FAQ

What is the definition of an NGO?

NGO stands for non-governmental organization. NGOs are organizations whose mission and activities are broadly centered on improving the human condition and are non-governmental, non-profit and non-criminal.

Who is Digital Empowerment Initiative for Eastern Africa (DEIEA)?

Digital Empowerment Initiative for Eastern Africa (DEIEA) is a not for profit registered civil society organisation started by technologists and Tech community to empower communities and NGOs in the effective use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and work towards increasing access to internet in Eastern Africa.

Who is Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF)?

Headquartered in New Delhi, Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) is a non-for-profit organization, registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, which works to find solutions to bridge the digital divide. DEF’s mission is to empower the under-served communities and create information-empowered societies.

Who is Public Interest Registry, and why is Public Interest Registry qualified to operate the .ngo domains?

Public Interest Registry is a not-for-profit organization based in Reston, Virginia that was created by the Internet Society (ISOC).

Public Interest Registry is experienced in running a stable, trusted registry and has managed the .org domain for the international non-commercial community for more than a decade. With .ngo, we are taking our mission of serving the public interest a step further, by empowering NGOs around the world with an online platform created specifically for NGOs to help them advance their causes.

What are the differences between .org and .ngo?

.org is one of the original three top-level Internet domains, first established in 1985. From the beginning, .org has been an open domain that anyone – whether you are an individual, not-for-profit, social enterprise or corporation – can register to engage with their community. Moving forward, .org will continue to serve as an open domain that gives a voice to causes, passions and ideas.
.ngo on the other hand, is domain exclusively for validated NGOs. They are designed specifically to help NGOs build their online presence and establish trust and credibility as genuine members of the global NGO community. .ngo domain holders will have their organization included in a searchable Directory that includes a customizable online profile, enabling each organization to showcase their cause and communicate with partners, funders and the public. Importantly, this profile can include links to social media and the ability to collect donations, along with links to the website(s) that these organizations can build using their .ngo domain names.
As .ngo will be top-level domains serving only the NGO community, there will be a validation process associated with registration to ensure that only genuine NGOs are granted .ngo addresses and are included in the Directory.

Why should organizations add or switch to a .ngo domain name? What is the benefit?

The new .ngo domains will help identify and distinguish non-governmental organizations as validated NGOs within the crowded digital world, providing immediate recognition for these organizations. Ultimately, these domain names will offer NGOs credibility as members of the global .ngo community and a stronger online brand identity.
Beyond this validation, .ngo domain holders will have their organizations included in an exclusive, searchable Directory, which includes a customizable online profile for their organization. This profile will help them promote their organizations to potential donors and partners, find and share information with other NGOs across the globe, interact with like-minded organizations and collect donations online to support their causes.

Who qualifies for a .ngo domain?

Public Interest Registry has worked closely with the global NGO community to develop a validation process for NGOs seeking to purchase .ngo domains. For the purpose of validation, we use seven criteria to define an NGO:

Focused on acting in the public interest. Members of the NGO community work for the good of humankind and/or the preservation of the planet and do not promote discrimination or bigotry.
Non-profit making/non-profit-focused entities. Members of the NGO community do not recognize profits or retain earnings.
Limited government influence. Members decide their own policies and activities and are independent of direct government or political control.

NGO staff/members are independent actors. Members of the NGO community should not be parts of political parties, and participation in the NGO must be voluntary.
Active Organizations. Members of the NGO community are actively and regularly pursuing their missions.
Structured. Members of the NGO community operate in a structured manner.
Lawful. Members of the NGO community act with integrity within the bounds of law.

If an NGO that runs its website on .ngo violates any of the eligibility criteria or domain terms of use, what can and will Public Interest Registry do?

Following the .ngo community guidelines, Public Interest Registry will assess the situation and work closely with the registrar and domain holder to address the issues in question. If necessary, Public Interest Registry will suspend the .ngo domain. As with the .org domain space, any domain that uses a .ngo domain to conduct criminal or non-compliant activities is subject to our anti-abuse procedures and may be suspended in keeping with policy.

What is the .ngo Portal and what does it include?

The .ngo Portal is the website that provides access to the NGO Directory and organization profile pages, through which NGOs can attract partners and potential donors. It is also a tool which will enable to contributors and funders to find causes they are interested in supporting.

Does Public Interest Registry verify the information included in the Directory?

Similar to Facebook and other online communities, each .ngo community member controls their own profile page and the information about their organization that is included in the Directory. They are free to include as much or as little information as they would like.

Are people more likely to fund to a validated domain like .ngo ?

In a recent survey conducted in the US by Harris Interactive on behalf of Public Interest Registry, two thirds of respondents claimed they would be more likely to donate to a site with a validated domain name. The survey also found that 80% felt that .ngo would be a welcome domain and serve a recognized community.

You said that your validation process would help prevent fraud – what kind of charity scams are happening?

Sadly, there are a number of people who are trying to use the web in ways that hurt the global NGO community. Most charity scams can be broken down into three categories:
1. Fake sites– Where money collected does not go to a charity at all, but is pocketed by the scammers.
2. Skimmers/Non-Contributors – Where money from donations is taken off the top, often without the knowledge of the contributor.
3. Phishers – Where contributor data is captured without the consent of the contributor and resold (or used to make purchases).
In establishing .ngo closed domains requiring validation, Public Interest Registry is working hard to help reduce and eliminate these types of fraudulent activities.

Do you believe the domain name is still important, with the move to mobile and a heavier reliance on apps?

A recent survey conducted by Public Interest Registry confirmed that 81% of people still think an organization’s website is the most trustworthy place to get information on a charity or social cause, Search engines like Google already have mechanisms in place to account for multiple domain names, ensuring that the most relevant content is displayed in search results.

Can .ngo domains be monetized?

The following use and content limitations apply for registrants:
• Overall the .NGO domain name must be for a bona fide NGO use
• Websites must be developed with the intent to promote the corresponding NGOs existing mission and activities, and not solely for commercialized or for-profit marketing usage.
• Any use of the registered domain name to engage in activities inconsistent with the definition of the corresponding NGO is not allowed.