About Us

NoVo Foundation is dedicated to catalyzing a transformation in global society, moving from a culture of domination to one of equality and partnership. We support the development of capacities in people—individually and collectively—to help create a caring and balanced world. We envision 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.

How We Work

We place a high priority on a compassionate view of the world and on the highest definition of philanthropy — in the roots of the words anthro and philo — “for the love of human beings.” NoVo sees itself as a learning organization and we believe we can be most impactful by being aware of the interconnectedness of all things.

We structure our grantmaking around initiatives, rather than by program areas. These initiatives are varied in form, but all reflect our commitment to building authentic partnerships with grantees and other funders, and to taking calculated risks.

Jennifer Buffett introduces NoVo Foundation
and our goals for change.

While the NoVo Foundation’s work is pursued across a range of initiatives, a single set of deeply shared values guides everything we do.


We place a high priority on a compassionate view of the world and on the highest definition of philanthropy — in the roots of the words anthro and philo — "for the love of human beings". The only way to create real change is with love at the center.


We are deeply inspired by Indigenous values of reciprocity and interconnectedness. We recognize that spirit is an active force that connects all things, and seek out holistic solutions that restore greater balance and harmony in our world.

Respect for lived experience

Centering the leadership of people who live every day with injustice is the single most powerful way to create transformative change. We believe that the best solutions to community challenges come from within those communities, and we support social movements that build the power of people to create lasting change.


We recognize the inherent power and privilege of philanthropy, and strive to act as humble, respectful and thoughtful stewards. We pursue our mission with rigor and strive to ensure that our resources help to create lasting conditions for change.

Social Justice

All of our work is driven by a deeply-held belief in the dignity and human rights of every person, and a determination to confront sexism, racism, and other overlapping oppressions that prevent people from achieving their full potential. We believe that our own liberation is inextricably connected to the liberation of others. We value healing and self-care as fundamental components of social justice.

Patient partnership

We value long-term partnerships, and we recognize that meaningful progress is only achieved in relationship with others. We strive to ensure that our vision of a world based in collaboration and mutual respect is modeled in our own philanthropy.

Embracing risk

We venture where others are unable to go, and embrace uncertainty and complexity as a necessary part of philanthropy. By establishing mutual trust with our grantee partners, we strive to create a space for creativity, serendipity, flexibility and untraditional thinking.

Radical hope

We are deeply optimistic that we can contribute to systemic progress that addresses the root causes of injustice. Grounded in that optimism, we remain focused on long-term solutions and join our voices with those who proudly advocate for fundamental social change.

Hear from NoVo staff about how our values guide our work.