FUNDRAISING NEWS: Online community awards doubled to meet high demand

Citizens Online and web portal AOL are increasing the amount of money handed out through their community awards after receiving an unprecedented number of applications from charities and community groups.

The number of awards will be doubled to 30 after the initial application round saw 800 organisations pitch for funding.

Awards were granted to a range of projects including a web-based radio station in Gwent and an internet cafe for blind and partially sighted people in Berkshire.

The scheme was launched in March and is aimed at a range of groups working on issues such as disability, regeneration, and social inclusion. The grant money could be used to support different kinds of online activity including broadband access, website design or online security systems.

"The interest is an indication of how communities are becoming aware of the advantages of the internet," said John Fisher, chief executive at Citizens Online.

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