Quota International

Last updated
Quota International, Inc.
Quota International Dk Blue.png
FoundersWanda Frey Joiner
Type Service organization
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Origins Buffalo, New York
Region served
14 countries worldwide
5,600 members
International President
Emilie Simon
Website https://quotainternational.org]

Quota International, Inc. is an international service organization that provides basic needs to women, children, the deaf, and hard of hearing in communities around the world. [1] Quota International's world service projects are aligned with the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals. Specifically, Quota clubs are working towards UN MDG Goals 1 and 3: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, and to promote gender equality and empower women, respectively. [2] The organization was founded in Buffalo, New York in 1919 by Wanda Frey Joiner, as a service club for women similar to that of popular all-male clubs. Today, membership includes both women and men in communities around the world. Current membership exceeds 5,600, representing more than 270 clubs in 14 countries.



Wanda Frey Joiner Wfj about quota.jpg
Wanda Frey Joiner
Wanda Frey Joiner: American Immigrant Wall of Honor Ellis island wfj.JPG
Wanda Frey Joiner: American Immigrant Wall of Honor

Wanda Frey Joiner

Wanda Frey Joiner was born in Odessa, Russia in 1882. Her father, Alexander Frey, was of German heritage and studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. Shortly after her father's death, Wanda and her mother immigrated to the United States. Her maternal grandfather, Ludwig Koehler, was a noted German poet and doctor of philosophy. In 1907 Wanda Frey was married to Robert Parks Joiner, but was widowed only three years later. After her husband's death she took an extensive business course at Caton's National Business College in Buffalo. [4] Joiner found work in the Buffalo paint and glass industry as a filing clerk. Over the years she worked her way up the ranks. She became a member of the board of directors, president and general manager, and eventually helped lead two firms to multimillion-dollar status. [5] Joiner founded Quota International, Inc. with four other female business colleagues. Ms. Joiner served as the first International President of the Quota International. Throughout her life she continued to build upon her business ventures while also devoting time to Quota International. In 1968 Joiner died at her home in Los Angeles, California. In accordance with her will, a memorial fund was established in her name to help in the establishment of new Quota clubs and to strengthen existing clubs. [6]

Early years


Less than a month after the end of the First World War, the idea for an international women's service organization arose at a ladies Christmas party at the Kiwanis Club in Buffalo, New York in 1918. During the war, many women found ways to assist the war effort by joining the workforce and organizing campaigns to support troops abroad. When the war ended, many women wanted to continue down the road of female employment and empowerment. Quota international was formed from that fervor.

The organization was founded by Wanda Frey Joiner and four other prominent female businesswomen from the Buffalo area: Florence M. Smith, Alice C. Sauers, Ora G. Cole, Jean Ware Redpath. These women joined together to charter and incorporate an all-female service club on February 6, 1919. [7] This feat was impressive because it took place one year before U.S. women were granted their right to vote via the 19th Amendment. After Quota's initial charter and incorporation the organization began establishing local clubs in nearby states.

International influence

Quota International established its first club outside of the United States in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1925; making Quota the first international women's service organization. Although Altrusa International was formed as a women's service club in 1917, it was incorporated as a national organization. Its title was The National Association of Altrusa Clubs, before becoming an international service organization in 1935. After Quota's foundation in February 1919, other women's service organizations formed in the same manner. Zonta International was established in Buffalo, NY in November 1919 to advance the status of women and became an alternative to Quota International. Soroptimist International was formed in October 1921 as a community service organization for business and professional women. After establishing an international base, Quota International, Inc. continued to grow in Canada and eventually to Australia, New Zealand, India, the Philippines, Malaysia, Fiji, Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Eustatius, the Netherlands, and Suriname.

During the early years of Quota, the organization's focus targeted and promoted: good citizenship, crime prevention, extending friendly relations, gaining recognition for the achievements of women, and international relations. [8] However, with the outbreak of the Second World War, priorities for the club changed. Quotarians worked together to raise funds to purchase two ambulances for the Red Cross and worked on a variety of other war and defense projects, including: joining the civil defense, helping at nurseries, canteen work, selling war bonds, performing blood typing, sewing and knitting, and attending first aid courses. Upon the conclusion of the war, the organization modified its objectives. At the 1946 convention it was decided that Quota International would now emphasize service for the needs of the deaf and hard-of-hearing, while continuing to support and empower women and children.

Wanda Frey Joiner, left, receives an official Quota Flag from Helen Agnew at the 1963 Los Angeles Convention Wanda Frey Joiner and Quota International Flag.jpg
Wanda Frey Joiner, left, receives an official Quota Flag from Helen Agnew at the 1963 Los Angeles Convention


The group of founding women wanted to select a short and memorable name that reflected their values and goals for the club. One member looked through the dictionary and came upon a Latin word "quota," meaning "a share of one part to a whole." [9] They named the organization, Quota Club International, Inc., which was shortened in 1961 to simply, Quota International, Inc.

World Center for Women's Archives

At Quota International's 20th Convention in 1939, the organization promoted the World Center for Women's Archives in New York, which had formed in 1935. [10] This World Center was also supported by many famous women's rights activist, including: Inez Haynes Irwin, Florence E. Allen, Dorothy Thompson, Ida Tarbell, Mary R. Beard, and Rosika Schwimmer. Despite Quota's efforts, the Women's Archives closed and dissolved in 1940 due to inadequate funding and internal disputes.



Quota International is a non-profit organization empowering women, children, the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and people with speech difficulties in local communities around the world. [11]

The objectives of Quota International shall be to seek individuals committed to sharing their time, talent, and resources to meet Quota International's service goals, and more particularly:


The motto of Quota International, Inc. is "We Share." The founders hoped to share their talents and abilities to help people in need. Members continue to uphold this motto through community service, developing meaningful friendships, and promoting international understanding. [13]


Board of Directors

The organization is supervised by a 5-member board of directors. Every two years the organization holds an international convention where international officers are elected by the membership. These international officers are guided by the Quota International Bylaws and Rules of Procedure which were created in 1919 and are amended annually.

Regional directors

In 2014, Quota International updated its organizational structure, dissolving the 43 districts that had been in place since 1933. [14] The new structure allows for 20 regions, each with its own regional director. These new regional directors are elected every two years.

Quota International 2014 Convention, Cincinnati, Ohio 5M3A0068.jpg
Quota International 2014 Convention, Cincinnati, Ohio

Clubs and membership


This is the name given to members of Quota International. Quotarians are located in many countries around the world working to better their communities and serve others. There are approximately 5,600 Quotarians who comprise 270 Quota clubs. Every two years Quotarians come together for an international convention to share ideas and service projects, vote on changes to club leadership and organization, and build fellowship.

Notable Quotarians

  • The Honorable Ruth Bryan Owen - Florida's first female representative in the U.S. Congress and diplomat; elected honorary member in 1934
  • Viscountess Nancy Astor - First female member of British Parliament in the House of Commons; elected honorary member in 1938 [15]
  • Ms. Nanette Fabray - American actress, dancer, and singer who overcame hearing impairment and became an advocate for the rights of the deaf and hard-of-hearing; elected honorary member in 1976
  • Ms. Edna P. Adler - Member of the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Education, researched and developed comprehensive rehabilitation services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing; [16] elected to honorary recognition in 1980

Quota International Club

These are the general local clubs associated with Quota International, also known as QI clubs. Both women and men can join QI clubs around the world. Each club can generate its own goals and service projects to help women, children, the deaf, hard-of-hearing, speech-impaired, and community members in need. QI clubs must apply to become legal entities before being granted charter.

Silver Q Quota Club

These clubs are targeted at an older population of Quotarians. Q clubs tend to focus on short-term and simple acts of service and promoting fellowship among members. Many Silver Q Quotarians are retired and can devote more time to many small service projects to help their community.

Next Gen Quota Club

These clubs are targeted at a young adults, parents, and professionals. Next Gen Quota Clubs tend to be flexible to meet the busy schedules of their members. These Quotarians participate in service projects and programs, act as community leaders, and network with other like-minded individuals wishing to serve their community.

Junior Quota Club

These clubs are branches of a Quota International club and are targeted at students in primary and secondary school and even college. Junior Quotarians typically assist their supporting Quota International clubs in service projects. In addition, some Junior Quota clubs develop their own service events to improve their schools or assist other areas in need. [17]

Quota International of DLF City Copy of DLF City Eye Camp.jpg
Quota International of DLF City

Service projects

The three areas of focus for Quota International Service Projects are: "World Service", "Disadvantaged Women & Children", and "Hearing & Speech". Quota Clubs around the world work together to perform service projects and develop programs in their communities based on these platforms. Some of the projects performed by local clubs entail: promoting healthy hearing habits, helping to empower impoverished women and children, developing literacy programs, providing comfort and mentoring programs, etc. Clubs hold fundraisers throughout the year to raise money for their charitable projects. The "Listen Up, Turn It Down" public awareness campaign has been popular among many Quota clubs. [18]

Quota International countries' flags Flags - Photo 2 - 4302.JPG
Quota International countries' flags

We Share Foundation

The We Share Foundation is a charitable organization established to support club service projects and programs in critical areas. "Quota's We Share Foundation provides training, guidance, technical support, publications, and grants, including sharing time, talents, and resources to those who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech-impaired." [19] Donations to the We Share Foundation also contribute to the Quotarian magazine, a publication about Quota projects, events, and members.

Quota International of Davao City: Infant audiological screening tests Davao City Service Project.JPG
Quota International of Davao City: Infant audiological screening tests

Hand-in-Hand World Service

This program was developed in 1983, under the name Club-to-Club, to organize Quota clubs in developing countries. There are 21 Quota Club projects in 6 developing countries: Fiji, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. The program was set up to assist individuals and also increase the awareness of international issues around the world. [20]


Since its inception, Quota International has partnered with a number of organizations that help women, children, the deaf, hard-of-hearing, and speech-impaired. These organizations include:

Alternative Logo Quota blue.3.logo.png
Alternative Logo
Alternative Logo & Motto Quota.logo.2.full.color.png
Alternative Logo & Motto


Over the years there has been some controversy over the name "Quota," specifically in the United States and Australia. Some have thought it to be a negative term, especially in the context of women, having to do with regulations, limited quantities, and affirmative action. [28] [29] In addition, there has been tension about the organization's logo and motto. Some individuals believe changes within the organization would be positive, while others wish to keep the status quo. There was also some discontent with regards to the restructuring of the organization, as stated above: Organization.

Related Research Articles

Lions Clubs International International service organization based in the United States

Lions Clubs International (LCI) is an international non-political service organization established originally in 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, by Melvin Jones. It is now headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois. As of January 2020, it had over 46,000 local clubs and more than 1.4 million members in more than 200 countries around the world.

The three models of deafness are rooted in either social or biological sciences. These are the cultural model, the social model, and themedicalmodel. The model through which the deaf person is viewed can impact how they are treated as well as their own self perception. In the cultural model, the Deaf belong to a culture in which they are neither infirm nor disabled, but rather have their own fully grammatical and natural language. In the medical model, deafness is viewed undesirable, and it is to the advantage of the individual as well as society as a whole to "cure" this condition. The social model seeks to explain difficulties experienced by deaf individuals that are due to their environment.


YWCA USA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. It is one of the "oldest and largest multicultural organizations promoting solutions to enhance the lives of women, girls and families."

Librarian Profession

A librarian is a person who works professionally in a library, providing access to information, and sometimes social or technical programming, or instruction on information literacy to users.

Kiwanis International is an international service club founded in 1915 in Detroit, Michigan. It is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, and is found in more than 80 nations and geographic areas. Since 1987, the organization also accepts women as members. Membership in Kiwanis and its family of clubs is more than 600,000 members. Each year, Kiwanis clubs raise more than US$100 million and report more than 18.5 million volunteer hours to strengthen communities and serve children.

Deaf culture Culture of deaf persons

Deaf culture is the set of social beliefs, behaviors, art, literary traditions, history, values, and shared institutions of communities that are influenced by deafness and which use sign languages as the main means of communication. When used as a cultural label especially within the culture, the word deaf is often written with a capital D and referred to as "big D Deaf" in speech and sign. When used as a label for the audiological condition, it is written with a lower case d. Carl G. Croneberg coined the term of "Deaf Culture" and he was the first to discuss analogies between Deaf and hearing cultures in his appendices C/D of the 1965 Dictionary of American Sign Language.

Video relay service Video telecommunication service

A video relay service (VRS), also sometimes known as a video interpreting service (VIS), is a video telecommunication service that allows deaf, hard-of-hearing, and speech-impaired (D-HOH-SI) individuals to communicate over video telephones and similar technologies with hearing people in real-time, via a sign language interpreter.

Sangam World Centre is one of the five World Centres of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). Located on the banks of the Mula River in Pune.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, formerly called the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, is an umbrella group of American civil rights interest groups.

Sertoma Inc., formerly known as Sertoma International, is an organization of service clubs founded on April 11, 1912. The name is an acronym for Service toMankind. Sertoma has clubs all over the United States and in Canada. Sertoma's primary focus is on assisting the more than 50 million people with hearing health issues and educating the public on the issues surrounding hearing health. In order to achieve these goals, Sertoma has undertaken a multi-faceted approach by launching programs that address both the treatment and prevention aspects of hearing health.

Jack and Jill of America is a leadership organization formed during the Great Depression. It was formed in 1938 by African American mothers with the idea of bringing together children in a social and cultural environment. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Philippine Federation of the Deaf

The Philippine Federation of the Deaf, Inc. (PFD) is a non-stock, non-profit organization which caters to the general needs of deaf people in the Philippines.

Kappa Alpha Lambda (KΆΛ) is a Greek-Lettered Organization (GLO)/Sorority established for professional lesbians. Founded October 19, 2003, in Atlanta, Georgia, on the campus of Clark Atlanta University. The Sorority's mission is to "develop and maintain positive visibility of lesbian women in our communities."

Marion Downs was an audiologist and Professor Emerita at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, who pioneered universal newborn hearing screening in the early 1960s, then spent more than 30 years trying to convince her peers to adopt the testing in hospitals and to place hearing aids on infants who showed hearing loss. She worked to alert the medical world to the developmental problems associated with childhood deafness. As a result of her efforts, 95 percent of all newborns in America today are screened for hearing loss. She devoted her professional life to the promotion of early identification of hearing loss in newborns, infants, and young children and to helping deaf and hard of hearing individuals lead fulfilling lives.

International Center On Deafness and the Arts (ICODA) is a non-profit organization based in Northbrook, Illinois, USA. Patricia Scherer is the founder and president. Founded in 1973, the organization is a registered nonprofit, tax exempt, 501(c)(3) corporation.

American Sign Language literature is one of the most important shared cultural experiences in the American Deaf community. Literary genres initially developed in residential Deaf institutes, such as American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut, which is where American Sign Language developed as a language in the early 19th century. There are many genres of ASL literature, such as narratives of personal experience, poetry, cinematographic stories, folktales, translated works, original fiction and stories with handshape constraints. Authors of ASL literature use their body as the text of their work, which is visually read and comprehended by their audience viewers. In the early development of ASL literary genres, the works were generally not analyzed as written texts are, but the increased dissemination of ASL literature on video has led to greater analysis of these genres.

National Black Deaf Advocates

The National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA) is the leading advocacy organization for thousands of Black deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. Black Deaf leaders were concerned that deaf and hard-of-hearing African-Americans were not adequately represented in leadership and policy decision-making activities that were affecting their lives.

Theta Delta Sigma

Theta Delta Sigma Society, Inc. (ΘΔΣ) is a national fraternal organization that emphasizes the four pillars of Leadership, Diversity, Unity, and Respect. Founded in 2001 by fourteen undergraduate men and women at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), Theta Delta Sigma has been a partner in the values-based fraternal movement. Theta Delta Sigma is a non-partisan and non-sectarian organization that declares membership to be open without regard to ability, race, creed, faith, nationality, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or veteran status.

Deaf rights movement

The Deaf rights movement encompasses a series of social movements within the disability rights and cultural diversity movements that encourages deaf and hard of hearing to push society to adopt a position of equal respect for them. Acknowledging that those who were Deaf or hard of hearing had rights to obtain the same things as those hearing lead this movement. Establishing an educational system to teach those with Deafness was one of the first accomplishments of this movement. Sign language, as well as cochlear implants, has also had an extensive impact on the Deaf community. These have all been aspects that have paved the way for those with Deafness, which began with the Deaf Rights movement.

The lack of accurate epidemiological evidence on disabilities, insufficient resources, weak health care facilities and worker shortages are major obstacles to meeting the needs of the disabled.


  1. "International Deaf and Disability Organizations". Gallaudet University.
  2. "Millennium Development Goals and Beyond 2015". United Nations.
  3. "The American Immigrant Wall of Honor". Liberty Ellis Foundation. The Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
  4. "Caton's Business College" (PDF). Hamburg New York Erie County Independent. Fulton Historical Society. September 14, 1894.
  5. "Quota Club's Founder is Anniversary Party Guest". Long Beach, California: Independent Press-Telegram. March 3, 1957. p. 291.
  6. "Wanda Frey Joiner: A Short Biography". Quota International.
  7. "Quota International Marks 90th Anniversary of Service". Ontario, Canada: Orillia Packet. February 25, 2009.
  8. "Quota International Will Convene at Lake Placid Club". Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: The Winnipeg Tribune. June 12, 1941. p. 15.
  9. Fitzgerald, Joseph (February 19, 2012). "Service to others: It's what Quota is all about". Woonsocket, Rhode Island: The Woonsocket Call. Blackstone Valley Newspaper.
  10. "Quota Club Plans to Observe 20th Year". Lincoln, Nebraska: The Lincoln Star. January 23, 1939. p. 7.
  11. "About Us: Mission Statement". Quota International. Quota International Bylaws, Article II.
  12. "Quota International, Inc: Charter Bylaws, Rules of Procedure, and Resolutions" (PDF). Quota International. Bylaws: Article II: Mission Statement and Objects. July 1, 2012. p. 1.
  13. "Manila South Quotarian, 2 others installed in Convention". Manila, Philippines: Manila Standard Today. MST News. September 5, 2014.
  14. Queenston Collection, Niagara Falls Public Library, Niagara-on-the-Lake: Quota Club. What is it?
  15. Quota Club Plans to Observe 20th Year. (January 23, 1939) The Lincoln Star, pg. 7
  16. Edna P. Alder Research Trends in Deafness: Social and Rehabilitation Service
  17. Gulf Port School District, Junior Quota
  18. Keaton, M. (2012). Listen Up, Turn It Down: Noise Can Zap Your Hearing. Case In Point, 10(5). Retrieved September 1, 2014
  19. 1 2 Noisy Planet, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
  20. Association of Marketing and Community Professionals
  21. NGOs in Consultative Status with ECOSOC, pg. 45
  22. UNA USA COO Member List
  23. University of Toledo Special Collections, pg. 2
  24. Quota Club Aids Kenya (November 30, 1977) Nashua Telegraph, pg. 34
  25. Quota Club of Filchburg to Support CARE Project (November 17, 1977) The Sentinel and Enterprise, pg. 12. Nashua, New Hampshire
  26. National Association for the Deaf (NAD) Affiliates
  27. Youth Service Association Archived 2014-10-06 at the Wayback Machine