Helping a Non Profit with an Expired Domain Name

Earlier this week, I noticed a non profit organization’s domain name had expired and was set to be auctioned if it was not renewed promptly. Over the years, I have tried to help a number of organizations save domain names that had expired without their awareness. I have found that it can be a bit difficult to approach an organization about their domain name as a good samaritan, and I thought I would share how I generally approach an organization when a domain name of theirs expired.

The first thing I try to do is identify a contact at the organization that would understand domain names and would have an idea about what happened to their domain name. Depending on the size of the organization, I would look for a CTO, CMO, President, or another executive. I prefer not to reach out to the most senior executives of larger non profits because they’re likely very busy and are more apt to ignore my email. If the expired domain name is a critical domain name to the organization or the domain name associated with their email, I will call someone at the organization.

In my email, I start by explaining that their domain name expired and is going to be auctioned if they do not renew or transfer it. I might including words like “Urgent” or “Important” in the subject line. I also tell them they can visit the domain name to see the registrar’s expiry notice that almost all registrars display. I also let them know they can visit a domain registrar to do a Whois search to confirm the domain name expired. I want to make sure they can see this for themselves since they don’t know who I am and my contact is out of the blue.

In my email, I remind the person where the domain name is located to make it easier to track down the renewal. I may also let the person know the email address associated with the public Whois record in case that information is helpful. Sometimes, a person left the organization, and their email is the one on file for the Whois. Not only does this help them understand why the domain name expired, but it may help them login to their account.

After letting the people know the issue and the time sensitivity, I explain that I am a domain investor. I make it clear that I have no affiliation with a domain registrar or auction house so they don’t think I’m trying to sell them anything. I let them know they can give me a call if they have any questions about this and provide my phone number. I am always happy to be a resource for organizations I support or would support.

There have been a few times over the years that people have been pretty rude to me in response to an unsolicited outreach. People don’t always understand domain name related issues and may think there is some sort of scam. I provide some background information as a means of reassuring them that I’m just trying to help.

Many people think poorly of domain investors, so it’s nice to be able to help when I can.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Part of being a responsible domain investor (or just being in the domain community) is to make aware of the value of the domains and the “troubles” of not getting the domain renewed.

    Karma works both ways.

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