Civitan International is a volunteer service organization. It was organized in 1917 in Birmingham, Alabama, and has now spread throughout North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Civitan has a threefold purpose: service, knowledge, and fellowship. Its major emphasis is on helping people with developmental disabilities, generally through support of the Civitan International Research Center in Birmingham, Alabama.
Individual local clubs help support people with disabilities by participating in projects such as Special Olympics, as well as other community service projects put together by the clubs themselves. However, Civitan also places an emphasis on meeting and getting to know new people (fellowship), as well as attaining knowledge (through speakers and informative programs).