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Testimonies Fund Information



Last updated 2 Nov 2019



Testimonies Fund

The Testimonies Fund was created by Yearly Meeting 2008 minute 18. The fund enables Friends to be creative in putting any of the Quaker testimonies into action in any sphere of life. The testimonies are conventionally summarised as simplicity, peace (and social justice), integrity, community, equality and sustainability; but that list is simply a shorthand for any of the ways in which Quakers demonstrate in our lives the values we hold.

We are particularly interested in projects which focus on problem solving in the society of Aotearoa New Zealand, and we are guided by William Penn’s note that true religion doesn’t “turn men [or women] out of the world, but enables them to live better in it, and excites their endeavour to mend it.” 

The founding capital of the Fund ($145.000) came from untagged legacies held by Yearly Meeting plus surpluses from previous years. Friends are also invited to make donations and bequeath legacies specifically to the fund (through the Society of Friends Aotearoa New Zealand Trust Board which holds our funds.)

Grants have varied greatly in amount. Applications for up to $1,000 are considered as they arise; larger applications are considered on a quarterly basis. We plan to work in cooperation with other Yearly Meeting grant-making committees [the foregoing statement to be revised when we have responses from QPSANZ and QEF], and will do our best to secure support for valuable projects even if we are unable to make the full grant ourselves.




Criteria For Grants
1. Funds are to be used primarily for Quakers (members or attenders) or Quaker groups to undertake projects which have Quaker testimonies at their heart, and which require funding beyond the resources of individual Friends or their Meeting. None of the testimonies is exclusive to Quakers, so requests may also be considered from non-Quaker groups or organisations which have one or more committed Quakers actively involved in the project. We hope to see benefits flow beyond an individual into the Quaker and wider communities.

2. All applicants will need to provide evidence that they have significant Quaker support for their concern from their local Worship Group or Monthly Meeting, or from a recognised Yearly Meeting group or committee. For projects which last for a length of time we would look for arrangements for initial clearness and ongoing support and accountability. (See the Quaker Handbook sections on concerns and meetings for clearness*.) Non-Quaker groups making an application will need to show a similar level of discernment and support. If there are practical difficulties in these matters, the Committee will try to assist in finding ways to deal with them.


3. News of grants will be shared with Quakers in our committee’s reporting. Those who receive grants will be expected to provide us with a report at the completion of the project and/or to submit an article on it (with acknowledgement of the Testimonies Fund) to the Aotearoa New Zealand Friends Newsletter.




Applications or enquiries should be made to testimonies.fund@quaker.org.nz


* The Handbook is available on the new Quaker website, quakers.nz. Under the Deepen menu go to Quaker Handbook & other texts.  Concerns and testimonies are covered in sections 2.3 and 2.4, and meetings for clearness in 6.4.


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