NoVo Foundation: Grants for Girls and Women

OVERVIEW: The NoVo Foundation invests in organizations ending violence against women and girls, seeking long-term policy change, and advocating for economic justice.

IP TAKE: This funder offers both project-specific and general operating support grants.

PROFILE: Jennifer and Peter Buffett established the NoVo Foundation in 1997 after Peter’s father Warren Buffett pledged a donation of 350,000 Berkshire Hathaway shares. The NoVo Foundation “envision[s] a world that operates on the principles of mutual respect, collaboration and civic participation, thereby reversing the old paradigm predicated on hierarchy, violence and the subordination of girls and women.”

The foundation bases its grantmaking on larger initiatives rather than specific programs. Those initiatives are Advancing Adolescent Girls’ Rights, Ending Violence Against Girls and Women, Advancing Social and Emotional Learning, Promoting Local Living Economies, and Supporting Indigenous Communities in North America.

NoVo’s Advancing Adolescent Girls’ Rights initiative “seeks to ensure girls everywhere are able to reach their full potential.” The foundation expanded its work in 2015 to include both the Global South—a geographic focus from 2007 to 2014—and the United States. In the Global South, the foundation focuses on investing in organizations deepening the girls movement and those supporting adolescent girls. In the United States, NoVo seeks organizations that are solving challenges faced by girls of color within their local communities.

The foundation’s Ending Violence Against Girls and Women initiative seeks “change agents who take on deep-seated attitudes that lead to violence against women and girls.” NoVo focuses its support on groups achieving long-term policy change, concentrating on the priority areas of sex trafficking, ending domestic and sexual violence in the United States, economic justice, and ending violence against girls and women in conflict and post-conflict regions.

Foundation-wide, NoVo awards larger grants ranging from $1 million to $5 million; however, the foundation typically awards those grants to large international nonprofits. The majority of NoVo’s grants generally fall between $100,000 and $350,000. Examples of past grantees include the Global Fund for Women and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. For a broader view of the types of organizations NoVo supports, browse through its Reports & Filings webpage.

The NoVo Foundation does not accept unsolicited requests for funding.

PEOPLE:

  • Jennifer Buffett, Co-President
  • Peter Buffett, Co-President
  • Pamela Schifman, Executive Director
  • Gary Scwartz, Senior Director
  • Puja Dhawan, Director, End Violence Against Girls and Women
  • Jody Myrum, Director, Advancing Adolescent Girls’ Rights
  • Ramatu Bangura, Program Officer, Advancing Adolescent Girls’ Rights
  • Melissa Centeno, Assistant, Advancing Adolescent Girls’ Rights

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