Thank you to everyone who participated in the summer-long naming survey.
We were eager to get your thoughts on the future of the Senior Center name
and you delivered. Over 700 people from 464 different organizations responded. Those responses came from 29 different US states and 2 Canadian provinces - enough variety
that we can call it statistically relevant.
Whether your organization is one of the 18% who have recently undergone a name change, the 31% considering a name change, or even the 51% happy with what you've got,
the results of the survey are fascinating. The data sheds light on what the experts in the field (you) are thinking about. In addition to the data-driven results (the graphs),
we've included some of the creative names and acronyms you submitted in the comment sections.
We at MySeniorCenter will support you, whatever you call yourselves, but as you could guess from our name, we are interested in learning about what
rises to the top.
Welcome to...Fun Facts - the Who You Are edition
There are two different parts of the typical organization name that analyzed: the prefix and the suffix. The prefix is the portion of the name that may include the
municipality, dedication or a brand. The suffix is the second part which could be Activity Center, Senior Center, Community Center, etc. For instance, the name Acton
Senior Community Center includes a prefix of Acton (the municipality) and a suffix of Senior Community Center. In the survey, the first questions were about the prefix. Of the three general
options for the prefix, municipality is pretty straightforward - it's where you're located. Dedication is when the organization or facility is named after
a person or family. The last option - brand - is something that you've chosen to represent your organization that is not a person's name nor based on your location. The chart below shows the
prefix choices for those that have already changed their names (Changed) versus the current mindset for those that are still in the decision phase (Thinking).
While Municipailty is the most popular for both groups, what stands out is the percentage of the Changed group that selected their own brand. Here are some examples that were sent in:
Surrey, Watermark, Silver Linings, Helm, Via!, Next, Ovation, Hillsview, Club 970, Syme 55+, RiverMills. All are great examples of creating a brand and presence in their local communities.
Figuring out the prefix is, literally, only half of the battle. The suffix is where the great debate really lives. The discussion of whether or not to include the word 'Senior' in the name
has been going on for a long time - at least since 2004 when we got involved in this world. There are pros and cons to the word and for those of us who work with Seniors, we've heard
it all. Some people over the age of 55 don't like the term 'Senior' and, as a result, won't go to the Center. Some think that the word 'Senior' denotes achievement - a senior in high school,
a senior manager, etc. In cases like this, it's best to collect as many opinions as possible and report on the results. Fortunately for us, that's what surveys are for!
For those organizations that have already changed their name, only 15% chose a suffix that includes the word 'Senior'. Nearly half selected something that was not included in the survey.
Here's what they chose:
Here are some of the options they selected that weren't on the survey: Center for Healthy Living, The Perfect Place for 50+, Community Connection, Senior Activity Center, Enterprises,
Activity & Health, Center for Active Adults, Community Activities & Services, Life After Fifty, Adult Center, 50 Plus Centre, Active Living Centre. Some creative names and options to consider!
The keywords for the organizations who are considering a name change ('Thinking about it' group) are 'Active' and 'Adult':
For those who are not planning on a change ('Not in the market'), 'Senior' and 'Community' are the most popular: