About us

    At the Signify Foundation, we believe in the transformative power of light. The flick of a switch catalyses dark spaces into brighter ones that enable learning, healing, and creativity. Yet, for over 750 million people worldwide, reliable access to electrical lighting remains a distant dream.
    We are committed to bringing sustainable lighting solutions to underserved communities. By bridging the gap in access to light, we envision a world where everyone benefits from the power of light. 

    Governance and structure


    The Signify Foundation is led by a Management Board with a majority independent from Signify. The Management Board delegates the daily operations to the Foundation Director who reports and is accountable to the Board. This Foundation Director is supported by an operations team seconded to the Foundation by Signify. In addition, other Signify employees may support the Foundation on an ad-hoc, part-time or voluntary basis.

    Board members

    Harry Verhaar

    Harry Verhaar


    Chair of the Board

    Pieter de Han

    Pieter de Haan


    Board Member

    Stanley Anyetei

    Stanley Anyetei


    Board Member

    Maloe de Reuver

    Maloe de Reuver


    Board Member

    Operations team


    Yue Cui



    Tarini Bhasin

    Aninda Eijkens


    Project Manager

    Merve Atus

    Natalie Cru


    Communications & Programme Consultant

    Eric Otieno

    Eric Otieno


    Project Manager


    Defne Herdem


    Project Coordinator Intern

    Policy plan


    The Signify Foundation receives an annual funding contribution from Signify. Signify also provides in-kind donations through the provision of expert volunteers, community volunteers, products, and services. Additionally, the Signify Foundation envisages to raise funds from external entities.

    In addition to dedicated and occasional staff, Signify also supports the Signify Foundation through the provision of office space, meeting spaces, IT, travel support, and the hosting of the Signify Foundation website on the Signify Servers.

    Read more about the policy plan

    Frequently asked questions

    What does Signify Foundation do?

    In a world where more than 1 billion people live without access to light - sustainable and inclusive development remain a challenge. Life is restraint by darkness, making  studying, working, productive activities or recreation after sunset impossible. It is our mission to help end this imbalance by enabling sustainable access to light for underserved communities around the world.


    To fulfill this mission, we partner with actors to enable light access for educational institution, health facilities and communities, empowering community members to be safer, active and economically productive after sunset. 

    What type of organization is Signify Foundation?
    Stitching Signify Foundation is an independent non-profit organization registered in the Netherlands (ANBI). 
    Which geographies does the foundation operate in?
    The Foundation operates globally, with a strong focus on communities that are off-grid & partial grid. Majority of the Foundation funds support projects in Sub Saharan Africa & South Asia, which comprises of 90% of world’s population living off-grid according to the 2017 World Bank data. 
    How is the Foundation governed and by whom?

    The Foundation’s Board is responsible for the strategy, policies, performance and operation of the foundation. The majority of the Board members are independent, i.e. not employed by Signify.


    The Foundation is operationally managed by its Director and supported by the operations team.

    What is the relationship with Signify Group?

    Signify Group, as the primary donor of the Foundation, so far, has illuminated lives for over 125 years. The foundation is building on this legacy by empowering and providing lighting for underserved communities. The Foundation is independent in its governance, decision making functioning. However, we leverage on the company’s lighting expertise, technical and operational support and its influence in the lighting sector to enhance the Foundation’s ability to light up lives. 


    Signify Group also has its own corporate social responsibility program, which focuses on lighting lives in underserved communities where the company operates. Employee volunteering is also done through this program. 

    What are the main criteria for partner & project selection?
    TPartner/ project selection follows the process of project application, due diligence & risk assessment. Projects submitted for funding should meet the criteria.
    Does the Foundation conduct due diligence on its potential project partners?

    Yes. Prior to an engagement with an NGO/social enterprise (thereafter referred to as ‘applicant’), a screening process is initiated that allows the Foundation to perform an assessment of the applicant’s ethical standards and the bribery or corruption risks attached to a possible engagement.  


    The process begins with an initial collection of general information and registration from the applicant. The collected information is then submitted to the Signify Internal Audit team, which supports the Foundation in performing compliance checks. 


    The scope of the compliance screening includes (but is not limited to):


    • Authentication of applicant’s registration information, its board of trustees/directors and managers

    • Media review of the organization profile and footprint, including an assessment on the reputation and neutrality

    • Examination of the principals’ backgrounds and public profiles

    • Global and country specific compliance, sanctions and watch-lists databases check (including but not limited to political exposure, bribery/corruption, money-laundering, fraud, or terrorism).


    The results of the screening are shared with the Foundation team. If any red flags come up, the Foundation team will be requested, if appropriate, to address any red flags by way of mitigation. After review of the addressed actions, the Internal Audit team issues a report and a positive or negative recommendation to the Foundation team. 


    In addition, the Foundation’s due diligence scope also covers financial health checks and reviews of applicants’ vision, mission, strategy, resource, past projects, etc., which are conducted by the Foundation team.

    What support does the Foundation offer its partners?
    We support our partners through grants, in-kind donations, strategic & technical advice, networking opportunities with other donors & the larger ecosystem. 
    How do you follow up on the projects outcomes/impact?
    Each project follows a standard M&E reporting methodology for which partners are required to provide input on our project management tool.
    How do you embed sustainability in your projects?

    Sustainability is at the heart of our approach. We enable leapfrogging of communities from fossil based lighting solutions to solar lighting powered & LED technology. We are also piloting models of circular lighting in off-grid contexts where the product remains the property of the distributor/entrepreneur and only the light is procured by the end user.

    We are also actively working with GOGLA and other sector peers to stimulate grass root level solutions for solar waste management for end of use of the technology that we help to bring to a community.

    I am a Signify employee. Can I get involved or submit ideas and proposals?

    Employees are invited to nominate projects within the scope of the strategic pillars.To nominate a project please contact your foundation team or local CSR champions.


    Note – project selection criteria are explained under Q6. 

    We'd love to hear from you