Registration for websites with the domains dot-ngo and dot-ong opens to all nonprofits today, and interest is building, said Brian Cute, chief executive of Public Interest Registry, which manages web domains for nonprofits.
"We’re really pleased with the uptick we’re seeing so far," he said.
NGO stands for nongovernmental organization, while ONG is commonly used in France, Italy, and elsewhere. Mr. Cute estimates the domains will cost around $50 a year, which is the price on 101Domain.com. UnitedDomains.com is selling them for $59.
Hundreds of nonprofits already claimed new territory during two limited-registration periods. The first, which started March 17, allowed nonprofits that had registered phrases with the Trademark Clearinghouse, a database intended to protect organizations’ intellectual property, to apply for domain names that matched their trademarks. During the second, organizations were able to submit "expressions of interest" to get early access to their preferred web addresses.
Nonprofits that have already signed up include the Water Project, Habitat for Humanity International, and Wildlife Conservation Society, Mr. Cute said.
All groups that buy new domains are eligible to create profile pages on Public Interest Registry’s new online nonprofit directory, OnGood, where they can accept online donations and find out about running successful social-media campaigns and other topics.
Mr. Cute hopes OnGood will help donors find nonprofits doing work they want to support.
"It’s simple, clean, it’s very easy for the Internet user," he said. "Say you’re sitting at home and you want to help, but you don’t know how to focus your dollars. That will allow you to do a quick search."
Read our recent coverage of the new domains.