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FCNL has hosted Quaker volunteers as Friends in Washington for more than five decades. These Friends volunteer with FCNL in Washington, D.C. for two to four months, working on a project to support the mission of FCNL, the FCNL Education Fund, or Friends Place on Capitol Hill. Friends in Washington have strengthened FCNL’s expertise in priority areas, written resource materials, and cultivated relationships with lawmakers from their states.

See past Friend in Washington volunteers and projects.

All Friends in Washington also connect FCNL’s advocacy work more closely with the broader Quaker world and build deep and lasting relationships. We particularly invite Friends with an interest in advancing FCNL’s priorities on diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism to consider this opportunity.

Who can be a Friend in Washington?

Joey Hartmann-Dow artist talk

The program is open to members of a Quaker worshipping body or people who otherwise demonstrate a history of connection and commitment to the Religious Society of Friends. Past volunteers have come from many backgrounds and stages of life—from artists to librarians and professors, from young adults to retirees.

Current members of the FCNL Executive Committee, Education Fund Board, or Friends Place Board are not eligible to serve as Friends in Washington.

How are volunteers selected? What do Friends in Washington do?

Friends in Washington are invited to serve based on an alignment of their skills and expertise with organizational need. Volunteers are supervised by a senior staff member and receive project guidance and mentorship from the program lead in that area. The specific project parameters and deliverables are determined through mutual agreement in advance of the volunteers’ arrival.

In addition to their specific assignments, Friends in Washington contribute to the spiritual richness of FCNL. They may be asked to facilitate a weekly meeting for worship as well as to provide Quaker-related programming to visitors or others new to FCNL, and they are encouraged to visit local Quaker meetings.

Friends in Washington also share their experiences with the FCNL community. For example, they might host an event for FCNL staff and network members to speak about their project, their experience as a Quaker, the ways they’ve experienced the connection between faith and action in their lives, or another topic. After the conclusion of their work with FCNL, we ask that Friends in Washington share their experience with their home Quaker community as well.

Where do volunteers live? What are the benefits of this role?

Bob and Carole Winkleblack

For the duration of their volunteer period, Friends in Washington can stay rent-free at an FCNL-owned apartment adjacent to FCNL’s office on Capitol Hill. Located within walking distance of the U.S. Captiol, the National Mall, and Union Station, this apartment provides a convenient base both for work at FCNL and for exploring Washington, D.C.

FCNL provides volunteers with a workspace, computer, high-speed Internet access, and office supplies. Following their arrival, volunteers will be reimbursed for expenses related to their work as Friends in Washington. The role does not include a stipend.

Friends in Washington participate fully in FCNL staff activities, joining staff and team meetings, retreats, celebrations, and other gatherings open to the staff and volunteer community. They may be asked to attend coalition meetings, conferences, or other events to represent FCNL. They have opportunities to learn from FCNL staff, attend meetings and events, and immerse themselves in the world of Quaker lobbying on Capitol Hill. They also have the satisfaction of contributing spiritually and materially to the mission of FCNL, the FCNL Education Fund, and/or Friends Place on Capitol Hill.  

How do I express interest or learn more?

Complete this short questionnaire to let us know you’re interested and share the expertise you might bring to the role.

For questions and additional information, contact Alicia McBride, Senior Director of Quaker Outreach.