About CGCI



Who are we?
  • "CGCI" stands for "California Garden Clubs, Inc."   
    • It is the largest nonprofit, volunteer gardening organization in the state of California.
    • It has over 350 garden clubs and plant societies throughout the state representing more than 21,000 members.
    • It was organized in 1931.
    • It is a member of National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC), Pacific Region
  • President 2013-2015, Rita Desilets
  • Board of Directors 2013-2015
  • Click here to learn a little of its history through the list of its former presidents.
Mission Statement:
  • CGCI promotes gardening, floral design, civic beautification, environmental responsibility and the exchange of information and ideas.
  • There are five classes of membership: garden clubs, associate plant societies, affiliates, life members and all categories of youth gardeners.
  • A garden club, associate plant society, affiliate, or category of youth gardeners having one or more of the objectives of CGCI is eligible for membership providing no sectarian, racial, or political test for membership is required.
    • Bylaws of each membership class shall not conflict with the bylaws of CGCI.
    • Voting memberships are garden clubs and associate plant societies.
    • Non-voting memberships are life members, affiliates and all categories of youth gardeners.
    • Each category of youth gardeners is sponsored by a member garden club or district, and shall have all privileges of CGCI except the right to vote and hold office.

Tax Exempt Status:

  • CGCI operates as an exempt organization under Sec. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (RC 1986) and listed in the Cumulative List of Exempt Organizations, Publication 78, which can be found on the IRS website at www.irs.gov.
  • CGCI is listed in the State of California Registry of Charitable Organizations as a charitable trust, with the identification number CT­16120. Reference for this exemption is the California Revenue and Taxation Code. Sec. 23701d or Sec. 23701f.
  • A group exemption is allowed to qualified member clubs or associate plant societies to be afforded full, nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax status with the IRS under the status granted to CGCI.
    • To qualify for inclusion in this group exemption, member clubs must agree to follow the guidelines required by the IRS and successfully complete the application process administered under the supervision of the CGCI Financial Consultant. Group Exemption status is renewable each year thereafter.
    • A list of member clubs belonging to the 501(c)(3) Group Exemption can be found by clicking here.
  • All donations to CGCI and the clubs under its Letter of Group Exemption (Group # 5358) are deductible to the full extent allowed under US tax laws.

What do we do?

CGCI  members spend millions of hours learning about gardening and serving their communities...working together to make our world a better place.


  • Education: 
    • Clubs and Districts sponsor courses in horticulture, environmental education, safe & efficient gardening, flower arranging, flower show judge accreditation and landscape design
    • CGCI and member clubs annually award college scholarships.
  • Environment:
    • CGCI promotes conservation of natural resources and environmental awareness through projects like Project Mission Blue 
    • CGCI members have planted millions of trees through Penny Pines, protected hundreds of acres via the Sempervirens Fund and spread wildflower seeds along miles of highway and open space
  • Community Outreach
    • The collective energy and force of the large of membership of CGCI enables the members to lend significant support to many projects throughout the state. In almost every community in California.
    • CGCI members reach out to our neighborhoods by supporting public gardens, parks and playgrounds, directing and commending civic beautification projects.
    • We are part of a nation-wide project establishing and maintaining Blue Star Memorials and Markers
    • We sponsor outreach programs for youth, the aged and garden therapy patients; encouraging civic development, and community service.
  • Garden Club Support & Administration: CGCI offers member clubs an umbrella of support and protection through its
How does it work?
  • National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC)
    • President Linda Nelson
    • 50 states and National Capitol Area
    • 5500 clubs +, over 190,000 members
  • Pacific Region of NGC
    • Director Elaine Gunderson
    • 8 states: WA, AZ, CA, OR, NV, ID, AK, HI
  • California Garden Clubs, Inc. (CGCI)
    • President Rita Desilets
    • 350 Clubs, Plant Societies & Affiliates
    • 20,000+ members
  • CGCI Districts
    • 28 throughout the state
  • YOUR Garden Club

  • Your club President should attend all District meetings.
    • Each District is presided over by a District Director.
    • Presidents and members of the other clubs in your District attend. It is a wonderful way to get to know the activities and projects of neighboring clubs.
    • There are several meetings each year and every member of your club is welcome to attend.
  • Your District Director is expected to attend the State meetings.
    • CGCI meets three times a year: at Fall and Winter Board Meetings and the annual convention
    • Club members are welcome to attend all state meetings and encouraged to attend the annual convention.
    • Information from every garden club in California comes through each of the 26 districts represented at these meetings and is passed on to your President through his/her presence at District meetings.
  • Your state president attends the Pacific Region Convention and the National Garden Clubs meetings - a Fall Board Meeting and an annual Convention.
    • You are welcome to attend any of these conventions.
What can I do?
As a member in our organization, make the commitment to be a part of the bigger picture.
  • Participate in your district
  • Attend our CGCI Convention
  • Volunteer for a small job in one of these organizations

CGCI members have fun learning together, sharing ideas & experiences and building friendships that last a lifetime. Their lives are richer for the benefit of membership in such a caring and worthy organization.