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. Collectively, we are Living the Volunteer Spirit.
With 90,000 members in affiliated clubs in every state and more than a dozen countries, The General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) is a unifying force, bringing together local women’s clubs, with members who are community leaders who work locally to create global change by supporting the arts, preserving natural resources, advancing education, promoting healthy lifestyles, encouraging civic involvement, and working 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 Club by ratifying the GFWC constitution.
Since 1890, GFWC’s impact has been felt throughout communities across the Unites States and the globe.
On April 24, 2015, Federation Day, GFWC celebrated its 125th Anniversary, a year-long celebration of our organization’s impact and history which recently culminated during the 2015 GFWC Annual Convention in Memphis, Tennessee. GFWC’s history is a rich and varied one. To that end, a series of 125 Facts for 125 Years was created, showcasing GFWC’s accomplishments and impact since our creation in 1890.