Impact & Accomplishments
GFWC is distinguished from other service organizations by the breadth of our outreach. Our community service programs span all areas of the lives of our members, their families, and communities: arts, conservation, education, home life, public issues, and international outreach.
GFWC has earned a reputation as a powerful force in the fight against domestic violence. GFWC was recognized on the floor of the United States Senate as “a gem among our midst” by then-Senator Joseph Biden (Del.) for our work in bringing hope to victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse, and our early support for the Violence Against Women Act.
Founded in 1890, GFWC’s roots can be traced back to 1868 when Jane Cunningham Croly, a professional journalist, attempted to attend a dinner at an all-male press club honoring British novelist Charles Dickens. Croly was denied admittance based upon her gender, and in response, formed a woman’s club—Sorosis. In celebration of Sorosis’ 21st anniversary in 1889, Jane Croly invited women’s clubs throughout the United States to pursue the cause of federation by attending a convention in New York City. On April 24, 1890, 63 clubs officially formed the General Federation of Women’s Club by ratifying the GFWC constitution.
Below, organized by decade, are selected accomplishments and highlights that tell the GFWC story.
As a single mother of two boys requiring emergency medical care in the past, GFWC Oconomowoc Junior Woman’s Club member Elizabeth Davy was determined to work with her club and Emergency Medical Services for Children to fund pediatric jump kit bags for Wisconsin EMS departments.
Success For Survivors Scholarship
Each year, GFWC awards scholarships to help intimate partner abuse survivors obtain a post-secondary education that offers a chance to reshape their future by securing employment and gaining personal independence.
GFWC Town and Country Women’s Club
The GFWC Town and Country Women’s Club of Santa Barbara, California has been giving back to the community since 1959. The club is known in the Santa Barbara community for helping veterans and supporting Domestic Violence Solutions, an organization that works to end domestic violence.