In January 2003, Public Interest Registry became officially responsible for operating .org and maintaining the authoritative database of all .org domain names. The transition of .org from the previous operator to Public Interest Registry was the largest transfer in Internet history. More than 2.6 million domains were transferred in about a day, without affecting any .org registrant or website.

Today, there are over 10.3 million .org domain names registered all around the world. From small, local groups to huge, global foundations, a diverse range of noncommercial organisations use .org to advance their missions. Even many for-profit businesses use .org to gain support for their charitable activities.

Origin

Created in 1984, .org is one of ‘s original Top Level Domains (TLDs), along with .com, .net, .gov, .edu and .mil. Although it is “open” and “unrestricted”, .org has assumed the reputation as the domain of choice for organisations dedicated to serving the public interest. Today, it remains the domain of trust.

Expansion

In May 2012, Public Interest Registry formally submitted its applications to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the .ngo and .ong domain extensions as part of the organisation’s global Internet expansion initiative. Along with .ngo & .ong, Public Interest Registry also applied for the creation and management of four internationalized domain names (IDNs) recognized as “organisation,” “org” or “institution” in non-Latin-based scripts. The four applications include: one in Devenagari (Hindi script), .संगठन; one in Russian Cyrillic, .орг; and two in simplified Chinese, .机构 and .组织机构.

Three of the IDNs, Devenagari .संगठन; Russian Cyrillic .орг; and simplified Chinese .机构 were launched in May 2014. The Sunrise period for .ngo & .ong domain names begins on March 17, 2015. Limited registration for organisations who have already submitted an Expression of Interest will begin on April 21.