George Soros’ nonprofit group quietly donated $140 million to ballot initiatives, advocacy organizations, and an additional $60 million to like-minded charities in 2021.
Soros, who also poured $170 million of his own money into Democratic candidates and campaigns during the 2022 midterms, spread the additional donation through the Open Society Policy Center — a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that falls under the Soros-funded Open Society Foundations network, a copy of its 2021 tax filing revealed.
As CNBC reported, The Open Society Policy Center also doled out $138 million to advocacy groups and causes in 2020. Two of Soros’ children sit on its board, the tax filings and website show.
Soros’ contributions to political causes and campaigns since January 2020 now stand at roughly half a billion dollars, most scattered through dark money nonprofit groups.
Soros’ nonprofit donations are usually spent on advertising, organizing, and social media campaigns to target Democratic voters.
As Poltico reported, Soros also gave another $50 million to a super PAC in the fall, building on an already significant investment in Democratic groups and candidates for the 2024 election cycle and beyond.
According to the foundation’s website, many Soros’ donations weren’t necessarily earmarked to help sway the midterm elections.
Editorial director at the Open Society Foundations, Tom Watson, told CNBC that “there are definitely some OSPC grants that went to organizations working to combat voter suppression, support voter registration and expand civic participation.”
The foundation network’s website shows several affiliated 501(c)(4) groups, a type of nonprofit under the U.S. tax code that’s allowed to engage in political activities, and traditional 501(c)(3) charitable organizations.
The nonprofits all fall under Soros’ Open Society Foundations network, which describes itself as “the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights.”
Over the years, Soros has donated more than $32 billion, its website says.
It also adds it gives “thousands of grants every year toward building inclusive and vibrant democracies,” with active projects in more than 120 countries.
“Wealthy special interests and individuals try to hide their influence in elections, including by funding politically active nonprofits, because they know that the messenger matters,” Aaron McKean, an attorney at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center said. “Voters have a right to know who is trying to influence elections so that they can make informed choices when filling out their ballot.”
Helping the Democrats
Most of Soros’ personal donations during the 2022 cycle went to Democracy PAC and Democracy PAC II, the Federal Election Commission filings show.
Both of these groups are run by Soros’ son, Alexander Soros, who sits on the boards of the Open Society Institute and Open Society Policy Center.
According to records, the Democracy PACs donated millions of dollars in the midterms to organizations helping Democrats, including support for the Senate Majority PAC and the House Majority PAC.
The Open Society Policy Center’s other donations are listed on their 2021 990:
America Votes: $16.9 million
A voting rights group focused on educating people on how to vote by mail.
Demand Justice: $.4.5 million
A liberal judicial advocacy group. It recently raised just under $6 million, according to a tax return acquired by Politico. Demand Justice announced a $1 million ad buy this year supporting Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination.
Equis Labs: $6.48 million
A group dedicated to increasing Latino voting.
Future Forward USA Action: $5.5 million
This 501(c)(4) group donated over $60 million during the 2020 election to its sister PAC, Future Forward USA, which spent millions backing Biden’s run. The Open Policy Center’s website says its 2021 donations were meant, in part, to “support policy advocacy on the Build Back Together legislative package and a global vaccine campaign.” A pared back version of the bill was renamed the Inflation Reduction Act; it passed and was signed into law in August.
Sixteen Thirty Fund: $23.9 million
The group acts as a “dark” money fund for “progressive changemakers” and groups that often align with Democratic Party. It provides operational support, like H.R. and legal resources, to progressive candidates. It recently raised more than $189 million and made $107 million in grants.