Restaurant chain Zizzi has been awarded the project of the year award for a charity donation project led by its internal IT team.

The Corporate IT Forum rewarded Zizzi for its 'Pennies with Zizzi' project, which involved working with The Pennies Foundation charity to create an electronic charity box that allows customers paying by card at the restaurant to donate spare change to charity.

"Zizzi showed its determination to create a way of supporting casual donations in the new age of electronic payment. They paid close attention to communications to make sure all stakeholders - particularly customers - would embrace it.

"We were very impressed by the way this was driven by the IT department," said the Real IT Awards judges, which included representatives from DHL, Laing O'Rourke and South West Water.

The Real IT Awards aims to celebrate companies that develop innovative IT projects to deliver efficiencies in the business. However, this year, the awards were dominated by more socially-aware projects.

"What is particularly striking this year is that the innovation we are seeing is in areas where IT is giving something back, rather than where it is solely focused on delivering cost-savings and doing more with less," said John Harris, chairman of The Corporate IT Forum.

"This year IT is all about listening to user and customer needs - within the business and externally - and coming up with innovative ways to make things faster, easier and more efficient for them."

Public, as well as private sector organisations were also crowned winners at the awards.

Land Registry, with its register extract service, won in the 'delivering business value and e-commerce' category. It beat off competition from runners-up Bupa and its collaborative visual communications solution and McDonalds' contactless payment card.

The Environment Agency won two awards - for innovation in business and innovation in technology - for its targeted flood warnings solution.

Other winners included GlaxoSmithKline, which won in the 'security as an enabler' with its secure enhance tool, Balfour Beatty, whose Platform for Growth programme won in the 'service improvement category' and New Look, which succeeded in the 'social media' category with its NL Daily service.

All the winners and runners-up will present their projects at workshops open to all user organisations over the next few months.