A List of Open Grants from the Open Society Foundations
The Open Society Foundations (OSF) is a network, formerly known as the Open Society Institute (OSI), which provides grants in areas of democracy, good governance, human rights and economic, legal and social reform. Founded by George Soros, an eminent investor and philanthropist in USA, the OSF has become one of the major funders of civil society groups andindividuals around the world. Its mission statement states that it works “to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.”
The major issues addressed through its grant-making are Education & Youth, Governance & Accountability,Health, Media & Information and Rights & Justice. Itsfunding covers most parts of the world such as Africa,Asia, Europe, Latin America & the Caribbean, the Middle East and the United States. It has a special grant focus on Central Asia, especially the post-communist countries. It also continues to provide grants to individuals and organizations in and from Burma. It has also set up Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) for African region.
OSF has spent over $10 billion in grants for issues related to democracy, health, human rights, education etc. Human rights has been always high on the funding agenda of OSF as it has given $2.4 billion ” to defend human rights, particularly the rights of women, ethnic, racial, and religious minorities, and often marginalized groups such as drug users, sex workers, and LGBTQ communities.” Around $1.9 billion has been spent to support education projectsincluding reforms around the world. In 2012 alone, the OSF has $909,738,000 out of which a major portion has gone to regions such as United States, Europe, Africa and Asia.
In this guide, we discuss some of the open grants relevant from an international/multi-country perspective. The OSF grant opportunities discussed below are open throughout the year and applicants can submit proposals anytime. However, all prospective applicants are advised to carefully read the grant guidelines for each grant opportunity because no one likes receiving unsolicited and unconnected proposals.