The California Federation affiliated with the NFRW in 1938. Mrs. O. P. Clark, who was elected the first National Committeewoman in 1924, served as the founding president. Mrs. Edith Van de Water, also a founding member, served for 10 years as the organization's second president. CFRW has three divisions and 270 clubs. Gladys O'Donnell and Charlotte Mousel, former state presidents, served as NFRW president from 1968 to 1971 and 1994 to 1995, respectively.
Not only does CFRW have one of the largest state Federations, its members are extremely active and innovative. The organization has a strong advocacy program, sponsors student Republican organizations, and encourages Republican women to seek elective office and state appointments through its Talent Bank. Members provide community service by raising money for battered women and children, teaching English and Americanism to immigrants, organizing a campaign to provide tutors for literacy programs, and contributing books and magazines to health care facilities. CFRW sponsors a number of awards programs which raise visibility for the organization and the state Republican Party.