Frequently Asked Questions

RWF has been supporting humanitarian programs in Haiti since 2004.

RWF has been supporting humanitarian programs in Haiti since 2004.

What types of programs does Rainbow World Fund support?
Currently we support programs focusing on issues of global HIV/AIDS, safe drinking water access, landmine eradication, disaster relief, education, poverty and hunger.

Whom do we serve?
We serve those most in need, regardless of race, religion, political belief or sexual orientation. We recognize the dignity and uniqueness of all people and we believe in the essential unity of all humanity. We serve heterosexual and homosexual alike. We do not require that those we serve support our beliefs or struggles as LGBT people.

Who are our Partner Organizations?
Our current partners include Adopt-a-Minefield, Africare, Blue Diamond Society, CARE, Feeding America, Heartland Alliance, MAG America Inc., Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), and Water.org. RWF currently supports projects in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America and the United States

Does RWF take political positions?
No. We do not initiate or participate in political campaigns nor do we take sides in sectarian disputes. Of course, the very nature of our work, supporting oppressed people, can be seen as political. As LGBT people, we have come to know the powerful political implications of simply loving one another.

How is RWF funded?
We are funded by your contributions. With our unique partnerships and volunteer staffing, we strive to direct 100% of your contributions to communities in need. Please see our donation page for more details and our financials page for copies of our Annual Reports. Utilizing our partner's established and effective service-delivery networks allows LGBT funds to have maximum positive impact. Donations from RWF's Board of Directors, donations from the public specified for running RWF, a small percentage of unrestricted donations, and grants cover the organization's administrative and fundraising costs. Your contributions are 100% tax deductible.

How are contributions distributed?
We want every dollar we distribute to have the greatest lasting impact. Our staff carefully determines how your gift is distributed to each of our program partners based on current need. Let us know if you wish to designate your gift for a specific area of need.

RWF Founder Jeff Cotter with Mayan Shamans. RWF has funded many aid projects in Guatemala.

RWF Founder Jeff Cotter with Mayan Shamans. RWF has funded many aid projects in Guatemala.

How did RWF start?
RWF's founder, Jeff Cotter, got the idea because of his deep concern for the state of the world. He wanted to help so he decided to start where he was – a gay man living in San Francisco. He wanted to figure out a way to tap into our community’s strength to help others in the world. He also wanted to change the public’s misperceptions of gay people as a selfish and insular community only concerned about sex, drugs and materialism.

He started RWF fifteen years ago because he believed that LGBT people, like all people, have a unique role in world healing. He had been working as social worker in the HIV field for about 15 years. Those years taught him an important paradox – when we each give more of ourselves we all have more to give – more love, more compassion. He also learned that by serving others we are serving ourselves –that we each have more love to give and more to receive. Perhaps most importantly, AIDS taught him that we cannot wait for others to lead. If we want to see change in the world we are responsible to create it.

"The way that AIDS has been allowed to spread around the world is a reflection of our old way of seeing the world and treating each other. For many people it was okay for AIDS to spread as long as it was not affecting their family or community or home. We all know now how short-sighted that type of thinking is... People often ask me why is it important for LGBT people to help other beyond our own community. I have often been told 'charity begins at home'. That may be true but I believe that we are living in a time when we need to expand out definition of what 'home' is and realize that the entire planet is our home and that everyone is our family." - Jeff Cotter