QEW Annual Report (Nov. 2015 – Oct. 2016)

QEW is the largest network of Friends working on earthcare today. We work to inspire spirit-led action toward ecological sustainability and environmental justice. We provide inspiration and resources to Friends throughout North America by freely distributing information in our newsletter, Befriending Creation, and on our website, as well as through popular social media channels Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

We are dedicated to a spiritual transformation within the Society of Friends with regard to our connection with the natural world.

Publications:

We produced six print and electronic bi-monthly issues of BeFriending Creation (BfC). In addition, we published a new trifold called Empowering Women: The Link to Population, and we translated into Spanish the trifolds, Contemplative Action and A Friends Witness on Population. Our website continues to be a useful resource for sharing material and has seen an increase in traffic. We regularly post interesting and challenging articles on our Facebook page and Twitter, and have been seeing growth in our number of contacts online. Each week, we distribute a graphic on Facebook and we regularly post articles of interest. Archived copies of both BeFriending Creation can be accessed here.

Supported youth and young adults working on climate justice:

  • This year we published several articles either authored by or about youth and young adult activists. These include Sara Wolcott’s “Reflections on COP21” (Jan-Feb BfC); an interview with Isaac Wilkinson, who attended COP 21 as part of the HBCU delegation (March-April BfC); an article on youth suing the Federal government on climate and an interview with a young Friend from Alaska who is part of the case (May-June BfC), Sara Wolcott’s article on youth faith leaders (July-August BfC), and David Jaber’s article on Reverence and Right Action and Sara Wolcott’s article on Quakerism and Ecology (September-October BfC). 
  • We sponsored a youth adult to attend an activist training on climate justice that was held in New Orleans. 
  • We continued our annual support of the Youth Adult Friends conference at Pendle Hill. 
  • Three young adult Friends attended our October Steering committee sessions and we provided scholarships as needed.


Strengthened our connections within the Society of Friends:

  • We produced the QEW Earthcare Center at FGC, including scheduling and hosting presentations every afternoon showcasing what Friends are doing regarding earthcare, display space to share resources, and giving talks. Our staff and Steering committee did several talks on climate justice, the Paris agreement, and the Pisac Sustainability minute at FGC.
  • We participated as a panelist at Quakers United in Publishing (QUIP) and reported on it 
in an article in BfC. 
  • Several QEW Steering Committee members attended the FWCC gathering in Pisac and participated in producing the Sustainability Minute. We shared the Minute widely with our network and reported on it in BfC and on our website. Pisac and Paris was the topic of our interest group at FGC. 
  • We sponsored workshops and presentations on climate justice, the Paris agreement and the Pisac Sustainability Minute at yearly and monthly meetings. 
  • Our General Secretary’s article on Climate Justice was published in the December 2015 Friends Journal. 
  • We filled growing requests for resources from Yearly and Monthly Meetings. Allied with several like-minded groups:
    • WEcan (Women’s Climate Action Network) – following their actions and publications 
    • UScan (United States Climate Action Network) – following notices and alerts, Steering 
Committee member attended their annual meeting, connecting with the network to 
follow COP22 events 
    • Greenfaith – support youth training program, following notices and alerts, article in BfC 
    • World Social Forum – Steering Committee member attended event and follow their 
alerts 
    • New Economy Coalition – Steering Committee member attended event and follow their 
alerts 
    • The Standing Rock actions – QEW wrote a statement in support in September, publicized 
the actions at Standing Rock in Befriending Creation, on our website and on social media. Two QEW Steering Committee members and our General Secretary visited Standing Rock in November, bringing supplies and statements of support. 

Steering Committee:

Two Steering Committee meetings were held during this time period: at the Cenacle in Chicago and Pendle Hill near Philadelphia. Our Steering Committee includes 31 representatives from 20 Yearly Meetings plus 18 at-large members. Most representatives and at-large steering committee members visit their own monthly and yearly meetings on behalf of QEW, distribute our resources, and/or provide workshops and interest groups. 


Earthcare Curricula:

Funding has come in for the Earthcare Curriculum project. We have raised $5000 ($2500 from Obadiah Brown and the rest as a match from several Meetings and one individual) to cover software, printing and staff time. We will produce the updates as downloadable lessons, as well as producing a print version. We are aiming to have at least one of these curriculum available in time for the 2017 FGC and both by our October 2017 Steering committee meetings. 

Staff:

We have a General Secretary and a Publications Coordinator (both part-time employees) and a bookkeeper consultant. We successfully transitioned from Katherine Murray as Publications Coordinator to Hayley Hathaway in December. During the fall an ad-hoc search committee reviewed sixteen applications, interviewed four candidates and made a decision that was approved by the CCC in November. Hayley overlapped with Katherine for two work weeks in December and issued the January/February issue of Befriending Creation on her own.

Finances:

We have consistently raised on average $75-85,000 each year for the past several years (excluding the cost of our steering committee meetings, as we bring in enough registration fees to pay for these events). Last year’s (November 2015-October 2016) income was no different. We had hoped to expand our network and publications, but were limited by our income. Most of our expenditures go directly to publication costs (printing, postage, editing), outreach (visits to monthly and yearly meetings, and events), and maintaining our network (steering committee meetings, conference calls, database maintenance). We estimate that our staff spend about 10% of our budget on fundraising (15 percent of staff salaries plus the cost of the annual appeal). Nearly all of our income comes from monthly/yearly Meeting donations and individual donations. We are bringing in about 10-15% less than we need to be sustainable, and have only another 2-3 years of savings to bridge the gap. This year, we hope to bring in more funding, and begin to build a stronger organization – so seriously needed in these times.

See PDF below to view financial charts

What’s Next?

How do we build a sustainable and life-enhancing future in these challenging times? QEW grew out of a strong leading among Friends that our future depends on a spiritual transformation in our relationships with each other and the natural world. This year (2017) we are marking our thirtieth anniversary: we have grown a solid network of Friends throughout North America; we publish relevant and thought-provoking articles in our newsletter, Befriending Creation, and on our website; and we speak out as a Quaker voice to inspire bold, spirit-led action.

During our fiscal year November 2016-October 2017, our work will include indigenous rights, climate justice, and youth leadership among Friends. We will also be revising our Earthcare curricula and funding hands-on sustainability projects throughout the world with our mini- grants program. We will be expanding our network with additional yearly/monthly meetings and individuals. We hope to expand our donor base to cover all of our costs.

March 2017

 
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