Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation

The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation is an American conservative non-profit organization and grant-making body formed in 1970.[1] Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan,[2] the organization was founded by Richard DeVos Sr., co-founder of the multi-level marketing company Amway and former finance chair of the Republican National Committee,[3] and his wife Helen. As of 2014, the foundation had $54.9 million in assets.[4] It is one of five non-profit organizations established and operated by the DeVos family; the others, all founded by siblings of Richard DeVos Jr., include the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation; the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation; Cheri DeVos’ CDV5 Foundation; and the Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation.[5]


In 2013, the DeVos family donated a total of $90.9 million, with 48 percent going to education, 27 percent to health and community services, 13 percent to churches or faith-based organizations, and 12 percent to arts and culture. Two-thirds of the family's donations were made to organizations based in Michigan. In 2014, the family donated $94 million across education (45 percent); health and community services (35 percent); arts and culture (15 percent); and churches or faith-based organizations (5 percent). A total of 58 percent of the foundation's 2014 giving was to Michigan-based organizations.[2]

In 2011, the foundation provided $3 million to Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group. From 2009 to 2010, the foundation donated $2.5 million to the donor-advised fund DonorsTrust.[6] Other recipients of funding from the DeVos Foundation have included the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, State Policy Network, FreedomWorks, Federalist Society, Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Media Research Center, Free Congress Foundation, and Young America's Foundation.[7][8]

The foundation is a major patron of churches, ministries, Christian schools, and Christian advocacy groups.[9] The foundation has provided substantial funding to various conservative, evangelical Christian organizations including Alliance for Children Everywhere ($1.2 million); Prison Fellowship Ministries, founded by Charles Colson; the Haggai Institute ($1 million) and the Luis Palau Evangelistic Association ($6 million); Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (more than $1 million); Focus on the Family ($1.3 million), founded by James Dobson; Foundation for Traditional Values; Family Research Council; and the Grand Rapids-based Acton Institute.[6][7][10] The DeVos Foundation has also donated to Bethany Christian Services[7] and in 2006 the foundation donated $540,000 to Focus on the Family.[11][12] The foundation has also provided $5 million in support to the ministry of D. James Kennedy.[8]

The foundation also provides funding to various local social service agencies in West Michigan, including ICCF, the Literacy Center of West Michigan, and Home Repair Services.[7] Other organizations that have received donations from the foundation include the Scripps Research Institute,[13] the OneOrlando Fund[14] and the National Constitution Center.[15]


  1. ^ Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b Martinez, Shandra (January 4, 2016). "How and why Amway's DeVos family gives away billions". MLive.
  3. ^ Peterson-Withorn, Chase (November 23, 2013). "Trump Picks Betsy DeVos, Daughter-In-Law Of Billionaire Amway Cofounder, For Education Secretary". Forbes. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  4. ^ "RICHARD AND HELEN DEVOS FOUNDATION". Nonprofit Explorer. ProPublica. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Betsy DeVos And Her Big-Giving Relatives Are GOP Royalty". Huffington Post. December 1, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Graves, Lisa (November 23, 2016). "5 Things to Know about Billionaire Betsy DeVos, Trump Education Choice". PR Watch. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d Smith, Jeff (February 18, 2013). "Foundation Profile: The Richard & Helen DeVos Foundation". Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Zirin, Dave (2010). Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love. Scribner. p. 90. ISBN 1595587829.
  9. ^ Southworth, Ann (2008). Lawyers of the Right. Professionalizing the Conservative Coalition. University of Chicago Press. p. 59.
  10. ^ Berkowitz, Bill (June 18, 2009). "Worse than Madoff: Amway launches domestic revival". USC Annenberg. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  11. ^ Jackman, Michael (June 16, 2016). "DeVos offer of aid to Orlando victims at odds with family's anti-LGBT stance". Detroit Metro Times. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  12. ^ Carrier, Hoyt (May 20, 2009). "Rich DeVos' comments about gay marriage prove a magnet for controversy". The Grand Rapids Press. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  13. ^ Richard and Helen DeVos Gift Kicks Off Drive to Endow Scripps Florida Graduate Program
  14. ^
  15. ^ Meet Our Donors - National Constitution Center

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