Girl Scouts of Japan is a nationwide organization, consisting of 47 Local Councils
and about 40,000 members. It is a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and
Girl Scouts which is the largest voluntary Movement dedicated to girls and young
women. The Girl Scouts organization supports and empowers girls and young women to
achieve their fullest potential through non-formal education.
As a nationwide organization, Girl Scouts of Japan had challenges to maintain clear
communication across members. With numerous groups and members of various ages, they
needed an efficient and secure business system to ensure that all groups are aligned
and that personal information about minors is kept secure. As the umbrella
organization for local councils, their files contain personal information about the
girls and young women in each troop and council, as well as the adults who act as
their Leaders. With locations spread across the country, monitoring and evaluating
the effectiveness of activities is important. Troop Leaders and local council report
back to Girl Scouts of Japan on attendance, events frequency, and other impact
metrics to ensure their organization as effective as possible. With limited
resources, they needed a solution that they could easily implement nationwide across
their diverse local council locations.
With a “Girl Scouts spirit” of trying something new without fear, Girl Scouts of
Japan has integrated the suite of Google for Nonprofits products to drive efficiency
across their many local councils and groups. First, they started using G Suite to
align business operations across their local councils. By embedding forms on their
website, they are able to provide e-learning programs through Google Forms to Girl
Scout members. E-learning program provided opportunity for wider range of members to
learn knowledge on Girl Scouting and skills to develop Leadership. While the Girl
Scouts program has existed for over a century, Girl Scouts of Japan has modernized
their work by using Google Form quizzes to help girls and young women increase their
knowledge and skills, while gaining badges from local councils around the country.
The staff at Girl Scouts of Japan has various levels of technical knowledge, and
products like Forms and Sheets allow them to easily share information and get data
summaries without manual inputs. Since they are an umbrella organization for local
councils, G Suite allows them to share documents only with users who should have
access for each local branch, allowing for improved privacy measure. Since files can
now be shared across local councils, each troop can share best practices, team
building activities, and other activities to further their work. With Gmail, their
previous concerns with spam mail, malware, and other security issues have been
reduced through Google’s privacy settings. By setting up Google Sites, various local
councils and members can access relevant information like Troop Leader trainings and
handbooks. This allows for real time updates and information to be quickly shared
across the local councils and members supported by Girl Scouts of Japan.
Not only has Google for Nonprofits’ products resulted in improvements of internal
business operations, but recently Girl Scouts Japan has leveraged Google for
Nonprofits for external outreach and communications. With AdGrants and YouTube they are actively
building an online presence to gain new members and share the incredible work and
events held in each location. Their YouTube videos help illustrate the work they do
to empower girls and young women including team-building activities, singalongs, and
local summer camps.
To share information and ultimately increase the number of people attending their
events, they use Google Maps to help non-members who are interested in Girl Scouting
find events happening all over Japan. They also use Google Maps APIs available
through the Earth Outreach program to provide a global view of their impact to
current members, as well as potential new members. By combining Google Maps APIs and
YouTube, they created a Virtual Tour
of five Girl Scout facilities around the globe. This encourages a global perspective,
and lets their members feel part of a larger community around the world.
The Google for Nonprofit tools not only help keep the Girl Scouts of Japan programs
organized and efficient, but also help visualize their important work to encourage
and empower girls and young women.
Rumiko Meguro, GSJ head office, PR and Fundraising team
As a large nation-wide organization, scaling efforts has been essential to success.
Their e-learning program - content determined by a Google Form - allowed for over
7,000 members to be trained on anything from knowledge on Girl Scouting to life
skills. From a financial standpoint, G Suite has allowed for higher quality security
systems that can easily be implemented across multiple locations.
Using G Suite has improved their operational efficiency considerably. Previously,
only some of the staff used Google products partly but G Suite had not been installed
throughout the organization yet. So, they had to maintain multiple email accounts
which could be a potential security risk. Once the organization migrated to G Suite
each member of staff only had one account for all of their operational needs that
they could access from anywhere - removing the risk of losing that employee’s
documents if they left. G Suite allows them to manage their users in-house, making
updates to their large organization’s staff quickly and efficiently. Previously, a
staff member in charge of the org’s information and communication technology system
had to request account change requests, such as adding new members or deleting a
retired employee’s account, by asking the external vendor via spreadsheet. This
allows them to spend less time on the core operations of their organization, and
focus more time on their efforts expanding to reach more girls and young women and
continue their program’s work.
Google for Nonprofits tools also widened the visibility of their organization and
their efforts to support girls and young women and their development. Previously,
their events were listed on a page on the website - covering dozens of events in a
long list that attendees had to click through. With Google Maps they were able to
embed a map on their website and update with events in real time. Each event is color
coded, by month or theme (like “Girl Scouts Day”) to help people who are interested
in Girl Scouting quickly find local events to attend. By integrating events on
Maps and visualizing their location, they’ve increased event attendance with over
18,000 views on event information. Potential members no longer have to search to find
their nearest meeting, but rather can easily pull up the map and find an opportunity
to connect with one another.
Sharing the important work that they do and visualizing their impact on girls and
young women is essential to the success of Girl Scouts of Japan. Ad Grants has
improved their online presence, leading to over 3,000 monthly visitors to their
website, causing a 500% increase in visitors in just two months. For global campaigns
like “Stop the Violence” they created ads encouraging gender equality and protection
from violence, to raise awareness and increase media coverage of the campaign in
Japan. Similarly, their YouTube channel features
playlist of Girl Scouts playing the patty-cake “I’ll Think of You” - written by
Kurt Schneider, as a team building activity. Many local councils and groups provided
a video - with 43 contributions so far. These are used to show examples of activities
Girl Scouts do, as well as drive potential new members to the website through cards
and annotations. With over 20,000 views on some videos, YouTube has been a driver in
displaying the work they do to support and empower girls and young women.
Girl Scouts of Japan has dozens of programs - from a self esteem program co-developed
by WAGGGS and DOVE, to a Stop the Violence campaign to support reducing violence
against women, to various camps and events around the country. The Google for
Nonprofit tools not only help keep these programs organized and efficient, but also
help visualize their important work to encourage and empower girls and young women.