What are these new domains, anyway?

Right now, if you’re a nonprofit, you probably use a .org domain. That “.org” part of the web address is called a Top-Level Domain or “TLD” for short. .com is the most-common example of a TLD. ((I’m including this technical acronym since it seems to be in use by many other people describing it.))

Now, there’s a new option for nonprofits: .ngo

Created by the Public Interest Registry, this new TLD—along with it’s romance-language counterpart .ong—stands for Non-Governmental Organization and is the common international name for nonprofits.

You may have heard about these two new domain options for your organization but it’s unclear to many people what the benefits and drawbacks of this domain are and whether you should take the plunge to buy them. To help you decide, I’ve got a three-post series coming. Today, let’s just review basics.

Understanding the new .NGO and .ONG Top-Level Domains

Your domain is an important source of branding that complements your website and overall organizational image. It’s often the one piece of information that you hope someone remembers so that they can continue interacting with your organization in the future.

The idea behind these new domains is that a TLD restricted to nonprofits will help make a memorable and trustworthy home for your organization’s website.

However, these domains also come with some other interesting benefits:

  1. All organizations must be social good organizations and are reviewed as part of the registration process. An .ngo domain isn’t available to just anyone but communicates something about the owner of the site.
  2. All owners of .ngo domains receive a profile page as part of the new OnGood network. This is a directory of international nonprofits, and your new profile will be among them.
  3. The OnGood network includes a built-in online donation tool that’s especially well-suited for international donations.

Intrigued? I know I am. Next week, I’ll take a look at what some of the online nonprofit leaders in the U.S. are saying about these domains, and then I’ll wrap up with own thoughts.

What Do You Think?

Have you heard about these domains? Do you have yours already?

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