On November 13th, the Public Interest Registry (PIR) gathered with more than 85 representatives of the NGO sector (and some government officials working with them) to discuss and promote the launch of the new .ngo/.ong online community. The event, which took place at the iconic Hotel Quito, was co-sponsored by Conservación y Desarrollo (CyD), an Ecuadorian NGO dedicated to sustainable development and responsible use of natural resources. CyD has declared it will be an Early Adopter of the new .ngo/.ong domain.
In meetings that preceded the big event, the PIR team met with representatives from a diverse mix of local, national and international NGOs working on a variety of subjects, including child rights and poverty, care for the blind, environmental sustainability and others. The .ngo/.ong idea generated great interest, with every one expressing a desire to participate in the new OnGood online community The NGO leaders were enthusiastic about OnGood as a way to connect them to more sustainable sources of financing and networking opportunities.
For national organizations like Fundación para el Desarrollo Cultural y Educativo (FUDECE) and Federación Nacional de Ciegos del Ecuador (FENCE), the timing could not be better, as both expressed concern over the planned phase out of grants offered by governments and institutions in the global north starting in 2015. Other large organizations, such as Plan Internacional, have illustrated a trend that can be seen across the sector: a desire to empower national and local branches of international NGOs, enabling them to pursue their own fundraising activities to add to contributions from their headquarters. Through the OnGood/.ngo initiative, NGOs talked about leveraging new financing from new sources – including individuals from the global north, tourists that visit Ecuador, and members of the country’s large diaspora population.
With a launch slated for March 2015, organizations like Conservación y Desarrollo plan to expand their work empowering communities and promoting sustainability in Ecuador with greater visibility and credibility – and more resources – than ever before.