George Soros Shakes Up the World of Philanthropy

Billionaire hedge fund manager, George Soros is well-known for his general contributions to charity, as well as his staunch support of the democratic party, and recently, Mr. Soros made waves once again after revealing a power move that has been unfolding over the past few years. In what would prove to be one of the largest instances of wealth transfer from a private donor to a single organization, Mr. Soros donated $18 billion to his Open Society Foundations. This move immediately placed Open Society Foundations as the second largest philanthropic organization in the United States. While this donation has been lauded by many of the supporters for Soros, due to the nature of his relationship with the conservative party, it is sure to further entrench him in the volatile goings-on of today’s political climate.

Open Society was founded by George Soros over 30 years ago in an effort to promote human rights around the world. While it currently operates in over 120 countries today, in recent years, Mr. Soros has decided to place a stronger emphasis on human rights issues directly affecting the United States, including those affecting the gay and lesbian population, as well as police brutality. In 2014, Mr. Soros worked to directly address the Ebola outbreak, and due to the rise in hate crimes since the 2016 election, he has committed upwards of $10 million in an effort to eradicate the growing issue. He has gone on record to address the direct correlation between the results of the 2016 election and what he has termed an awakening of “dark forces.” Due to Mr. Soros significant political donations, as well as his allegiance to the Democratic Party, he has often been a target of conservative Republican ire.

According to Patrick Gaspard, the current Vice President and soon-to-be President of the Open Society Foundations, the election of President Trump played a significant role in the organization’s newfound urgency. The reason for Mr. Soro’s heavy political involvement can be traced to his past, where, as a child in Budapest, Hungary, he experienced life during Nazi occupation. In 1947, Mr. Soros was able to escape Nazi-occupied Hungary, fleeing briefly to London, and finally to the United States, where he would go on to create his fortune on Wall Street. While Mr. Soro’s has seen a vast amount of success throughout his tenure on Wall Street, it was in 1992 that he made waves by betting against the British pound; a move that would earn him $1 billion, and act as the catalyst for the investments that would follow as his fortune grew. While Mr. Soros has consistently contributed hundreds of millions of dollars each year to Open Society, his decision to up the ante so significantly in the last year has made it one of the world’s philanthropic powerhouses, touching nearly every corner of the world.