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Who
we are

The Open Society Foundations, founded by George Soros, are the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights. George Soros opened his first international foundation in Hungary in 1984. Today, the Open Society Foundations support a vast array of projects in more than 120 countries, providing hundreds of grants every year through a network of national and regional foundations and offices. 

History

George Soros, the founder and chair of the Open Society Foundations, began his philanthropic work in 1979, funding scholarships for black African university students in South Africa and for East European dissidents to study in the West. Today, his Foundations fund groups and projects in more than 120 countries. 

Mission

We believe that the solutions to the national, regional, and global challenges we face demand the free exchange of ideas and thought, and that everyone should have a voice in shaping the policies that affect them. 

We therefore work to build vibrant and inclusive societies, grounded in respect for human rights and the rule of law, whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people. 

We do this by supporting a diverse array of independent voices and independent organizations around the world—the civil society that provides a creative and dynamic link between the governing and the governed.

We have a special focus on supporting those who face discrimination purely for who they are, such as Europe’s Roma people, and for those who find themselves pushed to the margins of mainstream society—such as drug users, prisoners, or sex workers.

Financials

The Open Society Foundations are the largest private human rights funder in the world, working to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Over the last 37 years, the Open Society Foundations have had expenditures of more than $15 billion. 


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