Scouts Aotearoa

Young people today see the internet through apps, and Salesforce helps us to engage with them in this space and to give them the tools to create and own their scout adventure.”

Joshua Tabor | CEO of SCOUTS Aotearoa


scouts invited to connect online


Scouts Aotearoa transforms to reach 25,000 young people by 2025

Scouts Aotearoa traces its roots back to more than 112 years ago and is the country’s largest non-formal education provider with 360 locations, 5,000 volunteers, and approximately 13,000 young people involved in its scouting programs. These programs offer young people a safe, nurturing environment where they can enjoy new adventures and make new connections. They also empower participants to lead lives that make a positive difference.

Up until now, Scouts Aotearoa has relied heavily on the passion and goodwill of its volunteers to set curriculum and processes for local programs. However, to continue to grow and reach more of today’s youth, the organisation is transforming to better support its volunteers and enable members to take control of their scouting experience.

Salesforce has helped Scouts Aotearoa accelerate this transformation and create a safe and engaging online community where members can collaborate, learn, and grow. Salesforce is also helping Scouts Aotearoa to automate and scale its operations.

Taking scouting online

Scouts Aotearoa began preparing for the implementation of Salesforce six months ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a big change for the organisation, and the plan was to start slow with an overhaul of back-end systems. However, by early March, social distancing requirements were increasing and it became clear that Scouts Aotearoa needed to move online.

“We had to work out an effective way to maintain a connection to our members so they would feel supported and be there when we reopened. The only way to do that was digitally,” Joshua Tabor, CEO of Scouts Aotearoa.

Working with Salesforce and local partner GravityLab, Scouts Aotearoa set to work and within 48 hours they had a plan to use Experience Cloud and build an online community. The “minimum lovable product” was designed as a child-safe space where groups could meet and share photos and videos. It was also designed for rapid deployment and was ultimately rolled out to 8,000 young people and 3,000 adults in just five weeks.

Scouts Aotearoa simultaneously launched LearnTrac, a free online tool from the AppExchange which scouts are now using to upskill and earn badges.

“The rapid rollout was an incredible outcome. It enabled us to keep operating and put us in great shape to fast-track our digital transformation,” said Tabor.

Maximising digital engagement

Within just weeks of the launch, there were 1,300 Chatter groups established as more and more scouting groups connected online. The next logical step was to introduce an app and maximise digital engagement. However, Scouts Aotearoa’s core team of 17 didn’t have the time to build a bespoke app, so they opted to simply turn the online community into an app using Mobile Publisher. This not only reduced the time and cost of upfront development, but eliminated the overheads that would have come with maintaining the app.

Developed in just ten weeks, the app is now available to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play and will provide scouts with a social media-like experience in a safe and secure environment.

"Young people today see the internet through apps, and Salesforce helps us to engage with them in this space and to give them the tools to create and own their scout adventure,” said Tabor. “Now the problem we’re trying to solve is scaling and removing the burden of administration from volunteers by automating manual processes. We’re confident we can achieve all of this with Salesforce."

When asked what he’d learned from this experience and what advice he’d give to others, Tabor said not to be afraid to start the transformation journey sooner rather than later. “All the time and effort we spent trying to maintain parity with old systems could have been spent building better systems and processes and more engaging experiences. Now we have not only solved an immediate crisis, but we have a pathway to work towards and are closer to achieving one source of truth for all our data.”


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