What's in a name? Why we changed ours

Monday, September 23, 2019

It’s official: Colorado Association of Funders will now be known as Philanthropy Colorado. The board unanimously approved this name change after careful deliberation and in consultation with many of our colleagues here and across the country.

As we’ve evolved and grown over almost a half-century, we found we needed a name that better represented our membership and our work. Aside from the cumbersome nature of the name we’ve been using, we’ve heard plenty of feedback that the word “funders” often creates confusion in our advocacy and outreach efforts with public officials, business leaders and others not in our immediate circles.

We’ve been able to build strong connections, but have lacked a strong brand for our thriving network.

We have been mistakenly referred to out loud on the House floor at our State Capitol as the “Colorado Association of FOUNDERS” and by one business that misheard our name as the “Colorado Association of THUNDER.” Perhaps our favorite: our own public 990 filing document name only has enough room to list us as “Colorado Association of FUN.” Even our own members differ on how they refer to us -- by either saying our initials “C-A-F” or by calling us “CALF” for short.

The word “philanthropy” directly translates into “love of mankind” and is defined as a desire to promote the welfare of others. Adopting the name Philanthropy Colorado allows us to align with a growing number of organizations in our national network, United Philanthropy Forum, which itself recently changed its name. The Forum’s more than 75 members include national philanthropy-serving networks and many recently rebranded regional ones, including: Philanthropy Delaware, Philanthropy Massachusetts, Philanthropy Southwest and Philanthropy West Virginia, to name a few.

We hope you’ll agree that our new name, Philanthropy Colorado, clearly positions our organization to guide our statewide sector into the future.  

With this change comes an all new website with a member-only section that allows you to tap into searchable databases on member focus areas and other key information, as well as more resources curated by our team and by our national network. Those of you who post jobs on our website will now be able to do so directly by going to our website. If you are receiving this email you already most likely have a profile on our new site that you can update at your convenience.

Our new name aims to clarify and inspire and also be more inclusive of the various types of givers striving to address key challenges facing Coloradans. Our board last year approved opening our membership to an increasingly diverse spectrum of organizations and individuals focused on improving the lives of Coloradans. We now welcome private, family and community foundations, corporate funders, federated funds and workplace giving programs, government agencies, donor-advised funds and individual philanthropists. And, like many of our colleagues across the country, we’ve created a new associate member category for vetted philanthropy-serving advisors and consultants to participate in activities and programs as appropriate.  

With our new name comes a new tagline, “Stronger connections. Stronger communities,” and a refreshed mission statement: “To strengthen Colorado communities by bringing people, information and resources together.” As you can see below, we’ve kept the familiar look of our logo and colors.

Our entire board and team, who worked diligently on this effort over the past several months, are energized by this new chapter and we hope you will be, too. We invite all of our members to save the date so we can all mark the occasion together at our Annual Meeting and Luncheon on Tues., Nov. 5, 2019.

Many thanks for your continued engagement and support.

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