Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

LightHawk

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Mission: LightHawk''s mission is to accelerate conservation success through the powerful perspective of flight. LightHawk uniquely adds value to the conservation community. We provide expertise in using the aerial perspective to accelerate and enhance efficiency of the conservation outcomes of our partners. LightHawk uses its experience in conservation planning early in our partners’ project development to help them identify their desired outcomes and plan strategies to fully engage the power of flight.

Target demographics: LightHawk works with conservation partners to accelerate conservation success through the powerful perspective of flight.

Geographic areas served: LightHawk’s work is international in scope. We establish conservation partnerships with organizations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Central America. Conservation partners include international, national and community-based organizations from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. They include many of the most effective and well-respected conservation organizations in the world including The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Defense Council, Restore America’s Estuaries, National Audubon Society, World Wildlife Fund, Mote Marine Laboratory and numerous public and private research universities.

Programs: LightHawk donates environmental flight campaigns at no charge. We provide carefully arranged flights in support of conservation projects. Our passengers include conservation advocates, government officials, scientists, photographers, educators, media representatives, indigenous community leaders, and other stakeholders. Flights help to:  Foster dialogue and build consensus  Promote informed decision-making  Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of conservation action

Community Stories

9 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started as a volunteer for LH in 1997, then worked awhile on staff, then on the board, and now back to being a volunteer. The mission is unparalleled in its ability to lend a very powerful leveraging tool to any number of environmental campaigns -- but in addition to the tool, the system of having a program manager work to really focus the assistance of LH to the environmental partner lends a value to their work far beyond "just an airplane flight." this is a highly professional organization that prides itself on figuring out how to make a difference, and whose work is much more broad than the flight itself. They are a powerful planning service, and can give a tremendous ROI for both funders and nonprofit partners. Can't recommend them enough.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The aerial view is an incredible, but expensive, tool in the understanding of complex landscape issues, and Lighthawk is a truly amazing organization that makes this tool available, at no cost, to conservation organizations throughout North and Central America.

I am a lifelong conservationist, and a trained hydrologist/geomorphologist, yet I credit the aerial view as being both the cornerstone of my conservation ethic, and the foundation of my understanding of complex landscape processes. Consequently, as soon as I first learned about Lighthawk I became dedicated to joining as a volunteer pilot.

In addition to providing pilots and aircraft to important conservation efforts Lighthawk gives me (and nearly 200 other pilots nationwide), the opportunity to make truly significant contributions to the preservation of habitat and ecosystems.

Mission coordination is accomplished by an amazing staff of regional program directors who review flight requests, pair them with appropriate pilots, and inform the pilots and passengers of the important details about the mission.

I have flown about 230 flight hours on 50 Lighthawk missions providing an aerial vantage point to conservation photographers, journalists, filmmakers, state legislators, tribal leaders, ranchers, scientists, and advocates. I remain convinced that Lighthawk is as effective as a conservation organization can be in breadth, depth, and efficient use of resources.

Review from CharityNavigator

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a retired Delta Air Lines pilot and have flown for Light Hawk for 7 years. I used to say, boy, if the people making decision could see what I see from the air, they would do things differently. Now I'm flying at 1000 feet above the ground instead of 30,000 feet and both my passengers and I get to experience the unique perspective of environmental issues from the air. Whether it's photo journalists or decision makers that come along, they all walk away with a greater sense of the big picture; how the landscape ties together and how important it is to see that bigger picture vs. just focusing on their own area of interest. I've flown all over Colorado and even made a trip up to the Three Rivers area of the NE Yukon to help the First Nation tribe decide what should be set aside for mining and what should be preserved. Just as my passengers do, I learn from every flight and I am happy to donate my time, my airplane and pay for all the expenses. It is my opportunity to give back and to make a difference in the health of our planet. I'm proud to be a part of an organization that operates out of virtual offices, for the most part, to maximize the dollars contributed while arranging flights for our environmental partners.

Review from CharityNavigator

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined LightHawk as a volunteer pilot in 2008. I have met--and flown--professional photographers, land trust managers, congressional staffers, ranchers, biologists and other just plain interesting folks who are trying to better understand a land issue. Without exception, I have learned from them, and in turn each of them has had that OMG! sort of moment during the flight. Getting a bit of elevation, seeing the relationships of ground features, and absorbing the larger view seems to be of great help in how they get back to work on their particular projects. That's really fun for me.

Review from CharityNavigator

Volunteer

Rating: 5

California recently created a string of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along its coastline. There was a years-long and often emotional struggle between commercial and recreational fishermen and environmentalists over where these MPAs would be established. I was able to contribute in multiple ways to the decision making process through LightHawk flights. I conducted several LightHawk flights carrying reporters and photographers from local media (newspaper & TV) over the areas being considered. Each of these fights resulted in reports that gave the public well-balanced views of the issues. I also conducted flights for stakeholders over their specific areas of concern so they could get a better overview of the areas they were considering. And I conducted flights over a two year period for biologists collecting data that was made available to those involved in the decision making process.

Review from CharityNavigator

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer pilot for Lighthawk. I have been an environmental activist all of my adult life, and have worked with many of the better-known (and several not-so-well-known) organizations. Lighthawk has what I consider to be a brilliant approach (pardon the pun) which allows it to maximize the inclusion of volunteers from an incredibly broad range of the political/environmental spectrum. The volunteers are typically donating very high-value items such as aircraft use, fuel, and pilot time. This focus on having the high-cost items donated helps maximize the amount of work that the organization can accomplish with a given amount of funds. Lighthawk seems to be very professionally and efficiently run, making good use of modern technology and organizational practices. The volunteer experience is excellent, and from what I have seen, the same is true for the partners who benefit from Lighthawk's services.

Review from CharityNavigator

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a pilot for several non-profit organizations volunteering my time, fuel and airplane in support of their missions. LightHawk is one of the most efficient, organized groups with which I'm associated. I believe their website most accurately portrays their mission: “LightHawk is a volunteer-based environmental aviation organization that provides donated flights to make the aerial perspective freely available to conservation groups.” There's a tremendous amount of preparation and coordination involved in making each mission successful. The Program Managers do an excellent job of insuring that the mission objective is clear and that my passengers are briefed on the limitations of the pilot and the airplane.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LIghthawk is one of the most effective conservation organizations, giving a bird's eye view of the issues on the ground, and continually finding a win-win solution for all partners involved. I have been a volunteer pilot for Lighthawk for almost 15 years, and the number of partners who have participated in these flights have found inspiration to preserve our wild land and to resolve the problems of almost any issue.
I will continue to volunteer my "wings" to assist with reaching the Lighthawk mission.

Review from CharityNavigator

Steven Garman

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Lighthawk volunteer pilot for over 10 yrs. I have very limited resources for donating to non-profit organizations. The single most effective donation I can make is to support Lighthawk by flying volunteer missions. I donate my plane, pilot time, and expenses so that Lighthawk can be just a little more effective. Lighthawk is a very efficient, focused conservation organization that has improved exponentially in the past few years. I am proud to be a small part of a powerful force in saving our world.

Review from CharityNavigator