The Value of a Girl Guides Volunteer

Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT is a volunteer led and volunteer run organization.

Did you know that it takes 1664 Member Volunteers to deliver the Australian Guide Program to 4,762 girls and young women across NSW, the ACT and the NT? 

And to help these wonderful women give girls in Guiding a place to grow and develop their skills in a safe environment while having fun and finding friends, there are another 600+ non-member volunteers contributing to the empowerment of girls and young women to discover their potential as leaders of their world.

The Impact of Girl Guides 

There has always been a sense of strength and air of confidence about a Girl Guides Leader. To identify why, Girl Guides Associations of Australia conducted a study into the social impact of Girl Guides on the Girls in the Program and the Adult Volunteers that make the delivery of the Australian Guide Program a possibility.

Key findings from this study include:

Adult Members have higher than average wellbeing
When compared with a sample of Australians with comparable demographic characteristics, Girl Guides Adult Members were found to have higher average levels of wellbeing.

Volunteers are confident in their roles and feel connected to purpose
For Adult Members aged 30+, factors related to confidence in their role with Girl Guides, goal-setting, and connection to something bigger than themselves saw the biggest positive shifts.

Higher engagement is associated with better outcomes
Adult Members who put over 15 hours of time into Girl Guides per month, see higher self-reported scores across a range of personal capability and opportunity factors than those who contribute less than 5 hours per month.

Adult Members recommend Guiding
With an excellent overall Net Promoter Score (NPS) score of 60, Girl Guides overwhelmingly recommend their experience to others. Qualitative analysis found that Adult Members reported that Guiding had a positive impact on their mental health and gave them a sense of purpose.

Girl Guides develops confident, driven, and passionate Adult Members

Between the first and third years of being an adult volunteer, adults in Guiding reported: 
+16% increase in Life Skills like setting goals and tracking progress
+15% increase in Life Skills where they believe they have skills to confidently perform their roles in Guiding
+13% increase in Leadership with confidence in having difficult conversations with others
+12% increase in Life Skills such as effective time management
+12% increase in purpose, where they feel a meaningful connection with something bigger then just them
+12% increase in confidence where they have experienced that a heightened belief in oneself helping during difficult times 

Why Measure Wellbeing?
We conducted a social impact study to enable us to put those engaged in Guiding in Australia in the best position to fulfil their potential and live a life they find valuable. Doing so empowers our Members to achieve high levels of wellbeing. To ensure that Guiding in Australia is having a positive impact on the girls that experience it and the Adults that make it happen, we need to measure the wellbeing of these groups. By finding out if we’re achieving target outcomes, and if our target outcomes are aligned with the needs of our measurement groups, we can identify opportunities to maximise the potential good that the Girl Guides can create and deliver.

How do you measure wellbeing when it’s unique to the individual? 
Like all good scientific process, we start with a thesis. What are we trying to prove or measure? We want to know if The Australian Guide Program contributes to the wellbeing of girls and women by placing them in the best position to fulfil their potential. 
How do we get there? We determine impact achieved through the outcomes of the program building capabilities and providing access and opportunities. For adults in Guiding, these outcomes include: purpose; connection and friendship; confidence; leadership; resilience; life skills; enjoyment; and new opportunities as a global citizen.

Don’t you need output if you’re measuring something? Yes. Adults participating in Guiding in Australia complete training and development programs; and they lead and deliver the Australian Guide Program to Girl Guides. Activities that make up these outputs include local, regular, Unit meetings; camps, outdoor activities and excursions; local events and conferences; state based events and conferences; National events and conferences; International events and conferences; service activities, training courses and programs; recruitment and marketing; and, fundraising.

Analysis of data collected as it pertains to Adult Members considered a shift over time or by level of involvement/engagement, comparing those who have joined been an Adult participating in Guiding for less than a year against those that have been volunteering for five or more years.

Outcomes Contributing to Wellbeing
All of the program outcomes mentioned above have a strong, positive correlation with overall wellbeing for Adult Members. The most important contributing outcomes to wellbeing were confidence, purpose, and connection and friendships.


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