Free Trial of Quaker Website Service Offered to US Meetings
Many Friends Meetings have been exploring new website options with the closing of FGC’s Quaker Cloud service. Well, a great new option, custom designed for Friends, is now being offered to US Quaker Meetings on a free trial basis by the Quaker Meetings Network (QMN) from the UK.
The UK-based QMN was started back in 2018 as a collaborative effort and it now provides websites and “digital back office space” to over 170 Quaker Meetings in the UK. You can see a sample website built on their system here: Wandsworth Quaker Meeting.
Their website builder toolset is designed to be intuitive and easy to use and it is integrated with other services like event calendars, member-only discussion boards, customized emails, contact lists and minutes storage. All the technical support aspects are handled by the QMN, and they make it easy to “pass the reigns” to new clerks or volunteers as leadership changes hands. They even provide a collection of non-copyrighted images that are appropriate for use by Quaker groups to help make your site look good.
Because the system was built to service the UK Quaker world (see for instance their search tool to find meetings quakermeeting.org), some changes will have to be enacted to reflect the US context. Thus, the Quaker Meetings Network is offering a free pilot program (through at least March of 2024) while they work with USA Meetings to get the services looking their best. An overview of the service is provided here: https://quaker.app/usa while the full details of the proposal are available in a comprehensive brochure for review by techies and non-techies alike. Ongoing costs will vary depending on the size and needs of your Monthly Meeting. You could expect to pay around $149/year for the full system after the end of the pilot period. Smaller Monthly Meetings with simpler needs would pay considerably less.
This looks like a great opportunity for Meetings that are ready for a new presence on the internet. Lake Erie Friends may want to take a closer look.