I was having an email conversation with my friend Christine Egger of Social Actions – the incredible champion for this sector’s interconnectedness – and I confessed this to her:
“I need to share this: I had no idea how much of an emotional difference a new name would make for ME.
We’ve always had the name Community-Driven Institute as a placeholder, knowing it sort of told people sort of what we sort of are – sort of. But that mostly it was massively confusing and double-speaky and didn’t really say anything and clearly didn’t EVOKE anything.
Now having the name be Creating the Future – every time I hear it, I find myself saying, “Wow, yes, that is what we’re doing!” and getting energized.
Isn’t that something? That something as simple as a name can do that?”
In typing this thinking-things-through note to a friend, I realized that it is the “evoking” that has grabbed me. The name Creating the Future evokes an image, a feeling, a movement. There is spirit and energy in the name.
And it suddenly occurred to me why the name for this sector’s work – Community Benefit Organization – is catching on, despite it being a mouthful of syllables.
Yes, it is positive, affirmative. It says what we are, what we do, what we accomplish, what we’re about.
But mostly, it evokes. It evokes “YES!” and “WOW!” and “We couldn’t have strong communities without you!”
And isn’t that the ultimate potential of a name – to evoke the possibility and energy and spirit of the thing to which it is attached?
In my conversation with Christine, I realized that is what the name Creating the Future is evoking for me. And if it has half that effect on others, I cannot begin to imagine the Community Benefit this organization will generate.
This post is dedicated with deepest gratitude to everyone – both here at the blog, and across Facebook and Twitter and listserv discussions – who helped us find the name, and to those who are helping us make it happen. You guys have rocked our world.
(And to those who have asked, we will post a fundraising tally for purchasing the domain names tomorrow. If you would like to help, please do so here.)