Many groups that I work with have not had this explained to them very well — but you need to both register your domain and set up hosting for it to work.
The difference between registering a domain and hosting a domain:
- Registering your domain is like purchasing a listing in the phone book (for those of us who remember printed phone books). This way people know how to reach you.
- Having a company host your website is like renting an office space so that you can put stuff there and people can come visit you.
More about this:
What is the difference between hosting vs registering vs your website files? thanks to Hostgator, a reliable (and green) webhost.
If you have other questions related to this, let me know in the comments. It’s common for “non-techies” to get confused about this, but I’m fairly certain you can learn what your organization needs and do the best thing!