Martha Lane Fox founded Antigone in 2007. Antigone works with a small number of charities each year, learning more about the needs of socially excluded people so that we can help promote their successes to ministers and the press. We work in alliance with a number of other funders, organisations and people to make these changes happen and are keen to promote areas of philanthropy and activism that are currently unfashionable and underfunded.

Antigone is closed for any further grant applications for the remainder of 2013.


Charities need to think internet first

Many charities are suffering because they have failed to embrace digital campaigning as enthusiastically as they should. Furthermore, some organisations are reluctant to invest in this area. It depends on the charity, but many haven't yet moved as quickly as the commercial sector. Others are suffering from the reluctance of funders to invest because they think money spent on developing websites is frittered away.

Funders of charities are not as bullish about using technology as they should be. It's hard to get money to build websites, but the funders should see that it's not waste but vital to help charities move on. There are however exceptions to the criticism. I praise Comic Relief's decision to move its grant applications processes online and commend Beatbullying's Big March of last November, in which avatars of 750,000 supporters marched across various websites before handing in a petition to the government.

I urge charities that are serious about improving their digital campaigning to read the online case book 'Survive and Thrive', which features case studies of organisations that have used technology to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. The book is edited by Race Online 2012, a cross-sector partnership - including the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the Big Lottery Fund and Acevo.

Several digital initiatives in the book have impressed me, an example is Breakthrough Breast Cancer's iPhone app, which reminds women to have their breasts screened regularly. Another initiative I really liked encouraged people to show their support for the NSPCC by changing their Facebook pictures to cartoon characters. The Big Give is another great site enabling charities to promote their causes to philanthropists, and is a good source of information about where people are putting money.

I hope that Survive and Thrive will convince charities that an online presence is a crucial way of achieving their aims and make them less shy about asking for funding for technology. Charities should put the internet at the heart of what they do. I realise that these are difficult times financially and getting money for websites isn't easy, but charities must make it a priority.

The social media network site Twitter, is a cheaper form of digital campaigning that can complement a charity's website. One person's message on Twitter can be picked up and make a difference. It takes time to establish a following, but it can be very valuable. My advice is to use personal and engaging language. Don't tweet in the corporate style - use your own voice.

Having a digital capacity is a challenge, but I urge everyone to think internet first

To see the full 'Survive and Thrive Casebook' click here.

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