Over the years, the Open Society Foundation, an international grantmaking network, has received over $18 billion from its founder, George Soros. Soros, 87, established the network some 30 years ago and supported it by donating between $800 and $900 million per year. Presently, the foundation has a presence in more than 120 countries advocating for what Soros is passionate about: democracy and human right. However, the Open Societies Foundation may not increase the amount it channels out in grants or other programs as it is already channeling out $900 million more than it is legally required of the foundation.
According to New York Times, the $18 billion that Soros has committed to the open society’s ranks as the highest amount ever donated by a private citizen to a single foundation. Also, the generous donation makes the Open Society the second most significant philanthropic organization in the U.S, second to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. While the move by Soros is seen by many as a kind gesture in support of human rights, others have used it as a basis to bash him in social or political debates.
The Open Societies
While the organization is global, its efforts have been much more visible in the US, over the years; it has profoundly made its presence felt in America by investing in causes that support gays, lesbians, and minimize the harassment of ordinary citizens by the police. Most recently, the foundation funded efforts to protect U.S citizens seemed to be targeted after the 2016 presidential poll in what the organization labeled as “a national wave of hate incidents;” Soros donated $10 million to further this mission.
Soros established the first Open Society over three decades ago in Hungary. The origin of the name “Open Society” can be traced to a book authored by Karl Popper, “Open Society and its Enemies.” In the book, Popper is inclined towards democratic governance, free expression, and respect for individual human rights; the very philosophies behind Soros’ Open Societies.
Since the establishment of the first Open Society in 1984, Soros has been heavily involved in the missions of the foundation. Patrick Gaspard, the vice president of the foundation, confirmed that he spoke to Soros regularly regarding the operations of the foundation. The vice president was quoted intimating that the election of President Trump had given the society a new sense of urgency. Gaspard mentioned the Trump’s panel on voter fraud which he believes is devoid of integrity. Gaspard will take over the presidency of Open Societies as the year comes to close, and learn more about George Soros.
The Open Societies has received praise and criticism in equal measure. Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, praises the Open Society for being active more than any other foundation (including the Ford Foundation) in the last two decades. He believes that the Open Society has made significant impacts in the quest for democracy and human rights. However, the Republicans think otherwise. Some of them have accused Soros of undermining the territorial integrity of European countries’ borders over and above vouching for abortion in Ireland.