Third Sector Forums could be yours

In order to concentrate on my consultancy work with Third Sector Lab and organising Be Good Be Social events I’ve taken the difficult decision to pass on ownership of Third Sector Forums. That new owner could be you.

Third Sector Forums is arguably the most popular charity and social enterprise forum in the UK with 1550 members and over 7600 posts to date. The forum has a Facebook page with 2320 fans and a Twitter account with 3104 followers. The forum has a team of volunteer super-admins who keep it clear of spam and a highly active user base. The forum also performs really well on Google. The forum is built on the vBulletin platform ensuring it is robust and easily updatable. The new owner would get the full website, userbase, domains, social media accounts, etc.

The right person/organisation could really take Third Sector Forums to the next level. Possible people I’m looking to hear from include:

– Third sector umbrella bodies (CVS, social enterprise bodies, etc).

– Social entrepreneurs.

– A co-operative.

– A funding body, foundation, trust or other philanthropic org.

– A consortium of orgs (possibly a tech firm, charity, social enterprise, etc)

– Charities involved in third sector tech.

– Techy types with a passion for social good.

– A third sector publication (magazine, newsletter, news site, blog, etc).

– A business who works closely with the third sector.

– Anyone else who feels they could run Third Sector Forums.

If you’re interested in taking over the forums drop me an email – ross[@]thirdsectorlab.co.uk – or tweet/DM me by Monday 7th May 12pm GMT at the latest. I’m not necessarily looking for money, my main concern is that the forums end up in the right hands.

  • The users should run it! Forum users, if you agree, please sign up at http://www.pledgebank.com/tsfusertakeover or text ‘pledge tsfusertakeover’ to 60022 (in the UK only) as soon as possible.

  • Ross McCulloch

    Thanks for the comment. My main concerns are:- New owners have to be passionate about the third sector.- They have to have the reach to make sure the user base continues to grow.- They have to commit to take on board the views of users.- They have to have the tech and design skills to take the forums to the next level.As mentioned it’s not necessarily down to money, so if a charity, co-op or social enterprise are interested I’d be happy to offer the forums in exchange for advertising or similar.Ultimately I’m 100% open to suggestions!

  • I think it’s obvious that the users have demonstrated that they are passionate about the sector by using the site; that the forum’s current users have a great reach across the sector; that a co-op of users would be driven by their views and not merely "take on board"; and that there are enough tech and design skills among the users to make it happen.The interesting thing that it would be good to know is how much the forums have cost to run in the last year, as far as that’s known/knowable given the great efforts by volunteers.And other than that, I see a spammer has put a few hundred pill posts on the site this morning. Great timing – or attracted by the retweets, I wonder.

  • Ross McCulloch

    Hosting costs are minimal, a hosting account costing approx £60-100 would be enough to handle the forums for now. The vBulletin license is paid for and add-ons are cheap/simple to install if required: https://www.vbulletin.com/The real cost is the time which has been invested in setting the forums up, ensuring it is spam free and promoting it amongst other networks.

  • Sure the real costs are the setting it up, keeping it spam-free so far and promoting it and I really appreciate all the time you’ve spent on that, but while some of that needs to be ongoing, they’re not recurring baseline financial costs which must be met. Thanks for the info.