Altrusa International was founded in Nashville, Tennessee in 1917, originally as Altrusa Institute. During that time, a record number of women were going to work during World War I, and there was a need for women’s civic organizations. Dr. Alfred Durham began organizing clubs throughout Nashville, TN, Louisville, KY, and Dayton, OH, before he moved on to Indianapolis, IN, where he met Mamie L. Bass. We believe that everyone is able to make a positive difference to the world around them. We can each volunteer our time, or donate our money, towards worthy causes. Our individual efforts are small, but they matter.
We can achieve even more when we bring people together. For over 100 years Altrusa clubs have collected members from varying occupations and lifestyles, all sharing an interest in community service.