Membership FAQs

Everything you need to know about being a Lookout member!

Our goal is to create a delightful, seamless experience for all Lookout Santa Cruz members so you can fully enjoy the site, content and suite of member benefits. We’ve authored this set of frequently asked questions to help. If your question isn’t on this list, please email and we’ll get right back to you.

Top 5 Questions

#1. What does it mean to be a Lookout Santa Cruz Member?

At first glance, being a Lookout Santa Cruz Member means you have paid to use our site and to support our work and mission. But we feel a membership relationship is more than just transactional. In Lookout’s case, with our unique “Read, lead and help others” community betterment model, readers get the value of our deeply reported, trustworthy journalism and also tangibly support civic improvement with their membership. It’s a “two-fer”: a good local news product + community betterment.

#2. What are the benefits of being a Lookout Santa Cruz Member?

Your benefits start with full access to Lookout’s comprehensive local journalism and 24/7 news report, and the confidence from knowing that your membership directly supports this work. But that’s just the beginning. All Lookout memberships empower community betterment — 10 percent of your membership is contributed to one non-profit Civic Partners that you choose from, each doing important community-improving work. As a member, you’ll also receive direct access to Lookout’s newsroom, early access to special members-only events and experiences, and more.

The full list of Lookout member benefits can be seen here:

#3. Can I share my Lookout membership?

Memberships are for households, and you are welcome to share your sign in email/password credentials within your household. Since Lookout Santa Cruz is largely paid for by reader membership, we ask you not to share more widely.

#4. How do I create a password (& why you should)?

To create a password, go to our site, log in and then click the logo in the bottom right hand corner. Select edit profile, and create a password there.

Creating a password will keep you logged in and you won’t need to get magic links to read articles.

Once you’re logged in on a browser, you’ll stay logged in on that browser unless you clear your browsing data. You will have to log in if using a different device, or a different browser on the same device.

#5. How do I change my password?

In order to change your password, you need to make sure you are logged out of Lookout on your device. Go to & in your user settings, there’s a “logout” link. Now, when you try logging in again, you’ll see a popup asking you to become a member. Press the button at the top that says “Already have an account? Log in” Type in your email in the next box. Press the arrow. Press the “reset password” button and we’ll email you a link to reset your password. Check your inbox and after you press the link in the email, it should take you to a page where you can reset your password. Reset your password and you should be all set!

If you have any other questions about Lookout Santa Cruz membership email us at and a member of the team will get back to you right away.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Can I give Lookout membership as a gift?

Yes! Simply follow this link, then click the “Gift a Subscription” button near the top of the page and follow the checkout workflow to complete your purchase. Choose monthly or annual and select a Lookout Civic Partner to support through the membership. You’ll then be asked to enter the recipient’s information and can include a custom gift note if you would like.

Another way to gift a membership is to make sure you are logged in, click the lookout logo in the bottom right corner and click ‘give a gift’.

When I sign up to become a Lookout Santa Cruz member, how will I know when my purchase is complete?

When you complete your membership purchase, you will receive an email from Lookout Santa Cruz with the subject line “Your Receipt from Lookout Santa Cruz.” Please be sure to check your email spam folder if it doesn’t arrive in your primary inbox.

How do I know if I’m signed into the Lookout website as a member?

When you visit, you’ll notice that the “Become a Member” button in the navigation at the top of the website goes away, replaced by an icon of a person. When you click this icon, you’re able to access your account and will see a “Manage Subscription” field. This is also accessible by clicking the circular button with the Lookout Santa Cruz logo in the bottom right corner of the page.

If you have signed up for newsletters with multiple email addresses, you may be logged in under an incorrect email address. Make sure to double check which email address you are logged in with & that email is the one associated with your membership payment.

If I’m an active member, does this mean I’m automatically signed up for your email newsletters?

Not necessarily. If you became a member without registering your email address on the site, click either the person icon at the top right of your screen or the circular button with the Lookout Santa Cruz logo at the bottom right to access your account settings, labeled “My Account.” Then, click “Manage Newsletters,” where you can sign up and change your preferences.

If I want to cancel membership, how do I do that?

Simply open your account settings by clicking on the circular button with the Lookout Santa Cruz logo at the bottom right of the screen, select “Manage Subscription,” and click “Stop Subscribing.” Your membership will be canceled.

Is there a Lookout app I can use?

Not at this point. However, there’s an easy way to get to us on your phone. You can add our colorful logo to your home screen, making your own app-like icon for quick tapping.

  • For iPhone users, you’ll need to use the Safari browser on the phone to do that.
  • For Android users, you’ll need to use the Chrome browser on the phone to do it.

Here’s the detailed explanation:

Add Lookout to your phone: The Lookout Santa Cruz website can function like a mobile app on your iPhone or Android device.

On an iPhone or iPad:

  1. Launch the “Safari” app.
  2. Enter in the URL field.
  3. Tap the icon featuring an arrow coming out of a box along the bottom of the Safari browser.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and tap “Add to Home Screen.” The Lookout wave icon will appear. Click “Add” or “Save” in the upper righthand corner to add it to your homescreen.
  5. Safari will close automatically and you will be taken to where the icon is located on your screen.
  6. For quick check-in reference, you can move the icon around your home screen by holding it down and choosing “Edit Home Screen.”

On an Android phone:

  1. Launch the “Chrome” app.
  2. Enter in the URL field.
  3. Tap the menu icon (3 dots in upper right-hand corner) and tap “Add to Homescreen.”
  4. You’ll be able to enter a name for the shortcut and then Chrome will add it to your home screen.
  5. Move it to your home screen for quick check-in reference.

Bookmark Lookout to your desktop computer

  1. From the web browser of your choice, type
  2. Go to the bookmarks menu. Click “Add bookmark” or “Bookmark this tab.”
  3. Name the bookmark whatever you like. We suggest Lookout Santa Cruz. Those words will now be in your saved bookmarks.

Other Types of Membership

Do you offer enterprise memberships for businesses and organizations wanting to provide Lookout membership for their employees?

We do. Whether you’re looking to purchase memberships for your employees, or offer them special discounted membership, Lookout has flexible plans to meet your needs. Enterprise or Business memberships begin at 3 individuals or more, and can be tailored per company or organization. Contact Jamie Keil, Director of Membership to request additional information:

What is your Founders Circle membership program?

Founders Circle members uniquely understand Lookout’s growing value as an investigative and accountability leader, and want to help grow our reporting impact as quickly as possible by contributing at a higher level.

At a level of $1,000 a year or more, Founders Circle members can see the impact of our accountability reporting, as evidenced by our Access Democracy initiative and more. In addition, these memberships are largely tax-deductible. If you’re passionate about helping Lookout make Santa Cruz County a better place, please consider joining our Founders Circle. Contact CEO Ken Doctor directly at to learn more.

How does your Student Access Program work?

Students, now more than ever, need access to trustworthy, factual, non-partisan news. With Lookout’s special Student Access Program, they get it. Our Student Access Program, first launched for all of Cabrillo College & UCSC students, has been funded by generous benefactors who underwrite the program.

Lookout now seeks to expand this program to all Santa Cruz county high school students, and other deserving groups. Please contact CEO Ken Doctor at to learn more about this program and opportunities to participate.