MySeniorCenter Fun Facts

Monday, June 3rd, 2019

There's a good chance that you are either currently researching, or planning to research a name change for your organization. Many people feel that "Senior Center" no longer captures the essence of what you do. There are others who are adamant the name NOT change, or at least still includes the word 'Senior'. This debate has been going on for a long time and will, undoubtedly, continue. The challenge is finding a name that gives an idea of what you do, who you serve AND is not a mouthful. Oh, and try to let people know where you're located. Having to squeeze in the location, brand or dedication name makes it a really difficult task. Some organizations have 10 words in their name and every one of them is meaningful. It's not easy.

Going the acronym route is intriguing. "I'm headed to CVS" is easy to understand. There's no need to say "I'm headed to my local Consumer Value Store". The 'Y' has created a great brand around their name and it only requires one letter! No need for 'Young Men's Christian Association' or even YMCA. It would be nice to have something similar for our world. We've toyed with Wellness and Activity Center - aka 'The WAC'. Think it'll catch on? Try it out and let us know what you think: "I'll be back in a few hours. I'm headed to the WAC!". Even better, take the survey and let us know your ideas!

In this issue we'll explore the evolution of the Senior Center name and highlight some different names folks are using. We'll also give some statistics on the most popular naming conventions.

Welcome to...Fun Facts - the What's in a Name? edition


Eleanor Rigby

80% of all organizations are still called Senior Center or Council on Aging/COA. But when those names are removed from this list, we can see some trends emerging. Here are the most popular naming conventions other than Senior Center and Council on Aging:

Other names that didn't quite register a percentage point but have some fans are A/The Gathering Place and The Center.

A Boy Named Sue

In addition to the names above, plenty of Centers use something other than their municipal location as part of their name. That includes names used as a dedication like I.T. Bookman Community Center or Helene S. Mills Senior Multipurpose Center. Those names are meaningful to their respective communities. Others use a brand name they've created, see below for some brands from across the Network:

This isn't an exhaustive list, but a sampling of some of the creative brands that organizations have developed.

A Rose By Any Other Name...

...would smell as sweet. Senior Centers, whatever we call them, are amazing places - we all agree on that. The data above is what we've collected, but we know that many more of you have started to undergo your own process for developing a new name or brand. We've set up a survey to capture your thoughts and ideas about your creative process. It should only take you 2-3 minutes to complete and we're grateful for your help. Click here or on the picture.

We'll highlight the results of the survey in the September issue of Fun Facts.


Hope to see you at NCOA's Age+Action conference in Washington DC later this month! Click the link below for more details.

We'll be in the exhibit area and a few of the sessions. If you'd like to connect with us while you're there, please send us a note and tell us what days you'll be there. Should be a great event!

Additional Reading

Here are some opinion pieces we've read recently related to the topic of what to call a Senior Center:

Happy June!

Friday, June 14th is National Flip Flop Day!!

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