Who We Are
Rainbow World Fund (RWF) is an all-volunteer international humanitarian service agency based in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and friends community. RWF’s mission is to promote LGBT philanthropy in the area of global 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 into 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 world community.
RWF’s philosophy is that we are all “One Human Family” and that we live in a time in which our survival on this planet depends on each of us giving more to each other. RWF brings people together who believe that only together can we heal the world. RWF is an active part of that healing. We work to foster awareness and ultimately change the separation consciousness that underlies the disparity and global inequality in the world – a sense of a deeply divided world – characterized all too often by racism, sexism, homophobia, ect. RWF exists in part to remind everyone that we are all part of a global family and that we create a better world when we help one another.
RWF has three primary goals – (1) To provide humanitarian aid to communities in need around the world; (2) To create awareness within the LGBT community of the need for these relief efforts; and (3) To change perceptions of the LGBT community by putting our truest humanitarian beliefs and values into action which demonstrates 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.
develops partnerships with the most effective likeminded organizations that
best reflect our guiding principles: empowerment, sustainability,
peacemaking, measurable impact and ecological awareness. Our partners include Adopt-A-Minefield, Africare, America's Second Harvest, CARE, and Water Partners International. RWF also conducts global awareness tours to Central America.
RWF is a volunteer run 501(c)(3) nonprofit
organization and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.
Our EIN is 94-3372560. We are Guidestar registered.
RWF is run by an all-volunteer staff. We strive to multiply every dollar we receive. In recent years we have grown each dollar received for RWF program services into at least 33 dollars in monetary aid, medicine and supplies, which we then distributed. Our overhead and fundraising costs have averaged 3 percent or less since our inception. Most of RWF's administrative and fund-raising expenses have been covered by Board of Director contributions and small grants. Learn more about RWF's donation policy and the specifics of efficiency here: http://rainbowfund.org/donate/
More info is available in our
2011 Annual Report (pdf).
Also available for viewing is our
2010 Annual Report,
2009 Annual Report,
2008 Annual Report, 2007 Annual Report, 2006 Annual Report,
and 2005 Annual Report (pdf)
RWF's Recent Accomplishments
RWF has distributed over 3.2 million dollars in humanitarian aid (supplies and grants) over the last 5 years: Food aid for Hurricane evacuees (including funding 1 million pounds of food aid for Hurricane Katrina survivors), emergency supplies for the South East Asia tsunami, medical supplies and financial aid to various projects in Guatemala, water projects throughout Central America providing safe drink water to hundreds, thousands of pounds of medicine, medical supplies, and school supplies to communities in Mexico, a landmine eradication project for Cambodia, an HIV/AIDS case management program in South Africa funding the monthly salaries of rural HIV peer educators, a computer lab to a Guatemalan middle school, a benefit concert for Haiti, traveling to Washington DC to advocate on Capitol Hill for development and aid issues, and thousands of stuffed animals to children in hospitals, schools and orphanages.
RWF was recognized for its humanitarian aid by the California State Assembly following the South East Asia 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.
Articles/interviews about RWF have appeared in publications and other media throughout the United States (Adocate.com, Gay.com, Sirius Radio, Q-TV, Washington Blade, Southern Voice, Dallas Voice, B.A.R., Bay Windows, BayTimes, Windy City News, Scene Magazine, Our Magazine, Lesbian Notions and others), Canada, Europe, Australia (DNA), and Asia.
Jeff Cotter, Founder and Executive Director
Founder of RWF, Jeff Cotter is a psychiatric social worker specializing in trauma recovery and HIV/AIDS case management. Cotter practices in San Francisco, California. He has worked in the HIV/AIDS and LGBT civil rights fields since 1987.
Chris Bates, Administrative Manager
Audrey Heller, Communications Specialist
Audrey Heller is a San Francisco artist and a freelance consultant who is ferocious with a red editing pen. She shows her photography all over the country, but stays involved with local community projects, among them curating the Spectrum Art Auction. She is proud to be part of the "friends" community. Visit her Website at www.audreyheller.com
Paul Stankiewicz, Project Manager.
Armandine Legare, Project Manager
Michael Norton, Project Manager
An audit specialist for a firm in Marin County, CA, Mike has volunteered for the Red Cross and numerous other organizations. He is currently in the U.S. Airforce Reserves and has been actively involved in delivering medical and humanitarian supplies to world wide locations such as after Central America was pummeled by Hurricane Mitch and the tsunami that struck Southeast Asia and the earthquake in Iran.
Chas Nol , Technology and Graphic Design
Doris Kizzina, Administative Specialist
Kizinna has worked primarily with youth and young adults in a variety of settings. She is currently on Conference Staff for the United Church of Canada. Kizinna's passion is encountering the world with groups of youth and young adults and she has led Global Awareness trips to Guatemala and Cuba on numerous occasions.
Karen Dickinson, Grant Writer