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West Michigan Foundation Watch: Jerry & Marcia Tubergen Foundation – Practicing the politics of White Saviorism

August 29, 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, the Dan and Pamela DeVos Foundation. the Cheri DeVos Foundation, also known as the CDV5 Foundation. Today, we want to look at the Jerry & Marcia Tubergen Foundation.

The Jerry & Marcia Tubergen Foundation may seem out of place, as they are not a household name, at least not the way that the DeVos family is. However, we are including them in this list, since Jerry Tubergen is an integral part of the DeVos family empire.

Jerry Tubergen is the CEO of one of the largest components of the DeVos empire, the RDV Corporation. In addition to being the CEO of RDV Corporation, Jerry Tubergen is listed as a trustee for every DeVos family foundation, according to the 990 reports that you can find on Thus Jerry Tubergen is a trustee of the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation, the Doug & Maria DeVos Foundation, the Dan & Pamela DeVos Foundation, the Richard & Helen DeVos Foundation and the Cheri DeVos Foundation – known as the CDV5 Foundation. Lastly, Tubergen is the CEO of Ottawa Private Capital LLC, an entity which manages all of the DeVos family investments. 

As you can see, Jerry Tubergen is deeply embedded in the DeVos family empire. Therefore, it is worth looking at the foundation that is named after him and his wife. 

The Jerry & Marcia Tubergen Foundation is not as large as the various DeVos family foundations, but the foundation’s assets are listed at just over $18 million. According to the most recent 990 document (2019) for the Jerry & Marcia Tubergen Foundation, this foundation contributed $3,784,970. 

So where does an integral part of the DeVos empire chose to contribute part of the money he makes managing the wealth of the wealthiest family in West Michigan?

A review of the 990 records (2019) for the Jerry & Marcia Tubergen Foundation, clearly shows that they contributed to a lot of Christian organizations, particularly the kind that engage in White Savior politics and can be classified as part of the Religious Right. When we say White Saviorism, we mean White centered organizations that are making decisions about how to help communities of color, without 1) asking those communities what they want, and 2) without addressing the root causes of poverty or the structural racism that plagues these communities.

Here are some of those Christian groups they contribute to, along with the amount they contributed in 2019. 

Ada Bible Church $20,000

Alpha USA $33,000

Cornerstone University $205.000

Cure International Inc. $2,500,000

God’s World Publications, Inc. $5,000

Guiding Light Mission Inc. $5,000

Hope International $10,000

Mel Trotter Ministries $25,000

Moriah Ministries $15,000

Museum of the Bible Inc. $100,000

North Coast Christian Ministries Inc $10,000

Open Doors With Brother Andrew Inc. $125,000

Potters House $30,000

Pregnancy Resource Center $15,000

Relational Concepts, Inc. $25,000

Right to Life Educational Fund $5,000

That Day $61,000

The Cause Inc. $57,500

Truth for Life $20,000

As you can see, the majority of the organizations that the Jerry & Marcia Tubergen Foundation have contributed to fall under the categories of Conservative Christian groups and those that practice White Saviorism, with the largest contribution going to Cure International Inc – $2,500,000. 

While there might not appear to be anything unusual about where the Jerry & Marcia Tubergen Foundation directs their contributions, it is important to think about one glaring fact. The person who manages all of the DeVos family investments, Jerry Tubergen, makes it a point to direct the bulk of the contributions from his foundation to Conservative Christian organizations, many of which practice White Saviorism. 

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