Photo: QVS alumna Claire Hannapel, Portland and Alumni Coordinator Rachel Logan-Wood, Executive Director Hilary Burgin, and long time QVS supporter John Helding at FGC The Gathering in July 2023.

Dear Friends,

We’re writing to you as we finish the current program and fiscal year and move towards the next one.

The Fruits of our Labor

Quaker Voluntary Service has made deep impacts on the lives of young adults, Quaker communities, and service organizations since it began in 2012. For more than ten years, Fellows have done capacity-building work across service fields – to date working with over 120 nonprofits – and there are now nearly 250 alumni in the QVS community! Based on a 2020 survey of Alumni, 90% of respondents said they identify with or are influenced by the Quaker Way and 46% said they currently attend a Quaker meeting, church, or worship group. QVS continues to provide rich experiences for young adults and increase the capacity of community-led organizations, as expressed by Alumni and site placements below. 

“QVS tied me back to my faith community and invited me into Quaker practice in a way that made me feel I belonged”

2017-2018 Atlanta Alum

“Our QVS Fellow has allowed us to sit at more tables and join more campaigns than we would have been able to without [their] presence. I can’t overstate the value this Fellow has been in enhancing our work”

Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility (Portland, OR site placement)

Quaker Voluntary Service has been so successful because of you, our strong community of supporters. Thank you. 

Challenges in 2023 

While we are proud of what Quaker Voluntary Service provides for young adults and the Religious Society of Friends, we find ourselves at the nexus of change. We have seen a decrease in interest from young adults over the past two years, a pattern that is now recognized across service programs. We know this is connected to the economy and low unemployment, but we also suspect this is due to changes in priorities and increased anxieties of a new generation of young adults. We have a plan to pilot changes to address the shifting landscape. Our goal is to make adjustments to the program without compromising our integrity or the mission of the organization. 

The Plan 

We are considering a number of adjustments to the program. We have several potential shifts we plan to thresh throughout the summer and fall, including:
1) increasing the Fellow stipend; 
2) expanding site placement partnerships to include businesses; 
3) inviting Fellows to “bring their own site placement”; and
4) shifting program expectations.
To learn more about the details of these changes, check out our blog. 

For QVS, the timeline for information-gathering, decision-making, and then acting on that decision is about 1 ½ years. What this means is that we have a lag-time between when we decide to try something new and when we see the results. For those that like examples, dates, and details, I encourage you to look at the extensive document listed above and also linked here that goes in-depth to our decision-making and timelines.

Can You Help?

We are able to explore these changes thanks to the unwavering support of our community and the fiscal responsibility of the organization since our inception. We have financial reserves that we can lean on for now. However, we know that if we do not see an increase in applicant numbers within a few years, we will need to scale back the organization to match a smaller pool of Fellows. We hope that the proposed changes will address the concerns of young adults and grow the applicant pool. We are asking you to continue to partner with us as we lean into creativity and discernment to address the current challenges. 

I’m inspired by the amazing work that Quaker Voluntary Service has done in the last 10 years. With nearly 250 Alumni, we SEE this organization has changed the Religious Society of Friends and the world. We want to keep making this program an option for young adults, and we need to make it through this challenging time in order to do so. Can we count on you to help us continue to experiment during these changing times? 

Your support matters.

We’re thrilled to report that a donor is offering a matching gift for anyone who has not yet made a gift this fiscal year. This donor will match all gifts up to $10,000 between now and the end of our fiscal year on July 31st. Thank you for believing in QVS and helping us traverse the creative future together!

To donate online, visit our webpage here. If you’d like to make a gift of stock, contact Haley at To donate by check, please mail your gift to 500 Westover Dr #16026, Sanford, NC 27330. 

With love and gratitude,

Hilary Burgin (she/her), Executive Director 


  Haley Castle-Miller (she/her), Development and Outreach Coordinator

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