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Announcing Your Nonprofit’s New Name: How To Do It Right

Posted by on June 15th, 2018
Posted in Blog, Nonprofit Branding, Nonprofit Communications, Nonprofit Messaging, Nonprofit Naming, Storytelling    Tags: , , , , , ,

You know your organization’s name isn’t doing you justice. Maybe it’s too long, too literal, or too abstract. And you’re ready to make the leap and change it.

Be prepared: Changing your name can be difficult. Even the smoothest renaming efforts have harrowing moments. But if your organization has first thought strategically about your brand strategy, you can end up with a moniker that serves you well, and that offers the opportunity to re-introduce your work to the world.

Naming is hard work, and the work continues as you build support for your new name rolling it out to your audiences. How you make the announcement, audience by audience, is what makes the difference between a tepid outcome and a powerful one that’s met with enthusiasm.

We recently collaborated with California ChangeLawyers (formerly California Bar Foundation) to develop a powerful brand strategy, then brought it to life with high-impact messages, a new name, tagline, visual identity and video. Throughout the launch process, California ChangeLawyers thought strategically about how best to bring their audiences along to ensure their new brand and new name would be embraced enthusiastically by their community. Take a look at the smart email they sent to announce their new name.

There’s so much we love about this email, but let’s break down a few of the key elements that really nail it.

  • Subject line: “We changed our name. Here’s why.” It’s straightforward and makes it clear right away that there’s a strategic reason behind the name change.
  • Introduction: It’s thorough and, more importantly, it incorporates language from California ChangeLawyers’ new key messages.
  • They own it: There’s confident ownership of a completely new word—changelawyers. They even define it at the end, using some of their awesome brand language.
  • It’s on strategy. The body of the email incorporates California ChangeLawyer’s brand promiseChangelawyers change the world.
  • They bring it back home: “By changing our name, we’ve finally embraced who we’ve always been.” This line is reassuring and references their history while also being completely bold and unapologetic.  

If your organization has recently changed your name, and you’re wondering how best to announce it to your stakeholders, download our 10 Guidelines for Launching Your New Name.


Stephanie is a Mission Minded Brand Strategist and a huge Harry Potter nerd.

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