With nearly 100,000 members in affiliated clubs in every state, the District of Columbia, and more than a dozen countries, the General Foundation of Women's Clubs 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 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’ twenty-first anniversary in 1889, 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.
GFWC’s impact has been felt throughout communities across the United States and the globe, and on April 24, 2015, their designated Federation Day, GFWC celebrated its 125th anniversary.
GFWC has clubs and clubwomen in all 50 states and internationally who are committed to national causes and the improvement of their local communities. As exemplied by their motto "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 remains committed to serving as a force for global good, as it has since its formation 125 years ago.