P.E.O. District of Columbia Chapter

About Us

P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) has been celebrating women helping women reach for the stars for more than 150 years. What started with a bond of friendship among seven women in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, is now one of the oldest women’s organizations in North America, with over 5,600 chapters. Through membership, the P.E.O. Sisterhood has brought together more than a half a million women in the U.S. and Canada who are passionate about helping women advance through education, while supporting and motivating them.

P.E.O. has helped more than 122,000 women pursue educational goals by providing nearly $415 million in grants, scholarships, and loans.* 

In addition, P.E.O. has owned and supported Cottey College since 1927. Cottey is a nationally ranked, fully accredited, independent, liberal arts and sciences college for women located in Nevada, Missouri. It offers baccalaureate and associate degrees in a variety of majors. Cottey College, a debt-free institution, welcomes women from around the world.

*As of April 2023

Our D.C. Chapters

Chapter B | Chapter F | Chapter G | Chapter H | Chapter J | Chapter L | Chapter M | Chapter S | Chapter T | Chapter U | Chapter W | Chapter Y | Chapter AA | Chapter AE | Chapter AF | Chapter AG


In our capital city of monuments, few charitable organizations have endured across the decades with a spirit of stamina and leadership supported by an active, growing membership. Yet for more than 87 years, the District of Columbia Chapter of P.E.O. has continued to thrive.

All 16 P.E.O. chapters in the District of Columbia cheerfully welcome the camaraderie of newcomers and “unaffiliates” (P.E.O. sisters in the D.C. area who have not yet transferred into a local chapter)! Accordingly, each chapter is eager to issue invitations to these P.E.O. sisters for their transfer to a D.C. chapter; it remains the choice of an unaffiliate to accept or decline a chapter’s invitation to transfer. Should the invitation be accepted, we are pleased to report that the process of transferring a P.E.O. membership has been streamlined. Subsequent to writing an acceptance letter to the chapter issuing an invitation to transfer, and the letter being read at the “new” chapter’s meeting, the transfer becomes complete and the unaffiliate is warmly welcomed into the D.C. Sisterhood! Remember, transfers still can not be accepted during the month of February so that annual reports can stay accurate.

Like many Washington institutions, the P.E.O. District of Columbia Chapter has its political claim to fame. Former First Lady Bess Truman was a member of the D.C. P.E.O. Sisterhood. During her husband’s White House years, she often hosted chapter meetings in her famous home, social events on the presidential yacht, and was accompanied by B.I.L. President Truman at various P.E.O. events.

For more information about becoming a member or finding a chapter in your area please contact us below!