Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros has given $18 billion to charity through his Open Society Foundations. That donation is among the largest wealth transfer a private donor has ever made to a single foundation. Soros gave the money quietly over the course of several years. The gift makes the Open Society America’s second biggest philanthropic organization. George Soros founded the Open Society over three decades ago. The organization supports democracy and human rights worldwide and has provided help for people and organizations in over 120 countries.
The Open Society funded treatment centers to help combat the Ebola outbreak, gave funds to create a center for the art and culture of the Roma people, supports efforts to protect Americans from hate crimes and has invested in programs designed to reduce police abuse of gay and lesbian people. One of the goals of the Open Society is to ensure every person has equal access to and protection of the law. Being raised in Nazi-occupied Hungary and living under Communist rule in Budapest has played a significant role in George Soros’ decision to use his wealth to help ensure justice and fair play for all.
George Soros founded the Open Society foundation in 1984 in Hungary. The organization’s name come from the book ‘Open Society and Its Enemies’ by philosopher Karl Popper. In it Popper spoke of the importance of free expression, respect for the rights of the individual and democratic governance. Through the Open Society, Soros has used some of his wealth to support those ideals. For decades George Soros gave between $800 and $900 million a year to the Open Society. Several years ago, Soros revised estate planning and increased the contributions he gave to the organization to quickly bring the total to $18 billion.
The Open Society Foundations have had a greater global impact in the last 20 years than any other organization. Their work touches all parts of the world. When it comes to social justice, no organization has had a footprint that’s wider, deeper and more impactful. The Open Society has provided funds and support for people and causes in Eastern Europe, South Africa and African-Americans and many groups throughout North America. George Soros and the Open Society has given generously to a wide range of candidates in the Democratic Party to help them get elected.
Open Society Foundations vice president Patrick Gaspard is poised to become president soon. He said the organization’s work increased in urgency. Gaspard said that working for equal access and protection has become more important than ever before. The fortune of the 87 year old George Soros will continue to be managed by familiar hands. The Soros Fund Management, which handles Soros’ personal fortune, will oversee the investments of the Open Society’s endowments. George Soros will continue to be closely involved with the work of the foundation.
Soros feels its vital to push back against the dark forces and lack of integrity in places of power by doing something to counteract it.
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