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. We provide thousands of grants every year through a network of national and regional foundations and offices, funding a vast array of projects—many of them now shaped by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
George Soros, the founder 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.
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.
The Open Society Foundations are the largest private human rights funder in the world, working to build vibrant and inclusive democracies whose governments are accountable to their people. Since its inception, the Open Society Foundations have had expenditures of more than $18 billion.
In addition to our national and regional foundations, the Open Society Foundations’ work is supported by a network of thematic and geographic programs, whose activities include funding, research, advocacy, and litigation.
Offices and Foundations
The Open Society Foundations form a global network of entities and programs committed to local knowledge and national expertise. Our network includes national and regional foundations, as well as programs with regional or global reach, active in more than 120 countries, including hubs in Europe and the United States.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors helps guide our staff, partners, and grantees as they work throughout the world to promote justice, democracy, and human rights.