The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is the oldest and largest national organization for women. It was founded in Boston in 1881 for the mutual support of women college graduates and has grown into a major force in advancing equity for women in education, employment and public service, and also to raise money for fellowships to advance women in higher education. The mission of AAUW is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.
AAUW is open to all graduates who hold an associate’s or higher degree from an accredited college or university. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., and with a total of 160,000 members, AAUW has over 1600 branches nationwide.
AAUW is composed of three non-profit corporations: The national organization and its members and officers are known as the Association, which is headquartered at the AAUW Educational Center in Washington, DC. Every member of AAUW is a member of the Association. The Association holds a national convention every two years, in odd-numbered years. AAUW Funds is a second corporation within AAUW, which funds pioneering research on girls and education, community action projects, and fellowships and grants for outstanding women around the globe. Another program within AAUW Funds is the Legal Advocacy Fund, which provides funds and a support system for women seeking judicial redress for sex discrimination in higher education. These both have 501(C)3 status. A third corporation within AAUW is the AAUW Leadership and Training Institute. This institute sponsors a number of programs designed to help women develop skills that will allow them to assume leadership roles in their careers and in their communities. The branches within each state are also a part of an overall state organization that sponsors programs in support of the overall mission of AAUW to promote equity for all women and girls, lifelong education, and positive societal change. For more information on California AAUW, click here.