About Rainbow World Fund
Rainbow World Fund (RWF) is an all-volunteer international humanitarian service agency based in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and friends community. RWF’s mission is to promote LGBT philanthropy in the area of world humanitarian relief.
Founded in 2000 by members of the San Francisco LGBT community, RWF works to help people who suffer from hunger, poverty, disease, oppression and war by raising awareness and funds to support relief efforts around the world. RWF works in the LGBT and friends community educating people about world need. Along with raising our community’s consciousness, RWF raises funds to support humanitarian relief projects. RWF provides a united voice, a visible presence, and a structure to deliver charitable assistance from the LGBT community to the larger world community. RWF has evolved in to a national organization and is unique as the worlds first and only LGBT based humanitarian aid organization. RWF currently supports projects focusing on global HIV/AIDS, water development, landmine eradication, hunger, education, orphans and disaster relief in Africa, Asia, Central America, the Caribbean, and the United States. RWF also works to raise awareness of the charitable contributions of the LGBT community, and to establish connections with non-LGBT communities. RWF programs strengthen our community by increasing LGBT visibility, serving as a platform for our community’s compassion and concern and changing how the world sees LGBT people by building bridges with the larger world community.
RWF’s philosophy is that we are all “One Human Family” and that we are living in a time that tells us that our survival on this planet depends on us all giving more to each other. We bring people together who believe that together we can heal the world. We believe that LGBT people like all people have a unique role in world healing. RWF is part of that healing. We are working to change the separation consciousness that is underlying the disparity in the world – how people feel divided in the world today – by racism, sexism, homophobia, and so on. RWF is about remind people that we are really all part of one big global family and the we need to help each other.
Rainbow World Fund has three primary goals – to provide humanitarian aid to communities in need around the world; to create awareness within the LGBT community of the need for these relief efforts; and to change perceptions of the LGBT community by putting our highest beliefs and values into action demonstrating our compassion and caring for the world. RWF’s projects affect social change at home and abroad through education, networking, developing solidarity, fostering understanding and building community.
RWF's Recent Accomplishments
RWF has distributed over 3.2 million dollars in humanitarian aid (supplies and grants) over the last 8 years: providing food aid for Hurricane evacuees (including funding 1 million meals for Hurricane Katrina survivors), emergency supplies for the South East Asia tsunami, medical supplies and financial aid to various projects in Guatemala, funding water projects throughout Central America providing safe drink water to hundreds, delivering thousands of pounds of medicine, medical supplies, and school supplies to communities in Mexico, launching of a landmine eradication project for Cambodia, an HIV/AIDS case management program in South Africa funding the monthly salaries of rural HIV peer educators, providing a computer lab to a Guatemalan middle school, producing a benefit concert for Haiti, traveling to Washington DC annually to advocate on Capitol Hill for development and aid issues, and delivering thousands of stuffed animals to children in hospitals, schools and orphanages.
RWF was recognized for it's humanitarian aid by the California State Assembly following the tsunami and for helping Haiti recover from Hurricane Jeanne in 2004. RWF's founder, Jeff Cotter, was named to the OUT 100 List as one of the most intriguing people of 2005. San Francisco Mayor, Gavin Newsom and Speaker of the House, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, have also recognized RWF's work. RWF was honored as the 2007 Organizational Grand Marshal of the San Francisco Pride Parade.
The most visible bridge building effort by RWF is the annual World Tree of Hope project. The World Tree of Hope is a gift to the world from the LGBT community. It is created as a symbol of hope and global unity. RWF creates the tree as a way to inspire hope and encourage people to really think about what they would like for the future of the world and as a way for people from all over the world to come together to communally express those hopes and intentions. The tree is collaboration between members of the LGBT and Japanese American communities. Children and adults throughout the world are invited to send their wishes for the future of the world to San Francisco. The wishes are printed on paper and are folded into thousands of origami cranes to decorate The World Tree of Hope in San Francisco City Hall.
Other high profile projects include RWF’s annual humanitarian aid journey to Guatemala and The Bus of Hope aid trip to Tijuana, Mexico.
Learn more about Rainbow World Fund and how the LGBT and friends community is helping heal our world by visiting: www.rainbowfund.org
Questions? Please contact us here.
Jeff Cotter meets with Shamans in Guatemala (2008)
Barb Palari with new friends (2006)
Team Rainbow World Fund (2007)
Amber Joy Leonard at an orphanage.
Rosa Escobar (r), founder of Women in Solidarity Clinic in Guatamala City, recipient of RWF Medical AID (2009)
RWF's Bus of Hope brought medical supplies to Mexico.
Rainbow World Fund Concert for Haiti (2004)