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.

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