Non-profit

Foundation to Promote Open Society (FPOS)

Website:

www.opensocietyfoundations.org

Location:

NEW YORK, NY

Tax ID:

26-3753801

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)-PF

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $421,000,000
Expenses: $544,915,615
Assets: $7,335,239,392

Type:

Private Grantmaking Foundation

Chairman:

George Soros

Latest Filing:

2018 Form 990

Also see the similarly named Open Society Foundations (nonprofit)

The Foundation to Promote Open Society (FPOS) is one of two major grantmaking foundations funded by liberal financier and billionaire George Soros. It is closely affiliated with the Open Society Foundations (OSF; formerly Open Society Institute).

FPOS was founded in 2008 with a $1 million endowment from OSF, which endowed the foundation with an additional $1 billion in 2009. It has also received substantial funding from various organizations in the Soros Network, including hundreds of millions of dollars from George Soros himself. [1]

While OSF remains the primary foundation in the Soros Network, FPOS has become Soros’s primary grantmaking foundation. In 2018 alone, FPOS paid out nearly $491 million in grants to other nonprofits. [2] Altogether, from 2008 to 2018 FPOS has granted $3.8 billion to other nonprofits, particularly left-of-center and far-left advocacy and activist groups. [3]

Background

The Foundation to Promote Open Society and Open Society Foundations have their origins in the early philanthropy of Holocaust survivor and hedge fund investor George Soros, who in 1979 paid for scholarships for Black South African students denied opportunities by the racist apartheid policies of the nation’s White-dominated government. Soros also funded students from the Communist Bloc to study in the West. He opened his first foundation in Hungary in 1984 to expand access to information behind the Iron Curtain and expanded Eastern Europe and Russian-focused operations throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He also operated a foundation in China and engaged in post-apartheid work in South Africa.[4]

The Foundations began significant operations in the U.S. in the 1990s, focusing on liberalizing drug policy, liberalizing and expanding immigration, ending the death penalty, and easing incarceration policies. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Foundation focused on alleged discrimination against Muslims and backed legal recognition of same-sex marriage. As of February 2020, 20 percent of the Foundations’ money is spent on U.S. operations.[5]

Financial Overview

Open Society Network: Revenues
Annual RevenuesOpen Society FoundationsFoundation to Promote Open Society
2018$209,338,778$878,622,618
2017$372,081,883$441,000,000
2016$255,087,605$573,654,313
2015$369,708,179$421,000,000
2014$173,259,416$585,692,432
2013$155,664,135$390,573,880
2012$325,168,087$512,251,834
2011$202,469,577$328,274,870
2010$120,818,153$264,623,591
2009$133,811,261$1,071,377,089
2008$440,000,134$1,000,000
2007$277,182,954-
2006$575,486,624-
2005$380,304,738-
2004$73,863,651-
2003$203,117,247-
2002$347,213,378-
2001$223,614,143-
2000$305,816,170-
Sum:$5,144,006,113$5,468,070,627
Open Society Network: Expenditures
Annual ExpendituresOpen Society FoundationsFoundation to Promote Open Society
2018$215,140,011$493,524,010
2017$536,167,828$219,313,003
2016$210,244,454$510,993,179
2015$186,759,132$544,915,615
2014$179,965,911$465,086,516
2013$190,444,407$398,433,799
2012$585,166,446$277,229,666
2011$208,625,687$290,682,063
2010$175,809,148$385,213,501
2009$1,111,049,908$238,882,055
2008$210,998,833$10,000
2007$158,044,625-
2006$139,088,719-
2005$113,704,430-
2004$126,024,479-
2003$125,672,460-
2002$168,084,112-
2001$181,024,894-
2000$209,785,840-
Sum:$5,031,801,324$3,824,283,407

Grant Areas

The Foundation to Promote Open Society is the Open Society Network’s grantmaking arm. It funds several categories of left-progressive advocacy and research: They are democratic practice, health and rights, early childhood and education, higher education, equality and anti-discrimination, and human rights movements and institutions.[6]

Internationally, the Foundation’s work is often used to oppose dictatorships and to support human rights, though much of its work in Europe is focused on left-leaning political objectives. In the U.S., the Foundation normally promotes left-leaning policy and cultural positions about sexuality, abortion, immigration, climate change, and gun control. Fellowships are a significant part of the Foundation’s support work.[7]

Funded Issues

The Foundation to Promote Open Society and other Soros Network nonprofits fund broad-spectrum left-progressive advocacy with a focus on internationalism (including liberal expansionist immigration policy) and social liberalism.

Abortion

Foundation to Promote Open Society has given millions of dollars to support legalized abortion and expanded access to and public funding of abortion in the U.S. and elsewhere. The group heavily funded a successful effort to repeal some of Ireland’s pro-life laws as part of a larger Europe-wide goal to increase access to abortion.[8] Amnesty International’s Irish chapter was one of two pro-abortion groups ordered to return money from the Open Society Network because the dollars were illegally received.[9]

The Foundation opposes the Mexico City Policy, which does not allow U.S. tax dollars to be provided to groups which provide or promote abortion internationally.[10] It funds abortion advocacy groups like the Center for Reproductive Rights.[11]

Sex Work Advocacy

The Foundation promotes legalized prostitution. The Foundation takes the position that prostitution should be legal and that laws which reduce online prostitution promotion and make prostitution illegal create unsafe work environments for prostitutes.[12] [13]

Dissenting Catholics

Catholic groups and the Church itself have been targeted by the Foundation in the U.S. and elsewhere. Abortion advocacy in Ireland has been alleged to have been the first step to undermine abortion restrictions in historically Catholic European nations.[14] In the U.S., the Foundation funded left-of-center groups which oppose the Church’s teachings on various matters of morality and faith.[15] The group Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good received hundreds of thousands from the Foundation. The Alliance was founded by former Center for American Progress president and 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta to undermine the Catholic Church’s social teachings against abortion and contraception.[16]

Same-Sex Marriage

The Foundation was an early promoter and funder of redefining marriage to include same-sex couples inside the United States[17] and the Open Society Network continues to push the campaign internationally.[18]

Environmentalism

In January 2020, Foundation to Promote Open Society’s chief donor George Soros vowed to dedicate $1 billion to build a university through Foundation grantees which would fight authoritarianism and climate change.[19] The Foundation urged the European Union to take action on climate change through environmental regulations, tax increases, and higher spending on environmentalist-friendly infrastructure.[20] Its climate change alarmism focuses on preventative policies and changes as well as creating alliances in nations like Senegal which climate alarmists say are being affected by climate change.[21]

Gun Control

The Foundation’s U.S. policy arm spent approximately nine million dollars pushing for gun control policies in the first nine months of 2019.[22] The Foundation has backed gun control groups like the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.[23]

Leadership

Board of Directors

According to its 2018 tax return (available here), FPOS’ board of directors in 2018 consisted of the following: [24]

Funding

Financial Overview

FPOS is a private grantmaking foundation. In 2018, it reported total revenues of $1.3 billion, total expenditures of $498 million, and total assets of $10.8 billion. It made $499 million in grants to other organizations in 2018. [25]

In 2018, FPOS gave grants to the following groups and their projects:

New Venture Fund

Total: $2,684,495

  • $75,000 – to support Demand Progress Education Fund.
  • $125,000 – to create network of Ohio-based artists and influencers for helping those affected by the opioid crisis and the criminal justice system.
  • $250,000 – to support Next Century Cities.
  • $400,000 – to support Coworker.org.
  • $100,000 – to support civil legal aid for immigrants and asylum seekers.
  • $24,500 – to support convening faith-based groups in Columbus, Ohio to discuss policy on the overdose epidemic.
  • $300,000 – to support Media Democracy Fund.
  • $60,000 – to research how banks can mitigate de-risking of civil society.
  • $375,000 – to support the Social and Economic Justice Leaders Planning Group.
  • $150,000 – to support organizations pushing for state-level redistricting.
  • $200,000 – to ensure policies for accurate 2020 Census.
  • $124,995 – to support the AgroEcology Fund.
  • $500,000 – to start a resource hub to support local police reform.

Contributions Approved for Future Payment: (Total: $1,490,000)

Donors to FPOS

FPOS was formed in 2008 with a $1 million endowment from the Open Society Foundations (OSF; then Open Society Institute), the main private foundation of George Soros. In 2009, FPOS received a further $1 billion from OSF and $50 million from George Soros himself. Since then, FPOS has been funded directly by Soros, Soros’ foundations, and various affiliated groups in the Soros Network.

The following chart is a list of all donors to the Foundation to Promote Open Society from 2008 to 2018: [26]

YearDonor to Foundation to Promote Open SocietyAmount
2018--
2017--
2016Geosor Corporation$12,0646,818
2015--
2014Soros Economic Development Fund$28,467,683
2014Soros Fund Charitable Foundation$374,923,199
2013Soros Charitable Foundation$183,015
2013Soros Humanitarian Foundation$601,230
2012Soros Humanitarian Foundation$123,263,512
2012Soros Charitable Foundation$59,665,334
2012Open Society Institute (Foundations)$283,678,743
2011Geosor Corporation$175,000,000
2010George Soros$250,000,000
2009Open Society Institute (Foundations)$1,000,000,000
2009George Soros$50,000,000
2008Open Society Institute (Foundations)$1,000,000
Total:$2,467,429,534

Financial Documents

The Foundation to Promote Open Society is a private foundation. Its IRS Form 990 filings for 2018, 2017, and 2016 are available below:

References

  1. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990-PF; multiple). Foundation to Promote Open Society. 2008-2018. Schedule B. ^
  2. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990-PF; multiple). Foundation to Promote Open Society. 2018. Part I. Line 26. Available: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/03/FPOS-2018-Form-990.pdf ^
  3. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990-PF; multiple). Foundation to Promote Open Society. 2008-2018. Part I. Line 26. ^
  4. Open Society Foundations, Our History. Accessed February 24, 2020.

    https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/who-we-are/our-history ^

  5. Open Society Foundations, Our History. Accessed February 24, 2020.

    https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/who-we-are/our-history ^

  6. Open Society Foundations, Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships. Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/grants ^

  7. Open Society Foundations, Soros Justice Fellowships. Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/grants/soros-justice-fellowships ^

  8. Kevin Jones, “For George Soros, Ireland abortion fight may be first step against Catholic countries,” August 18, 2016. Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/for-george-soros-ireland-abortion-fight-may-be-first-step-against-catholic-countries-97748 ^

  9. James Wilson, “George Soros caught ‘illegally’ funding Irish pro-choice group,” December 19, 2017. Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://www.irishcentral.com/news/politics/george-soros-caught-illegally-funding-irish-pro-choice-group ^

  10. Open Society Foundations, “What Is the Global Gag Rule?” Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/explainers/what-global-gag-rule ^

  11. Elisa Slattery, “The hidden consequences of forcing women to travel for abortions,” July 07, 2016. Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/hidden-consequences-forcing-women-travel-abortions ^

  12. Open Society Foundations, “Challenging Dominant Narratives on Sex Work.” Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/grants/challenging-dominant-narratives-on-sex-work              ^

  13. [1] Open Society Foundations, “Challenging FOSTA-SESTA to Advance Sex Workers Health and Rights in the United States.” Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/grants/challenging-fosta-sesta-to-advance-sex-workers-health-and-rights-in-the-united-states ^

  14. Kevin Jones, “For George Soros, Ireland abortion fight may be first step against Catholic countries,” August 18, 2016. Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/for-george-soros-ireland-abortion-fight-may-be-first-step-against-catholic-countries-97748 ^

  15. Kevin Jones, “Soros money tried to exploit Pope’s US visit to influence 2016 elections,” September 01, 2016. Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/soros-money-tried-to-exploit-popes-us-visit-to-influence-2016-elections-15985 ^

  16. Steve Warner, “Dissenting Catholic Charities: Organizing for the Left,” December 12, 2017. Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://capitalresearch.org/article/dissenting-catholic-charities-3/ ^

  17. Open Society Foundations, “Marriage: Legal Protections for Families and Children.” Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/publications/marriage-legal-protections-families-and-children ^

  18. Open Society Foundations, LGBTI. Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/topics/lgbti ^

  19. Katherine Burton and Bloomberg, “George Soros to start $1 billion university to fight authoritarianism and climate change,” January 23, 2020. Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://fortune.com/2020/01/23/george-soros-open-society-university-network-davos/ ^

  20. Heather Grabbe, “Confronting the EU’s three biggest challenges,” October 03, 2019. Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/confronting-the-eus-three-biggest-challenges ^

  21. Open Society Foundations, “Q&A: Organizing for Climate Justice in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/q-and-a-organizing-for-climate-justice-in-sub-saharan-africa ^

  22. Stephen Gutowski and Joe Schoffstall, “Soros spends nearly $9 million lobbying, now targets guns,” September 03, 2019. Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://freebeacon.com/politics/soros-spends-nearly-9-million-lobbying-now-targets-guns/ ^

  23. David Weigel and Wesley Lowery, “Students take charge of gun-safety movement with some help from existing groups,” February 21, 2018. Accessed February 25, 2020.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/students-take-charge-of-gun-safety-movement-with-some-help-from-existing-groups/2018/02/20/eeeb8c58-166d-11e8-92c9-376b4fe57ff7_story.html ^

  24. Return of Organization Exempt fro. Income Tax (Form 990-PF). Foundation to Promote Open Society. Attachment 17. Available: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/03/FPOS-2018-Form-990.pdf

    See Page 310-311 ^

  25. Return of Organization Exempt fro. Income Tax (Form 990-PF). Foundation to Promote Open Society. Part I: Lines 12, 25, 26. Part II: Line 16. Available: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/03/FPOS-2018-Form-990.pdf ^
  26. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990-PF; multiple). Foundation to Promote Open Society. 2008-2018. Schedule B. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Alexander Soros
    Board Member
  2. Patrick Gaspard
    Board Member
  3. Jonathan Soros
    Vice-Chairman
  4. George Soros
    Main Donor and Chairman

Donation Recipients

  1. Advancement Project (Non-profit)
  2. AgroEcology Fund (AEF) (Non-profit)
  3. Alliance for Justice (AFJ) (Non-profit)
  4. Alliance for Open Society International (Open Society Institute Baltimore) (Non-profit)
  5. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation (Non-profit)
  6. American Immigration Council (AIC) (Non-profit)
  7. American Independent Institute (Non-profit)
  8. American Prospect (Non-profit)
  9. America’s Voice Education Fund (Non-profit)
  10. Arcus Operating Foundation (Non-profit)
  11. Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Foundation (Non-profit)
  12. Campaign Legal Center (Non-profit)
  13. Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) (Non-profit)
  14. Center for Community Change (CCC) (Non-profit)
  15. Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) (Non-profit)
  16. Center for Economic and Policy Research (Non-profit)
  17. Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) (Non-profit)
  18. Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) (Non-profit)
  19. Center for Public Integrity (Non-profit)
  20. Center for Public Interest Research (Non-profit)
  21. Center for Responsive Politics (Non-profit)
  22. Center for Working Families (Non-profit)
  23. Center on Policy Initiatives (Non-profit)
  24. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) (Non-profit)
  25. ClimateWorks Foundation (Non-profit)
  26. Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) (Non-profit)
  27. Colorado Center on Law and Policy (Non-profit)
  28. Communities for Just Schools Fund (Non-profit)
  29. Compassion and Choices (Non-profit)
  30. Constitutional Accountability Center (Non-profit)
  31. Coworker.org (Non-profit)
  32. Demand Progress Education Fund (Non-profit)
  33. Democracy North Carolina (Non-profit)
  34. Drum Major Institute (Non-profit)
  35. EarthRights International (ERI) (Non-profit)
  36. Family Values @ Work (Non-profit)
  37. Fractured Atlas Productions (Non-profit)
  38. Free Press (Non-profit)
  39. German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) (Non-profit)
  40. Global Greengrants Fund (Non-profit)
  41. Good Jobs First (Non-profit)
  42. Hip Hop Caucus (Non-profit)
  43. Hope Enterprise Corporation (Non-profit)
  44. Institute for Women’s Policy Research (Non-profit)
  45. Interfaith Worker Justice (Non-profit)
  46. Institute for Nonprofit News (Non-profit)
  47. Lambda Legal (Non-profit)
  48. Leadership Conference Education Fund (Non-profit)
  49. League of Women Voters (LWV) (Non-profit)
  50. Legal Aid Society of New York (Non-profit)
  51. MapLight (Non-profit)
  52. Media Democracy Fund (MDF) (Non-profit)
  53. Media Matters for America (Non-profit)
  54. Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (Non-profit)
  55. Mother Jones (Non-profit)
  56. Movement Strategy Center (Non-profit)
  57. National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (Non-profit)
  58. National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (Non-profit)
  59. National Consumer Law Center (Non-profit)
  60. National Employment Law Project (NELP) (Non-profit)
  61. National Public Radio (NPR) (Non-profit)
  62. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) (Non-profit)
  63. NEO Philanthropy (Non-profit)
  64. New America (New America Foundation) (Non-profit)
  65. New Mexico Voices for Children (Non-profit)
  66. New Venture Fund (NVF) (Non-profit)
  67. Next Century Cities (Non-profit)
  68. Niskanen Center (Non-profit)
  69. North Carolina Justice Center (Non-profit)
  70. North Star Fund (Non-profit)
  71. Partnership for Working Families (Non-profit)
  72. People’s Action Institute (Non-profit)
  73. Ploughshares Fund (Non-profit)
  74. Priorities USA Action (Non-profit)
  75. Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (Non-profit)
  76. Progressive Maryland Education Fund (Non-profit)
  77. Public Knowledge (Non-profit)
  78. R Street Institute (Non-profit)
  79. Robin Hood Foundation (Non-profit)
  80. Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC) (Non-profit)
  81. Roosevelt Institute (Non-profit)
  82. Ruckus Society (Non-profit)
  83. Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) (Non-profit)
  84. Social and Economic Justice Leaders Planning Group (Non-profit)
  85. Solidago Foundation (Non-profit)
  86. Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF) (Non-profit)
  87. SourceWatch (Other Group)
  88. Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) (Non-profit)
  89. Sundance Institute (Non-profit)
  90. Taxpayers for Common Sense (Non-profit)
  91. Tides Center (Non-profit)
  92. Tides Foundation (Non-profit)
  93. Trust for America’s Health (Non-profit)
  94. UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza) (Non-profit)
  95. USAction Education Fund (Non-profit)
  96. Voter Registration Project (Non-profit)
  97. RePower Fund (Wellstone Action Fund) (Non-profit)
  98. Wisconsin Democracy Campaign (WDC) (Non-profit)
  99. Working America Education Fund (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: August 1, 2009

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Dec Form PF $421,000,000 $544,915,615 $7,335,239,392 $419,998,655 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $585,692,432 $465,086,516 $4,986,868,744 $323,416,615 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $390,573,880 $398,433,799 $3,330,839,478 $814,015,201 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $512,251,834 $277,229,666 $2,709,320,378 $1,318,538,873 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $328,274,870 $290,682,063 $2,238,969,129 $1,312,426,686 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Foundation to Promote Open Society (FPOS)

    224 W 57TH ST
    NEW YORK, NY 10019-3212