News & Notes – December 19, 2019

Happy Birthday Jane! 

Today we are celebrating the 190th birthday of GFWC founder Jane Cunningham Croly. Affectionately known by her penname Jennie June, the “mother of GFWC” was a torchbearer for women journalists and writers.

Jane’s interest in journalism was roused as a teenager as editor of her school newspaper. At the age of 25, Jane moved to New York City to pursue a career in journalism. After several gender-based rejections, Jane was hired at Noah’s Sunday Times and published the column “Parlor and Side-walk Gossip.”

As Jane’s popularity grew, she expanded her column to a full page. This is credited as the first woman’s page in a newspaper. Jane also became the first woman journalist to procure a nationwide syndicated column. Within her lifetime Jane also published cook books, a history of women’s clubs, and numerous columns and periodicals, including The Clubwoman.

Although Jane enjoyed popularity as a writer and had support from her family, Jane faced constant discrimination in the workplace. In 1869, Jane was spurned from a dinner honoring Charles Dickens thrown by the all-male New York Press Club. The event inspired Jane to form a professional women’s club to help the “elevation and advancement” of women. From this event, Sorosis was formed. Jane went on to found GFWC in 1890, all while continuing to write and organize clubs.

In an 1889 issue of her magazine Woman’s Cycle, Jane asked: “is it possible that women may have a life of their own, may learn to know and honor each other, may find solace in companionship, and lose sight of small troubles in larger aims?” Today we know that through her sheer tenacity, Jane helped make it all possible.

To help celebrate Jane’s birthday, log in to the Member Portal to download the shareable social media graphic under “C” Resources!

Cares & Concerns

GFWC is sad to announce that Connecticut Past State President Ann Nickerson, 2000–2002, lost her husband Philip Nickerson on November 27. Cards can be sent to 4228 Aftonshire Drive, Wilmington, NC 28412.

Volunteers in Action

GFWC Lake City Women’s Club (Michigan), GFWC Crescent City Woman’s Club (Florida), GFWC Woman’s Club of Palatka (Florida), and GFWC Woman’s Club of Welaka (Florida) all are featured on GFWC’s Blog. Read and comment on their accomplishments: winning the Community Spirit Award and supporting Breast Cancer.

Have a success story to tell? Email

Five 2020 Resolutions to Maximize Your Membership

In 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1, it will be the start of a new decade! What New Year’s resolutions are you planning to make to bring in 2020 with a bang? Here are five resolutions that the GFWC Member Portal can help you fulfill to make the most of your GFWC membership.

1. Keep contact information current. Do you ave a winter or summer home, or prefer to send mail to a different place during a specific time of the year? Update your address to receive Clubwoman Magazine and other GFWC correspondence any day or hour.

2. Download large GFWC documents faster. Your digital library in the portal gives you instant access to all the same documents that have been on—only faster.

3. Manage your email box. Select the email message categories that you want to receive: Events, News & Notes, WHRC News, or General GFWC communications.

4. Attend service projects dressed in GFWC apparel. The new GFWC Marketplace has a variety of shirts, bags, and other apparel for you to represent GFWC in style on MLK Day or for another club event.

5. Renew your magazine subscription online. Once logged into the portal, go to the Marketplace tab, and then select “Education Add-Ons.” A one-year Clubwoman subscription should then be the only option on the next page.

Don’t wait for the clock to strike 12:00 am on January 1 to get started! Log in to the GFWC Member Portal now.

January 6: Convention Program Ad Call Opens 

The 2020 Convention Program is your chance to share a special message. Mark your calendar for January 6, the date that ad sales open to purchase a self- or GFWC-designed ad or to submit text for a buy-a-line.

A Successful Year for the Legislative Action Center

The year 2019 has been a busy year for GFWC’s advocacy efforts! For the second year of her Administration, GFWC International President Mary Ellen Brock introduced Three Brand Initiatives with two of them intending to raise GFWC’s profile in the world of legislative advocacy. Advocacy days were held in September and October with the goal of having clubwomen make 1,000 contacts to their members of Congress concerning the two pieces of legislation selected at the 2018 GFWC Region Conferences. In true GFWC fashion, clubwomen exceeded the goals for both advocacy days and have continued to contact members of Congress in support of these bills. Clubwomen submitted 2,476 calls and letters in support of the 3D Printed Gun Safety Act and 2,092 in support of Miranda’s Law. Thank you to every member who has taken action, but for those who haven’t it’s not too late! You can still make a difference by visiting GFWC’s Legislative Action Center and supporting these bills!

211 MLK Projects Left to Organize

Show your support on January 20, 2020 by helping the 2018–2020 Administration reach its goal to organize 1,000 projects for the Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Day of Service. Get ahead and use the coming weeks to focus and plan your club’s MLK Day project. It’s always great to use any existing partnerships in your community. The earlier you plan, the better chance your club has of interesting reporters in attending your club’s community service event. Visit the digital library (under “P”) exclusively available to GFWC members after logging into the Portal to download our press release template.

Curator’s Corner

Throughout our nearly 130 years, GFWC has collected and preserved our magazines, books, pamphlets, and other publications. The WHRC boasts a complete collection of Clubwoman Magazine, which was established in 1897. However, one of our most special and rare holdings are eight copies of Demorest’s Monthly Magazine.

Demorest’s was founded by William Jennings and Ellen Demorest in 1863. William and Ellen Demorest had previously printed MME Demorest’s Mirror of Fashions. The couple had also owned a fashion emporium in New York City. Fashion entrepreneurs at heart, Ellen Demorest is credited with creating the first tissue paper patterns (still used today) for women to sew their own garments. Although Demorest focused on a plethora of issues, it became a major influence on Victorian fashions. The magazine offered tips on sewing and stylings, and printed popular French fashions for its readers to emulate.

Demorest also enjoyed contributions from formidable public figures such as Louisa May Alcott, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Francis Willard. Jane Cunningham Croly, a close friend of Ellen’s, edited the magazine from 1860–1887. Jane also contributed popular columns which advocated for female education and employment and provided updates on the progress of women’s clubs in America.

Ellen Demorest became a founding member of Sorosis with Jane Croly, as well as an influential philanthropist in her own right. Ellen was also a fierce advocate for women’s rights and abolition and made an effort to employ all genders and races. Notably, she would ask those who did not agree with her politics to take their business elsewhere.

The WHRC’s collection of Demorest Monthly Magazine spans from 1873–1890. Articles written by Jane Cunningham Croly are marked with a blue GFWC Golden Jubilee Sticker. To view Demorest’s, and other selections from GFWC’s publications collection, please visit our collections webpage.

Help Digitize GFWC’s Past

The WHRC would like to digitize its 341-piece Oral History Collection so that generations to come can hear the actual voices of clubwomen throughout GFWC’s history telling their stories. Login to the GFWC Member Portal to donate online.

Techie’s Tips: How to Send High-Resolution Photos from Your Phone

Picture this: you use your phone to take a great quality photo of your club volunteering at a recent event. You send it via email to for Volunteers in Action or to another clubwoman for publication in the club newsletter. But when you see it posted, it’s grainy! What happened?
While most phones take photos with a good resolution, they also automatically resize the photo when you send it via email, causing a loss of quality. Here’s how you can fix that:

1. Select your photo and choose the Email option for sharing.

2. Type in the recipient’s email and add any message you might have.
Click Send.

3. A message will appear that gives you the option for size: Small, Medium, Large, and Actual Size. Choose Actual Size.

This way you won’t reduce photo size and therefore reduce resolution. Follow those simple steps to make sure your photos look their best!

Parliamentary Pointers
by GFWC Parliamentarian Deen J. Meloro

On the 12th day of Robert’s my true love gave to me …
12 motions pending
11 points of order
10 members voting
9 debates a-raging
8 sets of minutes
7 calls for recess
6 special meetings
4 standing rules
3 tabled motions
2 electronic meetings
and a wonderful set of bylaws!
Have a beautiful holiday season from Colonel Henry Roberts and me!

Happy Holidays

GFWC will be closed from December 24–January 1 in observance of the holidays! Any Marketplace orders placed after today will not be shipped until January 3. Enjoy the holidays and stay tuned for the next News & Notes issue on January 9.