Name of Foundation: Open Society Foundations
Location: New York, NY
Contact info: www.soros.org Phone: 212-548-0600
Coverage Area: Funds programs throughout the United States, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle east
Subject Area: Education and Youth, Governance and Accountability, Health, Media and Information, Rights and Justice
Assets: $2.8 billion (2010)
Last Year Total Giving: $819 million (2010); $249.6 million (U.S.)
In a nutshell: Investor and philanthropist George Soros established the Open Society Foundations in 1979, initially to help countries make the transition from communism. The foundation began internationally, helping to establish open societies instead of authoritarian forms of government.
In 1996, the foundation began its U.S. programs, focusing on some of the flaws of an open society such as improving end-of-life care, reforming drug policies, changing the punitive criminal justice system, and immigration reform.
In August 2010, Open Society Initiative changed its name to Open Society Foundations to better reflect its role as a funder for groups around the world. In 2012, Christopher Stone joined the Foundations as the second president. He replaced Aryeh Neier who served as president from 1993 to 2012.
Today, the foundation plays a role in every region in the world. Domestically, the foundation contributes to a diverse group of programs that address education and youth, including issues such as access to higher education, out of school youth outcomes, and career prep.
How to Apply: The foundation predominantly funds pre-selected organizations. Some of its programs encourage submission of letters of inquiry or publish funding guidelines for grant seekers. The scholarship and fellowship programs in particular actively solicit applications from individuals who satisfy the selection criteria. Click here, for more information on grant making procedures.