4 basic rules for naming an organization or initiative

Choosing a name can be overwhelming. Make it easier on yourself with these guidelines.

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Start by creating a list of words that describe what your organization or initiative does. Then create a list of categories to help filter what words work best. (Remember the five Ws—who, what, when, where, and why.) Categories could include:

1. Who will benefit? Does your organization help moms or the homeless; children or families?

2. What does your organization or initiative do? Pass out food or blankets, arrange legal counsel, teach adults to read?

3. Where do you operate (geographic region)? Is your organization global or country-specific; citywide or a neighborhood collaborative?

4. When will you operate? Year round or quarterly; annually or one time only?

5. Why is your organization or initiative important and/or necessary? Will people go hungry or sit at home bored; gain literacy or clean up a park?

With your list of words now categorized by the W’s, you are on your way to a name for your organization, initiative, or business, along with a tagline to support or describe what you do.

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