The FEDERATION OF WOMEN'S CLUBS OF GREATER CLEVELAND was a voluntary nonprofit, nonpolitical, nonsectarian association made up of the leaders of Cleveland's women's clubs. The Federation was supported by membership dues and contributions.
In the winter of 1901, Sarah Porter, president of the U. & I. Literary Society, conceived the idea of the Federation and invited a group of local club presidents to attend an organizational meeting. A constitution and bylaws were adopted by eighteen clubs representing 700 women at a meeting on May 6, 1902. Under the name City Federation of Women's Clubs, the group worked to achieve closer communication with member clubs and to serve the community through civic improvement, education, industrial, and philanthropic committees.
In 1904, the organization's name was changed to the Cleveland Federation of Women's Clubs. Fourteen years later, the Federation moved to its own headquarters in the Hotel Statler, where it remained until 1939. It joined the Ohio Federation of Women's Clubs in 1911 and the General Federation in 1915.
As of 1923, the Federation had grown to a membership of 40,000 members affiliated in 180 clubs. The group was incorporated as a nonprofit in 1929, and changed its name to the Federation of Women's Clubs of Greater Cleveland. Through the years the Federation continued to coordinate the educational, civic, and welfare activities of women's clubs in the Cleveland area as they worked on special projects determined by the Ohio Federation and/or the General Federation.
By 1988, the Federation's affiliates had declined to fifteen clubs representing 1,274 members. A continuing decline in membership led the group to disband in 1992.
Fleming, Abigail B. History of the Cleveland Federation of Women's Clubs (1902-29).
The Federation of Women's Clubs of Greater Cleveland Official Directory, 1988-1990.