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Domain Names Forum

Is .org a US-friendly TLD?

 5:39 pm on Feb 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Say a bunch of fundraising offices of the same organization are using a site to raise funds for one country. Which one should use the .org TLD in the domain name? The US office or the local office (say, Gambia)?

example.cctld (for Gambia)
example.cctld (for France)
example.cctld (for United States)
example.org (?)

Should the US get the .org? If so, why?

[edited by: Webwork at 8:25 pm (utc) on Feb 28, 2010]
[edit reason] When giving "examples" please only use Example.com/net/org - as it can never be owned [/edit]



 1:03 pm on Mar 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

IF your purpose is fundraising AND IF you are going to target the US market the it may be more important that you first take the necessary steps to qualify as a not-for-profit agency under U.S. tax law - making cash contributions tax deductible to the donor.

Then register the .Org as U.S. residents are more familiar with the .Org gTLD than they are familiar with any other. Familiarity may reduce friction to giving.


 1:28 pm on Mar 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is the .org domain any more or less familiar or appropriate in other countries than it is in the US?


 2:07 pm on Mar 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

.org has a long history on the web and is known. Should be acceptable just about anywhere.


 3:33 pm on Mar 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the replies. A colleague had raised a concern that out of a number of countries, a US office should be the one to use the .org TLD because, ".org is more appropriate for the US than other countries."

I wasn't sure if they meant in terms of branding, Google, legal or what and I haven't had an opportunity to follow up.

My understanding at this point is that .com would not be appropriate and that .us would look questionable. And also, that .org would be more recognizable to US visitors than visitors in another country to a site in another country.

PS: The US office is a registered non-profit.

[edited by: mrjohncory at 3:45 pm (utc) on Mar 1, 2010]


 3:39 pm on Mar 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

".org is more appropriate for the US than other countries."

I assume that the meaning was that non specialist users may view a global TLD as being specifically a US ccTLD. Certainly for a UK charity I would expect it to have a .org.uk and if I came across example.org in a search, I would, without any other clues, make the initial assumption that it was a US organisation.


 3:49 pm on Mar 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

I would expect it to have a .org.uk

Perhaps that's where my knowledge of TLD's runs short... Does every other country have the option of a .org.ccTLD?

example.org.ccTLD (Gambia)
example.org.ccTLD (France)
example.org.ccTLD (any country besides the US)
example.org (US)


 9:22 pm on Mar 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Domains are a structured a little differently in every country. For government sites, for example, it's .go.kr, .gov.uk, and .gouv.fr for South Korea, the UK, and France respectively, but the U.S. has just plain .gov to itself.

The U.S. was the first major country where the Internet was widely popularized, but at the time the .us domains were restricted to governmental and educational uses. Thus, most early sites were U.S.-based and aimed at a U.S. audience but consigned to the generic tlds. This overwhelming early abundance of U.S. sites, meanwhile, led webmasters and the browsing public both to seek out country-specific domains for their country-specific sites.

So yes, someone non-technical from the U.S. would know ".org" as a non-profit, and assume that it will either be the U.S. site or the international umbrella site. But no ".org.us" scheme is in existence, and no one would even think to check for a ".us" location.

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