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Club Chronicles – Answered: What does GFWC actually stand for?

GFWC Book Lovers Study Club members are asked frequently, “What does GFWC stand for in your club’s name?”

The GFWC stands for General Federation of Women’s Clubs, which is an international women’s organization dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service.

With nearly 100,000 members in affiliated clubs in every state 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.

GFWC members are community leaders who work to create global change, with our members raising an average of $25 million through 87,000 projects and volunteering more than 6 million hours annually.

GFWC’s motto, “United in Diversity,” emphasizes our ability to use the diversity of our backgrounds to work toward a unified vision and purpose of enhancing our lives and the lives of those around us. This motto sets the tone for the flexibility that has enabled our organization to grow and adapt to the changing lifestyles and concerns of women through 125 years of service.

Some of GFWC’s accomplishments include:

  • Founding more than 75 percent of our nation’s public libraries.
  • Developing kindergarten programs in public schools.
  • Working for food and drug regulation.
  • Leading the drive for emergency relief support for efforts from World War I to 9/11 and to recent devastation in Haiti, Japan and the U.S.

Service programs and special projects focus on the major issues of our time and fall into the following areas of focus: domestic violence, advocates for children, arts, conservation, education, home life, public issues and international outreach.

In collaboration with partners – which include nonprofit, government and socially-responsible for-profit organizations – GFWC provides a number of club grants, project materials and kits and program information that assist club members in creating and sustaining worthwhile projects aimed at improving communities locally and around the world.

Club Chronicles is written by Susie Hovater Malone.