GOLD2023

LIGHT FOUNDATION

Inspiration for Generations

aka The Light Foundation   |   Greenville, OH   |  www.mattlight72.com

Mission

Our mission is to take young people out of their everyday environments and provide them with unique opportunities that ignite their passion, purpose, and motivation to succeed.

Ruling year info

2003

Founder

Mr. Matt Light

Main address

440 Greenville-Nashville Rd

Greenville, OH 45331 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

56-2311765

NTEE code info

Humanities Organizations (A70)

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

Youth Community Service Clubs (O51)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We believe that the wellness of our current and future generations and the wild places we love are inextricably linked. Why? Because the outdoors can provide a rich learning environment where the young people can develop important life and leaderships skills and gain the confidence needed to take steps toward a meaningful and productive future. Yet, while research proves that regular time outdoors is essential for a child’s healthy development, today’s kids are less connected to nature than ever before. Children are carrying this sedentary lifestyle and a disconnection with nature into adulthood which creates a troubling national trend for the future of conservation, our economy, and the health and well-being of our communities.

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?

Light Foundation Leadership Academy

The Light Foundation Leadership Academy offers young people a variety of outdoor and hands-on learning activities that support their social and emotional learning; build strong, good character; and equip them with the tools and skills needed to start their leadership journey and stay with them every step of the way.

OUR MULTI-FACETED APPROACH:
Develop a young person’s practical skills and abilities.
Provide information, guidance and mentorship.
Develop a young person’s inner resources.

OBJECTIVES:
Teach decision making, teamwork, self-discipline, self-confidence, and problem solving.
Promote the highest standards of safety, sportsmanship, and ethical behavior.
Encourage an appreciation and understanding of natural resources.
Introduce young people to positive role models.
Cultivate self-esteem through a sense of personal accomplishment.
Strengthen families through participation in lifelong recreational activities.
Build awareness of related career opportunities.

CURRICULUM:
Camp Vohokase Leadership Camp
Timber Frame Camp
The Light Project
Youth Turkey Hunts
All-Conference Football Camp
The Leadership Workshop

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

We believe that confidence, self esteem, positive beliefs and attitudes are the most important tools we can give a young person so that they are able to push beyond any real or perceived barriers they may face in life. Through our work we aim to inspire young people to believe in themselves and their ability to be great role models and leaders. Not only are we helping them down their own path toward becoming successful adults, but we are building healthy, responsible, motivated citizens for generations to come.

The Light Foundation Leadership Academy offers young people a variety of outdoor and hands-on learning activities that support their social and emotional learning; build strong, good character; and equip them with the tools and skills needed to start their leadership journey and stay with them every step of the way.

OUR MULTI-FACETED APPROACH:
Develop a young person’s practical skills and abilities.
Provide information, guidance and mentorship.
Develop a young person’s inner resources.

The Light Foundation began developing its Chenoweth Trails facility in 2009, adding infrastructure to what was once a rural 500-acre plot of land located in Darke County, near Greenville, Ohio – Matt Light’s hometown. Within 10 years, the facility has grown exponentially, showcasing its beauty to over 7,000 visitors each year.

Behind six miles of wooded trails lies a stunning property equipped with two environmentally friendly yurt structures for up to 24 overnight guests, a state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen, an indoor bathroom, kitchen facility, and a timber frame pavilion with a large banquet area for events, retreats, camps, and countless other functions. Nature’s beauty is certainly not lost among the infrastructure as a unique outdoor stone amphitheater overlooking a beautiful brook invites up to 100 visitors to gather.

With miles of wooded trails winding all throughout the property, Chenoweth Trails is an ideal spot for hikes. We also added a turf field, gaga ball pit, and a rock balancing area. The pond is great for swimming and fishing or just sitting beside to enjoy a peaceful moment out in nature. There truly is something for everyone here!

A winning experience at Chenoweth Trails is also a win for The Light Foundation! By utilizing Chenoweth Trails for your special event, you are giving us more opportunity to serve others in unique ways. At the Light Foundation, we strive to create a learning environment and a culture that is rooted in the outdoors. We are all about getting young people to think outside of the box and reach their highest potential. Chenoweth Trails is a key resource for reaching the goals we set for kids, their families, the community, and beyond. It is here to promote and facilitate these opportunities for our youth programs and other non-profit groups and organizations. So, while you win with a meaningful experience here, we win through continued support for our organization!

100% participated in outdoor activities including skeet shooting, woodworking, canoeing, archery, fishing, and dirt biking.

More than half experienced an outdoor activity for the first time.

94% said they will incorporate sports and fitness into their lifestyle.

88% said they will avoid alcohol, tobacco, and/or drugs.

88% reported increased confidence to face challenges at home or school.      

88% said they will be more likely to ask for help from others when they need it.  

94% had a more positive outlook on their future.

94% reported that they gained better communication skills.

88% felt more equipped to solve problems.  

94% felt they would be a better leader.  

100% said they would be a better team player.

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.
  • 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 identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • 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 share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

LIGHT FOUNDATION
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • 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.

LIGHT FOUNDATION

Board of directors
as of 11/29/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Matt Light

Light Foundation


Board co-chair

Susie Light

Light Foundation

Matt Light

Steve Trax

David Drubner

Jamie Marhsall

Brian McCarthy

Daren Hiatt

Frederick Clark

Kylie Ruschioni

Tram Holland

Michael Rieman

Russ Mezikofsky

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 ? Yes
  • 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 11/16/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/16/2023

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 ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.