NoVo Foundation: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: The Novo Foundation’s global grantmaking centers on female empowerment and ending violence against adolescent girls and women.

IP TAKE: NoVo believes in interconnectedness despite borders. It is particularly interested in supporting vulnerable girls and women. 

PROFILE: Founded by Peter and Jennifer Buffett in 2006, the NoVo Foundation seeks to "foster a transformation from a world of domination and exploitation to one of collaboration and partnership." In Latin, "novo" refers to make anew or invent. The youngest son of Warren Buffett, Peter and his wife began NoVo with shares from Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The foundation prioritizes the advancement of girls' rights, ending violence against women and girls, social and emotional learning, local economies, and supporting indigenous communities in the United States. 

NoVo's global giving predominately occurs through its Advancing Adolescent Girls' Rights and Ending Violence Against Girls and Women programs. Its Girls' Rights programs largely focuses on dismantling "the structures that prevent a girl from exercising that power, leaving her without an education, vulnerable to violence, and lacking access to opportunity." NoVo invests in girls because when "their rights are fully realized, girls strengthen both their own lives and entire communities, transforming structures of poverty and inequity." NoVo's grantmaking in this area has been focused on the Global South and funds projects that shifts girls' conditions from the "inside out," shifts "the systems that shape her opportunities and access to resources," projects that support female activism and collective female power, and promote narratives and resources that "elevate the role and importance of girls throughout society." In the past, NoVo has partnered with heavyweights like the Nike Foundation and awarded giants like the International Rescue Committee. 

In addition, NoVo's Ending Violence Against Girls and Women program focuses on sex-trafficking, abuse against, economic justice, and ending violence towards women and girls during conflicts and after conflicts. While the foundation offers a strategic focus within each of these four areas, it sees "work between them as interconnected and mutually supportive."  

Through its programs related to girls and women, NoVo awards grants, some rather large (about $1 million), that range from $25,000 and $350,000.

NoVo does not accept unsolicited applications. However, it encourages grantseekers to contact the foundation to discuss their work.

PEOPLE:

  • Jennifer Buffett, Co-President
  • Peter Buffett, Co-President
  • Pamela Shifman, Executive Director
  • Ramatu Bangura, Program Officer, Advancing Adolescent Girls’ Rights
  • Puja Dhawan, Director, Ending Violence Against Girls and Women
  • Jody Myrum, Director, Advancing Adolescent Girls’ Rights

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