Reflection on UBM’s Business4Better

Last week, UBM held its 4th annual Business4Better event in London. This two-day conference is part of the company’s Community Engagement Series, which was founded in Brazil in 2009 and now also takes place in India and the United States. Business4Better “brings together not-for-profits, social enterprises, business leaders and corporate responsibility professionals to share, learn and connect.”

Thuy LeDinh of Public Interest Registry had the opportunity to attend B4B for the first time and witness how UBM has made this event, along with the rest of the Community Engagement Series, part of its personal commitment to operate as a responsible and sustainable business in its longterm effort to bring the voluntary and business sectors together.

There has been a growing trend for businesses to exercise their corporate social responsibility (CSR) through foundations, events, campaigns, specialty programs, and projects for various causes. What is inspiring about UBM is that they have truly begun facilitating their business based on the idea of improving society. UBM understands that the interconnectivity between sectors is vital for success in a future society.

For decades, we have recognized three main sectors: business, government, and independent. In the standard model the third sector has essentially been perceived and labeled as a third wheel because its consituents (not-for-profits, NGOs, NPOs, etc.) have not clearly defined a universal name to use, and do not have the same resources that businesses and governments have access to. The overarching problem with this model is that the three sectors rarely – if ever – seem to work together cohesively, simultaneously.

LeDinh reflects on a story that Lord Michael Hastings, KPMG International’s Global Head of Corporate Citizenship, shared in London:

On April 24, 2013, an eight-story building collaped in Bangladesh. This building, the Rana Plaza, contained apartments, a bank, a variety of other shops, and garment factories for some of the world’s largest apparel companies, such as H&M, Primark, and Walmart. Despite concerns and evacuation requests that Bangladeshi NGOs had voiced to employers about cracks in the building, workers were prompted to show up the next day. That very next morning, the building collapsed, trapping 3,122 workers inside. After 17 long days of digging through rubble, the death toll reached 1,127 people, and approximately 2,500 people rescued from the building alive were injured. Given that the majority of these workers were women that were single parents and/or sole providers for their families, the entire village of people was disrupted, and effectively destroyed.

After this horrific tragedy, some of the questions we are left asking are:

  • How do we prevent tragedies such as this from happening again?
  • What dialogue needs to happen? Between who?
  • Who will be held responsible for making sure that brands and businesses who set up international factories implement proper safety precautions and pass factory inspections?
  • How do we promote ethical working environments, and ultimately ethical consumerism?

In the case of the Bangladeshi factory collapse, it would have been advantageous for dialogue to occur between advocates on behalf of the workers, businesses, and government officials – to regulate safety measures before allowing people to work in the building. Communication must work both ways; if businesses and governments work together with the independent sector, they will likely have more effective and efficient results.

Like UBM, Public Interest Registry strongly believes in a new paradigm where businesses increase their interaction with government and members of the independent sector in order to develop strong relationships that will improve society. We feel that to make this happen, there is a need to go beyond a digital impact and aim to create interpersonal connections via civil partnerships.

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[Image taken from the World Economic Forum’s Report: The Future Role of Civil Society]

UBM is taking the first step toward trying to unite all three sectors; we would like to see this trend become a way of life across the globe.

Public Interest Registry will be offering .NGO, a new and exclusive domain extension representing “Non-governmental organization”, as a part of this initiative – to give NGOs around the world the opportunity to find and communicate with one another, with donors, and with potential business partners. The ultimate goal is to help NGOs build capacity and become sustainable while working towards improving society.

The .NGO domain is expected to launch in 2015. Its counterpart, .ONG – the acronym for .NGO used in Romance languages – will also become available to the public by Public Interest Registry at that time. To learn more information and submit an expression of interest for these domains, visit www.ngotld.org.

Domínio .ONG será chancela de credibilidade para ongs internacionais via @idgnow

Fonte Original: IDGNOW
Por Cristina De Luca
Publicada em 17/06/2013 10:00

Grande parte das organizações não governamentais sem fins lucrativos, sobretudo em mercados emergentes, se depara com o obstáculo de provar sua legitimidade, principalmente na internet, onde as ações de crowdfunding e campanhas de arrecadação de fundos através de doações voluntárias.

Pensando nisso, a Public Interest Registry (PIR), desde 2003 gestora do domínio .ORG – são mais de 10 milhões de sites – viu na recente leva de expansão de domínios genéricos de primeiro nível da internet uma oportunidade para solicitar a criação dos domínios .ONG/.NGO, e expandir sua atuação, garantindo às organizações do terceiro setor, uma presença online “certificada”.

“Ao saber da expansão, pensamos em criar formatos que pudessem beneficiar as organizações sem fins lucrativos, nossas clientes ou não, e outras tantas ongs que hoje encontram dificuldade em ter uma presença global na rede, por seu tamanho ou ou por sua atuação local”, diz Link Nancy Gofus, ex-executiva da Verizon que, desde 2012, dirige as operações da PIR.

A ideia foi atrelar a concessão dos registros .ONG/.NGO (sim, ao registrar um, a entidade receberá automaticamente o outro) a um rigoroso processo de validação da organização sem fins lucrativos, no contexto local e global. Só ongs legítimas, filantrópicas e de interesse público, sem nenhum foco comercial, terão o registro. “Vamos atestar que a organização é de fato sem fins lucrativos, sem foco comercial e político, é independente e segue as leis do país onde opera”, diz Nancy.

“Além da questão da credibilidade, muitas dessas organizações enfrentam problemas para serem achadas na rede”, prossegue Nancy. Por isso, os registros .ONG/.GNO contarão com uma espécie de catálogo online _ uma espécie de páginas amarelas com um pequeno perfil com informações sobre o seu trabalho e links para mídias sociais _ onde as organizações sem fins lucrativos poderão expor seus trabalhos, suas campanhas para arrecadação de donativos e recursos, trocar informações e experiências com outras ongs de atuação similar em diversos países.

“Vamos construir o primeiro diretório global de ONGs. Esperamos que essa iniciativa mude o uso da internet para aqueles que estão mudando o mundo. A torne mais útil”, afirma Nancy, lembrando que muitas ongs não têm nenhuma presença na internet. O catálogo daria a elas uma página na internet, antes mesmo que terem condições de criarem seus próprios sites.

A intenção, portanto, é proporcionar às ongs um local seguro e confiável que lhes permita aumentar as oportunidades de engajamento, consciência e financiamento.

No catálogo, as ongs serão catalogadas por causa defendida, país, e região entre outros critérios que facilitem a busca. E terão acesso a ferramentas para o recebimento de doações através da página do seu perfil no catálogo. Outros serviços adicionais irão acompanhar os novos domínios. A intenção da PIR é a de , durante os três primeiros anos de operação, reverter parte da renda  com os registros para a oferta de projetos educacionais e ferramentas online focadas na expansão do conhecimento e capacitação das entidades no uso da internet.

Trabalho já começou
Embora a expectativa da PIR seja a de os novos domínios só estejam disponíveis em 2014, em função do longo e moroso processo de autorização da Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), entidades que desejem ter o registro dod domínios .ONG/.OGN já podem entrar no site da PIR e manifestar seu interesse.

O envio dessa manifestação coloca as ongs no radar da PIR, que pode já iniciar o processo de validação, e as permite estarem permanentemente informadas sobre o desenvolvimento de todos os processos de lançamento dos domínios.

“O Brasil já é o terceiro país em quantidade de organizações interessadas, atrás de EUA e Índia”, comenta Nancy, que visitou o país no início do mês para conversar com entidades brasileiras a respeito da iniciativa.

A muitas delas, Nancy explicou que os registros .ONG/.OGN são complementares ao registro .ORG.BR e até mesmo ao registro .ORG, embora muitas das mais de 10 milhões de organizações com o registro .ORG não preenchem os requisitos para terem os novos registros.

“É evidente que o Google.org não é uma organização sem fins lucrativos”, afirma Nancy, dando uma dimensão do quão rigoroso o processo de validação será.

“Há uma mistura grande de organizações que utilizam o .ORG. Há ongs, mas há também entidades de responsabilidade social de empresas privadas, clubes esportivos, associações comunitárias, igrejas”, diz Nancy.

No Brasil, o registro do domínio .ORG.BR já exige a apresentação de documentação que comprove a natureza da instituição não governamental sem fins lucrativos, de acordo com a legislação brasileira, e o CNPJ. Nos casos em que a instituição é um consulado ou uma embaixada, a exigência do CNPJ é dispensada. Até o momento, foram concedidos pelo Registro.br 47.659 registros .ORG.BR.

Como o Resgistro.br, a PIR é uma organização sem fins lucrativos. Nos últimos 2 anos (entre 2010 e 2012) viu os registros .ORG crescerem 47% na Ásia/Oceania, 25% na América Latina e 23% na África.

A atuação internacional deverá crescer ainda mais a partir disponibilidades dos domínios .ONG/.NGO. No Brasil,o domínio .ORG está disponível através de revendas de domínio e registradores autorizados. O mesmo deverá ocorrer com os novos domínios, embora a intenção da PIR seja contar com conselhos locais na tarefa de validação das ongs.

Online Giving in Times of Tragedy: Avoiding Charity Scams and Donating Safely

Original Source: Huffington Post

Contributed by Nancy Gofus, COO of Public Interest Registry

When tragedy strikes, the human spirit doesn’t falter. As witnessed with recent events including the Boston Marathon bombings, the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, the garment factory building collapse Bangladesh, and the tornado devastation in Oklahoma, individuals and organizations emerge within those communities and across the world eager to lend a hand to those affected.

The Internet has helped make global giving and worldwide support possible. For example, when Japan was struck by a devastating tsunami in March 2011, SXSW conference organizers on the other side of the world in Austin, Texas created an online donation site, SXSW4Japan.org, hoping to raise $10,000, instead they raised nearly $130,000 from event attendees in just a matter of days. When the country felt the loss of an eight year old boy killed in the Boston Marathon attacks, they found comfort knowing that making a small donation online at richardfamilyfund.org might help his injured family members recover.

As the not-for-profit operator of the .ORG domain, Public Interest Registry has witnessed millions turn to the Internet to find ways to help and enable others to give in times of tragedy. Unfortunately, while many set out to make a difference, there are some who attempt to make a profit – creating online scams by developing websites that provide false information, pocket contributor donations or redirect to other non-related websites.

The Internet was created to be a collaborative tool, open to all, for the benefit of people throughout the world. Unfortunately, sometimes the potential for good cannot negate the instances of abuse that do occasionally occur. But the good is there, it always is, and by educating yourself on what to look for and what to avoid, you can find trustworthy online resources and make contributions that may have a profound impact.

If you are considering making an online donation, here are five things you should consider:

1. Confirm the organization’s validity first 
Do your homework and review the credentials of an organization before making a donation. Websites like charitynavigator.orgbbb.org, and guidestar.org evaluate U.S. based charities and provide information on their practices which may help you make a decision about where to give.

2. Investigate how your donation will be used
Disaster relief exists in many different forms. Some charities focus on rescue efforts and medical needs while others provide food and supplies. All are important, but consider selecting a charity whose efforts most resonate with you. With that in mind, some organizations allow you to designate your contribution to a specific fund or effort. Consider telling the charity exactly how you would like your contribution to be used.

3. Be wary of stories and appeals communicated via exclusively through social media
Many people turn to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to share news and get information about disasters and relief efforts, but as the content is typically not validated, be cautious of your resources. Faux images and stories have been known to go viral. At times, these posts simply misinform readers, but other times they are posted with requests for donations going to an unknown source. Research before clicking the donation link – verify the story and the supporting organization.

4. Research crowdfunding websites
Online fundraising platforms, or “crowdfunding” websites, allow users to collect donations online to support a given cause, such as the richardfamilyfund.org donation site mentioned above. 100 percent of the funds collected through this website will be disbursed to the Richards family. This is a great way for individuals to raise funds to support the issues that matter to them, but there is no way for the platform providers to guarantee information provided on donation pages is correct, or verify that all funds raised will go to the end recipient or organization. You should only donate to people and crowdfunding pages you know and trust.

5. Make your donation through a secure website
Before you click the “donate” button, make sure the transaction is secure. Online transactions are at risk of being intercepted by hackers and identity thieves without a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate. One way to tell if a website is secure is by looking at the URL. If there is a secure connection, the URL should begin “https” meaning that sensitive information like credit card numbers will be encrypted before being sent over the server.

We at Public Interest Registry understand the importance of having an online platform to advocate and promote a cause, and to turn to for information. In a survey we recently conducted through ORC International to measure the level of trust consumers have in online resources, 82 percent of respondents said that an organization’s website is the most trustworthy place to get information on a charity or social cause. We could not agree more. That’s why we are committed to helping to maintain the integrity of the Internet by providing a trusted place online for organizations and individuals to mobilize their audiences for the common good.

If you are looking for a way to contribute, below are a few .ORGs that are promoting the common good and making a difference in light of these recent tragedies:

  • Boston Marathon Disaster Relief: The One Fund Boston –www.onefundboston.org
  • West, Texas Explosion Relief: The West, Texas Disaster Relief Efforts Fund –www.wacofoundation.org
  • Bangladesh Building Collapse Relief: The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) – www.ifrc.org
  • Oklahoma Disaster Relief: OK Strong Disaster Relief Fund –www.unitedwayokc.org
FOLLOW IMPACT

Public Interest Registry’s (NGO) InterAction

This week, Public Interest Registry exhibited at InterAction’s annual forum held in Washington, DC to promote .ORG and two new domain extensions that we intend to launch by mid-2014 — .NGO and .ONG (the .NGO equivalent for Spanish, Italian, French and other Romance languages). To say the very least, we were extremely pleased with the turnout of the conference.

InterAction is a wonderful organization (in its 29th year) that encourages individuals from public, private, and NGO sectors to engage, learn, and build together; to address shared challenges related to human rights, philanthropy, relief, education, and health; to develop solutions that will improve quality of life for people of the globe; and to work toward making Earth more sustainable.

There were a few things that really stuck out to us at this particular conference:

  • Practically everyone who attended and/or exhibited at InterAction were already affiliated with organizations that use a .ORG website to promote themselves online. Those who have a .ORG address told us that they purposely chose this domain extension to let people know that they are part of a trusted, nonprofit community, and it’s a place to tell their stories and promote their cause(s). They like being a part of the .ORG family 🙂
  • Many of these same individuals did in fact identify themselves as part of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). So, when they saw our .NGO/.ONG banner, the concept of NGO as a domain extension instantly clicked and they wanted it…badly! One comment that we received was, “Why hasn’t someone come up with this sooner?!”
  • We were reminded that NGOs need a lot support at a grassroots level. We highly value our engagement with this group to better understand what they need from their local perspective. .
  • One tool that stood out for us at this conference was the NGO Aid Map, which allows you to explore and learn about NGO projects taking place all around the world, to find new NGO partners, and to download and analyze open data associated with international aid and InterAction’s members. We think that this well serve as a great reference tool for the community.

Not surprisingly, there was one common question that many of the attendees had: Do we have to switch from .ORG to .NGO? The answer to this is NO! In fact, we encourage (validated) NGOs to have both domain names active for a couple of reasons:

  • Maintain brand equity. Since your organization has already invested in building a brand under .ORG, there is no reason to eliminate this extremely valuable equity. Your supporters already recognize you as a .ORG, and we believe that there is great value to maintain and continue this trusted recognition.
  • Increase brand equity. Because .NGO/.ONG is a validated domain; it would be advantageous to use this extension to show the world that your organization is a validated NGO.
  • In addition, by having a .NGO/.ONG domain address, you can enter yourself into Public Interest Registry’s online directory of NGOs. You will be part of an online portal — think of this as a community hub for NGOs — that not only allows NGOs to find one another (by name, region, cause) and communicate about important issues, but it will also allow you to be more easily found by donors and volunteers. We truly hope to see that the fruition of our labor with this online space turns into elevated awareness of NGOs and their important work throughout the world.

We are still several months away from launching .NGO and .ONG; however, now is the time for NGOs to really start paying attention to what is happening on the Internet. The future is a digital world and we believe .NGO/.ONG will play a big part in this community.

If you or someone you know is affiliated with an NGO, please encourage them to visit http://www.ngotld.org for more information about .NGO/.ONG and, equally important, submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for their own domain(s).

A big thank you to InterAction for allowing Public Interest Registry to exhibit at their event, and also to the volunteers that helped make the conference such a great experience. We cannot wait to launch our new domains in 2014.

Sincerely,

The Public Interest Registry Team

South by (South) Reflections

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SXSW 2013 has officially come to a close. Participants from the festival are still recuperating from the travel edured, 6th Street, and of course their participation in panels, shows, and exhibits; Austinites are happy to see everyone vacate until next year despite the level of weird(ness) captured in Austin over the past 2 weeks.

The Public Interest Registry was fortunate enough to participate in this year’s Interactive Trade Show for the very first time. Although our 22-person company seemed like a tadpole in a vast sea, we felt right at home amongst the other entrepreneurs, creatives, artists, and tech geeks that congregated in this one place to share products, developments and forward-thinking visions.

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Our main goals at SXSW were:

  • To let people know who the Public Interest Registry is,
  • Showcase our first .ORG film, Digital Citizen,
  • Collect and curate new .ORG stories from SXSW attendees, and
  • To promote the .NGO domain extension that is expected to launch by 2014.

After having time to reflect on everything that happened last week, we realized that we did everything we hoped to and more. The Public Interest Registry (although a behind-the-scenes persona) prides itself as the operator of the .ORG database, serving the public interest and empowering online communities.

At SXSW, we were able to speak face to face with people who have experienced all sorts of trials and tribulations, which in turn has inspired them to put forth their efforts into specific causes in hopes of attaining a positive outcome for generations to come. This was an experience for us in itself because the stories behind each ORG was/is personal, and the people behind them are extremely passionate about being a part of something bigger and making a difference in other peoples’ lives. This resonates with us, the Public Interest Registry, to our core. We are here to understand your humble beginnings, and to offer a voice to your cause with three simple letters to the right of the dot: ORG.

We did in fact demonstrate that the .ORG platform has successfully connected communities of people through our short film, the Digital Citizen. While this documentary specifically highlights Wikipedia, Craigslist, Occupy Wallstreet, and SXSW4Japan, we explained that .ORGs are a powerful means to serve the public interest — through activism, fundraising and donations, civil rights, sports and recreation, health, religion, politics, and beyond. In turn, we asked those who visited our booth to share their own .ORG websites with us so that we could collect more stories for our next .ORG film.

To give you an idea of what we discovered, here are a few brief examples:

  • www.ecaware.org – Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association (ECAA)
    We met a young (twenty-something) man named Chris who survived turlock esophageal cancer as a teenager. Since his experience of overcoming terrifying odds, he has devoted himself to supporting the research and care for other esophageal cancer patients.
  • www.illegalart.org – Illegal Art (Rest assured, nothing about the art is actually illegal!)
    Another young man named Otis shared his artwork with us. He explained that each project carries a central theme; no artwork is complete until the public has contributed to its message. Otis actually gave us a live example at the Interactive Trade Show to preview:

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“From the refrigerator to the computer screen, from the purse to the bedroom door, to-do lists, commands, reminders, mantras and more have graced these tiny 3×3 inch squares all over the globe.”

  • www.oneflaginspace.org
    The mission is to send astronauts to outer space and promote the use of the “Blue Marble” aka the Earth as a symbol of world unity in space exploration. In 1972, the blue marble became the first complete picture of Earth taken from space by humans; thus, a universal message for the benefit of humanity as a whole, as opposed to independent nations across the globe, would in itself be another milestone in space exploration.

BlueMarble

  • www.growyourbase.org – Grow Your Base (Supported by Salsa)
    This is an online platform that specifically teaches nonprofits how to leverage online channels for their mission(s) — using email, social media and mobile applications to maximize outreach and support.

…These were only 4 of the 150+ .ORGs and stories that we learned about at SXSW. We cannot wait to see what else we find! If you or someone that you know has a .ORG story, please share it with us because we want to help your story be heard.

Also, if you are affiliated with a nonprofit, you may qualify for a .NGO domain extension. The Public Interest Registry anticipates launching this new domain by 2014, and there will be a validation process, which will be the main difference between .NGO and .ORG. For more information, and to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for your own .NGO domain, please visit http://www.ngotld.org

Sincerely,

The Public Interest Registry Team

Until next time, Austin…

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Share Your .ORG Story, Help Direct Our Next Film!

Are you affiliated with an organization or cause? Do you use the .ORG domain extension in a creative or interesting way? If you answered yes to both of these questions, we want to help you share your .ORG story!

Public Interest Registry is now accepting (short) film submissions from individuals, teams, foundations, and organizations that have put forth effort towards a cause using a .ORG domain to gain support and make some traction within their community. In addition to video clips, we are open to alternative artistic forms of story telling. We are particularly interested to see how your .ORG has created connections between you, the people you work with, and your supporters; how has the experience has affected you and everyone involved, and what you have learned as an active member of society? This is an opportunity to have FUN, be CREATIVE, and show us why your cause and efforts deserve recognition!

To learn more about the submission contest, please view the terms and conditions by clicking on the image below:

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Please send all submissions to http://www.whyichose.org/story