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we work

Every year, the Open Society Foundations give thousands of grants to groups and individuals that work on the issues we focus on—promoting justice, transparency, and open debate. We also engage in strategic human rights litigation and impact investing, while incubating new ideas and engaging directly with governments and policymakers through advocacy to advance positive change.

Choosing Priorities

Our six geographic regions draw on the voices and expertise of local partners to forge priorities for action. At the global level, we reinforce and amplify the common strands of our regional work. We identify and prioritize our regional, global, and cross-program collaboration in a manner that has maximum impact where it is most needed, and where we can bring support not available from other funders. The creative dialogue between these local and global voices is an essential part of who we are.


Our president Mark Malloch-Brown and an executive committee oversee the day-to-day working of the foundations. A Senior Leadership Team, which includes a strong programmatic voice, complements the executive committee, and inputs into discussions about external impact for network-wide and programmatic decisions, strategy, and resource allocation.

The Open Society Board of Directors, chaired by Alexander Soros, works with our leadership to develop and review strategies.

Our Approach

Building Partnerships

Grant-giving is at the heart of what we do—supporting an array of independent groups whose work is aligned with our values.

When appropriate, and in consultation with partners, we engage in direct advocacy with governments and policymakers to promote inclusive and just public policy at the national, regional, and international levels.

Advocating for Change

Drawing on input from across our network, and in close cooperation with partners, our global advocacy team develops and initiates network-wide campaigns that seek to deliver rapid impact within a space of two to three years in high-priority areas. Advocates in our six geographic regions also engage with governments and institutions on key issues of regional or national concern. 

Impact Investing

Our social impact investment arm, the Soros Economic Development Fund, has deployed over $400 million in private-sector investments to advance the Foundations’ commitments of equity, expression, and justice. 

$400M+ Impact investments made since 1997

Strategic Litigation

The Open Society Justice Initiative provides us with the expert capacity to develop and pursue legal action to counter abuses of rights by both state and corporate actors, in support of our broader goals. 

Education and Ideas Collaborative

The Collaborative encompasses two initiatives: the Ideas Workshop which seeks to spur interrogation of key open society concepts and exploration of heterodox or speculative ideas; and the Open Society University Network which aims to inspire renewal in research and teaching across institutions of higher education, support university civic engagement programs, and expand access to higher education for underserved communities.

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