Spond compensated me to review their app and share my findings with you. As always, the opinions are mine.
Keeping our Scouting families informed is super important! Check out Spond, an easy and flexible way to share Cub Scout pack and den information.
When we volunteer as Cub Scout leaders, we probably envision planning and executing fun and informative pack and den meetings. Our time will be spent coming up with super fun ideas to keep our Scouts engaged.
You probably have the same thoughts about any organization you volunteer for–sports teams, PTA, band booster club, etc.
But we quickly learn that the role involves much more than that. We have to communicate with our parents about meetings or missed activities. And that can get hairy.
Some folks want an email, and some folks never check their emails. Some folks want a text while others want you to start a Facebook group.
Frustrating to say the least, especially when you want to spend your time planning good activities for the Scouts.
So, what would you say if I told you there there is a way to easily solve your Cub Scout communication problems and save you time?
Spond is that solution. With Spond, you can create events, share information via posts, create polls, and take payments.
The free app allows you to easily communicate with the parents in your den or pack. Use the app to schedule den and pack meetings and events and to share information with your parents.
Spond is available online through your web browser or via their smartphone app.
What is Spond?
Spond is a Norwegian based company that was founded by parents who wanted a better way to organize activities for their children. The company has more than 20 people working for it, and it has some high-profile investors including former Olympian Aksel Lund Svindal, NHL player Mats Zuccarello, former eBay CEO Devin Wenig, and Johan Brand, the founder of Kahoot.
Spond's primary goal is “to make organizing activities easier for administrators, parents, and participants with our free-to-use app.” The company has over 750,000 active monthly users around the world.
One of the things I like about this company is that they are truly invested in helping volunteers who work with young people. In fact, they recognized that many youth sports coaches in the UK were considering quitting, so they commissioned a report to help identify the challenges in youth sports coaching. Raising awareness of the obstacles is the first step in solving them.
While Scouts isn't sports, we face many of the same challenges. As you read about the Spond app, you'll see that it helps with some of those challenges.
Why should I use Spond?
Spond saves you time. In fact, youth sports coaches save an average of 2.2 hours every week on administrative tasks by using the app. 9 out of 10 folks who use the app continue using it.
Spond is free to use, but I'm sure you're wondering how the company makes money. You can use the app to collect payments from your members, and if you do that, the company charges a small transaction fee.
Your data is safe with Spond. Because it's based in Norway, the company must comply with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is much more stringent that privacy laws in the US.
While Spond does allow children under the age of 15 to use their app, we as Cub Scout leaders will probably only want to include parents.
Spond has so many great features. Read on to discover what all you can do with Spond.
Spond is a smartphone app, but it will also send an email to parents who prefer email to an app. You can RSVP for events and respond to posts and polls without having to log in to Spond first. That is huge!
Your parents receive a notification each time there is an informational post or a poll.
Spond allows you to send group or individual messages which makes it easy to communicate with all the parents in a specific den or just with one parent whose Scout missed the last meeting.
Groups and Members
In addition to your entire pack, Spond allows you to set up subgroups for each den. When you create events or posts, you can choose whether it applies to everyone in your pack or just a specific den.
You can also assign multiple guardians for each Scout. This is perfect for Scouts who have step-parents. Add the parents and step-parents so that everyone will know what the Scouting schedule is. And if one parent RSVPs to an event, the other parents are notified.
Adding members is easy. You can add members by:
- Entering their information individually
- Importing an individual via your smartphone's contact list
- Copying & pasting your member list into Spond's member importer
- Sharing the group link via text, email, messenger, etc.
Calendar & Events
One of the things I love about Spond is that you easily schedule multiple events at once on a PC or Mac by importing them from a calendar file or by adding them in a table. Add your entire Scout calendar for the year all at once.
You can decide how far in advance to send out the invitations for the events. You can also send out reminders to those folks who haven't RSVPed yet.
Spond events can be synchronized with both iCal (iOS) and Google Calendar (Android).
Another nice feature is that you, as an admin, can update RSVPs. If a parent calls to tell you their Cub Scout can't come to a meeting, you can change their RSVP to No.
Spond's post feature is a flexible way to share information with the entire group. You can let parents know about the deadline to register for Cub Scout day camp or what to finish up at home before the next den meeting.
Spond has a cool poll feature that allows you to create either a text poll or a time poll.
If you're trying to decide which weekend to have your spring campout, create a time poll and have parents respond with the date that works best for them.
A text poll can be used for something like your Blue and Gold banquet menu. Let your families choose whether they want barbecue or pizza.
Files and Images
Did you or one of your parents take an epic Pinewood Derby picture? Share it on the app!
Spond has a super easy way for you to collect payments. Just create a payment request, and send it out.
Parents can pay with Visa, Mastercard, or AmEx. Spond uses Stripe as their payment provider, so they don't store your card information.
One thing to note is that Spond cannot issue refunds, so if someone needs a refund, you'll need to give it to them directly rather than through the app.
I believe you'll love using Spond for your Cub Scout parent and leader communication! Visit their website to learn more about them.
Yours in Scouting,
P.S. While you're learning about Spond, have your Scouts work on their Cyber Chip requirements.