Making Democracy Work

Mission and History

Who we are, what we do, and how we got here.

Carrie Chapman Catt, LWV Founder
Carrie Chapman Catt
LWV Founder

LWV is an active organization with a proud history. This page covers:

  • What it means to be both political and nonpartisan.
  • How the League carries out its mission of voter service, citizen education and advocacy.
  • How funding for voter service and citizen education activities is separate from funding for advocacy.
  • And the history of how the League emerged from the women's suffrage movement to become the 94-year-old organization it is today.

Our Mission and Roles

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.

We never support or oppose any political party or candidate.

The League of Women Voters has two separate and distinct roles.

  • Voters Service and Citizen Education: we present unbiased nonpartisan information about elections, the voting process, and issues.

  • Study and Action: After a study process that results in member agreement on a position on an issue, we advocate for or against particular policies in the public interest. We do this while remaining nonpartisan -- without supporting or opposing any party or candidate.

To conduct our voter service and citizen education activities, we use funds from the League of Women Voters Education Fund, which is a 501(c)(3) corporation, a nonprofit educational organization.

The League of Women Voters, a membership organization, conducts action and advocacy and is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) corporation.

Our Vision, Beliefs, and Intentions guide our activities.

History of the League of Women Voters

Receiving proclamation from Pittsburgh
LWVGP receives a Proclamation from the City of Pittsburgh honoring our contributions to democracy in the region.
While the League is known by much of the public largely for its Voter Service work, its history as an organization born out of the Women's Suffrage Movement - one of the great political struggles of U.S. history - suggests that it would continue to address issues that arise in society.

Read a short history of the League of Women Voters. At the bottom of that page there is a link to a more detailed history.

For a bit more local focus, read the op/ed piece published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in August 2010 on the occasion of the League's 90th birthday.

Other League Organizations