Oct. 17 (UPI) -- George Soros, the multi-billionaire hedge-fund manager, has transferred nearly $18 billion to his Open Society Foundations, making it one of the world's largest philanthropic organizations.
Soros, a major contributor to liberal and Democratic causes, founded Open Society Foundations in the United States in 1993.
It is the second-largest private charity in the United States behind the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with an endowment of $40.3 billion, including grants of $4.6 billion in 2016.
Laura Silber, a spokeswoman for the foundation, told the Los Angeles Times the money comes from Soros' personal wealth.
Forbes listed Soros' personal net worth at $23 billion.
Soros, 87, who lived through the Nazi occupation in his native Hungary, has given away $14 billion since 1979 and founded his first foundation in 1984 in Hungary.
Open Society's 2017 budget of $941 million includes funding for early childhood and other education programs, human rights movements and institutions and justice reform.
Some, including many conservatives, have criticized his funding in recent years.
He supports Planned Parenthood and criminal justice issues advocated by the Black Lives Matter movement. In 2014, the foundation gave $1.4 million for efforts to pass California's Proposition 47, which reduced drug possession and minor theft charges to misdemeanors.