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Hi, Taye Diggs: Here’s who won at the inaugural .ORG Impact Awards Gala

Reston, Virginia-based nonprofit Public Interest Registry, which manages the .ORG domain, honored 12 organizations and individuals from around the world for their social impact work.

A shot of the inaugural .ORG Impact Awards. (Courtesy photo)

Reston, Virginia-based Public Interest Registry (PIR), the nonprofit that manages the .org domain used by more than 10 million organizations, hosted its inaugural .ORG Impact Awards Gala on Oct. 10.

PIR CEO Jon Nevett has been leading the 35-person organization for about a year, but he has 15 years of experience working in the domain industry. He told Technical.ly that the inspiration behind the awards gala stemmed from wanting to highlight the work that nonprofits are doing through meaningful campaigns.

“It’s an opportunity to celebrate some of the mission-driven entities that use .org and succeed,” Nevett said. “It’s a great opportunity to highlight their success and what they do, and as a nonprofit ourselves, we want to further that experience and we’re excited about it.”

Nevett said he hopes the award ceremony will continue for years to come so PIR can set up a network of winners to interact with one another.

Prior to the event’s kickoff in the evening, PIR hosted a daylong networking and educational panel series about the power of the internet that was open to the public.

The intimate awards gala that followed was hosted at the Watergate Hotel and featured a three-course dinner, open bar, networking and applause for the 12 organizations and individuals who were honored for their social impact work. Amy Landino, an award-winning YouTube series curator, served as the gala’s host, who continuously brought the laughs, creating a lighthearted atmosphere.

Actor and philanthropist Taye Diggs also joined in on the celebration as the 2019 .ORG Impact Awards Honoree for his dedication to the greater social good via charitable and community involvement with a multitude of .ORG community member organizations.

The individual awards honored the contribution of a person to their organization or the broader sector and included a $5,000 donation to the charitable organization of the winner’s choice:

  • Innovator Award — Alicia Weston, founder of U.K.-based Bags of Taste
  • Rising Star Award — Diane Diamantis, president and cofounder of U.S.-based Kelsey B Diamantis TS Scholarship Family Foundation Inc.
  • Outstanding Volunteer — Zehra Abbas, president and cofounder of Canada-based Studio 89

The sector awards recognized organizational and team accomplishments and included a $2,000 donation to the charitable organization of the winner’s choice:

  • .ORG Nonprofit of the Year — U.S.-based World Refugees School
  • .ORG Community Group of the Year — Kenya-based Community Focus Group

Initiative awards were given for an achievement in a specific online niche area and included a $1,000 donation to the charitable organization of the winner’s choice:

  • Best Integrated Communications Campaign — U.S. and Germany-based Skateistan for Empowering Children Through Skateboarding and Education
  • Best Social Media Campaign — U.K.-based The Mayhew for Mayhew Website Redesign
  • Best Use of Partnerships/Celebrity Endorsements — U.S.-based Kiva for The Big Impact of Small Loans
  • Outstanding Multimedia Content — U.S.-based C Three Foundation for C Three Foundation Multimedia Approach
  • Outstanding Online Fundraising Campaign — U.S.-based Teach For America for the Teach For America Alumni and Staff Challenge
  • Outstanding Website RedesignThe Mayhew for Home Is Where Their Dog Is
  • Top #GivingTuesday Campaign — U.S.-based The City Mission for Fund a Project That Would Change Your Community

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