The Wall Street Journal and New York Times, among others, have reported in recent days about the decision by George Soros, founder of Open Society Foundations (OSF), to shift $18 billion of his personal fortune to OSF over the last several years. The shift has been gradual, but it reflects 87-year-old Soros’s intention for OSF to continue its work promoting human rights and democracy around the world for years to come, as the Washington Post Editorial Board wrote in its staff editorial on the transfer:
Mr. Soros, who lived in Nazi-occupied Hungary as a boy, is at the forefront of pushing back against totalitarianism and authoritarianism, and his new commitment suggests that his foundations will sustain this mission for years to come.
The shift will not affect OSF’s or OSI-Baltimore’s annual grantmaking budget or the need for OSI-Baltimore–OSF’s only U.S. field office–to raise funds for approximately 40 percent of its annual budget from donors outside of OSF.
But the move is a welcome assurance that OSI-Baltimore, which will mark its 20th anniversary next year, will remain a positive force in Baltimore for the foreseeable future. With this symbol of George Soros’s ongoing support, we look forward to working alongside local residents, advocates, and civic leaders to build a better Baltimore for many years to come. We’re very proud to be part of a foundation that leads the world in making positive change for local communities.
“There is no foundation in the world, including the Ford Foundation, that has had more impact around the world than the Open Society Foundations in the last two decades,” Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, told the New York Times. “Because there is no part of the world that they have not been. Their footprint is deeper, wider and more impactful than any other social justice foundation in the world.”