“If you want to learn, you have to give up talking,” Jennifer Buffett of the NoVo Foundation told me in our conversations. Her husband, Peter, added: “I’ve had this wonderful, privileged, lucky life in so many ways, so I shouldn’t be the one saying, ‘Here’s how to solve the problem.’ The people who are experiencing it should say that. What you need to do is get really humble, and listen, and learn. . . . Transformational change will always require challenging conversations about ‘us’—not a monologue about helping ‘them.’”1

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that the folks holding the purse strings don’t really listen! After 15 years in the field of philanthropy, I can’t believe I’m still hearing this. Every human ...

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