On July 12, 2022, QVS hosted our 3rd Annual Supporters’ Briefing. We held our first ever Supporters’ Briefing in summer 2020 to offer Friends an inside look into programmatic and financial shifts due to COVID-19. This year, in addition to stories from QVS staff and board, we also invited Julia Riseman, our strategic planning consultant, to share key takeaways from the strategic planning work so far.
Click the video below to watch the recording. Or, scroll down to review the program’s special highlights!
The passcode for the recording is: w!&v1vG%
This year’s Supporters’ Briefing offered us an opportunity to zoom in on QVS’ strategic planning work. Julia Riseman shared key takeaways from the Future Visioning survey that over 100 community members completed in May. She then contextualized these takeaways with research on generational trends and economic and environmental analysis, which begins to suggest why we are experiencing a dip in enrollment right now.
We’ve included the slide deck, some recap, reflections from participants, and links shared during the event, but for the full experience we hope you will watch the recording above.
02:19 Agenda & Event Objectives
05:22 Orientation to this moment
11:47 Stories from the last year
12:11 National Orientation: The joy of togetherness while slowing down and centering spaciousness [Hilary]
17:17 Contextualizing Young Adulthood Today: “Inheriting a world that is moving towards environmental catastrophe” [Mike]
21:05 An Intergenerational QVS Board deciding to Sabbath the Atlanta Program [Damon]
30:39 Strategic Planning: Trends & Findings
48:18 Next Steps
52:06 Open Q&A
Briefing Slide Deck
Hover over and click on the left and right edges of the slides below to scroll through the slide deck.
Did You Know?
This year we made the challenging, yet necessary, decision to Sabbath the Atlanta QVS Program.
Read more about this decision on our blog here, or watch the recording above at 21:05 to hear Damon’s re-telling from the perspective of the QVS Board.
How does this era and the pandemic shape what we can do and on what timeline?
QVS is wrapping up year 10 of hosting young adult Fellows, and truly entering into our next decade of work. We are recruiting a new generation of young adults (Gen Z) and thus we are tasked with a different set of questions.
During the event, Julia Riseman offered helpful context about Gen Z. She explained the political life events that shape this particular generation’s world view and the sociopolitical trends that impact their decision-making. She summarized that:
- COVID-19 impacted this generation in a particularly profound life-stage. The pandemic created high levels of physical isolation, furthering young adults’ reliance on and creativity in using digital spaces for socializing and education.
- Given that Gen Z grew up during the Great Recession and have experienced a rising cost of living and education (e.g. student loan debt) in their teenage years, research shows in comparison to other generations, Gen Z may be less willing and able to take risk or try something different. This generation is also forced to think about employment in a different way than past generations.
- This generation holds a pervasive fear for the future of the planet and the country, with an extreme range of responses such as a pull to either direct or immediate action to challenge authority and the status quo (think organizing a strike or protesting) to at the other end a deep despair, feeling of powerlessness, and inaction.
If QVS’ mission is centered on young adults, then we are mandated to deeply appreciate and understand the lives of the current young generation. Our continued commitment to a strategic planning process will allow the QVS board and staff to set a course based on a deeper understanding of the identity we’ve developed over the last decade, the culture of young adults that has changed in that time, and the changes that will arrive in the coming years.
I really appreciated the program this evening. Thanks for extending the invitation. It has helped me process my experience as a spiritual nurturer for one of our fellows this year. It is also making me see my grandsons through a new lense.
“Thanks for the evening of insight and warmth. I am full of respect and joy for the many hands, expertise and hearts rowing down the same river.”
Links Shared During the Event
In case you missed any of the links we shared in the chat during the briefing, here they are again.
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Photo: A potluck hosted by the Local Support Committee in the Twin Cities last year. Local enthusiasm for QVS kept the door open for a possible return to the Twin CitiesLast Spring, the QVS Board of Directors made the difficult decision to pause the program in...
Photo: The QVS Boston house on retreat in Sandwich, NH in the summer of 2023. If you read our blog about a shortened program year, you might be wondering, what will QVS do with the extended summer break? We are piloting a summer program! There are endless...
Additional Useful Links
- We wrote about the role of the City Coordinator here.
- Learn more about the launch of our endowment on our blog here.
- Meet our board members here.
- This is where you can give today, tomorrow, monthly, weekly, annually.
- To hear from three Friends and QVS Alumni about why they feel led to support the transformative work of QVS, check out this video.
Invest in QVS
When you give to QVS you are: empowering young adults to explore their spirituality and vocation; increasing capacity of social change and service organizations; fostering intergenerational connections in Friends meetings and churches; and building new leadership for the Religious Society of Friends and the world.
Consider giving a one-time or recurring gift online today to help sustain our program, or be in touch with us about non-financial or deferred giving options.
For more information about giving or to get connected to one of our program cities, contact Claire, our Development Director, [email protected].