Last year the NoVo Foundation pledged $90 million to support girls and women of color. Faced with both racial and gender prejudices, these women are especially vulnerable to sexual assault, unequal pay, incarceration, and poverty. Run by Warren Buffett's son and daughter-in-law, Peter and Jennifer Buffett, the foundation's pledge represents the largest grant from a private foundation targeting these societal challenges.
Peter considers the typical approach to giving back "conscious laundering." As he explained in an op-ed piece for the New York Times, it's "feeling better about accumulating more than any one person could possibly need to live on by sprinkling a little around as an act of charity...The rich sleep better at night, while others get just enough to keep the pot from boiling over." This grant aims to shift power from the donor back to the to recipient by putting the recipient in charge. The foundation spent the past year holding nation-wide sessions with girls and women of color to better understand the obstacles they face and what's needed to overcome them. These interviews have guided the organization's funding priorities, which include direct budget support for community-based organizations, efforts targeting the southeastern U.S., and national research and policy initiatives. LEARN MORE