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Make-A-Wish Foundation of Orange County

 3230 El Camino Real, Suite 100
 Irvine, CA 92602
[P] (714) 5739474 x 239
[F] (714) 6890985
[email protected]
Debra Finster
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire
Make-A-Wish Foundation of Orange County
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Employer Identification Number 33-0036556 00000


Mission StatementMORE »

Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

Mission Statement

Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2018
Projected Expenses $5,641,659.00
Projected Revenue $5,752,176.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Wish Granting

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

Background Statement

Make-A-Wish of Orange County and the Inland Empire’s mission is to that together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. The chapter’s vision is to grant the wish of each eligible child in our region between the ages of 2½ and 18 who has a critical illness. By fulfilling a child’s wish, Make-A-Wish of Orange County and the Inland Empire is helping children and families find the hope they need to transform life-threatening illnesses into life-affirming triumphs. 
Starting with a single wish– In 1980, everyone in Phoenix, Arizona who knew seven-year-old Chris Greicius knew he wanted to be a policeman when he grew up. Concerned that Chris' diagnosis with leukemia might prevent that dream from coming true, officers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety decided to create that dream for him. They pulled together people from all over the community to give Chris the experience of being an Arizona State Trooper. Chris flew helicopter patrol, sat on a motorcycle and earned his merit wings by successfully maneuvering through a motorcycle maze with his own small motorized motorcycle, which he used instead of a wheelchair. A uniform was designed to fit, which was Chris's most prized possession. Just three years later, Make-A-Wish had established 7 chapters around the country, including Make-A-Wish of Orange County.

A stronger organization with greater reach– In 2004, the Orange County chapter merged with the Inland Empire chapter to implement a more robust outreach program across the multiple counties and to better serve the children and families residing in the 28,158 square mile territory. At the time of the merger, the combined chapters fulfilled an estimated 225 wishes annually. In its most recently completed year, Make-A-Wish of Orange County and the Inland Empire fulfilled 325 wishes, a more than 30% increase in the Chapter’s ability to touch the lives of critically ill children and their families since that merger. Additionally, in the same year Make-A-Wish of Orange County and the Inland Empire assisted with 700 Make-A-Wish granting processes from other chapters whose children’s wishes involved an activity in our territory. Since 1983, Make-A-Wish of Orange County and the Inland Empire has granted more than 6,000 wishes to children in the Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties and assisted with thousands of wishes from other chapters.

Impact Statement

1. MAWOCIE's objective is to fulfill a seriously ill child's most heartfelt wish, and therefore give the child and their family a desperately needed respite from the physical and emotional suffering created by life threatening illness, an experience of hope and joy, and a wonderful and extraordinary experience that the family can enjoy together and then treasure among their memories. 
Our accomplishments include:

1. In Fiscal Year 2017, granted 325 wishes
2. Among the top 3 wish-assist chapters (aiding other chapters to grant wishes within our regional area)
3. Stabilized our board and staff to promote continuity
4. Almost 80% of funds go directly to granting wishes

Needs Statement

  • Increase number of Spanish speaking volunteers
  • Reach outlying area doctors/hospitals to promote wish child referrals
  • Increase number of wishes granted
  • Increase funding in order to grant the wish of every eligible child

CEO Statement

Currently we are granting over 330 wishes per year. Even though this is a great number in our chapter's history there are still nearly 700 wish eligible children in our geographic service area. A wish transforms lives and creates a lifetime of memories for not only the child, but the families and community as well. We invite all to experience the power of a wish!

Board Chair Statement


Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

ContributeFunds: help make wishes come true by making a contribution, sponsoring an event, joining Club 365, host an online fundraiser, Adopt-A-Wish or join our most dedicated supporters- Table of Champions! Attend an Event: Walk For Wishes, Evening of Wishes Gala and It's in the Bag! Host an Event: Host an event benefiting Make-A-Wish with your friends, family, school or corporate group through a cause-marketing related event, Stars for Wishes Program, Wishmakers on Campus, Kids for Wish Kids, or event host a toy, backpack and gift card drive! Join a Group: Women’s Circle of Wishes or Young Professionals Contribute your Time: volunteer at an event, help in office or become a wish granter! 

Geographic Area Served

Central Orange County
West Orange County
South Orange County
North Orange County
Serving over 28,000 square miles in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Children's and Youth Services
  2. Health Care -
  3. -



Wish Granting

Wishes are granted at absolutely no expense to the family. All costs, such as airline tickets, hotels, transportation, meals and spending money, are covered by donations to the organization. Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire grants more than 330 wishes a year, and receives no state or federal funding. Wishes are granted solely through individual, group or corporate donations. Almost 80 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to making wishes come true. The organization relies heavily on volunteers and in-kind donations to keep the costs low.
Budget  $5,752,176.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Services for Specific Populations
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  Wish Fulfillment: Palliative Care and End-of-Life Intervention (Pediatric Nursing Journal) explains that the fulfillment of wishes for children with life-threatening conditions “is palliative care and an end-of-life intervention that will enhance the life of the child in the process of both living and dying.” Children with life-threatening illnesses experience prolonged hospital stays, difficult treatments and procedures, physical and emotional pain, depression and isolation, and a loss of hope or the experience of having a future. By granting a wish to a child in this situation, the child gets to experience “a sense of future, a way to be something more…wishing for something engenders the hope that the wish will come true. Future possibilities are intertwined with hope, a sense that life is worth living. Hope is fundamental to survival and is an important underlying element in the child’s will to live.”
Program Long-Term Success  Our vision is to grant the wish of every medically eligible child in our footprint. By doing this, we are helping to build the foundation for a happy and healthy community. 
Program Success Monitored By 
A study of 2,000 Make-A-Wish families and volunteers conducted in 2013 showed that wishes resulted in increased emotional strength, increased willingness to comply with treatment protocols, and a strengthening of the family due to sharing a "normal" experience. The survey results indicate:
  • 74% saw the wish experience as a positive turning point in the wish kids’ battle against their illnesses.
  • 89% of parents observed increases in wish kids’ emotional strength, which can help them improve their health status.
  • 81% of parents observed an increased willingness by their wish kids to comply with treatment protocols.
  • 97% of parents said the wish experience strengthened their families and gave them the opportunity to be a “normal” family again.
  • 91% of volunteers and 94% of wish parents expressed a deeper commitment to philanthropy and volunteering.
Examples of Program Success 
Trevor opens his eyes to a blue sky, fluffy white clouds, primary colored biplanes and hot air balloons. He was flying just like his Daddy! One of the biplanes has  a banner with his name on it! His eyes sparkle and his day begins. 
Trevor has Krabbe Disease, a rare genetic disorder of the nervous system. He likes bright primary colors, mellow music, lullabies, and likes to watch TV and movies. He loves bright lights and responds very positively to sunshine. His mother said, “We are so incredibly thankful for Make-A-Wish and what they have done for Trevor. The adjustable bed makes it so much easier to give him his treatments and we can put him in the position he needs to be in so he can breathe better.”
Trevor looks around his bright and sunny room and responds to whatever is playing on his new TV/DVD player. He may not be able to speak, but his expressions are worth a thousand words. He is happy in his room. His mother smiles as she says “We could never have done this for him!”


CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Stephanie McCormick
CEO Term Start Sept 2011
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience
Stephanie McCormick has a nonprofit career spanning nearly 35 years in Ohio, Indiana and Orange County, California.  Her life’s work has been dedicated to the sustainability and growth of the nonprofit community and the people it serves.

Stephanie currently holds the position of President & CEO for Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire. She assumed her role in September 2011. Her focus is revenue sustainability and wish growth for the $6M chapter. In 2012, she took the organization to the next level by increasing revenue by nearly 13%, strengthened and grew the board by launching a strategic and comprehensive board development plan and granted a record number of wishes (325) for the 35 year old chapter. She was recently named One of the 20 Women to Watch in Orange County by the OC Metro.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mark Pilon -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Debbie Finster Major Gifts Officer --
Melissa Gallagher Vice President of Mission Delivery --
Shin-Ja Kammann COO --
Barbara Powers Chief Development Officer --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Best Places to Work Orange County Business Journal 2016


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 21
Number of Part Time Staff 5
Number of Volunteers 676
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 89%
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: --
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 4
Caucasian: 12
Hispanic/Latino: 9
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: --
Other (if specified): 1
Gender Female: 25
Male: 1
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 4
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan Yes

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Janine Lombardi
Board Chair Company Affiliation J9 Leading Solutions LLC - Founder/CEO
Board Chair Term Sept 2017 - Aug 2019
Board Co-Chair Komron Tarkeshian
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Bank of America - Vice President
Board Co-Chair Term Sept 2017 - Aug 2019

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Whit Batchelor Whittier Trust Voting
Corey Donaldson Avalon Properties Voting
Heather Hart Community Philanthropist Comm Voting
Michael Hickman Seven Gables Real Estate - President Voting
Carie Jernquist-Ferry -- --
Cathi Killian Disneyland Resort Voting
Dillan Knudson BBVA Compass Bank Voting
Jason Lantgen JLL Voting
Harriet Lehman Community Philanthropist Voting
John Link Jr -- Voting
Janine Lombardi J9 Leading Solutions, LLC - Founder/CEO Voting
RJ Mayer The Mayer Corporation Voting
Joffre Olaya CHOC Pediatric Neurosurgeon Voting
John Ott Retired Voting
Massiel Perez-Calhoun Brandman University Voting
Komron Tarkeshian Bank of America Voting
Melvin Tobaru Grant Thornton - Partner Voting
Mitsy Wilson Community Volunteer Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
Jeff Elder Trojan Battery- President Voting
Anthony Ferry Neudesic- EVP/Partner Voting
Rob Gundling Forty Vines- Owner Voting
John Link Link, Murrel & Company NonVoting
Dan O'Connor Haskell & White NonVoting
Ferril Onyett Taco Bell NonVoting
Michael Rapacz Pacific Countours NonVoting
Phillip Romero -- --
Gretchen Sheckler The Sheckler Foundation- CEO/Director Voting
Bryan Smeltzer LiquidMind- President Voting
Jon Storbeck Disneyland Resorts- VP Operations Voting
Aaron Teats Anaheim Ducks- VP & Chief Marketing Officer Voting
Denise Turner Merrill Lynch NonVoting
Dan Wexler Citizen's Trust- Private Client Advisor Voting
Joe Windham LA KISS NonVoting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 13
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: --
Other (if specified): 2
Gender Female: 7
Male: 11
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 84%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 50%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments


Standing Committees

  • Advisory Board / Advisory Council
  • Audit
  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $4,618,240 $4,948,253 $4,677,470
Total Expenses $5,272,856 $5,082,671 $4,028,190

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$3,838,675 $4,124,597 $3,132,410
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $0 $0 --
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support $0 $0 --
Earned Revenue $186,110 $165,255 $167,757
Investment Income, Net of Losses $77,040 $68,429 $37,533
Membership Dues $0 $0 --
Special Events $395,131 $390,482 $322,954
Revenue In-Kind $743,018 $566,463 $645,370
Other $104,838 $12,265 $371,446

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $4,196,217 $4,013,358 $3,225,291
Administration Expense $404,577 $393,994 $323,176
Fundraising Expense $672,062 $675,319 $479,723
Payments to Affiliates $161,026 $129,716 --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.88 0.97 1.16
Program Expense/Total Expenses 80% 79% 80%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 16% 15% 14%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $3,283,724 $3,432,321 $3,461,040
Current Assets $728,730 $476,827 $726,259
Long-Term Liabilities $187,883 $156,417 $124,558
Current Liabilities $2,200,147 $1,733,003 $1,381,983
Total Net Assets $895,694 $1,542,901 $1,954,499

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 0.33 0.28 0.53

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 6% 5% 4%
Endowment Value $103,928.00
Spending Policy Income plus capital appreciation
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $0.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the Form 990s, audited financial statements  as well as consultation with the organization. 


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.