Area nonprofits follow sage advice from The Bard

“What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Juliet meant to say that a thing’s mere name (Romeo) can never describe its value (nice booty).

Literary historians have yet to confirm that Shakespeare ever visited Milwaukee (I checked Wikipedia).  But names chosen by some local nonprofits make me wonder if the Bard might have once done a Brew City book tour.

What would Shakespeare have made of the name “Running Rebels?”  The organization guides youngsters in avoiding gangs, drugs, violence.  How about “Rawhide” or “Lad Lake,” two other venerable youth nonprofits?

Would Juliet join “Pearls for Teen Girls?”

Could even Shakespeare’s incredible insight perceive “Seeds of Health” as the state’s only K-12 charter school system?  Or tag “Every Einstein” as promoting STEM learning for schoolkids?

“ABCD” is catchy shorthand for “After Breast Cancer Diagnosis,” a peer-to-peer mentoring organization.  “Meta House” has helped women overcome addiction since 1963.

If I asked you to donate to “Next Door,” would you write a check to your neighbor?  Or to our local child development group for underserved kids?

“Ex Fabula?” Nope, not a mall store for tweens.  Sponsors live storytelling events across the region.

The list goes on.  The origin story for each organization boils down to “Passionate citizens recognize community need, organize to make a difference.” (Cliff Notes, anyone?) Most of these are homegrown Milwaukee groups; they reflect our community spirit and depend on our generosity to succeed.

The names aren’t so funny now, are they?

Shakespeare would agree: I understand his first draft read “What’s in a name? Dude! It’s the mission that matters!  Remember that and you’ll come out smelling like a rose.”

(Bye now…I’m off to update a certain Wikipedia entry…)

On Philanthropy appears monthly in the Milwaukee Business Journal and is contributed by Doug Diefenbach for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter.


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