PLATINUM2023

Voiceoforangecounty.org

Orange County's Nonprofit Newsroom

aka Voice of OC   |   Santa Ana, CA   |  voiceofoc.org

Mission

Empower Orange County Residents with Essential Local News

Notes from the nonprofit

Over the past 10 years the traditional newspaper model died. Historically, newspapers were not only the only source of community news, but were also profitable enough to create foundations to give to the community. Qhis model is no longer viable. Rigerious journalism is essential to the the survival of a democracy. Voice of OC is the future of journalism - and in a very real sense the health of non-profit news is the best indicator of the long term prospects for government by the people and for the people. Without credible news coverage all other non-profits will suffer from lack of coverage necessary to build awareness, and provide service. We do not charge for subscriptions - everyone has access. A gift to Voice of OC is a gift to all of Orange County because it will ensure that the clear, straightforward and comprehensive information they need to engage government and participate in the culture of the region will always be available to everyone in Orange County.

Ruling year info

2010

Publisher

Mr. Norberto Santana Jr.

Main address

P.O Box 10020

Santa Ana, CA 92711 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-0550219

NTEE code info

Citizen Participation (W24)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (S05)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Orange County, California, is America's largest metropolitan news desert, with no broadcast stations, no national public radio affiliate and a newspaper that has shifted from local news to regional. News outlets that remain in Orange County are increasingly abandoning coverage of government fraud, waste and abuse. All this has left 3.3 million people with little to no ability to understand their local governments. It allows politicians to operate free from scrutiny over their decisions. In addition, Voice of OC is the only news agency that covers local art and culture. Local government significantly impacts our children's education, our commute to work, our parks and even our air and water. Our representative democracy only works with free debate. Open debate requires informed citizens. And informed citizens need access to honest, non-partisan news. Every single one of these things gets worse without good civic coverage but gets better with it.

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?

Journalism

Voice of OC is a non-profit online newsroom focused on daily coverage of Orange County’s quality of life both civic and arts. We cover city halls and government agencies. We also cover arts and culture including large and small venues, ethnic and neighborhood arts and artists. We are neither liberal or conservative; business or labor -- just real news, real facts and bringing both to our readers. Since 2009, we’ve honed our approach and institutional knowledge, building up beat coverage around the county’s largest mega-agencies and key city halls like Anaheim, Santa Ana and Irvine. We continue to work on expanding coverage to all 34 cities in Orange County.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Civic engagement begins with access. Access feeds transparency which allows the public to engage with and control their government. Voice of OC's nonprofit, non-partisan news is an innovative, 21st-century local news solution bridging the gap between sanitized government web pages and traditional news coverage. Voice of OC is a one stop location for fact-based, well researched and fully vetted local news.

Population(s) Served
Adults

In memory of Tracy Wood, a trailblazing journalist, combat reporter in Vietnam and part of a Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporting team, Tracy left a brilliant legacy. This Fellowship Program supports the training of young journalists at Voice of OC to achieve the professionalism that was the hallmark of Tracy Wood’s career – transparency, accountability, and fairness.

Fellowships are awarded to local college seniors who are pursuing a career in journalism at Voice of OC.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work

Awards

Hard News 2022

La Press Club

Local Politics and Gov't 2022

La Press Club

Best Religon Story 2022

Orange County Press Club

Best Breaking News Story 2022

Orange County Press Club

David McQuay Award for Best Columnist 2022

Orange County Press Club

Best Political Stoyr 2022

Orange County Press Club

Coverage of the Enviornment 2022

California News Publishers Association

Robert G. McGruber Award for Diversity Leadership 2021

Newsleaders Association

Radish and Roses Award for accountability jounalism 2021

Orange County Taxpayers Assoication

General Execellence 2021

California News Publishers Assoication

Public Service 2021

California News Publishers Association

Feature Writing 2021

California News Publishers Association

Homepage & Webdesign 2021

California News Publishers Association

Outstanding Communications Internship Site of the Year 2021

Cal State Fullerton University

Distinguished Communicator of the Year 2021

Cal State Fullerton University

Affiliations & memberships

Southern California Chapter Society of Professional Journalists 2018

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Number of people on the organization's email list

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

Journalism

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

please keep in mind that each subscriber has voluntarily subscribed to one of our email newsletters. Also, we average a 35 percent open rate and 10 percent click-thru rate across our newsletters.

Number of donors lending

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

Civic Engagement

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These are cumulative individual donors.

Number of community editorials published

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

Civic Engagement

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of followers across all social media accounts

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

Civic Engagement

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of news stories published

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

Journalism

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The 2021 number is an estimate

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.

Our newsroom is dedicated to daily coverage of the public policy debates in Orange County's city halls and government agencies. We also cover local arts, from our world-renowned cultural arts venues to emerging artists within Orange County's diverse communities.

Voice of OC stands apart from traditional media, breaking away from a Democrat vs. Republican approach. We cover politics and elections intensely but are not champions of specific electoral outcomes. We don't care about the traditional liberal vs. conservative or business vs. labor approaches toward public policy. We seek the truth and report it in a non-partisan approach so that all citizens and residents can understand local issues.

We are committed to real news, real facts. We focus on real-time investigations into government fraud, waste and abuse. Reporters build the foundation of each story through steadfast reporting at government meetings, mining through piles of public records and asking a plethora of sources tough questions.

Our editorial team is also focused on finding and publishing Opinion editorials from a diverse pool of civic-minded individuals in the county.

Our news team, through daily coverage and specialized training, are dogged in their pursuit of public records and well versed in the access laws, open meeting laws as well as how courts and municipal agencies operate.

Our marketing department includes experts in donor cultivation, grant seeking, across-device user experience design and social media engagement. This diverse experience enables Voice of OC to improve our user experiences across channels, cultivate new donors and grants, and build our social media accounts as centers of civil, truth-guided discussion.

REACH: Voice of OC's expanded social media work, marketing efforts and increase in coverage areas has increased the news agency's reach in Orange County.

ENGAGEMENT: Voice of OC audiences engage with the content at rates seen for large media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times while still focusing on local government news compared to the national pop-culture headlines covered in traditional media.

FOLLOWERS: Voice of OC seeks to increase followers across its various social presences and to also be smart about considering new potential social networks on which to engage.

READERS: We continue expanding our readership while maintaining high readership involvement - as our loyal audience spends more time on site, has higher open and click-thru rates on email newsletters and views more pages per visit than on traditional news websites.

FUNDS RAISED: Voice of OC has continued to grow each type of revenue source while expanding the diversity of funding sources.

RELEVANCE: Stories in Voice of OC are frequently referenced by the Board of Supervisors and city councils. Many of these references led to changes in policy. In open court U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter singled out Voice of OC's coverage as the catalyst for change to the county's homeless crisis.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

Voiceoforangecounty.org
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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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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Voiceoforangecounty.org

Board of directors
as of 11/14/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Wylie Aitken

Aitken, Aitken and Cohn

Term: 2010 - 2022

Wylie Aitken

Nationally-Recognized Trial Lawyer & Philanthropist

Colleen Clark

Retired Finance Professional

Barbara Venezia

Journalist, Author, Producer & Podcast Host

Erwin Chemerinsky

UC Irvine Inaugural Law School Dean

Norberto Santana, Jr.

Founder & Publisher

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? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • 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? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/23/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability