Our history

Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 in Detroit, Michigan, and became an international organization with the creation of the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton, Ontario, the following year. In the early years, members focused on business networking but in 1919, the organization changed its focus to service. In the 1960s, worldwide expansion was approved and within the decade, Kiwanis International-Europe was formed, representing Kiwanians in 11 European nations. In 1987, women officially were allowed into the membership. Want more information about the history of Kiwanis? Check out the archives on specific topics: