Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros recently transferred a large chunk of his wealth to Open Society Foundations, a nonprofit organization that has been operating for nearly 30 years. The $18 billion funding from Soros, who over the years has championed numerous democratic causes, places the organization among one of the largest philanthropic nonprofits in the world.
His donation to Open Society Foundations is arguably one of the most significant transfers of wealth by a private donor. This contribution also firmly places Soros’s Open Society Foundations among the elite charitable foundations in the United States, only behind the Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The gift, made over the years but only disclosed back in October 2017, has firmly positioned George Soros, as a lightning rod among conservative critics, especially in this era of multiple political and social debates convulsing the country. Several officials from the Open Society Foundations told the New York Times and Wall Street Journal that the Hungarian-born billionaire investor has steadily increased the pace of his donations to the cause from the billions of proceeds from his hedge fund. The latest record of combined donations amounts to $18bn and represents the majority of Mr. Soros’s estimated fortune.
Founded by Soros over 30 years ago, the Open Society Foundations promotes human rights and democracy in 120 countries across the globe. In recent years, the nonprofit organization placed more attention on the United States. It has gone on to invest in programs that are designed to protect lesbians and gays and reduce abuse on these people by law enforcement. The foundation has raised its efforts to protect LGBT people in the US from what it called a national wave of hate crimes following the 2016 presidential election. After that rise in hate crimes, Soros committed $10 million into preventing such form of violence.
Open Society Foundations successfully funded treatment centers during the Ebola outbreak back in 2014. Open Society Foundations works globally to create vibrant and tolerant democracies. The nonprofit has given away a total of $14bn since its inception in 1979.
Soros, 87, who made large chunks of profits from betting against the pound when it crashed (in 1992) from the European exchange rate mechanism, is an advocate of liberal causes. The 87-year-old billionaire was a significant contributor to Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. He makes his recent donation amid tensions with the Hungarian government in a row over the press and academic freedom.
“My success in the markets has allowed me a better degree of independence than other people,” Soros said on his website. “This lets me take a stand on the controversial issues. I am obliged to intervene because others cannot.”
Now holding a bulk of Soros’s fortune, Open Society Foundations has moved to the top among philanthropic organizations in the world.
Forbes in its list of 400 richest billionaires in the United States listed Mr. George Soros’s net worth as $23 billion. A hugely successful hedge fund manager, the billionaire founded his Soros Fund Management back in 1969. Soros Fund Management is now listed as a private family office.
The Guardian- https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/18/george-soros-gives-18-billion-dollars-open-society-foundation
The New York Times- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/17/business/george-soros-open-society-foundations.html
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