The General Federation of Women’s Clubs is an international women’s organization dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service.
GFWC clubs and clubwomen are the fabric that binds not only the Federation, but the communities in which they live and work. By Living the Volunteer Spirit, GFWC clubwomen transform lives each day, not simply with monetary donations, but with hands-on tangible projects that provide immediate impact. With a grassroots approach that often thinks locally but impacts globally, GFWC, its clubs and members remain committed to serving as a force for global good, as it has done since its formation 128 years ago.
With over 80,000 members in affiliated clubs in every state, the District of Columbia, and more than a dozen countries, GFWC members work in their own communities to support the arts, preserve natural resources, advance education, promote healthy lifestyles, encourage civic involvement, and work toward world peace and understanding.
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 Clubs by ratifying the GFWC constitution.
Since 1890, GFWC’s impact has been felt throughout communities across the Unites States and the globe.
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 Lawrence Classics Club
The GFWC Lawrence Classics Club (Kansas) has 19 members, and it’s an incredible mixture: one charter member has been involved since 1997; one member has been part of GFWC since 1960; there are a mother and daughter pair who are 2nd and 3rd generation clubwomen; four members are Boosters; and their youngest member only graduated from college last year. This assorted group shares the same values about volunteerism and puts them into action.