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November 03, 2015

Interview: Howard Buffett on Hands-on Philanthropy

Billionaire donor Howard Buffett talks about getting personally involved in his foundation's work, lessons he's learned from his father, and the difference between charity and philanthropy in a conversation with Bloomberg.

Mr. Buffett, the eldest son of investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett, has spent $775 million through the Howard G. Buffett Foundation on agricultural programs and industrial investments aimed at tackling hunger in regions disrupted by poverty and conflict.

Speaking to Bloomberg after returning from his latest trip to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo — where the foundation will concentrate its work over the next decade — Mr. Buffett said he favors investment over charity, which he said "doesn't solve a long-term problem," and that he has learned "to stop thinking about projects and start thinking about outcomes" in deciding how his giving can make the most impact.

Read a 2013 Chronicle of Philanthropy interview with Howard G. Buffett and his son, Howard W. Buffett, about their book Forty Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World.