Starting a non-profit or a charity organization requires many steps, but the first one is probably the most difficult. Finding the perfect name is always hard, as this is a more important step than it seems. Just to get you started, here is a little guide on how to come up with a charity name that suits your organization.
The importance of the name for a non-profit organization
The name is one of the most important things for an organization, as it’s the first thing that people see. When they know nothing about it, the name can convince them either to stay and find out more about it, or abandon all interest.
Also, the name is informative as well. A charity organization can deal with different fields of action. You can attract potential donors just by the name, if it reflects the type of activity you are engaging in. However, it shouldn’t only be illustrative. It should be compelling as well, and stick to the minds of the people.
Be careful what name you choose, as your final pick is going to stay. Instead of choosing something on the rush and then regret your decision, take some time to do a little brainstorming with your collaborators and choose the perfect name.
How to come up with a charity name
There are a few simple steps you can follow until you find the best charity name you could find. They will help you discover what suits your organization best, and should teach you how to come up with a charity name that is both memorable and unique.
1. Answer some basic questions
First of all, you need to know what your non-profit organization will do. Depending on its activity, put down all the verbs that come to your mind when you are trying to describe its activity. These words can be save, heal, feed, give, or anything similar.
Then, discover the segment of the population you are trying to help. They can be children, orphans, old people, poor people, people with disabilities, or even animals. Afterwards, make a list of all your members. If most of them fit a certain category, put it down on the list as well.
After you have answered these questions, it’s time to start brainstorming. Your charity name should be a combination of these words you have put down, or contain as many of them as possible. If this leads to a long name, you can start getting creative by making up abbreviations and words of your own.
2. Insert a descriptive term
A descriptive term will make your name sound more powerful, so you should add one if possible. However, this is tricky. The adjective is not enough to make the name sounds more personal, so make sure you do the necessary edits. If the resulting name is too long, you should, again, edit it a little.
3. Be careful with the spelling
Your main purpose is to make the name as memorable as possible. This means that people should be able to write it as well. Therefore, don’t choose anything overly complicated in terms of spelling, as it will also be easier to remember.
4. Make the name sound nice
People tend to remember names more easily if they have a certain sonority. Something simple and creative will stick to their minds immediately, especially if you use some poetical techniques. Try something that rhymes, or an alliteration (an instance where certain letters repeat themselves).
5. Choose simple synonyms
Instead of using jargon or complicated words, replace them with something easy to remember. This will attract a lot more attention to your charity, and people will better understand what your organization actually does.
6. Come up with an acronym
A clever idea to find a good name is to create an acronym. If there are too many things you want to include in the charity name, it’s better to find an acronym instead. This way, it will be easier for people to remember it. If you find one that sounds good and is also relevant, then you’ve found yourself a winning combination.
7. Check if you can use the name
Once you have decided upon a charity name, you still have to see if this name is available for use. If you found something appealing and memorable, chances are it’s already in use. To avoid an unpleasant situation, check if the name is available as soon as you have it. This way, you will know immediately if there’s something to change.
If you don’t where to check the name, try the webpage of the US Department of Commerce. This is a list of trademarks, so you can search for your own name and see if it’s taken. In case it is, you can still find some ways to use it. You can add a location to it, or add a designator like Inc., Co., or Corp.
Even if the name is only similar to an already existent one, you should be able to use it. However, this is tricky. People might think the two organizations are related in some way, or that one might belong to the other. Therefore, it’s better to choose something that stands out.
8. Take care of the legal issues
Once you have dealt with all these steps, it’s time to take care of the legal procedures. Before registering the name, take care of the corporate designator. Read about all the designators in your state, and see if one of them is suitable for your organization or not. Also, look at all the advantages and disadvantages that come with it.
Finding out how to come up with a charity name that will stick to people’s minds is not precisely easy. It should be both relevant for the organization, but also simple and remarkable. As long as you avoid long and complicated denominations and find a clever play on words, everything should be fine. People won’t have a hard time keeping your charity in mind and giving it the attention it needs.