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.
GFWC Illinois is pleased to have Trisha Schafer serve as the 2018-2020 GFWC Director of Junior Clubs. Trisha has been a GFWC member for 29 years. She was first a member of the Nebraska Federation in a General Club where she served as Vice President and President from 1989-1990. At the same time, she belonged to a state-wide Junior Club. Trisha served as the Junior Public Relations Chair at the Nebraska State Level from 1990-1991.
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.
The Rochester Junior Women's Club
The Rochester Junior Women’s Club (Michigan) was established in 1956 with 16 members, and today has over 70 members that always come together to support one another. The club chooses three or four major charities to support and several smaller ones, donating approximately $30,000 each year. In total since its inception, the club has provided more than 1 million hours of community service, and raised more than $928,000 to support their community!