1. Background

Friend in Washington Program


The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has long benefitted from the dedicated service of Friends who volunteer in our Washington, DC office for a focused period of time.

Over the years, Friends in Washington have played important roles in developing FCNL policy and lobbying Congress. Friends in Washington have strengthened FCNL's expertise in priority areas and cultivated relationships with lawmakers from their states. In addition to their areas of expertise, Friends in Washington bring the experience of their faith and practice within the Religious Society of Friends to the FCNL staff and network.

Roles & Responsibilities

Through the Friends in Washington Program, seasoned Quakers are invited to work at the FCNL office for a period of 2-4 months on specific, temporary projects that advance FCNL’s policy and organizational priorities. During their time volunteering for FCNL, they are invited to stay rent-free in the apartment at 205 C St, adjacent to the FCNL office.

The needs of the organization are the driving factor in determining what projects and people are chosen for consideration. An FCNL staff member is assigned to each Friend in Washington to mentor and guide them, assuring mutual benefit for Friends in Washington and for FCNL.

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. Friends in Washington are encouraged to visit local Quaker meetings. They may be asked to attend coalition meetings, conferences, or other events to represent FCNL. They join monthly staff meetings, birthday celebrations, etc., and otherwise participate in the staff and volunteer community.

Friends in Washington are expected to share their experience with the FCNL community in various ways, both in writing and in person. During their stay, each Friend in Washington will host an event that will be open both to the staff and to the public, and to which we specifically invite members of local Quaker meetings. This event is a chance for the Friend in Washington to share the main project that they’ve been working on, a spotlight on a particular experience they’ve had in their lives, an aspect of research, a focus on Quaker history, or a spiritual concept.

Friends are invited to serve based on the organization’s needs, which change over time. Our network includes many talented and experienced professionals, and the nature of this program limits it to a very small number of participants.