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Dan & Pamela DeVos Foundation: Funding family-run entities and organizations where they are trustees

August 13, 2021

To date, we have looked at the 990 documents for local foundations in 2021 for the Prince Family, the Richard & Helen DeVos Foundation, the Doug & Maria DeVos Foundation and the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation. Today we want to examine the Dan and Pamela DeVos Foundation.

In the graphic above, you can see some of the major entities that Dan and Pamela DeVos own, which is where their Foundation money comes from. Like all wealthy people, foundations are a great way to channel one’s wealth, without having it taxed. In looking at their 990 document for 2019, which is the most recent available, the Dan & Pamela DeVos Foundation contributed just over $12 million to various entities. Here is a breakdown of some of the categories and the larger contributions in each category.

Conservative Christian groups 

Keystone Community Church $300,000

Grand Rapids Initiative for Leaders $15,000

Young Life $35.000

70×7 Life Recovery $90,000

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. 

Mackinac Center for Public Policy $150,000

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

Davenport University $58,500

Ferris State University $51,000

Grand Rapids Community College Foundation $100,000

Grand Valley State University $2,213,000

Northwood University $1,382,500

Organizations that Dan or Pamela DeVos are on the Board of Directors

Whitney Museum of American Art $2,600,000

Northwood University $1,382,500

Great Lakes Center for the Arts $150,000

Grand Rapids Symphony Society $575,000

Hope Network $55,000

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts $650,000

Orlando Magic Youth Foundation Inc. $275,000

The Joffrey Ballet $325,000

Organizations that are run by DeVos Family members

Orlando Magic Youth Foundation Inc. $275,000

West Michigan Aviation Academy $330,000

ArtPrize $50,000

Grand Rapids Initiative for Leaders $15,000

The Dan & Pamela DeVos Foundation doesn’t have as many overt contributions to entities that are far right and their foundation is smaller than most of the other family members. However, Dan and Pamela DeVos are as committed to the same larger political, religious and ideological goals as the rest of the family, as is evidenced by the political contributions. In the 2020 Election, Dan and Pamela contributed nearly $2 million to candidates at the federal level, $350,000 at the state level and $14,000 at the Kent County level.

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