What is a Soroptimist?

The name Soroptimist is formed from the two Latin words "soror" and "optima", interpreted as "the best for women". Soroptimist International was founded in 1921 in Oakland, California. From a small beginning, the world's largest classified service organization for executive and professional business women has grown with over 100,000 members in over 100 countries around the globe.

A Soroptimist is a leader in her community. She is actively engaged in a management or professional capacity, in the private or public sector, or in any occupation with comparable status or comparable responsibilities. She believes that by joining with other women and engaging in awareness, advocacy and action in the service of her community and society, she can make the world a better place.

Soroptimists are women of all ages, cultures and ethnic groups.  They are working moms and single women, small business owners and corporate executives.  Soroptimists are leaders across all professional disciplines and also serve as role models for younger women at the beginning of their careers.  The common thread that connects all Soroptimists is their desire to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world.

History of the Organization

Founded in 1921, the Soroptimist organization is a global force of executive, business and professional women providing service to their local communities and to the world, particularly advancing the status of women. With approximately 100,000 members in 112 countries, Soroptimist International is composed of four independent federations, SI of Great Britain and Ireland, SI of Europe, SI of the Southwest Pacific and SI of the Americas.

Soroptimist International of Cloverdale chartered on May 3, 1981. We currently have sixteen members and provide service in our community on an ongoing basis such as sponsoring a Ponytail League Team, providing youth citizenship scholarships and women's opportunity awards and establishing a dental hygiene prensentation at Jefferson Elementary School.  

What Soroptimists Do

The Soroptimist Mission is to improve the lives of women and girls, in  local communitites and throughout the world.  In order to accomplish this goal, the organization administers several international programs. 

Women's Opportunity Awards, the major project of Soroptimist International of the Americas,  assists women by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills and job prospects.  This program aids women who, as heads of their households, must enter or return to the work force in order to support themselves and their families.  The program begins at the club level  (in Cloverdale the award is $1500) with club recipients becoming eligible for the region level awards.  Currently the program culminates with three $10,000 federation level awards.

Other Soroptimist programs include:

Soroptimists STOP Trafficking, a project that raises awareness about the sexual trafficking of women and girls, and seeks to encourage citizens, law makers and service providers to focus on this global problem.

Soroptimist Live Your Dream Campaign, which aims to inspire women to live their dreams, and encourages them to pass their good fortune on to others.

Soroptimist Workplace Campaign to End Domestic Violence, an awareness campaign that targets domestic violence as a workplace concern.

Soroptimist Violet Richardson Award, a program that recognizes volunteer efforts by girls in their communities.  This program begins at the club level by recognizing young women who make the community and world a better place through their volunteer efforts.  In Cloverdale the award is $500 for the recipient and $100 for her designated charity.  Club recipients are eligible to receive an additional $1000 for regional-level awards with $1000 being contributed to the region-level winner's volunteer organization.  One winner is chosen from among the region-level recipients to receive a finalist award, which includes a contribution of $2500 to the winner's volunteer organization.

Soroptimist Ruby Award: for Women Helping Women, a recognition program for women who help other women and girls.

Soroptimist Club Grants for Women and Girls, cash grants for innovative Soroptimist club projects.

Soroptimist Disaster Grants, providing funds for programs that assist women and girls after a man made or natural disaster.

Major Fundraising Projects

  • St. Patrick's Day Corned Beef Dinner and Beer Tasting
  • See's Candy Sales-Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter and Mother's Day


Soroptimist International of Cloverdale meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month (September thru June) at Vino di Amore, 105 No Cloverdale Boulevard. The first meeting  of the month is the Business Meeting and the second meeting is the  program and education meeting. Guests are welcome to attend both meetings.

Financial Commitment

The initial annual membership dues are $122. Each year thereafter, the annual dues are $112, due in May of each year. Members are responsible for fines ($50 annually), a monthly assessment of $5 and a $2 weekly drawing.

The Time Commitment

Soroptimist International of Cloverdale meets  for business and to hear speakers. Regular attendance at bi-weekly meetings is an important requirement.

We have fundraisers such as selling See's Candies and putting on a Saint Patrick's Day Corned Beef Dinner and Beer Tasting. Active participation in all club activities is expected of each member.

Additionally, each member serves on two committees from the following:

  • Attendance
  • Awards
  • Budget and Finance
  • Customs and Procedures
  • Monthly Bulletin
  • Fines
  • Friendship Link
  • Public Relations/Historian
  • Recruitment and Retention
  • Service
  • Soroptimist Orientation and Leandership Training
  • Ways and Means
Time commitment depends on the committee

Why Join Soroptimist

  • To become more active in the community
  • To become more familiar with Cloverdale
  • To become aware of the needs in our local, national and international communities and join with other concerned women to help meet those needs
  • For fellowship and companionship with caring women
  • To promote your business

For More Information

Soroptimist International of Cloverdale
Recruitment and Rentention Chairman
P O Box 1022
Cloverdale, CA 95425

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