I recently met with the Executive Director of an arts program who was concerned about the name of his organization. He stated that they serve the entire county, but their name implies they only serve the small town where they are located.
We discussed the composition of his board: almost all townies. We discussed the program participants/beneficiaries of the NPO: almost all townies. Donors: you get the picture.
He argued that there are participants from neighboring towns – when we analyzed the data, outside participants make up a very small percentage and are from communities within a 2-3 mile radius.
The impact this organization has is on a small, well-defined community. Changing the name to draw more state and county level funding (ED’s goal with name change) is not going to automatically increase the population served and the impact this nonprofit has on their community.
Keep the scale of your nonprofit realistic. Bigger is not always better.