Also see the similarly named Foundation to Promote Open Society (Non-Profit)
The Open Society Foundations (OSF), founded by liberal financier George Soros, is a network of more than 20 national and regional foundations making it one of the largest political philanthropies in the world. Built on Soros’ anti-capitalist redistributionist political philosophies, the organization gives away nearly a billion dollars per year to left-wing organizations around the world.
OSF is the successor to the Open Society Institute (OSI), a Soros philanthropy that was folded into OSF. (Open Society Institute – Baltimore is the sole remaining Soros group bearing that name.)
In the United States, Open Society Foundations U.S. Programs have given hundreds of millions to left-wing political organizations including multi-million dollar gifts to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the Robin Hood Foundation, the Tides Foundation, the Brennan Center for Justice, and Alliance for Citizenship among countless others. 
Documents stolen from the organization indicate that The Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs agenda prioritizes a number of liberal issue prerogatives and funds left-wing organizations to carry out these policies. Some of these prerogatives include creating a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, cutting the number of prison inmates by 50%, enacting comprehensive immigration reform, increasing welfare handouts, and raising taxes to redistribute wealth.
Across the globe Open Society Foundations have been criticized for undermining American foreign policy. 
Open Society Foundations’ operations are extraordinarily complex, and the group was labeled the least transparent think tank in the United States reviewed by an OSF-funded transparency group in 2016. In spite of this, the group has become a stalwart left-wing non-profit financier, financially supporting a large number of left-wing organizations in America and exporting leftist policies to countries across the world.
George Soros, a hedge-fund billionaire whose net worth is currently estimated at $26 billion, personally sets the budget of the Open Society Foundations and has contributed nearly $12 billion to a wide array of organizations since the late 1970s.
In his early life Soros was deeply influenced by philosopher Karl Popper’s concept of the “open society.”  Based on Popper’s philosophy, and despite having made his fortune in the financial markets, Soros argues, “the spread of market values into all areas of life is endangering our open and democratic society” and that “the main enemy of the open society,” is no longer communism but rather capitalism.
Consequently, Soros believes “that laissez-faire capitalism has effectively banished income or wealth redistribution” and that there needs to be a mechanism for wealth redistribution to prevent intolerable inequality. Further, Soros’ contends “there is something wrong with making the survival of the fittest,” instead he calls for “cooperation” alongside competition. It was to promote these principles that in 1979 Soros created the foundation known as the Open Society Fund.
During the 1980s, Soros’ Open Society Fund operated as a number of separately organized foundations eventually extending across 25 different countries in Africa, Europe, and Asia. 
Open Society Foundations became a formal entity in 1993 as a “progressive network” that seeks to advocate Soros’ vision of society, which he describes as a “comprehensive, liberal democracy.”  Open Society Foundations launched programs in the United States beginning in 1996. 
As of 2015, the Open Society Foundations was labeled as one of the world’s largest philanthropic organizations, with branches in 37 countries.  When the organization was created, “Soros said that he had no interest in creating an endowed foundation that would exist in perpetuity.” However in 2005 he “changed his mind,” announcing that the foundation would in fact “go on in perpetuity,” continuing to pursue Soros’ agenda well into the future. Philanthropy observers noted that Open Society Foundations could one day “be the largest in the world, rivaling that of the Gates Foundation, which stands at $43 billion.”
Open Society Foundations is a “network of more than 20 national and regional foundations around the world.” According to Open Society Foundations’ president, the boards of those semi-independent national foundations as well as the larger regional foundations “make their own grant decisions and propose their own strategies.”
According to the Open Society Foundations’ 2017 budget, the organization involves itself in the operations of its grantees in two general ways. The organization either makes “a very large, long-term grant to a single organization or initiative” or Open Society Foundations coordinates the separate efforts of many programs and foundations across its network through what is describes as a “shared framework.” The group’s work is generally categorized into ten policy themes across seven geographic regions.
Over the last 35 years, the Open Society Foundations behemoth has given out close to $14 billion. The total Open Society Foundations budget for 2017 is $940.7 million and is organized under 7 regions and 10 themes. 
In 2017, Open Society Foundations’ $537 million grant-making and direct program costs budget was distributed in the following manner across the world. 
|Region||Grants & Direct Program Costs||% Of Grants and Program Costs|
|Middle East, North Africa & SW Asia||$43.20M||8.00%|
|Latin America & the Caribbean||$33.60M||6.30%|
|Total Grants & Direct Program $||$537.2M|
|Reserves & Program Related Investments||$143.80M|
Similarly Open Society Foundations’ grantmaking and direct program costs budget was distributed across the following themes. 
|Region||Grants & Direct Program Costs||% Of Grants and Program Costs|
|Early Childhood & Education||$22.4M||3.82%|
|Economic Governance & Advancement||$99.5M||16.95%|
|Equality and Anti-Discrimination||$82.8M||14.10%|
|Health & Rights||$57.2M||9.74%|
|Human Rights Movements & Institutions||$81.7M||13.92%|
|Information & Digital Rights||$14.0M||2.38%|
|Justice Reform & The Rule Of Law||$89.6M||15.26%|
Total Open Society Network Funding
A combined chart detailing total revenues of the Open Society Foundations and Foundation to Promote Open Society between 2007 and 2016 is available below. 
|Open Society Network: Revenues|
|Annual Revenues||Open Society Foundations||Foundation to Promote Open Society|
A combined chart detailing total expenditures of the Open Society Foundations and Foundation to Promote Open Society between 2007 and 2016 is available below. 
|Open Society Network: Expenditures|
|Annual Expenditures||Open Society Foundations||Foundation to Promote Open Society|
The Open Society Foundations’ (formerly Open Society Institute) IRS Form 990 filings for 2017 and 2016 are available below:
In 2016, the OSF-funded organization Transparify found that Open Society Foundations was the least transparent non-profit among those in the United States which it reviewed. Open Society Foundations earned a global transparency rating of zero stars for non-transparency of the organization’s funding. They were the only group in the United States Transparify reviewed in 2016 to receive such a low grade.
Similarly, the website NGO Monitor wrote that Open Society Foundations’ “Funding of NGOs is entirely non-transparent” as their “annual reports do not provide names of NGO grantees or amounts transferred to individual groups.”
However, tax records show that the Open Society Institute, a Soros philanthropy later folded into OSF, received at least $30 million from the federal government to run what the U.S. State Department described as “democratization programs” in a number of countries.
U.S. Programs Budget
In 2017, Open Society Foundations plans to spend $100 million on grants and direct program costs for the United States, the largest budget amount for any single region amounting to 18% of the organization’s total grant/program spending.
A leaked 2014 Open Society Foundations U.S. Programs budget indicated that the $125 million budget breaks down into five categories:
- $50.7 million (25% of U.S. Programs budget) for Core/New initiatives that included support for grantees, “social justice laboratories, a $25 million reserve fund, and “long-term idea generation” initiatives. 
- $14.9 million (14.94%) for “Democracy” related initiatives 
- $20.28 million (20.28%) for “Justice” related initiatives focused mainly on reducing incarceration, challenging punishments, police accountability in New York, and liberalizing drug laws. 
- $22.95 million (22.65%) for “Equality” related initiatives namely focused on immigration reform, school discipline, “fiscal equity,” and minority programs. 
- $16.13 million (16.1%) for operations, admin, and program development. 
U.S. Programs Agenda
An Open Society Foundations 2015-2018 U.S. Programs strategic plan that was taken from the group and leaked indicates that among other things, Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs platform calls for:
- An economy governed by the “redistribution of resources;”
- A justice system that reduces incarceration, abolishes the death penalty, and promotes “health centered” drug use punishment;
- Enactment of comprehensive immigration reform, that gives “full political, economic, and civic participation” to illegal immigrants;
- A reduction in “the racial wealth gap” through income redistribution;
- and “Inclusive economic development” focused on raising the minimum wage and employment for ex-convict
U.S. Programs Grants
According to Open Society Foundations president Chris Stone, Open Society Foundations through its grant-making “support groups that try to raise the political stakes, putting pressure on politicians” on progressive agenda items such as environmental regulations and oversight of police. Stone says that Open Society Foundations gives money to groups that “share a commitment to social change based on common values and principles,” namely left-liberalism.
The web of liberal organizations funded by Open Society Foundations is extensive. In 2013, Mike Ciandella for the conservative news organization CNS News wrote,
“Soros has aided hundreds of left-wing groups in America since 2000 under the auspices of his Open Society Foundations. In just 10 years, he gave more than $550 million to liberal organizations in the United States. This has included money going to fund liberal agenda topics like Earth Day, gun control, government funding of student loans and even the IRS targeting of conservatives.” 
In fact, according to a leaked Open Society Foundations U.S. Programs board meeting agenda, from 2009 to April 2014 Open Society Foundations U.S. Programs distributed $827 million worth of grants to 2,272 grantees.
|Year||Total $||# Of Grants||Median Grant $|
* As of April 30, 2014
During this time period, Open Society Foundations U.S. programs gave over $347 million to 25 different left-wing organizations, including the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the Tides Foundation, the Brennan Center For Justice, the Drug Policy Alliance, and Robin Hood Foundation. 
The top 25 major grantees list is as follows::
|Grantee Name||Amount $|
|1||Drug Policy Alliance||62.0M|
|2||Robin Hood Foundation||50.0M|
|3||State of New York’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance||35.0M|
|4||American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, Inc.||27.7M|
|5||The Fund for Public Schools, Inc.||22.2M|
|6||Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc.||20.0M|
|7||Fund for the City of New York||12.5M|
|9||The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City||8.6M|
|10||ABT Associates Inc.||8.0M|
|11||Charles Stewart Mott Foundation||7.5M|
|12||Jobs for the Future Inc.||7.5M|
|13||The Tides Center||7.4M|
|14||Center for Community Change||7.2M|
|15||William J. Brennan Center for Justice, Inc.||7.0M|
|16||Bard Prison Initiative||6.5M|
|17||The Urban Institute||6.3M|
|18||YouthBuild USA Inc.||6.0M|
|19||Center for American Progress (CAP)||5.8M|
|20||Fund for Educational Excellence||5.8M|
|21||Leadership Conference Education Fund, Inc.||5.2M|
|22||Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)||5.2M|
|23||The Advancement Project||4.8M|
|24||Alliance for Citizenship (A4C)||4.7M|
|25||National Immigration Forum, Inc.||4.4M|
Further, in November 2014, the Open Society Foundation announced that it would give “$50 million to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in support of its nationwide campaign to reduce incarceration.”
In 2016, it was reported that Open Society Foundations gave $33 million to the Black Lives Matter movement and groups associated with it. 
In 2014’s proposed Open Society Foundations U.S. Programs budget, 10 “anchor” grantees would receive a combined $8.25 million and 31 “core” grantees received a combined $8.46 million.
Open Society Foundations’ 2015-2018 U.S. Programs plan lists a number of redistributionist policy goals and sets out the organizations that will function as either “anchor” or “core” grantees for that specific set of goals. Included among these grantees are a number of hot-button left-wing contemporary organizations such as the Black Lives Matter aligned group Color of Change, UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza), and the NAACP.
The first pot of grantees will help to register liberal-leaning voters, weaken businesses’ freedom of speech, subject America’s national security to international legal tests, and fight for general liberal anti-business policy.
- Anchor Grantees: American Constitution Society, ACLU, the Advancement Project, Brennan Center for Justice
- Core Grantees: Government Accountability Project, Demos, Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights under Law, Project on Government Oversight, Center for Public Integrity, Human Rights First, National Security Archive Fund
Other grantees will help to reduce the number of inmates by half, eliminate the death penalty, and liberalize drug laws. 
- Anchor Grantees: ACLU, Drug Policy Alliance, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Brennan Center for Justice, Center for Community Change, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, NAACP
- Core Grantees: Equal Justice Initiative; The Sentencing Project; Southern Center for Human Rights; Juvenile Law Center; Council of State Governments; Campaign for Youth Justice
Some grantees that will help to increase political participation for illegal immigrants through increased access to “financial services,” low-income housing, comprehensive immigration reform, and an easing of school discipline. 
- Anchor Grantees: ACLU, Advancement Project, Brennan Center for Justice, Center for Community Change, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, American Constitution Society, Leadership Conference Education Fund, NAACP
- Core Grantees: Color of Change, National Association of Latino Elected Officials, PICO National Network, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Opportunity Agenda, Center for Social Inclusion, UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza), The Kirwan Institute, Asian Americans Advancing Justice
Grantees will help to enact local- and national-level policies that redistribute wealth through increased economic development, a shifting local tax burdens from blue cities to redder suburbs, and raising taxes. 
- Anchor Grantees: Center for Community Change, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Center for American Progress
- Core Grantees: Center for Working Families, PICO National Network, UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza), Roosevelt Institute, Center for Responsible Lending, Economic Policy Institute, National Employment Law Project
“The Brooklyn Conference”
Open Society Foundations partnered with JPMorgan Chase to sponsor “The Brooklyn Conference,” a lecture series that ran in late October of the 2017 centered around discussing intersections between art and social justice. The conference’s objectives, however, shifted towards more anti-Israel tones by featuring speakers such as Linda Sarsour, an activist who organized the left-wing Women’s March, and Alicia Garza, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter – both of whom vocally oppose Jewish Zionists. Other anti-Israel speakers included director of political Engagement at the New York Immigration Coalition Murad Awadeh and author Tania Bruguera who denounce Israel for practicing “apartheid.”
Also see Open Society Policy Center (Nonprofit)
Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs work closely with the Open Society Policy Center a sister 501(c)(4) housed in the Open Society Foundations-DC office, which lobbies Congress on domestic and international policy issues.
Open Society Foundations president Chris Stone touts Open Society Foundations’ political engagement noting that the group has been using its lobbying efforts to promote amnesty for illegal immigrants, laws to reduce criminal punishment, and for declassification of the so-called Bush “torture report.”
According to Stone, Open Society Foundations was “among the very first foundations” to take advantage of new tax rules that allowed for the rise of political lobbying denounced by liberals—including OSF grantees, as “dark money”—by affiliating the Open Society Policy Center 501(c)(4) with Open Society Foundations.  Stone also touts the fact that Open Society Foundations has a similar operation in Brussels that engages with the European Union.
Open Society Foundations openly fights against the rise of “dark money” in politics,  however, the Washington Free Beacon labeled the Open Society Policy Center “Soros’ dark money group” and noted that in 2016 the Open Society Policy Center sought for Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs to give $1.5 million dollars to Planned Parenthood’s dark money campaign to protect Planned Parenthood’s more than $500 million in federal subsidies.
Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation Protests (2018)
Following Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2018, left-wing activists funded in part by OSF formed a protest outside the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. At least 50 of the left-wing groups sponsoring the protest had received funding from OSF or the Foundation to Promote Open Society, and included the: 
“American Civil Liberties Union, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Center for Popular Democracy, Human Rights Campaign and. . . MoveOn.org, a Democratic organizing and lobbying group founded with Soros money. . .”
Open Society Foundations has offices in every region of the world and gives money to grantees in over 100 countries. As the publication NGO Monitor wrote, “the administrative and financial complexity of the global Open Society network cannot be overstated,” because outside the U.S. “in most cases it is possible only to ascertain a basic outline of their activities.”
According to Forbes writer Richard Miniter, the problem is that due to Soros’ outsized spending through the Open Society Foundations, “Russia and other nations tend to see Soros as a tool of U.S. policy” in turn undercutting American foreign policy efforts.
Open Society Foundations’ foreign operations have been criticized for compromising U.S. foreign policy in the following manners: 
- Contributing significantly to anti-Israel campaigns by funding groups attempting to portray Israel as a “racist” or those that aim to weaken U.S. support for Israel;
- Making basing arrangements in Central Asian countries for U.S. special operators and drone flights more difficult; and 
- Drawing the U.S. into a series of ethnic disputes in Central Asia about which the U.S. has insufficient understanding. 
The Romanian Center for Independent Journalism, an Open Society Institute of New York grantee, has received $17,000 in grants from the U.S. State Department. The Soros-affiliated organization has been criticized for greatly influencing political processes and outcomes in Romania to support his ideological views. In March 2017, the elected leader of Romania’s governing party said that the Soros foundations “that he [Soros] has funded since 1990 have financed evil.”
In October 2017, the right-leaning watchdog group Judicial Watch initiated a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records and documentation of U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funding activity related to Soros’ Open Society Foundations affiliates in Romania and Colombia. When the State and USAID did not respond to the request, Judicial Watch filed a federal lawsuit. Numerous Soros-funded left-leaning entities and organizations in Romania and Colombia are supported by U.S. government tax dollars.
On September 11, 2017, Patrick Gaspard was named to be president of Open Society Foundations beginning in 2018. Gaspard previously served as a top aide to former President Barack Obama and as a national Democratic Party official. 
Chris Stone is serving as president of Open Society Foundations through 2018. Before his current post, Stone spent most of career focused on U.S. criminal justice issues, most recently teaching at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Stone’s mission was to build Open Society Foundations into a more professional foundation “that didn’t revolve around the combined institutional memory of [George] Soros and [previous President Aryeh] Neier.”
Boards of Directors
Open Society Foundations has 1 “global board,” 6 geographic boards, and 17 thematic boards. 
The Global Board is chaired by George Soros, and also includes Soros’ children Andrea, Jonathan, and Alex, as well as former NAACP President Sherrilyn Iffil, along with a number of politicians, college administrators, and corporate executives. Notable members include former Liberal Party of Canada leader Michael Ignatieff, former European Union official Emma Bonino, and Dutch Royal Family member Mabel van Oranje.