Economy


Exclusive Web domain for NGOs launched next year




Posted on August 20, 2014


A NEW DOMAIN exclusively for Web sites of nongovernment organizations (NGO) will be launched early next year.

Called .ngo, the domain shall be hosted by Public Interest Registry (PIR), an NGO itself that currently runs the .org domain. The domain was introduced to Philippine NGOs in a seminar held at the Asian Institute of Management Conference Center in Makati City yesterday.

“We’re pushing for the site to be open to the public by the middle of January next year,” PIR advisor Nick Thorne said in a separate interview after the seminar.

Interested NGOs may now express their intention to get a .ngo domain name by filling out the form at http://globalngo.org/discover/eoi/.

Those who express interest will receive updates leading to the Web site’s launch, and will be allowed to choose their domain names once .ngo enters its sunrise period in October.

In her presentation, PIR Board Member Ingrid Srinath said a group must meet PIR’s seven criteria in order to get a .ngo domain name: “focused on acting for the public good,” a nonprofit making entity, staffed by independent actors, have limited government influence, actively pursuing its causes, structured, and lawful. An NGO may name references and provide documentation to prove they meet the criteria.

Once the domain has been launched, PIR will regularly check if the NGOs are actively posting content on their Web site. Other NGOs may also call PIR’s attention should any bogus NGOs pop up on the portal, or if an NGO in the community fails to meet PIR’s criteria.

“We need this because there are NGOs that may start legitimate but end up with a nefarious purpose. And that’s why we need regular audits and community reviews,” Mr. Thorne said.

Signing up for a .ngo domain name also includes NGOs in PIR portal globalngo.org, which helps them connect with one another and other organizations looking to partner with NGOs.

“It’s like a Facebook for NGOs,” Ms. Srinath said.

There, registered NGOs have a profile page describing their cause and listing their contact details.

“There will also be a donations tab, so if you don’t have a donations tab on your Web site, this will be a way for you to raise funds,” Ms. Srinath added.

By getting a .ngo domain name she said an NGO establishes trust and gains visibility. “It’s also a way to raise funds,” she added. “And we’ll also collaborate to learn about NGO best practices, like what’s the best Twitter or how to deal with spam.”

“To get a .ngo is to belong to a community that helps you to be more accessible to organizations looking for you and it is an expression of solidarity with civil society,” she said. -- B.C.P. Balaoing