Youth organisation creates over 1 million in social value


A recent study by Net Balance Foundation has revealed that the Oaktree Foundation, Australia’s largest youth-run organisation geared at ending global poverty, is creating over $1.3 million worth of social value for its volunteers every year.

The organisation, which celebrates its 10th year anniversary this October, started work with Net Balance Foundation six months ago as part of an innovative new way to measure social impact.

The study investigates the financial value of volunteer outcomes, such as personal development, personal satisfaction and pathways to meaningful employment. Results put the value of volunteering at Oaktree at almost $11,000 per volunteer per year.

‘Over the past ten years, Oaktree has had thousands of young people volunteer in our offices across the country,’said Meg Brodie, Oaktree’s Executive Assistant of People & Culture.

‘These people have come from all kinds of backgrounds and it’s great for us to be able to quantify the impact we’ve had on them –beyond just their personal reflections. It’s really clear now how much value volunteering can add to a person’s life and to their personal and professional development.’

The study included focus groups with over 100 current and past volunteers, as well as extensive surveys and investigation into existing research.

‘The Social Return on Investment methodology examines the change that occurs as a result of an activity or interaction –in this case, the Oaktree volunteer experience.

Rebecca Cain from Net Balance said, "The most important outcomes are identified and have a value allocated to them, which means we can calculate the return on investment in monetary terms."

Numbers aside, Oaktree’s volunteers were eager to articulate the outcomes they’d experienced in their own words.

‘I had a huge responsibility [at Oaktree],’said one volunteer. ‘Getting through that and realising that people admired you for what you did and the way you held yourself gave me confidence. Now, I don’t feel scared to do something that’s massively outside my comfort zone.’

For more information, please contact:


Meg Brodie

Executive Assistant, People & Culture

0438 703 494