Charities urged to innovate and exploit new media

Charities have been urged to look to the Arctic Monkeys for inspiration and exploit new media to raise funds.

In a one day conference in London today, minister for the third sector Ed Miliband has been talking to leading charities about the opportunities afforded by the internet and public participation, as well as the challenges this poses for the government, media and third sector.

Organised by the Charity Commission with support from the BBC, the event brings together key figures from the third sector and media community to discuss how charitable causes could benefit from social networking sites, blogs, broadband TV and user generated content such as You Tube.

Charities should use the Artic Monkeys, who used the social networking site My Space to build their fanbase, and Korean housewife Kim Hye Won as inspiration, the organisers claim.

Dame Suzi Leather, chair of the Charity Commission said: “New and innovative media techniques are developing more rapidly than most of us can keep pace with. We are entering an age of participative media where anybody with access to a computer has the potential to contribute in a unique and valuable way.

“The challenge for charities is to harness this potential and channel it into genuine social change and community action on the ground. This conference will give charities a chance to think about how best they can tap into this vast potential and use it to tell their story.”

Mr Miliband added the public are now demanding more control over their interaction with the government, media and civil society.

“As expectations rise it is increasingly important that government and the media come together with the third sector to answer the challenge of how to increase opportunities for public participation,” he explained.

Oxfam and Shelter were among the charities attending today’s event.