Scouts Australia Project in Review

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Organisations must respond to the times to remain relevant amidst significant demographic shifts, cultural change, and generational transitions.

Scouts Australia is the nation’s largest youth organisation with a membership of 52,000 youth members. The not-for-profit recently commissioned McCrindle to guide the direction of a major Youth Program Review (YPR) through a three-phase project, helping Scouts to engage with the needs and desires of Australian families, their perceptions of Scouting, and what families are looking for in a contemporary youth organisation.

Engaging Stakeholders for Strategic Organisational Change


Through conducting nation-wide research, Scouts Australia sought to determine future directions and develop a detailed understanding of the wider community to:

  • Ensure the values of Scouts Australia engage with those of 21st Century Australia
  • Create a program that meets the needs of their appropriate youth target market


As part of the research, a number of methodologies and tools were utilised:

  • Awareness and Perception Brand Testing: Testing the perceptions, attitudes, awareness of Australians and Scouting families towards Scouting.
  • Competitor Analysis: Defining how the Scouts Australia brand is perceived in comparison to other Australian youth development, extracurricular, and sport organisations.
  • Segmentation Analysis: Comparing Scouts families with Australian families nationally and differences in their values for Australian youth.
  • Demographic Forecasting & Trends Analysis: Understanding the factors that shape and influence Generation Z from a demographic and social trends perspective.


Phase 1 provided qualitative insights through a series of focus groups with current and former Scouts members and Scouting parents, testing Scouting’s current landscape and the changes needed in the program, thus setting the foundation for the Phase 2 and Phase 3 research.

Phase 2 sought to define the needs and desires of Australian families for a national youth program through a comprehensive national study of 1,078 Australian parents with children aged 6 to 18, asking parents about their values and what a youth program should look like for a 21st century Australia. These results were compared to the perspectives of 1,858 Scouts parents.

Phase 3 featured a demographic and social trends scoping study on Generation Z and Generation Alpha incorporating McCrindle data, Australian Bureau of Statistics data, and trend analysis from McCrindle’s generational experts.

The McCrindle team visualised and presented the results of all three phases at national and state executive meetings throughout 2014 to engage key stakeholders with the strategic changes required to shape the new Scouts program.


The Scouts Australia YPR team is using the research as a key engagement piece with Scouts members and their families. The results have led to significant discussions among members and decision-makers on what it could look like to provide a highly sought after youth program for 21st century Gen Zs.

“One chief commissioner suggested this is the best research we have ever completed. Your work has assisted in giving credibility to the YPR and strengthening the belief of others for the need to have the YPR.” – Scouts


In 2015, McCrindle is conducting a sector-wides study for Australian not-for-profit organisations and charities entitled the Australian Community Trends Report. Organisations are invited to participate and sign up by 30 June, 2015.


At McCrindle we are engaged by some of the leading brands and most effective organisations across Australia and internationally to help them understand the ever-changing external environment in which they operate and to assist them in identifying and responding to the key trends. See our Research Pack for more information on our services.

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