2020 was a year like no other: municipal elections, an unprecedented pandemic, tourism’s “season zero”, hurricanes and storms. With all this happening in a single year, we couldn’t wait for it to end. It was a period of changes without warning, of losses and of uncertainty, but also of amazing resilience. 2020 allowed us to gain perspective and appreciate our ability to rally under the circumstances with Guanacaste’s strength and solidarity, and the privileges that we often took for granted.
Almost 900,000 people looked to the Voice of Guanacaste to stay informed about what was happening in the province. Some looked for updated bus schedules, others asked where they could turn to in cases of violence, and many more followed updates on the pandemic as it developed. In addition, hundreds of people trusted us to tell their stories, from community initiatives to struggles to survive.
Every year, Guanacaste shows us that local investigative journalism can be the driving force that sparks civic conversations in communities. It’s the kind of journalism we stand for, and with your help, we can continue to serve those who need us the most.
That’s why we launched a new membership program this year so those who enjoy and value our journalism can also support it financially if it’s within their means. Help us to continue covering news in the province with the quality and frequency it deserves. Join us in our commitment to unite communities as they develop.
Thank you in advance for supporting us. Thank you for supporting Guanacaste.
How can I support The Voice?
There are different ways to strengthen The Voice’s work. If it’s within your means, you can join our membership program and support us with a one-time, monthly or annual contribution. Any amount, no matter how small it may seem, helps us a lot. Besides our gratitude, you’ll receive some benefits too.
You can also directly support an initiative, like our climate change and resilience scholarships. We launched these campaigns this year through Vaki, a crowdfunding platform to support social impact initiatives quickly, safely and transparently.
If you prefer to invest in other products, you can visit our online store. All purchases directly support The Voice’s journalism, and in some cases, they also support businesses in the province.
Finally, one of the most important ways to support us is by sharing our work with your family and friends. Taking the time to read our stories and tell other people about what we do at The Voice helps us a lot to grow and get the word out.
Why does The Voice have a membership program?
Our team is small, but we have a big responsibility: to provide timely access to useful, relevant and quality content that enables our communities to make informed decisions. As part of that commitment, our journalism has always been available for free– and we want to keep it that way.
We launched this program so that people who need our stories can continue to access them for free. Many of these stories have been published thanks to the people who support us financially to strengthen our journalism. We want to unite communities as they develop, and it’s a privilege that we have readers who want to invest in that.
We believe that journalism should be independent and sustainable. It should be independent because in order to report in an ethical, responsible and bold way, the editorial staff needs to be able to work with freedom. And it should be sustainable because the media have to provide decent, stable and safe working conditions so that each person in the organization can develop their full potential. With memberships, we can generate income in a transparent way and share the responsibility of supporting local investigative journalism with our communities.
How does The Voice invest these donations?
We are a non-profit association, so we dedicate our limited resources exclusively to strengthening our mission. After paying the banking and technical costs of the crowdfunding platforms, we invest all of the net income in producing content and in the working conditions of our team. Overall, 75% of our income covers paying salaries, social security and associated costs. The remaining 25% is allocated to operational expenses, from telephone calls to verify information or gasoline to go to the most remote communities for reporting, to the our website maintenance and the design and editing programs that allow us to publish articles, videos, podcasts and much more.
These are some of the initiatives that you could strengthen with your contribution:
- GuanaData: A project that combines data and investigative journalism to review the budgets and projects of different municipalities. We also train citizens and other local media in how to exercise their constitutional right of access to public information. Explore how GuanaData helps make your municipality more transparent.
- The Voice Fact Checking: Our fact-checking initiative. We know that you have to wade through a sea of misinformation every day. Through The Voice Fact Checking, we investigate and verify those chains of messages forwarded on WhatsApp, misleading posts, rumors, public speeches and much more to help you have accurate information.
- Special Investigative Editions on Issues Affecting the Province: Guanacaste is a vibrant and complex province. That’s why The Voice publishes a special edition at least once a quarter in which we investigate issues of public interest that affect the province. For example, in March 2020, we published an issue on resilience and climate change, while in November, we explored different types of gender-based violence and how the pandemic affected those situations.
- The Voice Courses: We like to share what we’ve learned during more than 10 years of experience covering Guanacaste. That’s why we offer different talks and workshops during the year on many topics like leadership, digital marketing and storytelling, to name a few. In 2020, thanks to support from the U.S. Embassy in San Jose, we offered a full series of free trainings for people in the tourism industry who had been directly impacted by the pandemic.
- Specialized Newsletter on Nosara: We know that investigative journalism is valuable, but not everyone has access to this type of content specifically about what happens in their community. That’s why we launched Nosara, our first specialized newsletter to share content about that community. The membership program will allow us to create more products like this.
We know that journalism is useful and necessary, but it’s also costly. With your help, we can continue to serve nearly 900,000 people who turn to us to try to make sense of what’s happening in Guanacaste.