Circle of Trust: What Your Web Address Says About Your Nonprofit

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NGOs in India and Social Media

Photo: By Beth Kanter


.ORG and .NGO, The Internet Sisters

It is amazing how many nonprofit sites don’t have the 501(c)(3) in the United States or other designations in other countries clearly marked somewhere on the donation page of their site. It really should be in the footer of every page. Not every donor is educated to find this information, except people who:

  • give as part of the culture they were brought up in;
  • give as a yearly tax-related habit; or,
  • are researching related to a sizable donation on behalf of a corporate or an estate

The .ORG found at the end of an Internet address has done a lot to help nonprofit organizations self-identify as an organization that has a mission to help others without a profit motive.

Public Interest Registry (PIR), who is a client of Zoetica, has been the manager of the .ORG Top Level Domain (TLD) for 25 years. PIR is a non-profit organization and does not gain financially from .ORG addresses. All income from domain names goes to the Internet Society (ISOC), which works to ensure the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world.

Keeping .NGO in Nonprofit Hands

PIR is now applying to ICANN to manage a second domain, .NGO and is seeking the support of the community it has served for so long. If they don’t get this new domain, it will most certainly be taken by others, and thus dilute the nonprofit community.

If you are  are a part of a nonprofit organization, you can sign a letter of support in just a few minutes, it costs nothing and ensures that this new nonprofit extension will stay that way.

Throughout the world, nonprofit organizations are more recognized as NGOs. An NGO is defined as an organization that pursues activities and provide services by creating awareness, social mobilization, training, research, project implementation/field operations and advocacy, in support of the public good, including but not limited to:

  • The promotion of human rights,
  • Relief of suffering,
  • Promoting the interests of the poor,
  • Protecting the environment,
  • Providing basic social services,
  • Supporting animal welfare and relief, and
  • Undertaking community development.

.NGO is not a replacement for .ORG. Instead, .NGO will provide a complementary venue for organizations to further protect their online brand by self-identifying as an NGO in an exclusive, trusted environment.

Increase Trust and Donations

This new extension, or TLD, will be a closed domain, meaning that It would be reserved for those organizations that are identified by the community as a nonprofit organization third -party validators (i.e. the UN, World Bank, Guidestar, etc).

This secure domain for nonprofits, managed by a nonprofit with the best interests of the community in mind, could even help increase donations as donors can be sure, just from looking at the extension, that an organization is indeed a nonprofit.

If you are a nonprofit, please click through and fill out the simple form below tp support PIR’s bid for .NGO, or ask your favorite nonprofit to sign the petition today.


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