Give to Support LightSys!
LightSys could not exist without God's work through those who give, often very sacrificially, in support of our ministry. Thank you for your interest in partnering with us in this way!
Ways to Give
Below is a list of ways to give to support the ministry of LightSys.
- Checks and money orders should be made payable to "LightSys" and mailed to our mailing address.
- Gifts by EFT or Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover) can be made online. Giving online by EFT (from a checking or savings account) is the most effective way to give a financial gift.
- We can also receive Stock gifts. Please contact us for more information. Giving a stock gift can be especially effective because, normally, no tax will need to be paid on the capital gain. It is our policy to promptly sell stock gifts upon receipt; we leave the timing of the donation to your discretion.
- We can often receive gifts of Technology Equipment or other Property. These are called "Gifts In-Kind". Please see below for more information regarding what types of in-kind gifts we can receive.
Areas of Need
Perhaps you want to support LightSys, but you aren't sure how to do so most effectively? Here are some tips:
- Monthly - Whatever your designation preference, opting to give a monthly recurring gift, perhaps via online giving, can be a real blessing, even if it means it's a smaller gift than you would have given otherwise.
- Where Most Needed - You can always give a donation where most needed - that gives us the most flexibility in choosing how to use your gift.
- Ask Us - Drop us a note and ask us what missionary or missionary family with LightSys has the greatest support raising need right now. We can connect you with them, so you can get to know them and see more clearly how your donation is helping.
- Tech Fund - If you love computer and networking hardware, consider a gift to our Technology Fund. That'll help as we purchase equipment to increase the effectiveness of our team and our work.
- Moblization Fund - If you have a heart for encouraging people to get involved in missions, consider donating to our Mobilization Fund. Such a gift will help us as we attend conferences and visit universities to encourage people toward missions involvement.
Gifts of Tech Equipment or Other Property
Most every year, we receive donated computer and technology equipment, and we can give you a receipt describing the equipment you donate. Much of our technology infrastructure runs on high-quality donated equipment! Not only so, but we're able to place donated equipment with a variety of missions organization that have a need, so if you offer to donate equipment, and we can't use it here at LightSys, we can often still find a good home for it for you. Please note that we cannot provide you with an appraisal of the equipment's value.
That said, not all technology equipment will be as useful as you hope it will be, so we have some guidelines for such equipment donations. Please contact us if you have any questions about this.
- Laptop computers need to be "business-grade" (ThinkPads, Latitudes, MacBook Pros, and similar) and be less than four years old.
- Servers should have all available firmware and BIOS updates applied before they are donated. This is especially true of HPE (Hewlett-Packard Enterprise) servers, for which BIOS updates cannot be affordably obtained by the recipient of the donation; for HPE servers, it is best to apply all BIOS and firmware updates as they become available, to ensure access to those updates. That said, both Dell and HPE servers often make great donations. Servers must be less than five years old (older equipment than that is too expensive to operate - just considering electricity alone). Ideally, servers should have redundant power supplies, ECC RAM, and hot-swappable hard drives.
- Monitors must be flat-panels and must have a minimum resolution of 1280x1024 (for traditional screens) or full HD 1080p (for wide screens).
- LightSys does not normally accept the following site-licensed brands for donation. Secondhand equipment of these brands can be prohibitively expensive for the recipient to use, due to firmware/software relicensing requirements. If you are able to commit to paying the vendor's relicensing fee (and other associated costs), which unfortunately may add up to far more than the equipment is worth, we can consider a donation of used equipment of these brands.
- The following subscription-based brands can be donated if you also donate funds to cover the first year's subscription, since it's important that the donation be immediately usable.
- Meraki (with funds to purchase a minimum one-year Advanced Security license)
Donation Use Policies
We understand that transparency and truthfulness are both needed qualities in the nonprofit world today. We hope that the information provided here will help you as you make donation decisions.
- Gifts to LightSys are prayerfully managed under the oversight of the LightSys board of directors. Contributions are solicited with the understanding that LightSys has complete discretion and control over the use of all donated funds, in accordance with applicable IRS regulations.
- For Missionary Support Gifts to LightSys so that a particular missionary can be a part of our ministry, we apply these gifts in the context of a flexible "pool system", and though the precise amounts can vary based on the needs and circumstances, normally between 90% and 98% of your gift goes to the preference (designation) that you specify.
- For Project Gifts, currently 98% goes to the preference that you specify, with 2% going to administrative overhead.
- For Where-Most-Needed Gifts, we apply 90% to our areas of greatest need, and 10% is "tithed" to our "Charitable Giving Fund", out of which we sometimes help pay the costs of technology equipment for our clients, or sometimes make monetary grants to LightSys clients in need.
- If a project is over-funded, we apply the excess funds to another most-similar ministry at LightSys.
Donations and Financial Accountability
Because we are a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, contributions to LightSys are normally tax-deductible.
We are governed by a six-member board of directors, only two of whom are LightSys staff members, ensuring we have an independent board of directors.
We file IRS Form 990 each year, which documents our activities and finances. You can find our most recent Forms 990, and other information about our ministry, at Guidestar, where we have a Gold Seal of Transparency. Please contact us if you would like additional information or if you have any questions about our finances or ministry.
Guidestar® Gold Seal of Transparency