What's in a Name?
"The desire was really to build a global brand that represented all of us," says Anne Goddard, president and CEO of ChildFund International.
Name changes and rebrandings aren't new to the organization. ChildFund International originally was founded in 1938 as China's Children Fund with a focus on building orphanages for children left homeless after the Sino-Japanese War. But by the mid- to late-40s, as the organization began helping children in the Philippines, Burma, China, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Borneo, India, Europe, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, it became clear that the organization had outgrown its name. Keeping with the CCF initials, in 1951 it changed its name to Christian Children's Fund. Soon after, Christian Children's Fund of Canada was formed as CCF's first official international affiliate, followed by affiliates in Africa, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain and Australia.
In June 2002, to capitalize on the strengths of its affiliate organizations — which by then numbered 12 around the globe — CCF formed the ChildFund Alliance, which operates with a board made up of delegate board members from each affiliate and allows for the sharing of best practices and resources, and better management of program efficiency and accountability.
The trouble was, as the story of Pressendo's son shows, from a name standpoint, there was no consistent link between individual affiliates and ChildFund Alliance — or to one another, for that matter. Affiliate names included ChildFund Australia, Christian Children's Fund of Canada, BORNEfonden (Denmark), Un Enfant Par La Main (France), Barnfonden (Sweden), and Taiwan Fund for Children and Families, to name a few.
To add to the confusion, the U.S. affiliate, Christian Children's Fund, while founded on Christian principles, hadn't made evangelizing part of its work for more than 30 years and served children of all faiths. Yet a handful of constituents still supported the organization for what they thought was faith-based work.