The Stefan Batory Foundation is an independent private Polish foundation established in 1988 by George Soros, an American financier and philanthropist, and a group of Polish democratic opposition leaders of 1980s. The mission of the Batory Foundation is to build an open, democratic society - a society of people aware of their rights and responsibilities, who are actively involved in the life of their local community, country and international society.
Our priorities include:
improving the quality of Polish democracy
We support initiatives aimed at increasing civic participation and strengthening citizens' sense of responsibility for the common good. We are committed to transparency in public life and to promoting social oversight over the functioning of public institutions. We seek to raise the level of public debate and to "socialize" the process of making and implementing public policies.
strengthening the role of civic institutions in public life
We support the development of non-governmental organizations and coalitions working to improve the quality of Polish democracy and expand international cooperation. We seek to professionalize and legitimize their activities, build up their credibility, and increase their influence on the public sphere.
developing international cooperation and solidarity
We are committed to closer ties between European Union states and the EU’s eastern neighbors, especially Ukraine and Belarus. We support activities that encourage exchange of experiences connected with the processes of political transition, building civil society, and solving social problems among the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. We seek to enhance the role of Polish NGOs in the international arena.
Foundation undertakes also activities aimed at equalizing opportunities of young people from poor communities.
The basic method of the Foundation's operation involves making grants to non-governmental organizations engaged in public benefit activity in Poland and in Central and Eastern Europe. The Foundation also serves as a forum for activity, hosts public debates and conferences, organizes seminars and workshops, issues publications, runs social campaigns, engages in monitoring of public institutions and advocacy efforts. It encourages solidarity and generosity by offering administration of named funds and corporate funds to support initiatives that serve the public interest.
Foundation’s activity is financed from income on endowment, grants from Open Society Institute as well as other domestic and foreign institutions, from gifts of individual donors and 1% personal income tax designations.
In its activity, the Foundation is guided by principles of transparency and accountability. Up-to-date information on its activities and grant-seeking opportunities is posted on the website Its finances are audited by external experts and the financial statements are published in the Annual Report, together with the list of grants awarded and projects implemented during the year.
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