Let There Be Light International Inc

Solar Lights Change Lives

aka LTBLI   |   BUFFALO, NY   |  www.LetThereBeLightInternational.org

Mission

Let There Be Light International (LTBLI) addresses Energy Poverty and Climate Change through innovative solar programming in partnership with grassroots NGOs in sub-Saharan Africa. Let There Be Light International is committed to furthering the Sustainable Development Goals through our data-driven programming and outreach/education efforts. LTBLI advances maternal and infant health through our Safe Births + Healthy Homes program and educational outcomes through our Lights4Literacy efforts.

Ruling year info

2015

Executive Director

Sarah Baird

Main address

640 ELLICOTT ST # 12B

BUFFALO, NY 14203 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-1543177

NTEE code info

Philanthropy / Charity / Voluntarism Promotion (General) (T50)

Rural (S32)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Imagine living in darkness. Imagine trying to care for a newborn, or a child with disabilities, or an elderly parent. In the dark. No lights in your home. No lights along the roads. No lights at your local health clinic or school or place of work. For hundreds of millions of people around the world, darkness is a constant and unimaginable reality. Having a connection to the electrical grid is a distant dream. At Let there Be Light International, we believe that every new mom and isolated elder and child with cerebral palsy deserves a safe light to use at home. And, in sub-Saharan Africa where sunlight is abundant, renewable solar lights are a great solution. Until a robust safety net is developed to care for vulnerable families living in off-grid communities, Let There Be Light International will be there to lend a hand and brighten lives. Join us as we Let There Be Light and Shine On!

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Solar Lights Change Lives

LTBLI facilitates the provision of Solar Lights to vulnerable communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Let There Be Light International raises awareness on campuses, in churches, and in medical settings about the environmental, safety, health, educational, and economic burdens of burning kerosene -the most common form of off-grid lighting in the developing world. Let There Be Light International works with trusted community development groups (registered NGOs) on the ground in sub-Saharan Africa to identify vulnerable off-grid communities eligible for solar distributions and installations.

Population(s) Served
Families
Infants and toddlers

Let There Be Light International's (LTBLI) SOLAR program raises awareness in the United States about Global Energy Poverty and raises awareness in Uganda and Malawi about the benefits of off-grid renewable electrification for key community resources such as medical facilities, schools, and community centers. LTBLI hold community education meetings in Uganda and Malawi and contributes the funding and resources to solar electrify the key community facilities.

Population(s) Served
Families
People with disabilities

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

SEforAll People-Centered Accelerator 2018

United Nations NGO Major Group 2017

United Nations Women's Major Group 2019

REN21+ 2021

Catalyst 2030 2021

Global Impact Network 2020

Civicus 2020

Together 2030 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of people with access to electrified health center

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Children and youth, Families

Related Program

Solar Lights Change Lives

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Let There Be Light International tracks the number of people in the catchment areas served by the health clinics electrified through our programs. The average number of clients is 17,000 people.

Number of health outcomes improved

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people, People with disabilities

Related Program

Solar Lights Change Lives

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Totals reflect combined solar light and clinic beneficiaries. 98% of solar light recipients report improved health outcomes. ROI on a donated solar light is 10x investment.

Number of youth who increased their weekly hours of homework/reading

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Solar Lights Change Lives

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

There are (on average) 3 children per targeted household. The children use the solar light 2-4 hours more per night with the majority using the lights for homework. Totals reflect all children.

Amount of carbon emissions averted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people, People with disabilities, People with diseases and illnesses

Related Program

Solar Lights Change Lives

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These are cumulative amounts. The average pico solar light averts the release of 1.1 metric tons of CO2 over its 3 year lifetime.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Adults, Seniors

Related Program

SOLAR (Solar Outreach, Lighting, Access, and Research)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The number of clients served is measured by the number of people impacted by our solar lantern distribution program and by those impacted by the solar electrification of prioritized health clinics.

Number of facilities improved

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Adults, Seniors

Related Program

Solar Lights Change Lives

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Let There Be Light International solar-electrifies prioritized rural off-grid health clinics in Uganda. Cumulative totals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The goals of Let There Be Light International are to: meet the basic energy needs of the most vulnerable off-grid communities in Uganda and Malawi; to provide solar electric lighting systems to health centers and other valued community assets in impoverished off-grid areas of Uganda and Malawi; to collect dis-aggregated demographic information about lighting need; to advocate for a pro-poor perspective in energy access and renewable energy programming on national and international levels through peer platforms, conferences, social media, and other high visibility platforms.

*Identify need
*Conduct replicable needs assessments
*Identify and support vetted in-country partners
*Train partners on community education and outreach best practices
*Require nondiscrimination contracts
*Require Solar Light Recipient Usage Agreements
*Utilize established social service delivery channels known and maintained by vetted partners for effective and efficient solar light distributions
*Engage broad stakeholder support
*Conduct follow-up assessments and support
*Distribute only rigorously tested and approved (for instance, by LightingAfrica.org) lights and equipment that are available in local markets (no importing of products)

LTBLI is an all volunteer organization, but our board and executive director have a wide range of skills and capabilities that support the mission. LTBLI's board is comprised of experts in: Evaluation and Policy, Medicine, Nonprofit Management, Solar and Renewable Systems, Communications, and IT. LTBLI's Executive Director is trained in Humanitarian Service Administration and has an expertise in off-grid rural electrification in the developing world with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa and solar.

We have met the basic lighting need of 16,000 homes, but the need is far greater. We do not expect to meet all basic lighting need for all vulnerable people in Uganda and Malawi, but we are hoping to continue to meet the basic lighting need of the most vulnerable in targeted geographical areas.
There are 680 million people living without access to electricity in the world. Working with other organizations, stakeholders, and international and national energy interests, LTBLI hopes to continue to actively contribute to meeting the basic energy needs of the extreme poor in sub-Saharan Africa.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Program participants include grassroots NGOs, community stakeholders including medical staff at health clinics and District Health Officers, and recipients of solar lights through our Safe Births + Healthy Homes program.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In response to surveys of clinic staff, we recently increased the frequency of our training of health clinic staff and field workers for our Safe Births + Healthy Homes program.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Collecting feedback from the people we serve has allowed for a more participatory relationship and shifted power from funders to participants.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is hard to come up with good questions to ask people, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve,

Financials

Let There Be Light International Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Let There Be Light International Inc

Board of directors
as of 1/18/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Sarah Baird

Joanne Goldblum

National Diaper Bank Network

Benjamin Kerman

The Atlantic Philanthropies

Steven Levine

Encap Development LLC

Jamie Perry

Catholic Medical Partners

Alissa Benchimol

Greenhouse Gas Management Institute

Emily Dunham

Pratt and Whitney

Rubens Mukunzi

Karibu News

Thatcher Mweu

Open Capital Advisors

Shreya Nathan

Wharton and Harvard Kennedy School

David Baird

St. Ann's School

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 08/12/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/26/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.