By: Lauren Lao, Marketing Manager, Public Interest Registry
For many organizations—for-profit or not—choosing a domain extension that aligns with doing “good” in the world is a good decision. Trust is a cornerstone for any organization operating online, and in the business of domains, research shows that .ORG is trusted as THE place online where organizations and people gather to make a difference. There is a common misconception that you have to be a nonprofit to get a .ORG domain. The truth is .ORG is an open domain for anyone with a mission that serves many different types of organizations, as evidenced by the diverse makeup of its users.
With thousands of new and legacy domain name extensions available, it’s important to identify a domain that best aligns with your organization’s mission. As one of the original top-level domains, .ORG remains the third-largest, powering millions of voices and inspirations around the world for more than 30 years. With its reputation as a trusted source where diverse ideas can thrive and purpose-driven people and organizations can connect, aligning with .ORG can be a smart business decision.
Below are a few reasons why your organization can sleep soundly knowing that .ORG is the right choice for your website:
- .ORG is trusted – .ORG was the first place organizations and individuals who didn’t identify with the “commercial” nature of .COM or the “network” nature of .NET turned to build their online identity. By serving the specific needs of the noncommercial community over its 30 years, .ORG has cultivated a trusted reputation as a place where social good happens online. And this trust extends beyond nonprofits. For example, annual results of the Global Trends in Giving Report for 2018 show that donors trust websites and email addresses from the .ORG domain the most, with more than 68 percent of global donors indicating trust for .ORG over other domains. Trustworthiness also extends through safety and security of the domain. Public Interest Registry (PIR), the nonprofit organization that manages .ORG, not only ensures a secured technical operation for the domain, but also actively promotes education and addresses critical topics (like HTTPS and data breach prevention) that could affect their and their stakeholders’ safety online.
- You’re in good company – While .ORG is typically thought of as a domain for noncommercial entities, the domain has been and always will be an open domain for anyone dedicated to making a difference in the world. A wide variety of organizations, businesses, and individuals with a social good mission rely on .ORG. Affinity groups, arts and culture institutions, associations, educational institutions and resources, family groups, not-for-profits and social enterprises, public nonprofit news outlets, and even corporations with sustainability or Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives choose .ORG as their digital identity. The diversity of the domain supports many different communities seeking to make a positive impact on the world.
- Support a broader community – As part of its charter, PIR supports its parent organization the Internet Society (ISOC)—a nonprofit working to ensure the open development, evolution, and use of the internet for the benefit of people throughout the world. More than 50 percent of the proceeds from each .ORG domain contributes to keeping the internet open, free, and accessible to all. It may just be an added bonus, but your organization should feel proud that by choosing .ORG for your online presence, you’re supporting the safety and security of the broader internet community and helping to make the internet a better place for all.
When selecting an online home for yourself or your organization, be thoughtful about the selection of your domain and what value it brings to your mission. The right domain can be an asset to entities big or small. Don’t forget that those last three letters can serve as a powerful signal that your site serves a greater good rather than just a bottom line. Power your inspiration and connect your world with .ORG!
Lauren Lao is the Marketing Communications Manager at Public Interest Registry, the operator of the .ORG domain. With over 15 years of strategic marketing and business development experience, Lauren spends her days writing and her evenings reading about writing.