Altrusa International was founded in Nashville, Tennessee in 1917, originally as Altrusa Institute. During that time, a record number of women were going to work during World War I, and there was a need for women's civic organizations.

When the Altrusa International of Parkersburg closed in 2019, they formed a partnership with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation that will last forever. This charitable fund is designed to forever support the region by providing grantmaking resources that will allow Altrusa International of Parkersburg to continue to make a meaningful impact in the area.