(GFWC), the world’s largest and oldest non- partisan, non-denominational woman’s volunteer service organization, was founded in 1890.
GFWC traces its roots back to Jane Cunningham Croly an accomplished New York newspaperwoman, who wrote under the pen name of Jennie June.
Indignant that she and other women were denied admittance to a banquet honoring Charles Dickens in 1868 at the all-male New York Press Club, simply because they were women. She was determined to organize a club for women only.
The name chosen for this club was Sorosis, a Greek word meaning ‘an aggregation; a sweet flavor of many fruits.’
Although the founders originally supposed they were starting a new movement, they became aware over the years, of the existence of other women’s clubs that had formed independently to meet the needs of women in the expanding country.
As Sorosis approached its 21st year, Mrs. Croly proposed a conference in New York that brought together delegates from 61 women’s international clubs among its members.
Although women’s clubs were founded primarily as a means of self-education and development for women, gradually the emphasis of most local clubs changed to one of community service and improvement and later adopted the motto ‘Unity in Diversity’. The ladies chose the ‘Gold Rose’ as their club flower.
The small banding together of existing clubs that began in 1890 has grown into the largest organization for women volunteers in the world.
Click here to visit The General Federation of Woman's Clubs Website
Member: General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Int’l.
Originally a part of San Diego County Federation of Women’s Clubs
Admitted to CFWC – 1900 Admitted to GFWC – 1950
CFWC Reorganization Adopted – May 1955
Reorganized into Southern District 26 CFWC – 1958
Incorporated – May 11, 1966
GFWC Motto: Unity in Diversity
GFWC Official Flower: Red Rose
CFWC Motto: Strength United is Stronger
CFWC Official Flower: Golden Rose