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West Michigan Foundation Watch: CDV5 Foundation – Just another DeVos Foundation funding the Religious Right and charity projects that don’t threaten Capitalism

August 23, 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, the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation and the Dan and Pamela DeVos Foundation. Today, we want to examine the most recent 990 documents for the Cheri DeVos Foundation, also known as the CDV5 Foundation.

Of all of the DeVos family foundations, CDV5 is the one that people are least likely to know about. Named after Cheri DeVos VanderWeide. She is also a sibling of Dick, Dan and Doug DeVos, yet she has managed to not have the same kind of name recognition that the other children of Richard & Helen DeVos. Despite Cheri’s anonymity, the CDV5 Foundation has assets of $62 million dollars, according to GuideStar. Cheri DeVos has been involved in Amway, RDV Corp and other DeVos-owned entities. She attended 4 years at Hope College and like her siblings, makes significant contributions to the Republican Party every election cycle.

The CDV5 Foundation contributes to many of the same sectors that the other DeVos family foundations do, with a bit more emphasis on contributions that stay in West Michigan. Here is a breakdown of the CDV5 Foundation contributions for 2019, which is the most recent 990 document available to the public.

Conservative Christian groups 

Hope Academy of West Michigan $292,885

Base Camp Urban Outreach $40,000

Bridge Street House of Prayer $115,000

Grand Rapids Initiative for Leaders $22,000

Keystone Community Church $400,000

Potters House $75,000

Rehoboth Christian School Association $100,000

Young Life $75,000

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 $100,000

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

Grand Rapids Community College Foundation $750,000

Grand Valley State University $500,000

Hope College $150,000

Organizations that are run by DeVos Family members

West Michigan Aviation Academy $365,000

ArtPrize $50,000

Orlando Magic Youth Foundation $270,000

The three largest donations from the CDV5 Foundation are Kids Food Basket – $600,000, Grand Rapids White Water Inc. – $525,000, and the George W. Bush Foundation – $500,000. All three of these entities fit within the framework of DeVos foundation contributions, with Kids Food Basket being a charity that does not deal with root causes of hunger; Grand Rapids White Water Inc., which will promote business development/gentrification along the Grand River, particularly in the downtown corridor; and the George W. Bush Foundation, which props up the legacy of a President that embraced Corporate Capitalism and US Militarism. 

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