Currently, non-profit organizations use .org as their domain extensions when setting up their Internet presence. The group that manages .org domains is a non-profit, called the Public Interest Registry (PIR). To give non-profit organizations more options for domain names as well as options for being more specific with their domain names, the PIR has applied to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for two more domain extensions: .ngo and .ong. According to Mashable, the application is a part of ICANN's efforts to increase the number of domain extensions, Internet-wide, by 2013. The .org domain extension is currently the third most used domain extension in the world, following .com and .net in first and second place, respectively.
Domain extensions might soon include .ngo and .ong
The PIR wants to give non-goovernment organizations more options for their domain names and since, of course, there are differences between NGOs and non-profits, the domain extensions, .ngo and .ong should help them be more specific with their web addresses. .ong is essentially the same thing as .ngo, used in Spanish, Italian, French and other romance languages. Since NGO itself is a very well known three letter acronym, it only makes sense for it to be applied to web addresses.
.org is an open domain extension, which means that anybody can use it even if they are not a non-profit or an NGO. The PIR is specifying that the .ngo domain extension be a closed extension, which means that only non-profits and NGOs will be able to use it. Of course, there will be a verification process in place for users to register their domains with .ngo. Furthermore, the .ngo domain extension will not be mandatory for non-profits and NGOs to use, particularly the ones that currently use .org. The PIR will facilitate a smooth transition over from .org to .ngo for NGOs and non-profits, but if the organizations do not want to switch over, they don't have to.
The PIR is offering NGOs certain incentives to register with .ngo and .ong for their addresses. For one, the PIR plans to keep an open directory of organizations using the .ngo and .ong domain extensions, so they have more visibility and searchability. Furthermore, the PIR is planning an NGO community program where it will reinvest into the NGO community all the revenue that is gathered from .ngo and .ong domain extensions. The PIR will not know for certain when their application will be accepted or rejected, but they said that the latest they'll know will be January 2013. In the meanwhile, ICANN is releasing a list of 2100 domain extension applications submitted by the May 30th deadline. Some of these include .sport and .music.