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The Charity Commission is to urge charities to make like an Arctic Monkey and harness the power of the net in their fundraising efforts.

The commission hosted a one day conference in London yesterday to discuss how charities can benefit from emerging media, such as blogs, social networking sites, and so on.

Charity Commission chair Dame Suzi Leather notes that it is hard to keep pace with developments in technology, and the changing face of the media.

"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, she said. "The challenge for charities is to harness this potential and channel it into genuine social change and community action on the ground."

Speakers will include Hugh Wallace, head of interactive media at Oxfam; Graeme Brown, director of communications at Shelter; and Jeremy Gilley founder, writer and director of the international film project Peace One Day. Ed Miliband, minister for the third sector will also give a presentation.

He commented: "The public are rightly demanding more say than ever before in how they interact with government, the 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." ®

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