Charity Baloney = A Dot Org Website Means It’s a Charity | DGM 029

Charity Baloney = A dot Org website means it’s a charity

Welcome. This is the podcast that helps you do good even better — regardless of which charities or causes you support. 

This is Ed Long. In each podcast I talk about charities and provide actionable tips to help donors and volunteers to take their philanthropy to the next level and do good even better.

Give smart from your heart, because doing good matters.


We’re building a community of caring people who want to make the world better. And are willing to spend time and energy to make it happen. And to find and support strong charities doing solid work.

You can Join the Community now. Last podcast Lora in Asheville, NC, became member #320. This time we welcome more than 30 new members, including Paul in Middletown, OH, Rolland in Great Mills, MD, and Gerald in New York City who became members #330, 340 and 350. If you haven’t joined yet, will you become member #360?


SeriousGivers and its websites depend on donations to keep going. Please donate now. Larry from Fayetteville, AR, and Jane from Santa Barbara, CA, both donated  and helped cover the costs of this podcast and other SeriousGivers services. Thank you Larry. Thank you Jane. View our latest supporters page.

You can now support our creative work at Patreon.


Episode sponsor

  • Today’s sponsor is the number 31.

Charity Baloney

  • It’s time for “Charity Baloney” — where I do my best to slice up myths related to charities.Slice Charity Baloney
  • If you’d like to suggest a belief about charities that you think might qualify as charity baloney, email me at ed[at] SeriousGivers.org or leave me a voicemail at (424) 262-5280.
  • Today’s Charity Baloney is the belief that a dot org website means you’re dealing with a charity.
    • The three most common domains are .com, .org and .net (aka dot com, dot org and dot net)
    • We’ve all gotten used to dot com — which we think of as a business or commercial site.
    • And charities that I know of that have websites typically use dot org.
    • I wonder if fishermen use dot net.
  • I took a look at the site DomainRegister.com and it told us

“Originally, it was suggested that .COM be used primarily for commercial businesses, .NET for network related organizations and .ORG for nonprofit groups. This quickly became unworkable and consequently, in the case of .COM, .NET and .ORG, a decision was made to rely on registrants to choose the TLD (Top Level Domain) they wish. In fact, many registrants (domain owners) order their domain name as .COM, .NET and .ORG.

.COM, .NET and .ORG are unrestricted open domains.”

  • The truth is any group or even individual can have a dot org website.
    • Did you know that there’s a google.org — google is clearly a business, not a charity —  google.org is a separate website
  • Let’s have some fun with this, what would be some interesting dot org domain names that would make it clear that org domain doesn’t mean it’s a charity? How about
    • These are available
      • totallycommercial.org
      • notacharity.org
      • and my favorite, cyborgmorgue.org — say that three times fast.
  • Love to hear from you — what dot org name would make this totally clear to everyone?
    • Use the reply/comments box below.
  • In the meantime, don’t be fooled into thinking a  dot org website means you’re dealing with a charity.

Share your questions and feedback

I’d love to hear from you. I read every comment and email.

  • Leave a voicemail at (424) 262-5280
  • Use the reply / comment box below.
  • Send me an email at ed[@]seriousgivers.org.

Listen each week, Subscribe

Find the Doing Good Matters podcast on iTunes. Subscribe to Podcast via RSS Hear us on Stitcher

About Ed Long, the podcaster

Podcaster Ed Long has been preparing more than 40 years to do this podcast. He knows charities and the rules that apply to them. He’s analyzed charity finances and operations.  He’s founded and run charities, and volunteered for them. He’s helped the public and law enforcement fight fake charities, and has served as a philanthropy educator and coach. Before all that he worked as a partner with a major Wall Street law firm. Ed is the founder and CEO of SeriousGivers, which itself is a charity. Ed knows the great work that strong charities can do with the resources entrusted to them, and is passionate about helping others find and support strong charities.