The Open Society Foundations, funded by liberal billionaire George Soros, was given the lowest score possible in a study of think tank transparency conducted by an organization also funded by Soros.
The study, conducted by an organization called Transparify, which is backed solely by Soros, rated 169 think tanks from 47 different countries on the degree of transparency of their funding they provide on their websites.
A total of 35 U.S. think tanks were rated.
Open Society Foundations was one of only two U.S. organizations in the study given zero stars.
That low rating indicates that the Soros-backed group provided “no relevant or up-to-date information” on its website, according to Transparify’s scale.
In contrast, a five-star rating indicates that think tanks’ websites had “all donors listed, clearly identifying donor amounts, and source of, particular projects.”
Soros’ group, which was founded in 1979 and funds numerous progressive causes, failed to provide updated financial information. An spreadsheet provided by Transparify shows that Open Society Foundations was dinged because its most recent financial report was from 2008.
“The OSF website highlights George Soros as their founder, but does not specify the funding source on its expenditure page,” reads a footnote from the Transparify report. “OSF emphasized to us that they do not consider themselves to be a think tank and that they are funded exclusively by George Soros.”
Only two U.S. think tanks — the Center for Global Development and the World Resource Institute— were given five-star ratings.
Of note, the moderate Brookings Institute and the conservative Heritage Foundation were given four stars.
The conservative American Enterprise Institute was given two stars while the liberal Center for American Progress, which has also received funding from Soros, was given only one star.
On its website, Transparify says it does not know whether conservative or liberal think tanks are more transparent.
Its entire $40,000 budget comes from Open Society Foundations and the Think Tank Fund, another Soros project.
Montenegro, Georgia, and Macedonia had the most transparent think tanks, according to the study. U.S. think tanks were more transparent than those in Germany and the United Kingdom.
Transparency is on an upward trajectory, said Transparify executive director Hans Gutbrod. “The number of transparent think tanks looks likely to double in the course of this year,” Gutbrod said in a press release. “More and more think tanks are realizing that transparency is a great way of bolstering the credibility of their research and policy advice.”
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