VOICES OF OMAHA

aka THE VOICES OF OMAHA INC   |   Omaha, NE   |  http://www.voicesofomaha.org/

Mission

The mission of Voices of Omaha is to present an annual performance of Handel's "Messiah" without admission charge as a gift to the community. Voices of Omaha is committed to development of a diverse audience and chorus membership by maintaining relevance in the present, and nurturing musicians of all ages to assure an audience and chorus for the future.

Voices of Omaha serves the greater Omaha metropolitan area, drawing its membership from areas within a 50-mile radius.

Ruling year info

2012

President

Ms. Amanda Patrick C.P.A.

Artistic Director

Mr. Paul Koenig

Main address

PO Box 24711

Omaha, NE 68124 USA

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EIN

23-7088198

NTEE code info

Singing Choral (A6B)

IRS filing requirement

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

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

Messiah Performance

Voices of Omaha (VOO), a 200-voice volunteer community chorus, is growing its capacity to accomplish gala performances of Handel’s “Messiah” in fall 2018, the organization’s 50th anniversary. The performances with full symphony orchestra, soloists, and chorus of more than 300 will be presented without admission charge as a gift to the community.

VOO is comitted to increasing the ethnic diversity and lowering the median age of its chorus and audiences by maintaining relevance in the present, and nurturing young musicians to assure a chorus and audience in the future.

Strategic community alliances and realistic age and diversity goals using national averages as a baseline for measurement are moving the organization toward its 2018 diversity, age, and budgetary goals.

With the current dedicated and ethnically diverse Board of Directors and artistic leadership experienced in non-profit arts management, the 50th anniversary project goal is attainable and will leave the organization with the capacity to carry forward with annual, admission-free “Messiah” performances for another 50 years.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Awards

Governor's Proclamation: "Voices of Omaha Appreciation Day in the State of Nebraska" 2013

State of Nebraska

Subject of October 2-part series: "Community Choruses: Extreme Makeover Edition" 2014

Chorus America

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of free seats filled for performances

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Messiah Performance

Context Notes

Seven-year "Growth Project" begun in 2012.

Total number of organization members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Messiah Performance

Context Notes

Seven-year "Growth Project" begun in 2012.

Total number of high school chorus members (no membership fees)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Context Notes

Seven-year "Growth Project" begun in 2012.

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.

Voices of Omaha is growing its capacity to accomplish gala performances of Handel's “Messiah" in fall 2018, the organization's 50th annual performance. The performances with orchestra, soloists, and chorus of more than 300 will be presented without admission charge as a gift to the community.

With the current dedicated and ethnically diverse Board of Directors and artistic leadership experienced in non-profit arts management, the 50th anniversary project is attainable and will leave the organization with the capacity to carry forward with annual “Messiah" performances for another 50 years.

Community support for the 2018 gala concert project goal is being cultivated through the following strategies:

(1) IMAGE - new logo, website, social media, organizational memberships (Chorus America, Nebraskans for the Arts, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce), all communicating a credible and upwardly mobile organization;

(2) ETHNIC DIVERSITY increase – in partnership with target community leaders, increasing the ethnic diversity mix of chorus and audiences through community advertising and involvement, specifically targeting African-American and Latino ethnicities;

(3) AGE distribution – nurturing high school age youth and adult chorus membership with educational activities at each rehearsal, targeting 20 area high schools and two home school networks, impacting both chorus and audience age distribution metrics; and,

(4) MARKETING – mix of print, electronic, and broadcast advertising targeting specific age and ethnic demographics within the Omaha MSA. Campaign takes place in two waves – first wave: inviting chorus participation; second wave: advertising for the Messiah performance itself.

Each of the strategies is measured against annual goals to determine success or if adjustment is needed. Diversity and age goals are based on national averages identified by National Endowment for the Arts. Data is collected via chorus registrations and audience surveys.

Beyond simply presenting free annual performances of Handel's “Messiah," the ethnic diversity and age reduction/educational outreach activities are building bridges of understanding between community segments and inspiring a new generation of performers in a nurturing atmosphere which models acceptance, cooperation, and inclusiveness.

Core Assets – Internal
1.) Large chorus membership with influential reach into the community
2.) Dedicated Board of Directors (7, including one high school age rep.)
3.) Expert and experienced artistic staff
4.) Solid non-profit best practices structure in place
5.) Revitalized public image in place (logo, website, organizational memberships, financial transparency)
6.) 48 years of momentum
7.) Positive movement toward ethnic diversity and age distribution goals

Core Assets - External
1.) Reputation for excellent service to the community
2.) Diversity: community leader partnerships - African-American and Latino
3.) Youth/Education: strong connections to public school and two home school networks
4.) Successful, targeted marketing mix: print, electronic, social
5.) Substantial in-kind support from venue and marketing partners
6.) Financial support from state and private sources is growing

Future Resources
1.) Substantial foundation and community support
2.) Increased chorus size with strong outreach and support opportunities
3.) Community business partnerships cultivated during the seven-year growth project

Voices of Omaha was recognized in 2013 for its years of service to the community by Governor Dave Heineman. November 24, 2013, Voices of Omaha's 45th annual presentation of Handel's "Messiah" was proclaimed "Voices of Omaha Appreciation Day in Nebraska."

Steady progress toward 2018 goals is being seen. African-American community participation is greater than Omaha MSA demographics. Outreach to the Latino community begun in 2013 continues to strengthen.

In the area of Educational Outreach, high school students are actively sought to participate in the annual "Messiah" rehearsals and performance. Vocal scores and formal wear (if needed) are provided; chorus membership dues and fundraising requirements are waived. 2014 saw student singer response increase by 131% over the previous year.

Current progress benchmarks toward the 2018 goals are as follows.

Chorus membership:
2011 actual – 114
2012 actual – 135
2013 actual – 164
2014 actual – 195
2015 actual – 159
2016 actual – 176
2017 goal - 200
2018 goal – 300

Chorus diversity:
2011 actual - 6.5% Diverse ethnicity, 93.5% Caucasian
2012 actual – 12.0% Diverse, 88.0% Caucasian
2013 actual - 13% Diverse, 87% Caucasian
2014 actual - 15% Diverse, 85% Caucasian
2015 actual - 9% Diverse, 91% Caucasian
2016 actual - 10.1% Diverse, 89.9% Caucasian
2017 goal - 15.4% Diverse, 84.6% Caucasian
2018 goal - 20.7% Diverse, 79.3% Caucasian

High school student participation:
2011 actual - 6
2012 actual - 12
2013 actual - 16
2014 actual - 37 (!)
2015 actual - 21
2016 actual - 22
2017 goal - 25
2018 goal - 30

Audience attendance:
2011 actual – 1,660
2012 actual – 1,143
2013 actual - 1,852
2014 actual - 1,470
2015 actual - 1,335
2016 actual- 1,470
2017 goal - 1,725
2018 goal – 3,950 (two performances)

Audience diversity:
2011 actual – 6.3% Diverse ethnicity, 93.7% Caucasian
2012 actual – 7.3% Diverse, 92.7% Caucasian
2013 actual - 12.4% Diverse, 87.6% Caucasian
2014 actual - 12.5% Diverse, 87.5% Caucasian
2015 actual - 12.5% Diverse, 87.5% Caucasian
2016 actual - 8.5% Diverse, 91.5% Caucasian
2017 goal - 10.2% Diverse, 89.8% Caucasian
2018 goal - 12.0% Diverse, 88.0% Caucasian

After five years of Growth Project strategy implementation, Voices of Omaha has nearly reached its audience diversity goals. Progress is being seen in the other goal areas.

2017 will see continuation of the various image, marketing and outreach strategies building capacity and community support for the 2018 gala 50th anniversary performances.

Financials

VOICES OF OMAHA
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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VOICES OF OMAHA

Board of directors
as of 6/16/2017
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Amanda Patrick

Seim Johnson, LLP

Term: Apr 2015 - Mar 2018

Glenn Smith Vice President

Council Bluffs Landscape & Design

Sherryl Lilley Treasurer

Eastern Nebraska Human Services Agency

Rigoberto Ramos Secretary

USAF

Molly George Director

Student

Sharon Struve Director

Omaha Public Schools, retired

Kevin Abelein Director

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