Open Society Foundations
|George Soros, Chairman
Christopher Stone, President
Jonathan Soros, Global Advisory Board Member
Open Society Foundations (OSF), formerly the Open Society Institute, is an international grantmaking network founded by business magnate George Soros. Open Society Foundations financially support civil society groups around the world, with a stated aim of advancing justice, education, public health and independent media.
The OSF has branches in 37 countries, encompassing a group of country and regional foundations, such as the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa; its headquarters are in New York, New York.
On May 28, 1984, Soros signed a contract between the Soros Foundation (New York) and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the founding document of the Soros Foundation Budapest. This was followed by several foundations in the region to help countries move away from communism.
In 1991 the foundation merged with the Fondation pour une Entraide Intellectuelle Européenne, an affiliate of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, created in 1966 to imbue 'non-conformist' Eastern European scientists with anti-totalitarian and capitalist ideas.
In August 2010, it started using the name of Open Society Foundations (OSF) to better reflect its role as a funder for civil society groups around the world.
The Open Society Foundations reported annual expenditures of $827 million in 2014. Its $873 million budget in 2013, ranked as the second largest private philanthropy budget in the United States, after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.budget of $3.9 billion.
According to the foundations' website, 1993-2014 expenditures included:
- $2.9 billion to defend human rights, especially the rights of women, ethnic, racial, and religious minorities, drug users, sex workers, and LGBTQ communities;
- $2.1 billion for education
- $1.6 billion on developing democracy in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union;
- $1.5 billion in the United States to promote reform in criminal justice, drug policy, palliative care, education, immigration, equal rights, and democratic governance
- $737 million for public health issues such as HIV and AIDS, TB, palliative care, harm reduction, and patients’ rights;
- $214 million to advance the rights of Roma communities in Europe;
Expenditures in 2014 included:
- $277.3 million Rights and Justice
- $238.0 million Governance and Accountability
- $116.0 million Administration
- $91.7 million Education and Youth
- $60.0 million Health
- $43.8 million Media and Information
Within these totals, OSF reported granting at least $33 million to civil rights and social justice organizations in the United States. This funding included groups such as the Organization for Black Struggle and Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment that supported protests in the wake of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the death of Eric Garner, the shooting of Tamir Rice and the shooting of Michael Brown. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the OSF spends much of its resources on democratic causes around the world, and has also contributed to groups such as the Tides Foundation.
Nicolas Guilhot has argued that the Open Society Foundations serve to perpetuate institutions which reinforce the existing social order. Nicolas Guilhot, writing in Critical Sociology, connects the Soros charities to the history of capitalist philanthropy maintained by the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others. Guilhot argues that control over the social sciences by monied interests has depoliticized this field and reinforced a capitalist view of modernization. He argues that despite critiques of malfunctioning free markets, Soros is actually a neoliberal who believes that competitive markets are the best way to organize society.
An OSF effort in 2008 in the African Great Lakes region aimed at spreading human rights awareness among prostitutes in Uganda and other nations in the area was not received well by the Ugandan authorities, who considered it an effort to legalize and legitimize prostitution.
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- Central European University
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Soros, through foundations and his Open Society Institutes, pours some $500 million per year into organizations in the former Soviet world... And Soros gets results. Through strategic donations, Soros helped bring down the communist government in Poland, toppled Serbia’s bloodstained strongman Slobodan Milosevic, and fueled the “Rose Revolution” in Georgia. Soros has also funded opposition parties in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Croatia, Georgia, and Macedonia, helping them into either power or prominence. All of these countries were once Russian allies..
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