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It drives me to explore stories of individuals who have made a profound impact on the world. “Giving it all away – the Doris Buffet Story” by Michael Zitz, offers a captivating narrative of philanthropy, resilience, and the transformative power of giving back. In this review, we will delve into the life of Doris Buffet, sister of renowned investor Warren Buffet, and the valuable lessons she imparts on how the convergence of business acumen and benevolence can change lives.

Summary of the Book

“Giving it all away” is a gripping biography that chronicles the extraordinary life of Doris Buffet, who emerged from the shadows of her illustrious brother to carve her own legacy in philanthropy. Born into humble beginnings, Doris exemplifies the idea that success is not just about financial prosperity but also about using one’s resources and influence to uplift others.

The book unveils Doris’s journey from her modest upbringing in Omaha, Nebraska, to her pursuit of higher education and eventual founding of the Sunshine Lady Foundation. Under the tutelage of her father, Howard Buffet, Doris imbibed the values of compassion, humility, and a deep sense of responsibility toward the less fortunate.

Throughout the narrative, Zitz seamlessly weaves in essential business concepts, illustrating how Doris leveraged her MBA education to enhance her philanthropic endeavors. She strategically applied the principles of strategic planning, resource allocation, and risk management to maximize the positive impact of her foundation’s initiatives.

The Transformative Power of Education

One of the most inspiring aspects of Doris’s story is her unwavering belief in the transformative power of education. Her father instilled in her the notion that education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and empowering individuals to build better futures. Armed with this conviction, Doris established numerous scholarship programs that enable underprivileged students to access quality education.

Her MBA background played a crucial role in developing these programs, ensuring their sustainability through prudent financial management and forging strategic partnerships with educational institutions. By combining business acumen with her passion for education, Doris achieved remarkable success in transforming countless lives.

The Art of Giving and Measuring Impact

Doris Buffet’s philanthropic journey teaches us that the act of giving is not merely a spontaneous gesture but rather an art that requires thoughtful planning and continuous assessment. Drawing from her MBA training, she instilled a rigorous process for evaluating the impact of her foundation’s initiatives.

Through measurable metrics, she identified the areas where her efforts could create lasting change, from supporting community development to providing access to healthcare and promoting women’s empowerment. Doris understood that philanthropy, like running a successful business, requires a clear vision, disciplined execution, and adaptability.

Cultivating a Culture of Compassion and Collaboration

The book beautifully illustrates how Doris Buffet’s approach to philanthropy mirrored her brother Warren’s investment philosophy. She approached social issues as an investor would approach a potential business venture. Her success stemmed from identifying opportunities for positive change and investing her time, resources, and expertise in projects with the potential for significant impact.

Additionally, Doris recognized the importance of collaboration and saw her role not as a solitary donor but as a partner in a broader ecosystem of change-makers. She encouraged open dialogue, engaged with stakeholders, and leveraged her network to create sustainable solutions for pressing social challenges.

Overcoming Adversity with Resilience

The book also delves into the setbacks and challenges Doris Buffet faced in her philanthropic journey. From facing resistance from traditional charity models to navigating bureaucratic hurdles, Doris’s resilience and determination in the face of adversity are truly commendable.

Her MBA background taught her the importance of risk management and contingency planning, which she skillfully applied in her philanthropic pursuits. Doris’s unwavering commitment to her mission, combined with her ability to adapt and learn from failures, serves as an invaluable lesson for any business leader facing challenges in their ventures.


In conclusion, “Giving it all away – the Doris Buffet Story” is a remarkable account of how business acumen and philanthropy can converge to create transformative change in the world. As a CEO with an MBA, I find Doris’s journey deeply inspiring, as it exemplifies the profound impact one individual can make when they channel their resources, knowledge, and passion towards a higher purpose.

Through her story, we are reminded that success is not solely measured by financial achievements, but by the significance of our contributions to society. Doris Buffet’s philanthropic approach, rooted in her MBA education and guided by her father’s values, serves as a beacon of hope for all business leaders seeking to create a positive impact beyond their corporate pursuits.

I highly recommend “Giving it all away – the Doris Buffet Story” to fellow CEOs, MBA graduates, and anyone with a desire to unlock the potential of giving back and make a lasting difference in the world. The book is a testament to the idea that business and philanthropy can be powerful allies in shaping a better, more equitable future for generations to come.