Written by: Lara Banker

40-50,000 Google searches are made per second. Per second.

That’s roughly three million queries per minute, and more than 3.5 billion per day.

And that’s just Google – 3.5 billion online searches a day are only attributed to one search engine, not accounting for Bing, Yahoo!, Ask, AOL or any other search engines.

In today’s technology-driven world – and with nearly 300 million Internet users in the U.S. alone – you already know how vital your website is to your nonprofit. Because you know this, I’ll bet your website already communicates your mission and vision, draws in volunteers and makes it easy to collect donations. You probably keep an eye on your site’s visitor statistics, and you most likely have some kind of keyword-driven SEO program in place.

But none of that matters if Internet users don’t trust your site enough to click on it when it shows up in search engine results.

What do you mean by “trust”?

Think about the last time you pulled up your search engine of choice. When you typed in your query and hit “search,” how did you decide which entry to choose? Did you bypass the options that looked like advertisements? Did you avoid the Wikipedia entry?

How did you decide which option(s) looked reputable enough to click on? How did you decide which option(s) not to click on because they looked “sketchy” or untrustworthy?

My website ends in .org – doesn’t that mean it’s trustworthy?

The .org domain was originally created to identify organizations online, and it has traditionally been thought of as the trusted space for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and nonprofits. What many people don’t realize is that .org is an open domain for social good – meaning that individuals, businesses and companies can register this domain, in addition to nonprofits, in order to promote their cause or mission.

Why is this important? How does it affect your organization? Understanding that .org is an open domain is important because it means that you also have a grasp on a potential donor’s online giving process. When they are searching for an organization or a specific cause to support, they need to be able to decipher who and what is credible in order to alleviate concerns about transparency and overcome barriers of distrust.

Your organization has the power to increase donor mindshare. Don’t miss out on key opportunities to be found online, raise funds and garner support for your cause or mission.

How can my organization get ahead of this issue?

Thanks to Public Internet Registry (PIR), you can.

PIR just recently launched .ngo and .ong – two new domain name extensions that are exclusively available for validated nonprofits, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and charities across the globe to register. For the very first time, Internet users will be able to identify trusted and validated nonprofits and NGOs like yours simply by recognizing the .ngo or .ong domain on your website. In other words, your .ngo/.ong website will immediately indicate to Internet users that your organization (and, thus, your organization’s website) is valid, credible, genuine and trustworthy.

These new domains are only available to genuine NGOs and are a direct result of efforts by the NGO community.

Even better? Once your organization is validated and registered with a .ngo or .ong domain, it will be listed in the OnGood directory. OnGood opens the doors for your nonprofit online, allowing donors, potential business partners and volunteers to easily find your organization by name, cause or region.

What else can my nonprofit do to influence the future of NGOs and the world?

Today’s world is ever growing and ever changing. That’s why it’s vital that everyone – individuals, businesses and organizations alike – takes an active role in shaping the future.

Now more than ever, individuals are inclined to “do good.” From Millennials who grew up with the notion that helping others is a responsibility to Boomers harnessing technology to increase their power to make a difference, one thing is certain: Society today is filled with cause enthusiasts.

So, how can your organization take advantage of this interest and turn it into action?

To start, take part in MCON 2015.

MCON 2015 is all about influence. This year’s theme, “The Power of Influence: Art, Media, Business and Place,” is a two-day learning experience designed to help causes and those interested in social good understand the complexities of today’s cause enthusiasts – and, most importantly, how to move them into becoming cause activists.

Register to attend today, and find out how your organization can best impact and influence the world of tomorrow!