Public Interest Registry Announces 2023 .ORG Impact Awards Finalists, Padma Lakshmi to Host

35 innovative, mission-driven organizations and changemakers selected from almost 1,000 applicants from more than 70 countries


RESTON, Va.On October 2, 2023, Public Interest Registry (PIR), the people behind .ORG, named the finalists for the 5th annual .ORG Impact Awards and announced that Padma Lakshmi—activist, author, and host/producer of Hulu’s Taste the Nation—will host the awards ceremony where the winners will be revealed on November 16 in Washington, D.C. The program recognizes and rewards outstanding mission-driven individuals and organizations from around the world for their positive contributions to society.

In honor of the five-year anniversary of the .ORG Impact Awards and a return to an in-person event for the first time since the pandemic, the awards will be bigger and better than ever, with all finalists receiving donations of $2,500 USD as well as travel and accommodations for two representatives to attend the awards ceremony. All finalists, which range from nonprofits investing in sustainable development in Colombia to a UK-based organization fighting against modern slavery and trafficking, will be eligible for donations of up to $50,000 USD. 

“We are honored to welcome our 2023 .ORG Impact Award Finalists into our growing community of changemakers, who inspire us to make the world a better place. We created the awards to celebrate those within the .ORG Community who work tirelessly to uplift their communities—and this year’s finalists represent hope for a brighter future” said Jon Nevett, President and CEO of Public Interest Registry. “We also are thrilled to have Padma Lakshmi join us to celebrate the immense impact of the OIA finalists, winners, and .ORG community at our awards ceremony. A changemaker herself with an inspiring advocacy background, Padma will bring new energy and celebration to this year’s awards.”

Padma Lakshmi is an activist, actress, philanthropist, author, host and producer of Hulu’s Taste of the Nation, and former television host of Top Chef. In 2023, she was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, and through the years has participated in numerous advocacy campaigns, receiving honors from the ACLU, Goodwill, and Planned Parenthood, among others. From food justice to health advocacy, Lakshmi is a passionate and outspoken advocate in the mission-driven community.  

“The 2023 .ORG Impact Award finalists exemplify the hard work so many are doing across the globe to make a positive impact in their communities,” said activist Padma Lakshmi. “I am inspired by their efforts, and look forward to celebrating each of these thoughtful individuals and organizations at the awards ceremony this November.”  

This year’s finalists represent the top five entries across seven award categories:

  • Community Building
  • Quality Education for All
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Health and Healing
  • Hunger and Poverty
  • Rising Stars (leaders, under 25, making a difference in their communities)


Winners in these award categories, including the prestigious .ORG of the Year, will be announced as part of the in-person .ORG Impact Awards celebration on November 16. The winner of the .ORG of the Year award will receive a donation of $50,000 USD while the other category winners will each receive $10,000 USD. Beyond the donation, receiving a prestigious .ORG Impact Award will help raise the profile of winning organizations, ultimately driving donations, funding, talent acquisition, partnership development, and increasing audience reach. 


Please visit www.orgimpactawards.org for complete rules and information.


2023 .ORG Impact Award Finalists


Community Building

Andando Foundation


Andando works to alleviate poverty and create thriving communities in rural Senegal by focusing on sustainable solutions, developing long-term partnerships, and the growth of the whole village – water, health, education, agriculture, literacy, and small business.

Creativity Explored


Creativity Explored is a nonprofit art studio and gallery that partners with developmentally disabled artists to celebrate and nurture the creative potential in all of us.

Kakenya’s Dream


Kakenya’s Dream invests in girls from rural Kenya through educational, health, and leadership initiatives to create agents of change.

The Citizens Foundation


The Citizens Foundation (TCF) supports the education of underprivileged children and works towards increased gender equity in Pakistan.

Valpo Surf Project


Valpo Surf Project uses surfing and academic tutoring to encourage English language skills, personal character development, and environmental consciousness among underprivileged and at-risk youth.

Quality Education for All

Forging Opportunities for Refugees in America


Forging Opportunities for Refugees in America (FORA) provides high impact tutoring and educational programs to SLIFE (Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education) refugee children.

Fundi Bots Limited


Fundi Bots works to accelerate science learning in Africa by providing practical hands-on science education through robotics training and enhanced classroom science learning experiences.

Moinee Foundation


Moinee Foundation is working for the right to quality education for underprivileged society, especially in rural and tribal areas, by ensuring effective last mile delivery and breaking barriers of cost, access and language through techno-social innovations.

Our Sansar


Our Sansar aims to free Nepalese children in need from abuse and give them a route out of poverty.

Seeding Labs


Seeding Labs ensures that the tools of modern research are accessible in developing countries, so that they can build brighter futures from strong foundations of science.

Environmental Stewardship

Borderlands Produce


Borderlands Produce rescues, recycles and redistributes produce to ensure that the community is able to access fresh ingredients, curbing food waste and helping save the planet.

Burn Design Lab


Burn Design Lab designs clean burning cookstoves manufacturing systems to save lives, reduce deforestation, and promote the economic empowerment of women in the developing world.



CorpoAyapel promotes the sustainable development of the Ayapel wetland ecosystem and its community.



CREATE Borneo equips indigenous youth with the means to preserve their culture while competing in a growing economy and taking responsibility for their environmental stewardship through technologies.

LAWUNA Project, Sodzo Foundation


Sodzo Foundation works to address the pressing challenge of macro plastic pollution on the shores of freshwater bodies by leveraging the power of real-time drone and smartphone imagery to safeguard these ecosystems while empowering communities for a sustainable environment.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Custom Collaborative


Custom Collaborative is a NYC-based nonprofit that trains, mentors, and advocates for and with no/low-income and immigrant women to build the skills necessary to achieve economic success in the sustainable fashion industry and envisions a world in which all women possess the skills, confidence, and agency to design their futures and contribute to a sustainable world—regardless of race or socio-economic background.

GirlLEAD Talent


GirlLEAD provides an all-inclusive, accessible and affordable platform for women and girls in marginalized communities to acquire world-class science, technical, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills, enabling them in their unique capacity to change the world.

Hope for Justice


Hope for Justice works to bring an end to modern slavery by preventing exploitation, rescuing victims, restoring lives, and reforming society.

Pinkishe Foundation


Pinkishe Foundation runs multiple programs for the benefit of girls and women, the flagship of them being PadBank, to spread Menstrual Hygiene awareness and distribute free reusable sanitary pads.

The Center for Courageous Kids


The Center for Courageous Kids (CCK) provides an overnight camp experience free of charge to children with serious illnesses and disabilities, so they can build community and freely engage in respite and recreation..

Health and Healing

Cornerstone Jamaica


Cornerstone Jamaica connects people and resources to improve community health and education in Western Jamaica. 

Green Empowerment


Green Empowerment partners with in-country organizations to build clean water and renewable energy infrastructure with Indigenous and rural communities across the globe.



HERhealthEQ is advancing global women’s health equity by providing access to medical equipment and devices for the detection, prevention and treatment of the most prevalent non-communicable disease affecting women and girls in developing countries. 

Lagos Food Bank Initiative


Lagos Food Bank creates sustainable means of nutrition by establishing, supporting livestock and crop farming programs within selected communities.

Penta Medical Recycling


Penta collects used and excess prostheses and delivers this high quality, low cost prosthetic equipment to amputees around the world.

Hunger and Poverty

Children’s Place International


Children’s Place International works with in-country partners to support vulnerable children in regaining their health and pursuing their dreams.

CIDADES SEM FOME / Cities Without Hunger


Cidades Sem Fome (Cities Without Hunger) develops sustainable agricultural projects in urban areas.



Sanku scales technology and business solutions that put critical nutrients into the food that hundreds of millions of malnourished people eat the most.

Second Mile Haiti


Second Mile combats acute malnutrition in Haitian children, empowering women through education and income-generation, and tackling systemic barriers to health and wellbeing in Haitian communities.



WHOlives works to solve the global water crisis through self-empowerment, onsite training, and sustainable water points.

Rising Stars

Kezia Asiedua Sanie, For The Future Ghana


For The Future Ghana (FTF Ghana) is an organization mainly made up of young people with the aim of organizing outreaches and impactful projects to alleviate the plight of underprivileged children.

Stanley Anigbogu, LightEd


LightEd is bringing a solution to electricity poverty by introducing a unique sustainable product to combat lack of light in various communities,utilizing e-waste and single-use plastic bottles.

May Wang, Linens N Love


Linens N Love empowers students to lead industry-transforming partnerships between hotels and shelters; the youth-led organization collects castoff linens from hotels and donates  them to homeless families, low income households, animal shelters, and more.

Oluwadamilola Akintewe, Project Rebirth


Project Rebirth provides free skills acquisition training in eco-friendly fashion, mentorship and resources (soft loans) to low income earning women and youths in underprivileged communities to enhance gender equality and youth empowerment.

Alexia Leclercq, Start:Empowerment


Start:Empowerment works to mobilize education and activism to achieve social-environmental justice and liberation for all.

.ORG of The Year

The 2023 .ORG Impact Award, .ORG of the Year, recognizes an outstanding nonprofit or nongovernmental organization nominated in one of the other seven categories for their incredible achievement in the past year as evidenced by results and contributions to their sector, constituents, community or society at large. The winner will be announced on November 16.


About Public Interest Registry

Public Interest Registry (PIR) is a nonprofit that operates the .ORG top-level domain—one of the world’s largest generic top-level domains with more than 10.8 million domain names registered worldwide. .ORG is open to everyone, providing a global platform for organizations, associations, clubs, businesses and individuals to bring their ideas to life. PIR has been a champion for a free and open Internet for two decades with a clear mission to be an exemplary domain name registry, provide a trusted digital identity and help educate those who dedicate themselves to improving our world. PIR was founded by the Internet Society (internetsociety.org) in 2002 and is based in Reston, Virginia, USA. Visit www.pir.org for more information.

Media contact: pir@berlinrosen.com