#NGOs + Gov. + Businesses = #Collaborative; #2030NOW #SocialGood Summit

 

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[photo by Mashable]

The theme of this year’s Social Good Summit (SGS) is:

Big Ideas + New Media = Innovative Solutions; #2030NOW.

Why #2030NOW and not #2013? SGS is calling for long-term thinking about ways that new media and technology can be used to solve the world’s leading challenges. The idea is that long-term thinking will lead to long-term solutions that have a positive impact on future generations and ultimately make the world a better place.

SGS is organized by some of the worlds leading organizations in international affairs, philanthropy, technology, and social good: the United Nations Foundation, 92Y, Mashable, Ericsson, UNDP, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This event is not only an opportunity to unite people that are passionate about the digital social space, technology, and sharing information; SGS turns global leaders into global listeners, and it encourages important dialogue that we as a global community can take and translate into action.

578503_10151745210219457_2029167989_n[photo by Public Interest Registry]

The SGS is taking place at 92Y in NYC during UN week; however, +SocialGood and the United Nations Development Programme have worked to spread the SGS to over 120 countries through Meetups and Livestreams, where people all over the world have been able to tune into the one of the largest and most vital conversations happening on Earth.

The map below shows the distribution of Meetups that have taken place internationally in conjunction with the SGS:

social-good-summit-meetups[photo by Mashable]

The past three days have (without a doubt) been extremely rich in content, covering global issues, discussing existing and emerging technology that could be used to transform the condition of today’s world for the better by 2030. Here are a few soundbytes:

  • We need to think higher, feel deeper, and make sure that those who are not connected gain access to new ideas, technology and opportunities.
  • “It is a hope that someday 7 year old girls will say, “Mama, I hear people used to be poor in Africa. What was that like?” – Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under Secretary-General & Executive Director of UN Women
  • “The cost of inaction is starting to outweigh the cost of action.” – Paul Polman, Unilever
  • “Think about how to engage the unengaged by telling them real stories that make them want to change their own behavior.” – Ben Keesey, CEO of Invisible Children
  • All human beings have equal and inherent value; we are a global community.
  • “It’s not enough to connect. We have to connect on behalf of change for everyone.” – Melinda Gates, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Change thoughts in order to change feelings; change feelings in order to change behavior.
  • Impact investing; use your entrepreneurial spirit to address social challenges.
  • “You shouldn’t be able to report about Syria without reporting how we can help Syria.” – David Darg, RYOT
  • Volunteering allows people to contribute their own talents to a given cause or mission.
  • Strangulation of regulation; we need to tailor policies to actually fit the needs of people. We can’t provide a solution if we don’t know the root of the problem.
  • “Without peace, there’s no development. Without development, there’s no peace.” – Jan Eliasson, Deputy Security General of the United Nations
  • If we define the future today, we declare our responsibility to take action toward making that future a reality.

The speakers and panels at this year’s SGS have been incredibly insightful and inspirational. Of all the sessions that have taken place thus far, one topic of discussion seemingly continued to surface and it really resonated with Public Interest Registry and our own initiatives. A number of speakers over the past 3 days have expressed the notion of global collaboration between governments, businesses, civil society, the independent sector, research, and science. With the SGS’s theme in mind, the frequented call to action has been to develop a platform that would allow each of these sectors to interact, communicate, and work with one another toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Collaboration. Collaboration! #Collaboration

While sitting in the audience, our team is beaming inside and out because we have been working on a digital platform that is directly in line with what these passionate people are envisioning in a 2030 world. Public Interest Registry – the longstanding operator of the .ORG domain name extension – will soon be launching a dual initiative to empower global Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) by connecting them to governments, businesses and potential partnerships in a single online space.

The first dynamic of our initiative is to launch 2 new domain extensions: .NGO and .ONG (the translated equivalent of NGO in Romance languages). These domain names will be “closed”, meaning that in order to obtain them, you will have to be validated as an NGO/ONG; they will only be available exclusively to these organizations in the effort to highlight credibility and maximize brand recognition.

The second dynamic of Public Interest Registry’s initiative is to build an online NGO directory that essentially functions as a “Facebook for NGOs.” When organizations register their .NGO/.ONG domain names, they are automatically entered into the directory and gain access to communication with government and business contacts. Our goal is to bridge the gap between sectors, prompt discussions and partnerships that will ultimately help NGOs become more sustainable, and encourage collaboration as a means to a well-defined 2030 (and beyond) world.

Here’s an infographic that explains how it works:

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This is Public Interest Registry’s first year of attendance to the SGS, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to engage in conversations about utilizing new media and technology to make the world a better place for all. That is truthfully a huge part of our mission and the purpose behind the .ORG and .NGO/.ONG domain extensions. It is our hope that .ORG continues to be an online space where people share their reason, their cause, or their crazy idea with the rest of the world; and that .NGO/.ONG effectively unite the independent sector with governments and businesses so that together, they can work toward #2030NOW.

Introducing .NGO/.ONG at @InsideNGO’s Annual Conference, Exclusively for the NGO Community

Last week, Public Interest Registry had the privilege to exhibit at this year’s annual InsideNGO conference in Washington, D.C. InsideNGO is a membership association that focuses on strengthening “inside” operational staff members and leadership in the international NGO sector; this particular event provides members of the NGO community with the opportunity to share strategies, solutions, policies and procedures with one another. This was Public Interest Registry’s first time attending, and we truly benefited from the experience.

Many if not most of today’s NGOs occupy the digital space by sharing their story and working for a cause through a .ORG website. As the longtime operator of the .ORG domain, it was inspirational for us to meet face-to-face with the members of some of the amazing organizations currently using .ORG to advance their mission. Still, we recognize that the biggest issues that these NGOs seem to face are money, resources and sustainability. With that being said, we were delighted to present a new offering to these members, an invaluable tool for NGOs across the world, that Public Interest Registry will soon make available: .NGO (.Non-governmental organization) and .ONG (the translated equivalent of .NGO for regions that speak romance languages) domains.

Expected to launch January 2015, .NGO/.ONG will be closed domains, accessible only for validated NGOs, and they will be offered as a bundle, meaning, a single registration includes both domains. Obtaining the .NGO/.ONG domains will also mean inclusion to our NGO Hub – an online community where NGOs can find and communicate with each other, donors, volunteers, and potential partners. Think of it like “a Facebook for NGOs” that will feature profile pages and the ability to search for NGOs by name, cause or region.

The feedback that we received from the conference attendees about .NGO/.ONG domains was positive and enthusiastic. Many wanted to know when and where they could sign up. Here are some of the most common questions we received at Inside NGO:

1)     I know .NGO is something my organization will want to utilize. What can I do now in preparation for the .NGO launch?

Answer: You can go to www.globalngo.org for the latest news and updates about .NGO/.ONG, and subscribe to our newsletter. At globalngo.org, you can also submit a free and unbinding Expression of Interest (EOI) for the .NGO/.ONG web address you desire.

2)     I’m on a .ORG website right now. Do I need to switch from my .ORG if I want to buy .NGO/.ONG?

Answer: We actually encourage NGOs to keep both web addresses. Here are a couple of reasons why:

  • To maintain brand equity. Since your organization has already invested in building a brand under .ORG, your supporters likely already recognize you as a .ORG, and we believe that there is great value to maintain and continue with this trusted recognition.
  • To increase brand awareness. 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. When people see the extension to the right of the dot in your organization’s web address, it will be understood that you have undergone a vetting process to attain this.
  • To secure your brand name. If another NGO has a name that is similar to yours, it will be important to distinguish yourself and minimize confusion from the consumer perspective.

3)     How much will .NGO/.ONG cost?

  • The price has not yet been finalized, however, if you sign up for our newsletter on globalngo.org, you’ll be one of the first to know when we release pricing information.

In fact, as we get closer to the launch of .NGO/.ONG we will certainly provide more updates including the development of the NGO portal through our monthly NGO newsletter. To sign up for this newsletter is highly encouraged.

Our ultimate goal is to reach as many NGOs across the globe as possible and create a place online for meaningful connections. Please, help us spread the word about .NGO/.ONG and share the guide below!

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You may also view this guide here: http://www.ngotld.org/files/NGOFlyer_Final.pdf

We would like to just give a quick thanks to InsideNGO for organizing this important annual event. We are very fond of the work that this organization does to help provide NGOs with more resources and opportunities. And thank you to everyone who stopped by to visit us in the exhibit hall! It was a pleasure meeting you all, and we look forward to connecting again soon in the future.

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 at SXSW Interactive Trade Show #737

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Those 3 little letters at the end of your website, to the right of the dot, what do they mean to you? Are they part of your brand? Part of your message? Do they evoke a sense of community and desire to unite people for a cause? If you answered yes to any of these questions, we want to hear from you. Come meet us at booth #737 during SXSW’s Interactive Trade Show!

Public Interest Registry operates the .ORG domain database, and is currently preparing to launch .NGO and .ONG in 2014. Our mission at SXSW is to bring awareness to Public Interest Registry; to inform the public that we are here to serve their interest by providing a means to create online communities, give a voice to their cause(s), and assure that the Public Interest Registry is a trustworthy resource.

We are extremely excited for the opportunity to participate at SXSW this year, and we feel very humbled to be amongst some of the most talented and creative minds that have traveled to Austin for the festival.

Public Interest Registry will be exhibiting booth #737 at this year’s interactive trade show at SXSW!

Support .NGO, A Public Interest Registry Initiative

Within a year new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) will be launched worldwide, joining the likes of .ORG, .COM, and .NET. Among the proposed new gTLDs is .NGO. .NGO will be the exclusive domain for local and global non-governmental organizations looking to advance their missions or to inspire their communities.

In preparation for the launch of .NGO/.ONG, visit ww.ngotld.org to submit your Expression of Interest (EOI) now!

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