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Foundation Profile: Jerry & Marcia Tubergen Foundation

April 10, 2013

This foundation profile is part of a series of West Michigan foundation profiles, which is included in our Grand Rapids Non-Profit Industrial Complex Project.

Jerry Tubergen is part of the DeVos Family inner circle. He sits on the boards of some of the DeVos Family foundations and works for the DeVos-owned RDV Corp.jerry-tubergen-web

Jerry and his wife Marcia have their own foundation, that also serves as a mechanism for funding the kinds of projects that reflect his conservative, pro-capitalist, Christian worldview.

In looking at the foundation’s 990s for 2009 – 2011, we found that a great deal of their contributions went to conservative or reactionary Christian groups. Most of their money went to West Michigan organizations, but there were some from out of state that have received large sums. For instance, the Magdi Yacoub Foundation, which does medical work with children, received roughly $2,000,000 from their foundation, based on the most recent financial reports. The Jerry & Marcia Tubergen Foundation have also contributed substantially to the Cure International, Inc, which also provides medical treatment for children, but with an exclusively conservative Christian focus.

Closer to home, their foundation has contributed roughly $100,000 to Mel Trotter Ministries in Grand Rapids and other church ministries projects. The foundation has also funded anti-abortion groups like Michigan Right to Life ($5,000) and The Pregnancy Resource Center ($30,750).

We also notice a $50,000 contribution to Donors Trust, which has recently been receiving some attention because of their clandestine methods of funding everything from Right to Work campaigns to climate denial. When the Center for Public Integrity uncovered much of the information on the role of Donors Trust, we discovered that one of the main contributors to that group was Richard DeVos. This is not surprising, considering that Tubergen is a loyal employee of the DeVos family, but it further demonstrates the inter-locking systems of power and influence in West Michigan.

 

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