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Even with the unique challenges caused by COVID-19, we continued to share our energy with the communities we serve through charitable giving, outreach and employee volunteerism.

 

We are privileged to serve 823 communities across an eight-state footprint. Giving back to those communities is part of our history, our culture, and will hopefully be our legacy. Our teams responded to the unexpected demands of COVID-19, including an unprecedented philanthropic response to help support our customers in need. We are proud to share this summary of our community impact activities in 2020, an extraordinary year.

Our charitable giving in 2020 totaled $5.6 million and was directed at the important work of local nonprofits, chambers and economic development organizations who supported our neighbors as they were impacted by COVID. Shortly after businesses were closed and many families started to quarantine at home, we coordinated a $375,000 response to address urgent basic needs through more than 110 organizations in our communities. 

We are ready to build an energy future that will help our communities grow and thrive while we work to be the best in everything we do.

View our 2020 community impact report

direct
volunteers
economic development

Energy assistance programs

 

Black Hills Cares


Our energy assistance program, Black Hills Cares, helped more than 2,500 families in need last year. We match employee and customers gifts dollar for dollar. In the past 13 years, Black Hills Cares has provided more than $6.5 million in customer, employee and company donations to those in need, and $813,000 was contributed in 2020. We partner with two dozen nonprofits throughout our service territories to distribute these funds to families needing financial assistance.

Click below to learn more about our energy assistance programs.

Learn more

 

Energy in action

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fire
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Support for United Way

Black Hills Energy has a long history of partnership with United Way, dating back to the 1940s. Over 1,300 employees pledged a gift of at least their “fair share,” which is one hour of pay per month. During 2020 we shared over $780,000 — including a 25 percent match by the Black Hills Corp. Foundation — to assist almost 50 United Ways across the Black Hills Energy footprint.

 

 
 
 

 

 

Customers improved energy efficiency

During 2020, over 32,500 customers participated in Black Hills Energy-sponsored energy efficiency programs for their homes. Learn more about our energy efficiency programs, how to lower energy costs, make homes or businesses more comfortable and how to reduce energy use at blackhillsenergy.com/efficiency-and-savings.

 

 
 
 

 

 

In-kind or other donations

Supported our communities with basic needs during unprecedented emergencies, including challenges presented by COVID-19. We also stepped up in unique ways, like hanging holiday lights, trimming trees and repairing flag poles.

 

Charitable giving 


Contributions and sponsorships


Our charitable giving included contributions and sponsorships for nonprofits, chambers and economic development organizations, United Way, energy assistance, in-kind donations, and investments in trees.

Nearly $2.3 million invested by our state utilities and the Black Hills Corp. Foundation in the great work of hundreds of worthy local organizations and nonprofits

Charitable impact by state

The table below summarizes our charitable giving in 2020, including the distribution of foundation and state utility funds for charitable purposes, as well as employee giving to United Way and support provided through Black Hills Energy’s energy assistance program, Black Hills Cares. This collective charitable impact in 2020 totals over $5.6 million, which demonstrates our readiness to impact the communities we serve through our corporate citizenship programs.

Click on your state below to see how we gave back in the community you live in.

  Foundation* State Operating Funds Employee United Way Giving (Paid in 2020) BH Cares Total
Arkansas $59,000 $137,000 $68,000 $80,000 $344,000
Colorado  $60,000 $862,000 $88,000 $154,000 $1,164,000
Iowa $34,000 $410,000 $11,000 $80,000 $535,000
Kansas $14,000 $209,000 $26,000 $129,000 $378,000
Nebraska $74,000 $629,000 $119,000 $179,000 $1,001,000
South Dakota $83,000 $1,232,000 $240,000 $90,000 $1,645,000
Wyoming $69,000 $265,000 $74,000 $101,000 $509,000
Other - - $2,000 - $2,000
Total company-wide impact $393,000* $3,744,000 $628,000 $813,000 $5,578,000

*Black Hills Corp. Foundation donated an additional $223,500 to Black Hills Cares for COVID-19 efforts.

Positive energy

  • More than 100 pounds of nonperishable food items were donated to the local food bank in Rapid City, South Dakota, thanks to a team member’s holiday food drive idea.  Jenny, a senior operator in the Reliability Center, organized the special event. Because work schedules for operators prevent them…
  • When community groups in Custer, South Dakota, need help, they know who to ask. “Whatever the need – be it a trailer, a venue for an event or volunteers – Corey is the person who always responds with, ‘I know a guy,’” said Russ, a Custer Chamber of Commerce board member. Chamber members refer to…
  • On Dec. 11, team members in the Black Hills Energy Nebraska office joined in the fun during the first Holdrege Winter Festival light parade. Our team decorated a Black Hills Energy truck with lights, a "sleigh" and even an inflatable Grinch trying to steal the Christmas toys! They handed out Black…
  • November was Caregiver Appreciation Month and in the spirit of giving thanks, we showed our appreciation to all of our Monument Health caregivers in the Black Hills with a delicious treat. Working with our local partners at Black Hills Works, the community affairs team at Black Hills Energy in…