteers in an effort to pique student interest in STEM careers and educational opportunities.

Education Focus Area Guidelines
Environment Focus Area Guidelines
Economic Sustainability Focus Area Guidelines
Arts & Culture Focus Area Guidelines

2013 Focus Area Funding by Operating Company
  Math and Science Education Environmental Stewardship Job Training and Placement Access to the Arts Total
NSPM $732,110 $337,500 $718,700 $378,390 $2,166,700
NSPW $57,000 $25,000 $18,500 $40,000 $140,500
PSCo $486,900 $440,800 $350,555 $136,500 $1,414,755
SPS $136,500 $81,300 $71,500 $94,200 $383,500
Total $1,412,510 $884,600 $1,159,255 $649,090 $4,105,455
The allocation for focus area grants is based on a formula that includes such factors as revenue, customers, employees and capital assets by operating company.

Positive Effect

Kids at play

In 2013, we began developing a company-wide initiative called Positive Effect to bring all Xcel Energy community and civic activities under one umbrella. The goal for this program is to positively impact our communities, legislation and regulatory outcomes by fostering a culture of knowledge sharing, involvement and commitment among employees. This effort will enable us to better leverage and track our impact in our communities, while also inspiring a sense of pride and empowerment in employees.

Many departments and interests groups within the company, including external affairs, community relations, state government affairs and human resources, are working together to create a unifying brand and a central clearinghouse that aggregates the ways we make a difference in our communities through activities like employee giving, volunteerism and grassroots advocacy. One of our company’s strategic priorities is strong community and civic engagement, and Positive Effect is designed consolidate our efforts in that area.

Below is an overview of our employee contributions and involvement for 2013:

  • In Colorado, we held our third annual Day of Service on Sept. 7, 2013, with more than 2,100 Xcel Energy employees, customers and their friends and families donating time to help 48 nonprofit agencies statewide through tasks such as painting, cleaning, distributing, sorting, organizing and planting. We also held our second Day of Caring in the Upper Midwest on Sept. 7, 2013, to thank our local communities. About 500 people, including employees, retirees, contractors and their friends and families, worked on 26 different projects that benefited nonprofit agencies and community partners in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota. On Sept. 13, 2013, about 60 Xcel Energy volunteers participated in the United Way of Greater Chippewa Valley’s Day of Caring in Wisconsin.
  • In 2013, Xcel Energy employees, contractors and retirees contributed more than $2.7 million to our annual United Way campaign. With Xcel Energy’s match, we are investing nearly $5 million to communities large and small across our service territory.
  • We match employee and retiree charitable contributions of $50 or more dollar for dollar through our Matching Gifts program. Gifts are matched up to $750 for nonprofit organizations and up to $2,000 for higher education institutions.
  • Our Dollars-for-Doing program encourages and supports employee volunteerism by making dollar donations for each hour employees volunteer. The foundation matches up to 100 hours per employee each year at a rate of $10 per hour.
  • Full-time employees are eligible for 40 hours per year of Volunteer Paid Time Off.

Contribution to Economic Development

We are connected to the communities we serve through active and ongoing investment in their infrastructures and through our supply chain spending. We contributed more than $1.77 million directly to chambers of commerce and economic development organizations in communities across our service territory in 2013.

Franchise Fees

In 2013, we distributed more than $171 million in franchise fees to the communities where we operate. Xcel Energy collects franchise fees through customers and distributes them to cities as part of the franchise agreements that we negotiate for the right to place energy facilities in the public right of way.

Upper Midwest (85 cities)
$64,260,965
Colorado (120 cities)
$88,045,469
Texas/New Mexico (94 cities)
$18,732,610
Total
$171,039,044

Political Contributions

Xcel Energy sponsors six Political Action Committees (PACs) organized and run by employees, five at the state level and one at the federal level. Voluntary participation in one of the company’s PACs is part of the engagement activities that we offer employees.

Each of the company-sponsored PACs has its own board of directors elected by its members that make contribution decisions. All of our PACs are strictly voluntary, and there are no employment benefits based upon participation. Each complies with all applicable local, state and federal laws.

Along with sponsoring PACs, Xcel Energy also from time to time makes contributions to organizations that advocate before Congress. In order to ensure transparency in those expenditures we have established a corporate policy requiring annual disclosure of company expenditures above a certain amount to organizations that use a portion of those dollars for lobbying activities.

Xcel Energy Political Action Committee Activity

The chart below reflects employee contributions made to PACs in 2013, as well as the total distributions made from the PACs to candidates and political groups in 2013. Funds contributed by employees can accrue over multiple years and are not necessarily distributed in the same year they were contributed.

PAC No. of Employees Participating Total Employee Contributions to PACs in 2013 Total Contributions to Candidates and Political Groups in 2013
Minnesota2 181 $32,550.29 $21,501.65
North Dakota 218 $6,361.31 $2,050.00
South Dakota 186 $4,659.57 $200.00
Texas/New Mexico (SCOPE) 291 $37,282.51 $6,500.00
Colorado (Western PAC) 251 $22,001.69 $21,350.00
Wisconsin 223 $15,541.80 $8,200.00
Federal PAC (XPAC) 411 $247,867.26 $266,500.00

2 There also is an employee-organized state PAC in Minnesota that Xcel Energy does not sponsor. Minnesota state laws do not allow corporate expenditures to raise money or to organize PACs; information on the Minnesota PAC is only included in this report for reference purposes.

See our political contributions policy and annual report.