In developing the .ngo and .ong domain extensions, Public Interest Registry has consulted widely – both geographically and by sector – with members of the NGO community. For the purpose of .ngo and .ong validation, we use seven distinct characteristics to define an NGO:
1. Focused on acting in the public interest
Whether in support of education or health, the environment or human rights, members of the .ngo community work for the good of humankind and/or the preservation of the planet and do not promote discrimination or bigotry.
2. Non-profit making/non-profit-focused entities
While many NGOs engage in commercial activities or generate revenue in support of their missions, members of the .ngo community do not recognize profits or retain earnings.
3. Limited government influence
Recognizing that many NGOs have important interaction with governments, not least for reasons of funding, members of the .ngo community decide their own policies, direct their own activities and are independent of direct government or political control.
4. Independent actors
Members of the .ngo|.ong community should not be political parties or an arm of any government. Participation in the work of a .ngo member is voluntary.
5. Active organizations
Members of the .ngo|.ong community are actively pursuing their missions on a regular basis.
Members of the .ngo|.ong community, whether large or small, operate in a structured manner (e.g., under bylaws, codes of conduct, organizational standards, or other governance structures) to demonstrate the independence of their policy processes.
Members of the .ngo|.ong community act with integrity within the bounds of law.
NGOs participating as members in the .ngo|.ong community must certify that they adhere to the above Eligibility Requirements.