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West Michigan Foundation Watch: Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation – funding the far right and the anti-Public Education movement

August 4, 2021

To date, we have looked at the 990 documents for local foundations in 2021 for the Prince Family, the Richard & Helen DeVos Foundation and the Doug & Maria DeVos Foundation. Today, we provide some insight into the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation.

The Dick & Betsy DeVos has over $53 million in assets, money that is hidden from taxation, which is one of the primary benefits of having a foundation. As in previous years, the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation has contributed to numerous conservative Christian entities, Think Tanks and Policy organizations, organizations that are committed to the privatization of education, higher education, and entities that are run by or founded by other members of the DeVos family.

Conservative Christian groups 

Mars Hill Bible Church $380,000

Grand Rapids Initiative for Leaders $20,000

Museum of the Bible $160,000

Partners Worldwide $25,000

Rehoboth Christian School Association $10,000

Willow Creek Association $800,000

Global Leadership Network $710,000

Think Tanks and Policy Organizations – These groups all have a documented history of promoting Capitalism, opposing labor unions, undermining public education, and create policy positions that are often adopted by state and federal lawmakers. 

Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty $170,000

American Enterprise Institute $550,000

Mackinac Center for Public Policy $350,000

Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy $40,000

Education groups committed to undermining Public Schools – These groups work to attack public education, teacher unions and/or promote the privatization of education or attempt to insert religion into public schools.

Kids Hope USA $300,000

Potters House $1,200,000

Alliance for School Choice Inc. $1,000,000

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Inc. $10,000

Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation $5,000

Holland Christian Education Society $100,000

Journey Grand Rapids $10,000

Higher Education – Many of these universities or colleges have buildings or business schools named after the DeVos family.

Northwood University $1,000,000

Ferris State University $10,000

Grand Rapids Community College Foundation $50,000

GVSU $175,000

MSU $200,000

University of Maryland College Park Foundation Inc. $750,000

Organizations that were founded by a member of the DeVos family – This is a perfect way for the DeVos family members to channel un-taxed funds to pet projects that one of the family members have started.

ArtPrize $385,000

Orlando Magic Youth Foundation $270,000

Start Garden Foundation $600,000

West Michigan Aviation Academy $173,000

Like most of the other DeVos family foundations, the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation contributes to the religious and far right organizations throughout the country and in West Michigan. The only major difference is the sizable amount of funding to organizations that are committed to undermining public eduction, which has been a passion of both Dick & Betsy DeVos for the past 40 years.

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