Public Interest Registry (PIR) has become the first gTLD registry to undergo a human rights assessment with ARTICLE 19 and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) collaborating to guide the .org registry in its human rights efforts. The report was largely positive, finding PIR’s “policies and operational procedures respected human rights so they cause few negative impacts.”
It’s been an interesting year for Public Interest Registry, the .org operator. For months following the announcement of the proposed takeover by Ethos Capital there was intense debate as to whether it should go ahead. After many months of deliberations, ICANN rejected the takeover and PIR is back to where it was before Ethos made its bid: intent on becoming an even better registry, focussing on quality registrations and growing in its global markets in a more meaningful way.
Public Interest Registry published their 2018 annual report Thursday, highlighting what for them was a âsolid year for .org, from exceeding financial goals to continuing to grow a strong user base with high renewal rates. These results are a direct reflection of PIRâs commitment to promoting quality domains in the .org base.â For 2019, the .org registry is âputting an even greater focus on combating abuse and making significant investments in education and outreach initiatives.â
It was a year that saw domain names under management for .org drop to 10.3 million at the end of 2018 from 10.4 million at the end of 2017. Renewals though increased by 100,000 from 6.7m to 6.8m while the renewal percentage increased from 75.7% to 77.4%.
But .org wasnât the only top-level domain in the top 10 by registration numbers to drop with .de and .uk also dropping by around 100,000 according to Verisignâs Domain Name Industry Brief, but .net (500,000) and .ru (400,000) dropped even further while .info dropped from being the eighth largest TLD with 6.4 million registrations to sliding out of the top 10 meaning their registration count was somewhere below 4.8 million registrations which is what the tenth largest TLD (.tw) had at the end of 2018.
As the annual report notes, they are challenging times with there now being 1,250 gTLDs including PIRâs .ong and .ngo and 4 others, currently with just shy of 8,000 registrations, compared to the 6 when .org was created in 1984.
Financially 2018 was a year in which PIR note they exceeded their financial goals with net bookings growing $1.1m to 93.0m and operating income jumping $7.0m to $45.9m. For 2018 mid-year PIR made some âboldâ business decisions, that led to a strong financial performance, and results specifically reflecting an ongoing commitment to high ethical standards. Mid-year also saw a realignment of marketing incentives a renewed focus on the quality (not just the quantity) of .org registrations. The .org Community grew as the result of this change. There were more quality registrations and more users. This led to significant contributions toward Internet Societyâs work for an open, globally-connected, secure and trustworthy Internet for everyone.
Other achievements in 2018 highlighted in the report were reorganising the management structure to align with strategic priorities, sharpening efforts to further improve the quality of the .org base, maintaining the robust .org renewal rates, and producing strong financial results in support of the Internet Society and their work to keep the Internet free and open for all. The report also details PIRâs plans for 2019, which include initiatives aligned with PIRâs mission to help educate those who are making a difference in their communities through the power of .org.
In 2019, PIR is building upon these efforts through the launch of the Quality Performance Index (QPI) initiative, which helps reward those registrars who are growing and maintaining trust in the .org domain while identifying areas of improvement for registrars when it comes to online trust.
The Report also details PIRâs robust anti-abuse program, its policy and privacy initiatives, and expanding education and outreach efforts. For 2019, PIR is putting an even greater focus on combating abuse online and making significant investments in education and outreach initiatives. PIR also is establishing a .ORG Impact Awards program to recognise the incredible work of organisations across the globe, and creating a PIR Grants Program to connect PIR with highly motivated individuals and groups with mutual aspirations to help them further their missions.
âPIR achieved the ambitious goals we set for ourselves in 2018, thanks in no small part to the inspiring work of the .org community. Itâs the people and organisations using .org to make a positive impact on the world who motivate us to remain diligent in our stewardship of the .org domain,â said Jon Nevett, who was appointed President and CEO of Public Interest Registry in December 2018.
âThis year, we are in the midst of a number of exciting initiatives aimed at providing even more support for the broad .org community and our domain industry partners. These include maintaining .org as the most trusted domain extension, amplifying our education and outreach efforts, and continuing to expand our already robust anti-abuse program.â
To download the 2018 Annual Report in full, go to: https://pir.org/pir-2018-annual-report/
Public Interest Registry has announced Jonathon Nevett will commence as their new CEO on 17 December, replacing Brian Cute who resigned in May. Nevett, a Donuts co-founder, himself recently stepped down from his role at Donuts as executive vice president of corporate affairs but remained for a short time as a close advisor to the company. Continue reading PIR Announces Jonathon Nevett As New CEO
The Public Interest Registry (PIR), who operates a number of gTLDs including .org, ngo and .ong and associated internationalised domain names, has begun accepting nominations for their Board of Directors.
In 2019 there are three positions opening on the PIR Board. The three directors will serve a 3-year term that begins mid-year 2019 and expires mid-year 2022. PIR says prior board experience is preferred. All directors must be able to read and understand a balance sheet, as well as read and communicate effectively in the English language.
There are approximately 15 full days per year for face-to-face meetings (not including travel time), regular conference calls (generally monthly), and daily email correspondence. Directors that participate in all meetings are eligible to accept compensation up to US$12,000 per year
The Public Interest Registry has announced changes to the way they deal with registrars. The changes impact on the discounts, rebates and marketing products offered by the registry.
The changes were announced in a post on the PIR blog by Interim President and CEO Jay Daley. The first change is that PIR, the registry for .org and .ngo top level domains among others, wonât be offering any further volume discounts when the current agreements expire. While volume discounts are a long-established product offered by many registries, they clearly favour larger registrars as only the larger registrars can reach the volumes necessary to qualify for the discount. We donât think this is fair and we want all our products in future to be equally accessible to registrars of all sizes.
The second change is that theyâre going to measure the success of their products on more key performance indicators than just the number of creates they produce. For a start PIR is going to be looking at the overall revenue of a product â does it cost more to offer the product than the additional revenue we get from it? Then theyâre going to look at the quality of the new registrations generic generated â do they have a higher incidence of technical abuse such as malware or phishing? Theyâre also going to look at whether there is a positive impact on our brand attributes and how registrars and registrants perceive them.
Measuring brand in this way means two things the post notes. It signals a shift from a sales-led organisation to a marketing-led organisation so they can focus on strengthening the core characteristics of .org, such as trust. It also means that theyâll need to conduct more registrar and registrant surveys to help understand and measure the impact of their products and they will need registrar cooperation to achieve that.
The third change is that in future PIR will no longer offer products where they take all the risk and will instead ask for the risk to be shared along with the reward. Registrars and registries are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the use of data and together can design products where both have confidence in the outcome.
Daley writes PIR thinks these changes and their new approach are better suited to developing strong partnerships with registrars and generating quality, sustainable growth. He says they may see a dip in headline numbers as this strategy is put in place, but from the actions taken so far in cutting back the target market discount, the loss of income from the drop in creates is more than compensated for by the saving in expenditure.
To support all these changes PIR has invested heavily in their channel services team with three new hirings, Rick Terry, Scott McBreen and Gianni Ponzi, who join Senior Director Inma del Rosal Mendez. These new members of the team have extensive experience in our industry with long stints working for registrars and they are looking forward to building strong partnerships with .org registrars.
Brian Cute, CEO and President of the Public Interest Registry, has resigned after 7 years at the helm, the registry best known for .org has announced. While there is nothing to indicate anything untoward, the resignation and announcement seem to have been rather sudden.
Cute resigned on 7 May according to the PIR statement released Thursday. During his time as president and CEO, Cute helped advance Public Interest Registryâs mission through the headwinds of todayâs complex and diversified online marketplace, according to the statement. Public Interest Registry say they appreciated the leadership Cute has shown the organisation and the many contributions he made during his tenure. Public Interest Registry wishes him great success in his future endeavours.
The Public Interest Registry Board of Directors will soon commence a recruitment process to fill the CEO position, according to the statement. Jay Daley is serving as interim CEO. Daley knows the registry industry extraordinarily well, having served in various leadership roles within the industry since 2002. Daley is a recent addition to the Public Interest Registry Board and has indicated to the Board that he will continue in that role after the interim period. He will not be pursuing the full-time CEO position.
âWe at Public Interest Registry remain steadfast in our mission. Public Interest Registry has enabled countless non-commercial organisations across the globe to utilise the internetâs enormous potential to make the world a better place. And weâll continue to do our part and provide them with tools they need to advance their initiatives online,â said Roberto Gaetano, Chair of Public Interest Registryâs Board of Directors.
Public Interest Registry is a non-profit organisation that operates the .org top-level domain â the worldâs third-largest generic top-level domain with more than 10.4 million domain names registered worldwide â and the .ngo and .ong gTLDs and OnGood community website. Public Interest Registry also operates 4 Internationalised Domain Names to support and encourage local language use of the internet.
Domain Pulse is starting a series of quick questions on the state of the domain name industry and what 2018 holds. Our first respondent is Brian Cute, CEO of Public Interest Registry, who touches on 2017, what are the big issues of 2018 including for .org, what are the growth areas for 2018 and will domain names continue to hold their relevance.
1. What were the surprises and challenges for PIR and the domain name industry in 2017? What do you see as the successes and failures?
From both an industry and organisational perspective, data and information security continue to be an area of challenge for the domain industry. For the non-commercial community on the .org domain, the internet plays a crucial role in helping to garner donations, spread awareness and foster relationships with stakeholders. Yet, we continue to see slow adoption of security, as evident in the 2018 Global NGO Technology Report, a report Public Interest Registry is a co-sponsor of with Nonprofit Tech for Good. Looking back on their technology and internet activity last year, more than 70 percent of global NGOs acknowledged accepting online donations on their website, but only 41 percent use encryption technology to protect their data and communications.
To help close this gap, in the second half of 2017 Public Interest Registry launched our NGOs and Data Security blog series that educated readers on information security themes relating specifically to non-commercial internet users, and weâll continue to provide insight on additional themes that may impact these stakeholders in the year ahead.
2. Looking forward to 2018, what do you see happening and the challenges?
The upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) out of the EU will be a major challenge for the domain industry this year. While the most public facing change for the domain industry due to GDPR will be changes to the publicly displayed WHOIS information, the domain industry is working to come together on a model that will address all of the challenges presented by GDPR. GDPR will also be a challenge for NGOs. The regulation will impact the way non-profits gather personal information and engage with stakeholders on a global scale. Larger non-profits with IT resources will need to review and update their policies. Smaller non-profits, including those who are new to the online world, may need to seek out resources to make sure they comply with the regulation.
3. For PIRâs TLDs, how have they progressed in 2017, and what does 2018 hold?
The .org domain remains the third largest TLD, and we are proud that .org continues to be viewed around the world as offering a trusted online identify. In fact, 2018 marks the 15th year of Public Interest Registryâs management of the .org domain, and to continue to set it apart from other TLDs we will continue to educate new customers on the value of aligning with the domainâs brand identity.
4. What do you see as the growth areas going forward in 2018 and beyond?
From an industry perspective, a large growth area I see in 2018 is continuing to push for internet access to the 48 percent of the worldâs population that does not have it. Public Interest Registry remains vigilant in continuing to raise awareness of this gap, and educating new and existing internet users about how to use the internet effectivity.
5. Will domain names continue to be as relevant as social media grows in prevalence and mobile phone apps become more popular?
We believe domains will continue to be relevant even as social media and mobile apps grow. However, we also believe there is an opportunity for registries and registrars to work together to understand what users need and what their pain points are in using the internet. We know different platforms are used to communicate online, but users may not understand the difference between a social media platform, domain and a website, and be able to activate each to their benefit. Armed with the understanding of what users are seeking from each platform, collectively the domain industry can better position and educate around our product.
[news release] Public Interest Registry, the not-for-profit operator of the .org, .ngo and .ong domains, and Nonprofit Tech for Good today revealed the results of the â2017 Global Trends in Giving Report.â By surveying more than 4,000 donors in 95 countries, the inaugural report providesÂ a comprehensive understanding of how and why donors worldwide are giving to and engaging with non-governmental (NGOs), nonprofits and charitable organizations.Â In addition, the survey evaluates the role that technology plays in communications and philanthropic giving across continents and demographics.
Key global findings include:
- 92 percent of donors believe NGOs are ethical and can be trusted, and 96 percent believe these organisations are essential for creating social change.
- 45 percent of donors give to NGOs located outside of their country of residence.
- Donors worldwide prefer to make financial contributions online, which is a conclusive generational sentiment as well â 62 percent of millennials and 59 percent of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, respectively, prefer online giving.
- Of online donors,Â 42 percent cite social media as the tool that most inspires them to give; of these donors,Â 62 percent list Facebook as most inspiring channel, followed by Twitter (15 percent) then Instagram (10 percent).
- Donors most trust websitesÂ and email addresses that use theÂ .org (72 percent), .edu (7 percent), and .ngo (6 percent) domains.
- Social media is listed by millennials (33 percent) and Gen Xers (28 percent) as the tool that most inspires giving, while Baby Boomers list fundraising events (24 percent) as most inspirational.
- 67 percent of donors have volunteered with an NGO within the past year.Â Of these volunteers, 97 percent also made a financial contribution to the organisation with which they volunteer.
- BothÂ male and female donorsÂ list organisations that supportÂ children and youth as a top preference.
- Liberal donors are most likely to give to human/civil rights causes,Â whileÂ conservative-leaning donors are more likely to give to religious/faith services.
âEffectively engaging with donors is crucial â the lifeblood in some cases â for the NGO community to successfully achieve their mission,â said Brian Cute, CEO of Public Interest Registry. âInsights from the report provide a valuable cultural examination, globally and within defined regions. But more importantly, the findings will assist NGOs around the world in understanding who, when and how to target the philanthropically minded within their country and beyond their borders.â
Breakdown of donors in North America:
- 62 percent of North American donors prefer to give online, which is the highest rate in the world.
- North American donors are also predominately female (75 percent) Baby Boomers (42 percent) with a liberal-leaning ideology.
- Of all donors worldwide, North American donors give the most to causes reflecting religious or faith-based services.
- WithinÂ the United States, generational differences can be seen in the types of causes supported: millennials give the most to human and civil rights causes; Gen Xers give to causes related to animals; and Baby Boomers give most to religious and faith-based services.
âExamining donor preferences worldwide clearly showed an overwhelming response from donors in wealthy countries, which we believe is in direct correlation to the lack of technology tools NGOs have in developing countries to effectively engage their supporters,â said Heather Mansfield, founder of Nonprofit Tech for Good. âOur hope is that future versions of this report will reflect a more diverse donor community, especially as internet infrastructure evolves enabling more donors to emerge from all corners of the globe.â
Fielded earlier this year, the â2017 Global Trends in Giving Reportâ surveyed 4,084 donor respondents from 95 countries across Africa, Asia, Australia & Oceania, Europe, North America and South America, including gender, generational and ideological analysis.
For more information on the survey’s findings and methodology, and to download the full report and graphics, please visit: http://www.givingreport.ngo.
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About Public Interest Registry
Public Interest Registry is a nonprofit organisation that operates the .org top-level domain â the world’s third largest “generic” top-level domain with more than 10.4 million domain names registered worldwide â and the newly launched .ngo and .ong domains and OnGood community website. Public Interest Registry also operates four Internationalized Domain Names (.ÐÐ Ð (xn--c1avg), .æºæ (xn--nqv7f), .à¤¸à¤à¤à¤ à¤¨ (xn--i1b6b1a6a2e), .ç»ç»æºæ (xn--nqv7fs00ema)) to support and encourage local language use of the Internet.Â As an advocate for collaboration, safety and security on the internet, Public Interest Registry’s mission is to educate and enable the global noncommercial community to use the internet more effectively, and to take a leadership position among internet stakeholders on policy and other issues relating to the domain naming system. Public Interest Registry was founded by the Internet Society (internetsociety.org) in 2002 and is based inÂ Reston, Virginia, USA.
About Nonprofit Tech for Good
With nearly 100,000 monthly visitors and more than one million followers on social networks, Nonprofit Tech for Good is a leading social and mobile media resource for nonprofit professionals. Created and managed byÂ Heather Mansfield, Nonprofit Tech for Good focuses on providing valuable, easy-to-understand information, news, and resources related to nonprofit technology, online communications, and mobile and social fundraising.
Over two-thirds (68.3%) of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) around the world use a .org domain name to get online compared to the less than one in 10 (9.2%) that use a .com, according to the 2017 Global NGO Online Technology Report published by the Public Interest Registry (PIR) this week. The report found 2.2% used the .ngo gTLD, 1.8% used .net and 18.5% used other TLDs, predominately country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs).The report is the second from the registry operator for the .org, .ngo and .ong (generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) and surveyed nearly double the number of survey respondents from 2016 – 4,908 for 2017 compared to 2,780 for 2016 – and the findings make for a solid foundation to assert benchmarks for success.The report seeks to gain a better understanding of how NGOs worldwide use online technology to engage their supporters and donors but also provides interesting research into TLD usage around the world.Among top level domains, there is a wide variation between the world’s regions on which one they choose. In Asia 66% use .org, 5% use .ngo. 10% use .com and 19% use other TLDs, predominately ccTLDs.In Australia and Oceania, 45% use .org domain, 2% use .ngo, 11% use .com and 42% use other domains, again predominately ccTLDs.Within Europe, 47% use .org, 2% use .ngo, 7% use .com and 44% use other domains, predominately ccTLDs, the highest of any region.In North America, 77% use .org domain, 1% use .ngo, 9% use .com and 13% use other domains, predominately ccTLDs with it likely the vast majority of these being Canadian NGOs using .ca as well as some using .us.Within South America, 68% use .org, 11% use .com, 29% use other domains, predominately ccTLDs. And finally, within Africa 66% use .org, 3% use .ngo, 12% use .com and 22% use other domains, predominately again ccTLDs.It’s not unexpected, but it appears to be developed western countries outside the United States are much more likely to use their own ccTLD than the US or developing countries. Part of this comes down to trust. For example, the Nigerian internet Registration Association (NiRA) is working hard to promote their .ng ccTLD within Nigeria. But they face a battle to develop awareness and trust. In an interview with Nigeria’s Guardian newspaper, Reverend Sunday Folayan, the President, Executive Board of Directors of NiRA said “Nigerians [hardly] consume local goods because they believe there is a level of inferiority attached to it.”The report is available for download from: