Membership in P.E.O.
P.E.O. was founded nearly 150 years ago as a college society, similar to later sororities. Fellowship and philanthropic service are of great importance to its members.
Building Fellowship and Philanthropic Service
As a philanthropic organization, P.E.O. supports six philanthropies that include ownership of Cottey College, an independent liberal arts and sciences college for women in Nevada, Missouri, owned and operated by the P.E.O. Sisterhood since 1927, and five programs that provide higher educational assistance through scholarships, grants, awards and loans.
Membership in P.E.O. is by invitation, offering a potential member the opportunity to learn about the significance of these key attributes of the organization.
P.E.O. members refer to each other as sisters, emphasizing the importance placed upon fellowship throughout the organization.
Cottey College Alumnae
If you're a Cottey College alumna who is interested in learning more about P.E.O. membership, please complete this interest form and we will send it to chapters in your community.
Project Applicants and Recipients
If you are a project applicant or recipient who is interested in learning more about P.E.O. membership, please complete this interest form and we will send it to local chapters in your community.
Please note: if you are seeking financial assistance for your education, click here.
Getting to Know You
Before receiving an invitation to join, a woman is sponsored by three members in a local chapter. The sponsorship and invitation process includes getting to know the prospective members well, and explaining P.E.O.’s purposes that come with personal commitment and responsibilities.
If a woman is invited to join a local chapter, she may then make her decision based on what she has learned about the local chapter and the international scope of P.E.O.
Personally, P.E.O. is a source of encouragement and support for women, both for members in chapter life and to women who benefit from P.E.O.'s philanthropic assistance.
Collectively, P.E.O.s take great pride in providing educational opportunities to women all over the world.
Active P.E.O. Member
Even if a P.E.O. member is no longer able to fully participate in her local chapter, P.E.O. members support the work of the organization through its educational projects by paying annual dues. Additionally, by maintaining active membership, members continue to receive the bimonthly P.E.O. Record, helping them stay connected to the organization and its projects.
To be considered an active member, dues must be paid to the member's local chapter by the end of February. If you do not have a contact person for the chapter, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do not discriminate against any woman based on age, ethnicity, religion or education. Our Sisterhood is based on friendship and mutual respect. P.E.O. is not political nor is it a political action group. Individually, each member may work for causes of her choice outside of P.E.O. As members, we respect one another’s political and/or religious views and activities. We meet to support each other, for fellowship and for the common and uniting purpose of assisting women with their educational goals.
P.E.O. has evolved into one of the largest nonsectarian, community-based organizations with nearly 6,000 chapters and almost a quarter of a million members. P.E.O. has chapters in each of the 50 United States, District of Columbia and in six Canadian provinces. The headquarters for the organization is located in Des Moines, Iowa.
Local P.E.O. chapter fundraisers are one of the ways to support the educational programs offered by P.E.O.