Open Society Foundations Grant

As a nonprofit organization or individual dedicated to building a more just, equitable and open society, you may be interested in applying for grant funding from the Open Society Foundations. Established by philanthropist George Soros to support democracy and human rights, the Open Society Foundations offer grants ranging from $50,000 to $15 million to organizations and individuals promoting a range of social justice issues. However, with thousands of applications received each year and limited funds available, securing a grant is highly competitive. To maximize your chances, you must first determine if you meet the eligibility criteria based on your mission and activities. If eligible, you can then begin the application process, which requires submitting an online letter of inquiry, invited full proposal, and undergoing a review process. While obtaining funding is challenging, an Open Society Foundations grant can be transformative.

What Is the Open Society Foundations Grant?

The Open Society Foundations grant provides funding for organizations and individuals working to build vibrant and tolerant democracies around the world. The Open Society Foundations supports groups that promote human rights, government accountability, freedom of expression, and access to public health and education.

To qualify for an Open Society Foundations grant, applicants must be non-profit organizations, community groups, or individuals aligned with the Open Society Foundations’ mission to strengthen the rule of law, respect for human rights, and support civic participation. Applicants do not need to be legally registered non-profits but should have a clear organizational structure. Both new organizations and established groups are eligible to apply.

The application process involves submitting a letter of inquiry to determine if your organization or project aligns with funding priorities. If invited to submit a full proposal, you will need to provide details on your organization, project, budget, and key personnel. Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis, so applicants can submit at any time. Grant amounts vary significantly depending on the project.

If awarded funding, grantees must sign a grant agreement and meet reporting requirements to share updates and key outcomes. The Open Society Foundations aims to build long-term partnerships with grantees and provide both financial and non-financial support. By promoting open society values worldwide, the Open Society Foundations grant has supported thousands of organizations in more than 120 countries.

Who Qualifies for the Open Society Foundations Grant?

To qualify for an Open Society Foundations grant, applicants must meet several criteria.

Open Society Foundations prioritizes organizations and individuals that promote an open society, meaning those that support human rights, government accountability, freedom of expression, and access to public information. Specifically, the Foundation funds groups that:

  • Promote human rights and government transparency
  • Support marginalized communities and promote social justice
  • Strengthen democratic values and civic participation
  • Improve public health and education

In addition to aligning with these priorities, applicants must be non-profit organizations, community groups, or individuals. The Foundation does not provide funding for private businesses, political campaigns, or religious groups.

When applying for a grant, it is important to demonstrate how your work promotes Open Society Foundations’ vision. Be specific about who benefits from your efforts and how their lives are impacted. Provide concrete evidence and examples to support your claims. Discuss challenges or obstacles, and explain how funding will help overcome them.

The application process begins by submitting a letter of inquiry on the Foundation’s website. If invited to apply, you will need to provide further details about your organization or work, budget, funding needs, and program outcomes. The review process can take 3-6 months. If awarded a grant, Open Society Foundations will require periodic reports to monitor progress and impact.

In summary, to qualify for Open Society Foundations funding, you must operate as a non-profit organization or individual focused on promoting democracy, human rights, and social justice. You need to show a clear vision, proven outcomes, and a practical plan for using funding to empower marginalized groups and strengthen civil society. With a compelling application, you have a strong chance of securing support from this prestigious foundation.

How to Apply for the Open Society Foundations Grant

To apply for funding from the Open Society Foundations, you must first determine if your organization and project qualify based on the foundation’s guidelines. The Open Society Foundations provide grants to non-profit organizations and individuals that align with their mission to build vibrant and tolerant democracies.


To be eligible for funding, applicants must:

  • Be a non-profit organization, community group, or individual
  • Focus on promoting human rights, government accountability, freedom of information, and access to justice
  • Serve marginalized and disadvantaged groups including ethnic minorities, LGBTQ people, women, migrants, and people with disabilities
  • Operate in countries where the foundation has a presence

Application Process

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can begin the application process:

  1. Review the foundation’s grantmaking priorities and strategies to determine the program your proposal aligns with. The foundation funds projects related to rights and justice, transparency and free flow of information, women’s rights, LGBTI rights, Roma rights, and more.
  2. Check if your country or region of focus is open for funding. The foundation has over 40 offices and foundations worldwide. Not all locations offer open grant rounds each year.
  3. Prepare a letter of inquiry to briefly outline your project, budget, and funding needs. If invited to submit a full proposal, you will provide more details on your organization, objectives, activities, outcomes, and budget.
  4. Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis, though some programs do have deadlines. It can take 3 to 9 months to receive a decision after submitting a proposal.
  5. If awarded funding, you must sign a grant agreement, report on the use of funds, and evaluate the impact of your project. Most initial grants are for 1 to 2 years.

By following the application process carefully and ensuring your proposal aligns with the mission and priorities of the Open Society Foundations, your organization stands a good chance of securing funding to promote democracy and human rights. But remember, as with any grant, there is a possibility of rejection, so be sure to apply to other funders as well.

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As an organization dedicated to building vibrant and tolerant democracies, the Open Society Foundations offer grants and funding to support initiatives promoting human rights, transparency, and accountability. By understanding their focus areas and priorities, as well as the application process, you can develop a competitive proposal for funding. With transparency and open society as guiding principles, they aim to empower individuals and strengthen communities. If your work aligns with these values and goals, you may find an opportunity to advance important causes with the support of the Open Society Foundations. By coming together around shared democratic values, we can build a more just and equitable world for all.

Originally posted 2023-10-22 04:33:55.

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