Abstract Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) between donor coumarins (C102 and C153) and acceptor Rhodamine 6G were studied in AOT/4-chlorophenol/m-xylene organogels. The gel comprises a three-dimensional network of fiber bundles trapping the m-xylene solvent. Each fiber is an aggregate of several strands, and each strand consists of a central columnar stack of the phenols, surrounded by AOT headgroups. Our acceptor is ionic so that it was concentrated near the polar center of the strand, while the neutral donors were likely distributed over a wider region. With C153 as donor, clear evidence of FRET (time-constant~100 ps) was found, which indicated that the donor and acceptor may reside in neighboring strands within the same fiber. However, with C102 as donor, FRET probably occurred over an ultrashort, sub-picosecond time-scale suggesting that the donor and acceptor in this case resided in close vicinity. Thus, C102 tends to localize near the polar centre of the strands, compared to the more hydrophobic C153, which prefers to occupy the relatively non-polar peripheral regions of the strands and fibers. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.