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Advancement and Outreach Annual Reports

The text of recently received Annual Reports are below, with the most recently received at the top and older reports below. To jump to a particular report, simply click the year listed below.

2011 Report 2012 Report 2013 Report 2014 Report 2015 Report
2016 Report 2017 Report 2018 Report 2019 Report 2020 Report
2021 Report  

2021 Advancement and Outreach Committee Annual Report

No report received.


2020 Advancement and Outreach Committee Annual Report

This report covers things since 2018, since we’ve been derelict regarding writing reports.

After 2017’s year of research, we wrote up the results of our research into best-practices and published them on QuakerOutreach.com, on the basis that yearly meetings ought to share their findings with each other. (There’ve been contributions to that site from members of New England and Britain yearly meetings, as well.)

Each year, the committee coordinated participation of 8 local meetings in DC’s Pride festivities. In 2019, Trans Pride was added to the list (along with Capital Pride’s Parade and Festival and Black Pride). We continued to have rainbow temporary tattoos with the words “cherish that of God in everyone.” In 2018, we added a button maker with pre-printed templates with sayings such as “this little Light of mine” and “I see God in you,” which people could color with colored pencils before assembly. This was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

We have not received many requests from meetings to visit and talk through outreach strategy. We did visit Nottingham QM in 2018, where we talked about narrowing in on what your meeting does especially well and ways of making the meetinghouse look less empty (since emptiness can be off-putting).

We have been in touch with Mid-Ohio Valley Friends Meeting about their interest in joining BYM. We had been coordinating with them about the process for transferring meetings from another yearly meeting. We’d also planned on their visiting Interim Meeting in March, before the pandemic hit. Things have generally been set aside at the moment on this front.

We continue to have a concern for the BYM’s website. A space for already-Quakers to find information on committees is needed, of course, but the website doesn’t serve potential-Quakers well. The web address is difficult to remember, and the size of it is overwhelming. We wish we could have a second, seeker-focused website, but we know there are barriers to doing this. For one, we’d need to figure out what memorable thing to put as the web address. (This brings to memory the old discussion about yearly meeting renaming, or in this case something milder and less-legally-binding: rebranding, just as NEYM brands themselves “Quakers in New England” and the other BYM brands themselves “Quakers in Britain.”) Second, building a website can range greatly in price, depending on how much work the vendor is putting in prior to design, such as keyword research and copy writing, and on whether a brand (colors, logo, voice, etc.) have been established. Going by what NEYM spent, it would be a relatively large expenditure to do it right, and budgeting for website refreshes over the course of several years might be called for. We consequently feel the committee can only advocate for the need but not actually do anything about it at this point (especially given pandemic budgeting).

We have discussed the possibility of Zoom-based webinar-style (single-session) inquirers classes, which would end with helping people find their local meeting. Actually writing up a script/slideshow and choosing a presenter hasn’t occurred yet, though. Now that everyone is accustomed to Zoom, this seems like a good time.

We had started on a plan to provide pin-back buttons at annual session, which people could take and wear out in public in hopes of inspiring questions from seekers. In an era where everyone stays home, this plan has been back-burnered.

We believe making it easy for people who are already interested in Friends to find the local meeting and then stay (that is, welcoming them well!) is even more important than advertising schemes. What’s the point in bringing people in once, if they’re put off on their first visit? Consequently, we’ve had someone ex-officio at Growing Diverse Leadership meetings. The Working Group on the Civil & Human Rights of Transgender and Non-Binary Persons, seeing a need to ensure our own meetings are pleasant atmospheres for gender minorities, asked to be taken under the care of Advancement & Outreach. We approved.

In June 2019, we also took under our care the Growing Our Meetings Working Group, charged with facilitating discussions around attitudes toward growth within monthly meetings.

The internet communications working group, which is also under the care of our committee, is not currently active due to lack of clarity about the interest among monthly meetings in receiving advice about internet communications.

In our new era of all-Zoom-all-the-time, it seems we have an opportunity to visit more meetings more easily, if they’d like to hear from us.


2019 Advancement and Outreach Committee Annual Report

No report received.


2018 Advancement and Outreach Committee Annual Report

No report received.


2017 Annual Report

The Advancement and Outreach Committee charted a new direction this year by re-focusing its efforts on increasing the awareness of the Religious Society of Friends in our geographic area and learning more how we can help Local Meetings (LM) grow.

We conducted a survey and followed-up will all responding LMs to better understand their current outreach efforts from their visitor follow-up practices to their presence on the internet. The survey identified several opportunities to improve the effectiveness of outreach efforts. This information will be used to develop webinars that will be made available to all LMs to help them learn from each other and share what we have learned from our research on effective outreach. The committee also considered how the BYM website could be more welcoming to seekers and how BYM can help smaller LMs, establish a welcoming web presence.

Our committee’s research into how meetings grow has confirmed a strong relationship between local social activism and meeting growth. This is especially important now when there is a resurgence of interest in social issues. LMs that are active in local social issues help increase the awareness of the Religious Society of Friends and its testimonies. In this way, a LM’s social witness becomes an outreach opportunity as the LM and the Religious Society of Friends become better known in the local community.

Again this year, the committee coordinated the participation of 8 LMs in Gay Pride events in DC. The Quaker presence at the event was well received and our give away of rainbow-themed temporary tattoos with the words “Cherish that of God in Everyone” drew many visitors to our booth.

Next year, the committee will work with BYM staff to create opportunities to promote greater awareness of the Religious Society of Friends in our area and establish ongoing relationships between members of the committee and select LMs to:

  • share best outreach practices;
  • promote technical competency;
  • make outreach topic-specific webinars available to LMs; and
  • identify ways to improve the effectiveness of the LM’s outreach.

The committee remains concerned about outreach to populations that are under-represented in the Religious Society of Friends. In the coming year we will work more closely with the Growing Diverse Leadership Committee to identify ways to help LMs to be more intentional and effective in their outreach to these under-represented populations.


2016 Annual Report

No report received.


2015 Annual Report

We were pleased to be joined by the IM Clerk and the Director of Development at the Spring Interim Meeting to be briefed on the proposed outreach efforts funded by the Shoemaker grant. We look forward to working with staff in the coming year to implement these.

We conducted a workshop at Langley Hill for BYM meeting members who wanted to learn how to use the Internet to attract members, about improving their web sites, and our efforts in collecting and posting outreach materials from BYM meetings and other sources. It's our intention to create an on-line reference of outreach materials used by some meetings so that other meetings might use them a place to start, or a template to be followed.

We had funds in our budget for an exploratory Quaker Quest session. We received no request for that; so, we released those funds and reduced our request for FY-16.

A&O discussed changing the name of the Yearly Meeting but has not found unity yet.


2014 Annual Report

No report received.


2013 Annual Report

The mission of the BYM Advancement and Outreach Committee is to support meetings growth and revitalization and encourage outreach to seekers. The Committee deals with issues of visibility, welcoming newcomers, knitting in newcomers, strengthening community, sharing our faith, witness and service, and reaching out. The committee is also trying to take on support and cooperation with Quaker schools. We meet three times a year at Interim Meeting, and once at Annual Sessions. All committee meetings are open meetings.

The major event for the Committee this year was an all-day Quaker Quest training. Quaker Quest is an approach to outreach that was developed by British Friends and is now being promoted by Friends General Conference. It uses a series of brief personal presentations on a particular topic, followed by small group discussion, to show how shared experience of Spirit, not doctrinal unity, enlivens the Religious Society of Friends. There are two training events involved in the process of getting ready to do the full Quaker Quest. Some of the experiences in the trainings can be used just to help Friends develop greater comfort in doing general outreach. The Friends General Conference offered to provide trainers free of charge for an all-day training for the Yearly. As part of our support of Quaker Quest in BYM the A&O Committee sponsored the training, which took place at Langley Hill Meeting on May 11, 2013. There were 25 Friends attending from 12 Meetings. The feedback we got was very positive.

There are at least two Meetings scheduled to do their own all-day trainings this year. One Meeting made the request to FGC before the BYM training and one Meeting made the request after the training.

The A&O Committee has some money in its budget to help Meetings with the cost of putting on Quaker Quest events and FGC also offers some grants to local Meetings.

Still in the planning stage as of mid-June is a test project for on-line advertising.

The Committee could very much use Friends with skills related to computers and Friends interested in working with Quaker Schools.


2012 Annual Report

The mission of the BYM Advancement and Outreach Committee is to support meetings growth and revitalization and encourage outreach to seekers. The Committee deals with issues of visibility, welcoming newcomers, knitting in newcomers, strengthening community, sharing our faith, witness and service, and reaching out. The committee has also taken on support and cooperation with Quaker schools. We meet three times a year at Interim Meeting, and once at Annual Sessions. All committee meetings are open meetings. Here are some things we are continuing to work on:
“Q-Tube” – Video clips of Friends talking about what brought them to Quakerism, what appeals to them about the Quaker way, their experience of Quaker worship and how being a Quaker effects their lives. The project was wildly successful in 2009 and can be viewed at the BYM web site. [bym-rsf.org/Qtube/]. We are still hoping that more will done by various meetings that will speak about their home meetings and what they love about their home meeting. We are looking at various ways we can help meetings and other BYM groups in this project.

Quaker Quest – An approach to outreach that was developed by British Friends and is now being promoting by Friends General Conference. It uses a series of brief personal presentations on a particular topic, followed by small group discussion, to show how shared experience of Spirit, not doctrinal unity, holds the Religious Society of Friends together. Our committee is supporting Quaker Quest in BYM. Quaker Quest is going forward in many parts of the country and we hope to continue to be part of it and see it grow in BYM. The A&O Committee has funds to support meetings. Since early 2008, 11 Meetings in BYM have done either the full day training or done the public sessions as well. We hope to continue giving out small grants to help our meetings but Friends General Conference also has funds to help meetings. FGC is offering to do a free one full day training for each Yearly Meeting in FGC and have the Yearly Meeting invite two Friends from each Meeting in that Yearly Meeting. This training would be basically the same as the full day training that Meeting do when they are exploring if the Meeting would like to do Quaker Quest. The A&O Committee is hoping to take the lead in accepting the offer from FGC and set up the training in BYM. We are planning to have an interest group at annual sessions to discuss this.

Google Ads – We are still planning two small pilot projects to do some on-line advertising which will target certain limited areas and use certain key words to try to reach seekers.

We have been doing some visiting to monthly meetings and if any Friend thinks their meeting might be interested in having a visit, please contact me or any committee member. There is another outreach project called Inreach/Outreach which we are eager to talk about and do with meetings. We are also considering doing a workshop for small meetings or start-up groups. Our committee has much we want to do. If any Friend is able to help with a time limited project or would like to be a corresponding member please let us know. Just sharing information with your monthly meeting would be a great help.

Walter Brown, (Langley Hill) Clerk


2011 Annual Report

The mission of the BYM Advancement and Outreach Committee is to support meetings growth and revitalization and encourage outreach to seekers. The Committee deals with issues of visibility, welcoming newcomers, knitting in newcomers, strengthening community, sharing our faith, witness and service, and reaching out. The committee has also taken on support and cooperation with Quaker schools. We meet three times a year at Interim Meeting, and once at Annual Sessions. All committee meetings are open meetings and currently we have about eight Friends at each meeting. Here are some of the exciting things we have been working on.

“Q-Tube” Video clips of Friends talking about what brought them to Quakerism, what appeals to them about the Quaker way, their experience of Quaker worship and how being a Quaker effects their lives. The project was wildly successful in 2009 and can viewed at the BYM web site. [bym-rsf.org/Qtube/]. We are hoping that more will done by various meetings that will speak about their home meetings and what they love about their home meeting. We are looking at various ways we can help meetings and other BYM groups in this project.

Quaker Quest – An approach to outreach that was developed by British Friends and is now being promoting by Friends General Conference. It uses a series of brief personal presentations on a particular topic, followed by small group discussion, to show how shared experience of Spirit, not doctrinal unity, holds the Religious Society of Friends together. Our committee is supporting Quaker Quest in BYM and several meetings have done trainings. Quaker Quest is going forward in many parts of the country and we hope to continue to be part of it and see it grow in BYM. The A&O Committee has funds to support meetings. So far we have given a grant to one meeting, another grant is pending and a third just requested. We hope to continue giving out small grants to help our meetings but Friends General Conference also has funds to help meetings. There are four friends from BYM who are part of the Quaker Quest Traveling Team who can do the Quaker Quest trainings (which should reduce the travel expenses that the meetings have to pay).

Google Ads – We are planning two small pilot projects to do some on-line advertising which will target certain limited areas and use certain key words to try to reach seekers.

Our committee sponsored a Friendly Sing-in at Sandy Spring Meeting on April 2, 2011 that lasted all day and was well attended. Following this great success plans are being made for another Sing-in in the fall.

We have been doing some visiting to monthly meetings and if any Friend thinks their meeting might be interested in having a visit, please contact me or any committee member. There is another outreach project called Inreach/Outreach which we are eager to talk about and do with meetings. Our committee has continued to be active in the past year and we have much we want to do. If any Friend is able to help with a time limited project or would like to be a corresponding member please let us know. Just sharing information with your monthly meeting would be a great help.

Walter Brown, (Langley Hill), Clerk

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