Who we are

RWF volunteers visiting Children at Project Safe Passage in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

RWF volunteers visiting Children at Project Safe Passage in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Founded in 2000, Rainbow World Fund is the world's first and only all-volunteer, LGBT-based humanitarian aid organization. RWF works to help people affected by natural disasters, hunger, poverty, disease, oppression and war by raising awareness in, and funds from, the LGBT community to support both LGBT and non-LGBT people locally and around the world. RWF has donated over $4 million in humanitarian aid such as financial grants, food, water, medicine, medical equipment, and art and school supplies.

RWF’s mission is to promote peace, unity and hope by leading the LGBT movement in participating in humanitarian relief efforts.

RWF's aim is to promote world peace, unity and hope by helping people in need while increasing positive visibility of the LGBT movement. RWF serves those most in need, regardless of race, religion, political belief or sexual orientation.


Empowerment - RWF supports programs that foster rapid independence, self-reliance and self-determination while respecting cultural and community traditions.
Sustainability - RWF supports programs that can endure beyond Rainbow World Fund's involvement.
Peacemaking - RWF supports programs that promote tolerance and understanding of differences among people and cultures.
Measurable Impact - RWF supports programs that demonstrate consistent positive impact.

 Jeffrey A. Cotter - Founder-Executive Director
A psychiatric social worker specializing in trauma recovery and HIV/AIDS case management. Cotter practices in San Francisco, California. Cotter has worked in the HIV/AIDS and LGBT civil rights fields since 1987.
Education: Baccalaureate of Science, Management Information System, 1985, Old Dominion University; Masters of Social Work, 1990, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He was made a Distinguished Alumnus of Old Dominion University in 2011.

Michael Gray - Treasurer
Michael is a Certified Public Accountant who has been in private practice since 1989. He has served on Boards of San Francisco nonprofits for the past 25 years including Under One Roof since its start and Project Inform for 6 years. He has been committed to dealing with LGBT issues and the fight against AIDS for nearly thirty years. His duties are spelled out in our bylaws, and include attending meetings of our board of directors and voting on board decisions.
Education: Baccalaureate of Science, Accounting, Santa Clara University, 1977; Masters of Science, Taxation, Golden Gate University, 1983. 

Karen N. Kai - Secretary
An independent research and writing consultant, Kai is a community activist who has served on the boards of local, statewide and national Asian American, civil and human rights organizations. She is a former Chairperson of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and served as co-chair of its LGBT Advisory Board.
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, San Francisco State University, 1975; J.D., University of San Francisco, 1978.

Jeff Hauk - Board Member
Jeff is a professional fundraiser who has worked for nearly 20 years helping private donors maximize the impact of their philanthropy at a few of the nation's most prestigious organizations. He has a particular passion for inter-cultural exchange and dialogue, and promoting equality where it is needed most.
Education: Bachelor of Science, Social Studies Education, Miami University (OH), 1995; Masters of Business Administration, Johns Hopkins University, 2005.

Jim McBride - Board Member
Jim brings to RWF more than 30 years of marketing, communications and fundraising experience. Jim is has been the Development Director of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel since 2003, and previously held positions with UCSF Alliance Health Project and Shanti. For profit stints include Bozell Worldwide, Design Media and The Ideas Group.
Education: Bachelor of Liberal Arts, General Arts & Sciences, Penn State University, 1981; Development Director Certification, University of San Francisco Institute for Non Profit Management, 1994.  

Lisa Capaldini, MD, MPH - Advisory Board Member
An Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF, Capaldini has been in private practice in Internal Medicine with an emphasis on care of people with HIV disease since 1988. Capaldini's areas of interest include quality of life, the doctor-patient relationship and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders in the primary care setting.
Education:  Baccalaureate of Arts, History of Ideas, 1978, Williams College; Masters of Public Health, 1982, University of California, Berkeley; M.D., 1982, University of California, San Francisco.

Sister Jeannine Gramick, IBVM, PhD - Advisory Board Member
A reform-minded Roman Catholic nun, activist and co-founder of New Ways Ministry - helping LGBT Roman Catholics in the United States - Sister Jeannine began working with gays and lesbians in 1971. In 2000, Gramick and New Ways co-founder Father Robert Nugent were ordered by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (under then - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, recently resigned Pope Benedict XVI) to cease ministering to gays and lesbians due to the Church’s teaching that same-sex relationships are sinful. While Nugent formally acquiesced to the decision by resigning from New Ways, Gramick respectfully set aside the order altogether. Gramick is the author of several books on LGBT Catholic issues. The documentary In Good Conscience details her journey of activism, the Vatican’s attempt to silence her and her decision to disregard that attempt.
Education: Doctorate in Mathematics Education from the University of Pennsylvania.