NoVo in the Media

NoVo’s $90 Million Will Support Efforts Led by Young Women of Color

13 April 2017
BY Rebecca Koenig

The NoVo Foundation will spend its $90 million commitment to help young women of color on community-led programs that target sexual violence and racism and help activists build solidarity, the organization announced Thursday.

The grant maker developed the plan after a yearlong national listening tour to learn directly from girls and women of color about their priorities, problems, and proposed solutions. The foundation announced the $90 million pledge in March 2016.

“We listened deeply because we know foundations are not the experts. Girls and movement leaders are,” said Pamela Shifman, NoVo’s executive director. “Girls of color themselves are imagining a better future for themselves and are working to create that.”

The foundation had $527 million in assets in 2014. It was founded by Jennifer and Peter Buffett, daughter-in-law and son of billionaire investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett.

The foundation is accepting letters of inquiry from nonprofits across the country until June 1. It prioritizes general operating support.

Because a large proportion of the people the foundation wants to help live in the southeastern United States, NoVo will initially place a special focus for its grant making on programs in that region that provide direct opportunities for girls to build relationships and organize. It will identify nonprofits, community foundations, and other intermediaries in the Southeast to serve as regional partners, which will regrant money and provide assistance to grantees. Applications are due June 15.

NoVo will prioritize efforts led by girls and women of color, whose work to change their communities is often overlooked and underfunded because it is “not even seen as work at all” by philanthropic and other leaders, Ms. Shifman said. NoVo is “committed to finding creative ways to support these women,” she added.