Help me find my name!
May 6, 2007 5:31 PM   Subscribe

We have a small 501c3 charity and someone is offended at our name because they worry it's too close to theirs and wants us to change it. Help us find an alternative. Any and all suggestions welcome. (Story inside)

Some background:
My wife and I have a small 501c3 (non-profit) charity we founded. We've been active for about 5 years. At that time, for lack of any better ideas, we named it after ourselves: "Firstnames Lastnames Outreach"

We work with various organizations, some secular, some religious (Red Cross, Catholic, Presbyterian, etc) doing aid and community work overseas. Our focus as a non-profit is simply to help people wherever they are. We make no distinctions based on race, religion, social strata, country, etc. Regardless of who they are, what they are and where they are we simply want to help them as best we can. We tell others that we simply love people and simply want show them that love. Most of our work goes on in the poorest areas of the world.

100% of what comes in goes back out on the field as we take no salary and pay the overhead out of our own pocket from our day jobs.

We've been small for the past several years but now suddenly, we're getting more backers and volunteers who are swelling our ranks.

My father, who has been a more traditional-style missionary for 40 years also has a 501c3, albeit a strictly religious one. His 501c3 is named after himself. Now, suddenly he has voiced extreme opposition to the name of our foundation since the last name is the same as his. We think he's worried people will confuse us with him, which bothers him as we don't do things his way particularly as he's much older and nearing the end of his day-to-day work. Plus, we're pretty sure as we've gotten bigger and more successful that he *might* be feeling threatened for some silly reason.

The long and short of it is that he caused a big blowup and basically asked us to change our name to something else. We have waffled back and forth quite a bit and have decided that in the interest of family peace (among other reasons, we just had a baby and we don't want to throw her into the whole "your grandparents are selfish and mean" scenario) and so we're now searching for a new name. Can anyone make a suggestion? Any and all are welcome.

Some of the ones we thought of up to now are:
Magnificent Obsession Outreach
Open Hands Foundation
Love without Limits, Inc

posted by damiano99 to Human Relations (23 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I like Love Without Limits.
posted by jayder at 5:39 PM on May 6, 2007

How about YourFirstName & YourWife'sFirstName Outreach? Then you get to keep the name recognition with your current contacts, but your father can use the last name. I also like Open Hands Foundation. Although the acronym, when pronounced, would sound like "oaf."
posted by bassjump at 5:47 PM on May 6, 2007

Response by poster: We thought of that but we need something a little less identified with us by name our it'll just cause another blowup.
posted by damiano99 at 5:50 PM on May 6, 2007

For what it is worth, I just looked at a datbase of 501c3 orgs from the IRS. There are about a million who have filed with the IRS in the last year. It doesn't look like any are called Love Without Limits. There is a "kindness without limits" , also "love without boundaries" and "love without borders".
posted by Good Brain at 6:02 PM on May 6, 2007


... and after that, mine get cheesy.
posted by Alt F4 at 6:15 PM on May 6, 2007

It sounds like your original name is very humble, unassuming, simple, prosaic. I can imagine that this might be part of its appeal to some of your supporters.
posted by amtho at 6:40 PM on May 6, 2007

i would have been more sympathetic to the father if he had objected five years ago, before you invested time and effort building your brand. no matter what you change your name to, there's no advance guarantee he won't object to that too, is there? remind him that if jesus had ever sued anybody for trademark infringement, your dad would have to pay a license fee to have a cross on his wall.
posted by bruce at 6:44 PM on May 6, 2007

What about just your first names?
posted by kitty teeth at 6:45 PM on May 6, 2007

Er, round these parts, the phrase "Love Without Limits" has been used to describe nonmonogamy, polyamory, and the like.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:02 PM on May 6, 2007

Not My Father's Non-Profit

ok ok sorry

Love without Limits is good...

How about:

Love With No Boundries
Limitless Love
Love Around the World
Boundless Love
Love with no Limits

Get out the thesaurus!!!

One more:

Ubiquitous Love

Best of luck!!!
posted by UncleHornHead at 8:26 PM on May 6, 2007

I have to say, even though I really like the concept of "love without limits", it does make me immediately think of organizations promoting non-mainstream sexual lifestyles. (Might just be me, though)

Two questions of clarification:
1. Is there any specific kind of work you do? Eg mostly provide food, housing, schools, medical help, sewage infrastructure, clean water, microloans for small businesses, loans for local students to get educations, ...?

2. You say your name is currently "Firstnames Lastnames Outreach"... you mean, it's like "Sally and Jim Smith Outreach"? or "Sally Jones and Jim Smith Outreach"? And your dad objects to calling it "Sally and Jim's Outreach"?
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:22 PM on May 6, 2007

Response by poster: Lobstermitten (great name) to answer your question we:
1) Do a bit of everything but mostly straight humanitarian work. Earthquake relief, village education, etc.

2) No one would object to "Sally and Jim's Outreach" except me. It sounds like a grocery store down the road. I'm looking for something that conveys what we do and stand for more than anything.

Keep the ideas coming, I like what I'm seeing!
posted by damiano99 at 10:29 PM on May 6, 2007

What about your initials, as a fallback position? eg: SJS Outreach

Open Hands is good.
Surprisingly hard to avoid cheese! "Many Hands" is the best alternative I could come up with.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:48 PM on May 6, 2007

Initial of fist name the "&" symbol and initial of last name Outreach.

So, John Smith Outreach becomes J & S Outreach.

Or substitute the initials of the first names of you and wife.

The reasoning for this (in my head at least), it will make some sense to your new backers/people you already deal with. Representing a shortening of what was already there.
posted by edgeways at 11:49 PM on May 6, 2007

ooooh snap
posted by edgeways at 11:50 PM on May 6, 2007

yeah, jinx.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:50 PM on May 6, 2007

Magnificent Obsession Outreach, for sure.

a) it has the cool word Magnificent
b) it has the cool word Obsession
c) it has the acronym MOO! I mean, the opportunity to go around mooing at your spouse is just irresistible here.

Love without Limits and its ilk are good, but might have some sexual connotations for some (immature) people. :)
posted by By The Grace of God at 12:30 AM on May 7, 2007

"Love Without Limits" is well established as the description of polyamory, a.k.a. ethical non-monogamy. Just google that phrase see how the results are strongly polyamory-heavy, starting with and the best-known book about polyamory.

Magnificent Obsession is the only unique name in your list so far; try Googling that and seeing if others are using it. I like it a lot.
posted by sparrows at 3:10 AM on May 7, 2007

FYI, and .org are taken (the .com is a linkfarm and the .org is "under construction")

This looks like a good overview of naming strategies which might give you some ideas.

I'm sorry you have to go through this whole thing, but I know your supporters will understand and stick with you.......
posted by sparrows at 3:21 AM on May 7, 2007

Help Because Outreach

I dunno, just think it's a cool name.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:38 AM on May 7, 2007


We Help Because

might make more sense...
posted by Deathalicious at 7:40 AM on May 7, 2007

A couple other things you can riff on if you find a kernel of likability in them ...

Open Arms
Shining Heart
Pure Heart
Sincere Heart
etc ...
posted by forforf at 9:27 AM on May 7, 2007

Love without Limits and its ilk are good, but might have some sexual connotations for some (immature) people. :)

Well, I thought of polyamory when I read it, I think it has more to do with it being a well known book and web site than with how mature I am.

I think you should see if there is some other way to work with your father on the name, perhaps you could add something to your promotional materials about how his own missionary work inspired yours? The issue over the name is more likely to be a symptom of something else than the one thing you can solve and achive family harmony.
posted by yohko at 10:54 AM on May 7, 2007

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