Non-profit of the Year Nominee
1. What is your mission and vision?
Public Interest Registry is committed to serving the public interest online and providing a stable online platform where everyone has a voice. We strive to empower the global nonprofit community to use the Internet to engage their supporters more effectively and tell stories of impact. This mission is more than a cause to us—it’s a calling. We always act in the public interest, even when it means going against convention. We always do the right thing, even when it’s unpopular. We believe that the Internet is a transformational force for change that must never be compromised. By collaborating globally in a multi-stakeholder governance model, we ensure bottom-up consensus, knowing that this collaboration is essential to building the foundation of our vision: an Internet in which everyone has a voice.
2. How does your organization achieve its mission?
Like our partner organizations give back to our community, Public Interest Registry believes it’s important that every employee embody our core value of acting in the public interest. We believe that by embodying this ideal, our employees can harness their potential to become passionate, effective leaders and drivers of global change. Through the embodiment of our core values, we have made tremendous strides towards this vision since .org’s inception in 1985. Since then, .org has empowered more than 10.3 million websites, serving as a reliable online venue for organizations, companies, clubs, and individuals to communicate with their core audiences about a shared interest, passion or cause. Last year, we celebrated the launch of the .ngo/.ong domains, adding over a thousand domain bundles under management. We love to hear the millions of people we serve tell their stories and empower others to do the same. As long as we are here, the global community will have a platform to define their identities, and will be as it was always meant to be: connected and open.
3. How have your programs directly impacted the regional community?
The Nature Conservancy (nature.ngo), Arts Fairfax (artsfairfax.org) and Capital Area Food Bank (capitalareafoodbank.org)are just a handful of the many organizations in the DC area that are better able to tell their stories and connect with donors as a result of the ongoing work of Public Interest Registry. To date, there are approximately 135,350 organizations in the larger DC area that are served by Public Interest Registry domains.
4. What inspires or drives your team to stay committed to your mission?
The people we meet and their stories inspire us! Our team has the privilege of meeting with nonprofit leaders around the world who are trying to better their communities in unique, meaningful ways. At any given moment, you will undoubtedly find us traveling around the world attending conferences and exhibitions, or meeting with our registrars. This is how we get our inspiration. For example, in 2015, we launched the .ngo and .ong domains with OnGood, a suite of online services for NGOs and nonprofits to strengthen their online presence, improve visibility and better connect with supporters. To prepare for the launch, our team traveled to more than 40 countries in three years to engage with more than 16,000 NGOs. We love to hear the millions of people we serve tell their stories. As long as we are here, the global community will have a platform to define their identities, and will be as it was always meant to be: connected and open.
5. What advice would you give to other nonprofits trying to make an impact in their community?
Establish meaningful core values and live them every day. For example, to better help our employees act in the public interest, on January 1, 2016 we launched our Employee Volunteer Program (EVP). The EVP awards full-time employees 40 hours a year to support community service initiatives. To us, volunteering is more than just a way for employees to seek personal fulfillment. Rather, it gives employees at all levels the opportunity to become agents of good by contributing positively to meaningful causes in the greater DC area and beyond.