Saturday, May 25, 2019

I'm Giving Away Kindness

The world is full of kind people and organizations doing amazing things. They make a real difference in lives.  In your own town or city, undoubtedly, as you read this, someone is doing something amazingly kind.

In a tiny way I want to help one of the organizations or individuals who perform or encourage acts of kindness by giving them a domain name to help them spread their influence. Free. No strings. The name? Kindness.

UPDATE: I have extended the deadline to apply to Sept 30, 2019.  This will be the last extension, so if there are not applications by then I will decide on other uses for the domain name. Please apply!


So the domain name is  The .icu domain extension is an abbreviation for I See You. Although only about a year old, it is in the top 10 most registered of the new domain extensions already.  You can read more about .icu as a domain extension here.

From the very instant I saw this domain name, I loved how kindness and I See You fit together. It is descriptive and memorable and positive.  I love this domain name, but I would love someone to use it for a good purpose more than me keeping it.  Domain names are meant to be used. Especially this one.

You could also imagine ICU as standing for Intensive Care Unit.  So if your organization helps people who are desperately needing a bit of kindness right now, it describes you.

How To Enter

Either send me a direct Twitter message, respond in comments to this blog post, or email me (you can see my full contact details here). Simply tell me very briefly who you are and how the domain name would help you. How simple is that?

I will accept entries until Sept 30, 2019 and will announce the winner not long after that. Should I feel that none of the entries are a good fit for the domain name, I will announce here an extension of the contest period.

I will select one group/individual to obtain the domain name free, and announce the winner here. By applying you agree to your group's name being listed as the winner. See next section for more details about who is eligible to enter.

Who Can Enter

While I am not insisting that you be a registered nonprofit, I am only considering applications from those without commercial interests. There are no geographical restrictions.

So here are the requirements.

  • Noncommercial individual or organization and you plan to use it in a noncommercial way (raising funds to cover your costs or kindness related activities is fine).
  • You commit to actually using the domain name at least within the next year by having an operational website.
  • You agree to me announcing that you are the winner and after your site is operational linking to it.


Here are some ways that I might see the domain name used.  This is of course not an exclusive list.

  • You want to set up a site to encourage acts of kindness.
  • You want to acknowledge people in your community, country or beyond who are making a difference through kindness.
  • You are involved in programs for youth to encourage kindness and respect.
  • You want to set up a reference site to provide news about kindness in the world.
  • You operate a program in your community (social support, food support, learning materials) and would like a website with kindness front and centre.
  • You help support individuals at risk - a true intensive care unit for kindness.
  • You have a nonprofit art exhibit, essay competition,  etc. related to kindness theme.
  • You are an academic who does research and writes about kindness.
  • Your organization provides practical help (in a nonprofit way) to assist people living lives with more kindness and happiness.
  • You are a high school group that wants to promote kindness in your school or beyond.
  • Your idea goes here!

How Will You Judge?

I admit, judging may be difficult since there are so many very different ways to promote kindness. I may get help from some friends and family members.  I don't have specific criteria in mind other than what you propose is a good fit with the word kindness and the name could help you. This is very open to big and small organizations (one person is an organization in my view!), young and old, local and those with global ambitions or reach. 

What Do We Get Free?

I am giving away the domain name. You would need to renew the domain annually, which costs about $9 USD per year (costs vary with registrar).  I have paid to renew the domain name until early June 2020, so you will get much of the first year free of even renewal cost.

Note that if you are not on the web currently, you would also need a hosting package from some provider to get your website active.  Should a hosting company want to donate one year or more of free hosting to go to the winner to add to the prize of the domain name, that would be wonderful.  Just let me know the details and I will list you here.

I would like to help you promote your site once it is up and operational on  I would do that through a blog post and mention on my Twitter account.  I also have friends in the domain name and branding communities who might help with this. These links can help your site be noticed.

How Does Domain Transfer Work

We can cover details when the winner is determined, but essentially the process would be you would set up a free account at the registrar you wish to use (it is currently at Namecheap).  If you decide to keep it at Namecheap I simply would 'push' it to your account and you then own and control it.

If you wanted to use another registrar, say GoDaddy, NameSilo or Dynadot, you would set up your free account there and then start a transfer process using an authorization code for the domain that I would provide to you.  You can read here a piece I wrote on domain transfer.  It is easier and faster than most people realize - I recently completed one between registrars in 21 minutes.  Note that if you choose to have it at a different registrar that company will charge you for one additional year registration, which will be added to the time I have renewed it for but will be a charge to you from them. A push at Namecheap does not involve that charge.

I would, of course, help guide you through the process of the transfer and getting the domain name in use if you need it.

Final Thoughts

I like the idea you say, but kindness is not the precise fit for our organization.  Well keep following me on Twitter, who knows, I might have another nonprofit domain give away down the road.  Or, if you really want to find and buy a domain name, and need some help finding one, just reach out and I would be happy to help you locate one.  The help is free.

Why am I doing this? Now late in life, I think back over all of the people who made a difference in my life through kindness. My late parents, each in their own way, were kind beyond measure both with my sister and me, but also with neighbours, community members, extended family members and more. I was blessed with fantastic teachers, right from elementary school through graduate school, who taught me many things, but perhaps the most important was to be kind. My own past students taught me more than I could teach them, their positive and kind way of interacting with each other and with me, touched me. My daughters inspire me with the kindness they show each day.  It is too bad that so often we are too reserved to thank acts of kindness as often as we should.  So part of answer to 'Why am I doing this?' is to acknowledge all of those who were kind in my own life.

I just made another domain sale that is about to close - a very modest sale to most domain investors, but significant for me.  You can see my entire portfolio of domain names here if interested. I decided that once that sale closes I will use a bit of the profit to renew this kindness domain name, and then give it away to a worthy nonprofit.  Maybe it will be the first of a sequence of sell one, give one away approach to my portfolio.

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