Ordinary People Making an Outsized Impact on the World

By Giving List Staff   |   November 18, 2022
Lightforce One works to uplift and empower the underprivileged and marginalized of the world. Most of our work has been focused in Africa where we have funded a well and irrigation system, crops, chicken farming, brick-making, and more. We are now expanding our reach to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Determined to make the world a better place, Dave Bauer vowed to give 10% of his net income to people less fortunate. 

Bauer isn’t rich. He doesn’t have a high-paying job, a trust fund, or a large nest egg in the stock market. Bauer runs a small business in Los Angeles, with a big heart and a belief that if everyone donated a tiny fraction of their disposable income, the world would be a much better place. 

We purchased a brick-making machine that makes perfect bricks every time and they interlock to make beautiful, sturdy walls. 100 people from the village showed up to learn how to use it! They were very excited.

So far he’s invested in an orphanage in Uganda, helping hundreds of children without families access clean water, food, and education. 

“Most people have no idea just how big of an impact they can make in a world with a small investment,” Bauer says.

That first successful philanthropic investment in the Uganda orphanage led Bauer to create the secular nonprofit Lightforce One in 2018 with the mission to offer ordinary people the chance to have their modest contribution have an outsized impact on people’s lives. Bauer personally sources and vets every potential Lightforce One project. 

“I evaluate what’s going on on the ground,” Bauer says. “And I pick out the biggest, easiest holes to fill.” 

Lightforce One’s approach to giving is based on the classic proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. 

Over the last four years, Lightforce One has heeded that mantra by investing in projects that support independence and sustainability for impoverished communities – from funding chicken coops to wells to educational scholarships for children to introducing revenue streams. In total, he estimates the organization has improved the lives of 2,000 people.  

Bauer knew that Lightforce One was his calling after he received photos from the orphanage in Uganda showing the fruits of his investment in a well and irrigation system. The first photo was two men digging a hole with shovels and pickaxes followed a week later by a picture of a 40-foot hole with water at the bottom. 

“When I saw that picture, I knew that I just made a lasting impact on 1,000 lives,” he says. 


Lightforce One

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(818) 823-3892
President: Dave Bauer


To make lasting differences in the world with projects where the work of the donor’s dollar will likely outlive the donor!

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I do believe since Lightforce One came into our lives, people’s thinking in the village changed. The children are now confident that they have a future and they now have big dreams of what they want to be after their education. Members of the village learned that there is an entry point for them to do business like poultry. I have also learned to think bigger in all that I do. Also, people have changed the way they deal with nature.
Mawanda Abel
Executive Director,
St. Kizito Hope for Orphans

The Light Within Us

Lightforce One will be expanding its reach to help the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where the community suffers an 80-90% unemployment rate and is consistently ranked as the poorest area in the country.  A staggering 80% of families are affected by alcoholism. 

Help Lightforce One raise $300,000 over the next year. The money goes towards establishing substance abuse recovery meetings, insulating homes, supporting a farming co-op, and purchasing farming equipment in Pine Ridge, and continuing the work in Uganda building a new campus and introducing more revenue streams.

“No problem is insurmountable,” says Dave Bauer, founder of Lightforce One.  

“Lightforce One is about taking the light (the goodness) that’s within each of us and sharing it throughout the world.”

Key Supporters

Susan Painter, California
K.C. Ale, California
Oliver Santos, California
Fran Reichenbach, North Carolina