Quaker organizations seek to adapt, continue work at a distance

Quaker organizations support Friends and help advance Friends witness in many ways. But with the outbreak of COVID-19, these nonprofit groups are confronting new challenges and opportunities. The pandemic is leading Friends organizations and their supporters to reflect on their missions and discern a way forward: Are they still relevant today? Will they continue to be relevant in the post-pandemic future? Below we’ve compiled updates from Quaker organizations of all kinds, and will continue to update this page with links and new information.


While nations around the world seek to respond to COVID-19, Friends advocacy organizations continue their work but at distance. They look to respond to emerging issues as well as consider how long-held priorities might be newly heard in the current situation.

Consultation, Support, and Resources

While in-person conferences have been canceled, much of the vital work of these organizations can continue online, including the support of Friends who are newly in positions of need.


Friends development organizations continue their life-saving work in communities around the world during the pandemic.


Friends educational institutions make adjustments to continue their work within social distancing guidelines. Quaker campuses have shut down while instruction continues online. Quaker schools look to address financial shortfalls, and Quaker religious educators offer ways to engage children at a distance.

Environmental and Earthcare

Friends environmental organizations are finding new ways to accomplish their goals.

Investment Management

Retreat, Conference, and Study Centers

Friends retreat and conference centers have closed to outside events and visitors. They have moved programs and worship online, dependent on Internet and power availability. Centers dependent upon outside guests are concerned about lost revenue, while centers with permanent residents worry about keeping them safe and healthy. Several centers have looked to apply for federal funding via the Paycheck Protection Program.

Service and Peace

Friends service organizations are navigating how to continue to support the groups they’ve long worked with while also responding to new needs.

Summer Camps

Many Friends summer sleep-away camps are canceling summer programs, and facing financial shortfalls as a result. Some are opting to run modified versions of their summer programs.

FJ News Editor

Erik Hanson and Windy Cooler are the news editors for Friends Journal. They contributed to the reporting of this story. Do you know about any Quaker news stories we should be covering? Send us tips at news@friendsjournal.org.

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