Buffet and Gates Have Nothing on George Soros!

When it comes to philanthropists, now and in the past, many of you will think of such people as Warren Buffet or Bill Gates. However, one of the greatest philanthropists you probably have never heard of is George Soros. George has spent the last 30 years helping people that have been getting the short end of the stick for a long time, such as drug users, sex workers, the LGBTI community to name a few.

George himself knows what it was like to be marginalized and discriminated against. Born in Hungary in 1930 he lived through the Nazi occupation and the murder of nearly a half million Hungarian Jews. He and his own family managed to survive using false identity documents and background information. They helped many other Jewish families do the same. George said that they refused to give in to the Nazi fate for the Jewish people and resisted any way they could.

When the war ended and Eastern Europe was divided up, Hungary was occupied by the Russians and ultimately became part of the Soviet Union. George Soros was able to immigrate to London in 1947. In London, he worked as a railroad porter and a waiter, in order to pay for his college education at the London School of Economics. Following college, he emigrated to the U.S. where he began his work in the world of high finance. Being an astute businessman and investor, he was well on his way to making his fortune. Learn more about George at Biography.com

He began his own hedge fund in 1970 whereby he parlayed his investments into a personal fortune. He then used his fortune to start the “Open Society Foundation”. This compilation of foundations, throughout the world, espouses his philosophy that societies can only flourish when they provide for democratic governance which includes freedom of expression and respect for individual rights.

In the late 1970’s he really began his philanthropy by giving scholarships to many black students in the apartheid driven country of South Africa. Since then, his foundation has continued to empower young people by funding efforts to provide for access to quality education around the world.

All of the Open Society Foundations are dedicated to fostering democracies that are accountable to their citizens. To do this they focus on the open society issues and concerns relevant to individual regions and countries around the globe.

To date, he has given away over twelve billion dollars to organizations that fight for his belief in freedom and justice for all.

Visit Project Syndicate to learn more about George.

The Contributions of Elizabeth DeVos to Republican Politics and Charity Organizations

Elizabeth (Betsy) DeVos is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and the current U.S. Secretary of Education. She is married to Mr. Dick DeVos, the former president and CEO of Amway Corporation. Betsy is a member of the Republican Party. Betsy is a gratified graduate of Calvin College in Michigan where she did Bachelor of Arts.

Betsy funds the education sector

Betsy is vocal when it comes to education matters. According to LATimes.com,

She advocates for school voucher programs, school choice, and charter schools. Betsy and her husband give back to the community through their charity organization known as Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. In 2015, this couple donated $11.6 million to different charity organizations. The same year, she allocated $3 million to educational causes. She also gave $ 357,000 to activists and groups that support educational reforms in the United States.

Betsy and Dick’s priority is to provide quality education to children to make sure that they accomplish their personal and career goals. In 2013, this couple donated $25,000 to Detroit Charter School Company New Urban Learning, $100,000 to the Ferris State University in Big Rapids, and $301,000 to the Potter’s House in Wyoming. Other beneficiaries include $315,000 to the West Michigan Aviation Academy and $50,000 to the Rehoboth Christian School. Betsy and Dick also donated a plane to the West Michigan Aviation Academy.

Betsy’s other philanthropic causes

Betsy also supports causes associated with arts and culture through the Kennedy Centre. In 2015, 21 percent of their donation was set aside to fund arts and culture programs. Before their 2015 donation, Betsy and her husband had spent $22 million to establish the DeVos Institute of Arts and Management. This institute was launched in collaboration with the University of Maryland. They also support civic & community projects, health & human services, and leadership & development programs. Betsy also supports the Prince Foundation and the Action Institute. Read her interview with Philantrophy Table.

Betsy’s political contributions

Betsy DeVos is a committed politician, and she has participated in the politics of Michigan Republican Party since 1982. Betsy has served as a local precinct delegate for close to three decades. In the 90’s she served as a Republican National Committeewoman for five consecutive years. In 2003, she served as the party’s chairperson. Betsy has also supported various candidates in achieving their political ambitions. Her family has given out $17 million worth of endowments to politicians since 1989. In 2004, she raised $150,000 to fund President George W. Bush re-election campaign. During President’s Bush tenure, she served as the finance controller of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. In November 2016, Betsy was nominated as the head of education docket in the U.S. In February 2017, she took her oath of office and made her first official appearance as the secretary of education that month.