What's in a Name?
"That resonated with staff," she adds. "They were excited. We have staff that have been here for 20, 25, 30 years, and they appreciate the fact that we're appreciating their history and knowing that we're building on that, not leaving it behind."
The organization dipped its rebranded toe in constituent waters in September 2008, testing co-branded materials that said, "Christian Children's Fund, member of ChildFund Alliance." The tests showed no adverse impact, so the organization rolled out co-branded materials to all constituents.
In April 2009, the organization mailed a letter to constituents announcing that it would be changing its name to ChildFund International in July 2009. The letter explained the alliance and why the organization was changing its name, and emphasized that it did wonderful work for children under the old name and would continue doing wonderful work for children under the new one.
After the letter went out, Goddard says the organization fielded a lot of questions, everything from whether the rebrand would change the organization's structure to whether staff members were going to lose jobs because of streamlining. Some people wanted to talk to board members, some wanted to talk to Goddard, and some talked to frontline staff answering the phones.
Before the rebrand, the organization had done research to gauge how its current constituency would feel about the name change. The research said that the organization would lose 3 percent of its supporters, and a larger percentage would be on the fence over it. So the organization wasn't surprised when it got flack from some constituents for making what they perceived to be a move away from its Christian roots.
"Folks were of the misimpression that we were an evangelical organization advancing the gospel," Pressendo says. "People [were] saying that [the rebrand] was being politically correct and things like that."