April 05, 2012

Soros Philanthropy: the Next Generation

Alexander Soros, a son of the billionaire philanthropist George Soros, announced today that he is establishing his own foundation  to support organizations that promote social justice and human rights.

The Alexander Soros Foundation will focus on innovative organizations around the world. He would not disclose how much money he has put into the philanthropy.

“Philanthropy is not the answer to every problem, but it can be a catalyst for change,” said Alexander Soros, in a written statement announcing his fund’s creation. He started the foundation, he added, to finance “more experimental and perhaps controversial projects that larger mainstream foundations might not be able to take on.”

Alexander Soros, 26,  serves on the boards of Bend the Arc: a Jewish Partnership for Justice (formerly Jewish Funds for Justice) and Global Witness; both have received grants from the new foundation, with Bend the Arc receiving the first award, of $250,000.

He also serves on the board of his father’s Open Society Foundations, which supports social-justice and human-rights causes. Alexander Soros is pursuing a doctorate in modern European history at University of California at Berkeley.

The foundation has made some of its other first grants to the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Make the Road New York, which supports  social-justice projects to aid Latinos and working-class people.

The new Soros fund does not accept unsolicited proposals.

Dig deeper: Read about George Soros's thoughts on establishing the next generation of his giving in this profile from The Chronicle's archive.

Send an e-mail to Heather Joslyn.