One of the highest priorities for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is to establish trust with donors, supporters and volunteers — reassuring them that their money, time and efforts are being well spent.
A website is one of the best ways for an NGO to represent itself; it is where the organization can be discovered, accept donations, and engage its community. This can only work, however, if the website portrays the organization in a positive, transparent and effective way.
.NGO and .ONG domain names are designed to provide high-quality NGOs with the credibility they deserve. Only qualifying organizations are able to register them, so you know that any website with one of these domains represents a trustworthy institution.
.NGO and .ONG are new domain extensions exclusively available for verified nonprofits, NGOs and charities worldwide that are approved after going through a validation process – ensuring that they are genuine organizations. This essentially makes the domain extensions badges/certifications and guarantees that the websites are used only by trustworthy organizations.
While .NGO stands for non-governmental organization, .ONG holds the equivalent meaning in Romance Language-speaking regions of the world (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian). When you register your .NGO domain name, you will automatically receive the same domain with a .ONG extension (and vice versa). These domains are offered as a bundle to ensure that your organization’s branding will be protected in as many languages and locales as possible.
The .NGO and .ONG domains are operated by Public Interest Registry, the same organization that provides the .ORG domain name. It’s important to note that the biggest difference between .NGO and .ONG, and .ORG, is that the new domains have an associated verification process whereas .ORG is open to all individuals, organizations and for-profit businesses to register.
Getting a .NGO and .ONG domain name is a little bit different than the typical domain registration process. Not to worry, though; as long as you’re registering on behalf of a legitimate NGO then it’ll be easy.
Step 1: Register A .NGO or .ONG Domain
Go to your domain provider of choice (a.k.a. Hover!) and search for your preferred .NGO or .ONG domain. If it’s available, go ahead and register it. .NGO and .ONG are offered as a bundled deal, so registering one means you’ll automatically register the other as well. The price of both domains is included when purchasing either one.
Step 2: Pass The Validation Process
All .NGO and .ONG owners must be approved by Public Interest Registry in order to ensure that all organizations using that domain are true NGOs. Your organization will need to meet the following 7 criteria:
- Focused on acting in the public interest.
- Nonprofit-focused entities.
- Limited government influence.
- NGO staff/members are independent actors.
- Active organizations.
See PIR’s full registration policy.
In order to be properly evaluated, you’ll need to provide PIR with supporting documentation within 360 days of registering your domain. Options include government lists, corporate documents, tax records or anything else that clearly shows your charitable status or work in the community that you serve. Make sure not to skip this step; otherwise your domain will be deleted after 360 days and made available for anyone else to register!
Step 3: Set Up Your OnGood Profile
Your .NGO and .ONG domain includes an annual membership to OnGood, a community of fellow NGOs that is operated by PIR. OnGood is a great place to showcase your campaigns, share activities and information, and even collect donations. Any additional exposure that your organization gets can only be a good thing, so be sure not to skip this helpful — and, most importantly, free — resource!
Ready to get your own .NGO and .ONG domain? Check to see if the name you want is available at Hover!