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Organizational Management

All About Association Names: 8 Tips + 35 Examples of Cool Association Names

Author: Marlena Moore
September 6, 2023
🕑 9 min read

There’s a whole lot to consider when you’re first dreaming up your association! From your mission to your organizational structure to your membership levels, every choice you make is a step towards success in your community.

Luckily, one of the most important steps is also the most fun: brainstorming association names!

Your name is what gives prospective members their very first impression of your organization. So how do you pick an association name that’ll make a splash?

In this blog post, we’ll cover:

  • Qualities of great association names
  • Things to consider when naming your association
  • Top tips for picking out an organization name
  • 35 examples of cool association names for different organizations

Let’s get started!

What Makes a Good Association Name?

There are a lot of ways to get creative with association names—but how can you be sure that your choice will really land with your community?

Here are 3 qualities of association names that make an impact:

Short & Sweet

Keeping your organization name concise will help keep it on the tip of peoples’ tongues. There are a lot of different associations out there—a short and simple choice is easier to remember, which is helpful for online searches.

Having a convenient acronym is also a great way to go, and will be helpful for logos, professional association website design and marketing materials. Just be sure it doesn’t spell out something silly by accident!

Clearly Defines YOU

Choosing an association name that highlights your mission, industry, or community naturally directs prospective members your way. Tapping into the specifics is your friend here!

For example, there are plenty of associations out there for writers, such as:

While all of these associations are for writers, the unique association names direct members to the right organization for their niche!

Stands Out From The Crowd

A clear and simple name is important, but don’t be afraid to add a little flair for the sake of brand recognition. For example, another writers’ association out there is called Sisters in Crime. The name isn’t as obvious as others on our previous list, but it DOES lead readers to understand that this association is for women crime writers.

If your name stands out for merch, press releases and other promotional and marketing opportunities, you’re on the right track. Just make sure it doesn’t sacrifice clarity, and that you’re proud to share it!

How to Come Up With a Good Name for Your Organization

There are a few key questions that can guide you in coming up with an organization name that’s both clever and clear:

  1. Where are you located? If your organization is tied to a specific region, it can be useful to note that in the name! Even something as simple as identifying if you’re a national or international association can help out prospective members.
  2. What’s your niche? Consider things like your industry, club type and population you serve. Involving your community name in your branding connects you to your goals.
  3. Who is your founder? If you’re running something like a foundation, tying it to a notable name can highlight your origins and connections. Think of how the Terry Fox Foundation is to people across Canada and the United States!

What types of sponsors do you need? Building sponsor relationships is one of the most profitable association strategies there is. If your organization name calls to a common interest with your sponsors, you’re more likely to secure that funding.

8 Tips for Naming Your Association

Looking for some tangible steps you can take for picking out good association names?

Here are 8 tips to get you started:

1. Involve your board & members

As with any other step in starting an association, choosing your organization name is best done with a team of people. Dedicating time during a board meeting to pick out a name (or change one, if you need to!) if well worth your while. That feedback can help you catch if you’ve missed anything like one of those silly acronyms we mentioned!

2. Brainstorm from many angles

We’ve already given you a few starting points to explore with your association name: location, niche, etc. Mention these to your planning team, and then make some time for everyone to write down separate association name ideas. This will show you commonalities, and also highlight anything you might have missed on your own.

3. Think outside of the box

Creativity can be your friend here! Plays on words, regional jokes and industry-specific terminology can be a tool for standing out. As long as it’s professional enough that people will still feel comfortable getting involved, don’t be afraid to try something unique.

4. Identify your target audience

Think about what your association membership base might be interested in. If you’re running a professional trade organization, choosing a name that highlights your industry authority might attract more members. On the other hand, if you’re a small hobby association, a friendlier name might be more attractive to new individuals.

5. Consider your niche or industry

We can’t over-emphasize the importance of being specific! If you look through a list of associations in the same industry, you’ll notice that the best ones highlight and celebrate what makes them unique.

Take a look at the website for the Society of Black Archaeologists. The name ties to both the members’ demographic and professional niche, which ties once more to their larger mission:

“Advocating to ensure proper treatment of African and African Diaspora material culture, promote more people of African descent to enter the field of archaeology, ensure community collaborations, raise and address concerns related to African peoples worldwide, and highlights the past and present achievements and contributions people of African descent have made to the field of archaeology.”

6. Check what competitors are doing

Look into what associations in adjacent fields are currently doing with their names. To tie back to writers’ associations once more, the overlap of the Romance Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America creates a trend among established writers associations. The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association used to also tie into this tradition as the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, but shifted its name to reflect its international members.

When you fill a niche within a larger industry, sometimes connecting to the trends and traditions in place can promote a sense of credibility.

7. Make sure it’s available!

Seeing how many association names cover the industry and location of the organization, it’s not uncommon to accidentally find some overlap. The last thing you want to do is accidentally have the same name—or even the same acronym!—as another association in your field.

Once you know you’re in the clear, register your association name as well as your domain name for your association CRM as soon as possible.

8. Use a name generator or AI tool

Tools like ChatGPT can give you a list of ideas to start with and modify as you see fit. Like we said, just make sure organizations with those names don’t already exist!

35 Association Name Examples

So what IS an example of a name of an organization that really stands out? 

We’ve got 35 cool association names for you to check out, plus details of why they work for their field!


There are a lot of specific examples on this list, but let’s start with some general associations that are rocking a great organization name:

Of these association names:

  • Three of them use the word “association”
  • One highlights itself as a “registry”, which notes its primary resource
  • One uses “society”, which makes for a smoother name
  • All of them use acronyms

Remember writing in MLA Style in school? The Modern Language Association is precisely where that comes from! This goes to show the power of a strong and memorable acronym.

Homeowners Associations

A homeowners association builds credibility when it has supportive policies, an easy-to-navigate HOA website and a name that’s simple and clean!

Here are a few examples to check out:

With the exception of Costa Pedasi, all of these homeowners association names follow the same format—and there’s nothing wrong with that! Members of HOAs don’t join because of the names, so leading with clarity is a great move.

However, Costa Pedasi calling itself an “Ocean Front Community” highlights the both communal aspect of the association, and the importance of the local ecosystem. This is a lovely touch!

Trade Associations

A trade association refers to an organization that serves businesses within a shared industry, business or sector. They tend to offer networking opportunities with fellow members, as well as information on the latest industry trends.

Their names typically have straightforward structure like:

Each of these trade associations has a different way of delivering its message through its organization name. For example, DERA and ACAMS focus more on their purpose than their location or specific industry, where the other three center location and industry.

Professional Associations

Where trade associations serve businesses, professional associations are designed for individuals working in a specific field. They typically offer educational resources and professional development opportunities.

Some professional organization examples of association names include:

Remember how we mentioned the power of a great acronym? SAFE is the perfect way to highlight both membership and mission with four simple letters.

Also, while CatVets isn’t an acronym, it’s a great shorthand for branding on the website and merch. This is an awesome example of how to get creative without losing clarity or professionalism!

Health Associations

Health associations exist for healthcare providers and researchers all across the medical industry. They primarily provide networking, educational and professional development opportunities for members.

A few examples of associations in the medical field include:

Societies, academies, associations—each word comes with its own connotations! “Societies” tend to sound a bit more exclusive, and “academies” are used for organizations that specialize in educational resources.

Teacher Associations

Similar to health associations, teacher associations are designed to provide networking and professional development opportunities to all sorts of educators.

A few association names for educational organizations include:

MTNA and SALT stand out on this list by starting with a letter other than “A”. Considering how many organizations lead with the word “association”, this might be a great cue to follow.

SALT is also a fabulous acronym because it spells out a real word, which makes it memorable—and while AAPT has two A’s instead of one, it has a similar effect!

Alumni Associations

Alumni associations typically follow the format of “University Name + Alumni Association”, but there are definitely some ways to step outside the box.

Here are a few examples of alumni association names:

The most creative name here by FAR is the Texas Exes! It’s funny, it rhymes and it calls back to the joy of attending university. This is an awesome example of the stand-out power of cool association names.

CAA is another notable name on this list. While CCA is mostly tied to UC Berkeley, the name connects alumni from all of the universities under the University of California umbrella.

Choosing the Perfect Association Name

We hope these tips and association name examples have helped you get the gears turning! With a few specifics in mind and a sprinkling of creativity, you’re sure to create a name that’ll bring in all sorts of new members.

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