Bethany Christian Services

The information on this page was last updated 4/7/2022. If you see errors or omissions, please email:


Bethany supports vulnerable kids and families in the U.S. and around the world, because everyone deserves to be safe, loved, and connected. Today, 140 million kids don't have a permanent home. That's unacceptable. At Bethany, we witness what happens when people choose love. Not theoretical, unblemished love, but the real, messy, imperfect kind.

Love that empowers vulnerable kids and families everywhere. The children hurting at home, and the ones unprotected at a border. The orphans and vulnerable children who feel alone, and the refugees living in a world of uncertainty. Everyone deserves to be loved. Together, we can change the world through family.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Bethany Christian Services
901 Eastern Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503


Phone: 800-238-4269


Organization details

EIN: 381405282

CEO/President: Mr. Chris Palusky

Chairman: Dan Rink

Board size: 14

Founder: Marguerite Bonnema and Mary DeBoer

Ruling year: 1945

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 12/31

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Bethany is an international Christian nonprofit changing the world through family. 75 years ago, we began our work by serving one child. Today, we partner with churches and communities in more than 30 states and nearly a dozen countries to strengthen and preserve families, support refugees and immigrants fleeing danger, and find safe, loving families for children who need them. Bethany demonstrates the love and compassion of Jesus, impacting hundreds of thousands of lives every year, because we believe everyone deserves to be safe, loved, and connected.

Mission statement

Our mission is to stand up for vulnerable children, refugees, and families around the world, because family holds an incredible power to connect us, lift us up, and transform lives. Bethany demonstrates the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting children, empowering youth, and strengthening families through quality social services.

Statement of faith

Donor confidence score

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Transparency grade


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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Adoption/Foster Care

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating213 of 103111 of 35
Fund acquisition rating320 of 10339 of 35
Resource allocation rating363 of 103315 of 35
Asset utilization rating347 of 103114 of 35

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$15,422,763$15,721,585$14,877,789$15,429,928$14,268,361
Short-term investments$35,344,261$32,913,104$28,958,055$33,692,845$30,713,071
Other current assets$217,606$203,608$0$0$0
Total current assets$61,255,203$53,545,643$47,979,481$52,685,474$48,574,864
Long-term investments$511,842$515,658$751,147$850,016$559,813
Fixed assets$32,817,528$25,535,466$18,587,682$17,715,895$17,413,896
Other long-term assets$176,000$198,000$220,000$220,000$0
Total long-term assets$33,505,370$26,249,124$19,558,829$18,785,911$17,973,709
Total assets$94,760,573$79,794,767$67,538,310$71,471,385$66,548,573
Payables and accrued expenses$12,093,565$11,856,457$9,455,744$9,292,326$8,186,540
Other current liabilities$5,629,136$4,985,991$3,711,221$7,375,589$3,435,895
Total current liabilities$17,722,701$16,842,448$13,166,965$16,667,915$11,622,435
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$5,430,105$235,248$245,625$297,235$309,467
Total long-term liabilities$15,264,750$9,680,710$6,275,208$3,803,978$8,303,169
Total liabilities$32,987,451$26,523,158$19,442,173$20,471,893$19,925,604
Net assets20202019201820172016
Without donor restrictions$58,421,381$50,171,926$45,230,193$49,189,799$44,698,919
With donor restrictions$3,351,741$3,099,683$2,865,944$1,809,693$1,924,050
Net assets$61,773,122$53,271,609$48,096,137$50,999,492$46,622,969
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$119,021,827$113,662,763$101,595,566$91,449,696$84,538,247
Program service revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$2,854,514$5,321,291($2,402,498)$3,970,583$0
Other revenue$13,677,124$19,513,873$22,039,749$24,654,966$26,808,089
Total other revenue$16,531,638$24,835,164$19,637,251$28,625,549$26,808,089
Total revenue$135,553,465$138,497,927$121,232,817$120,075,245$111,346,336
Program services$107,732,601$110,868,508$105,278,196$98,779,702$91,741,472
Management and general$15,170,528$15,093,782$11,625,750$10,989,423$10,011,512
Total expenses$127,051,952$132,214,766$123,279,985$115,698,722$107,360,002
Change in net assets20202019201820172016
Surplus (deficit)$8,501,513$6,283,161($2,047,168)$4,376,523$3,986,334
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$8,501,513$6,283,161($2,047,168)$4,376,523$3,986,334


Christopher PaluskyPresident/CEO$266,083
Cheryl JereczekSVP, Donor Engagement$238,385
Scott DevriesChief Financial Officer$179,445
Tammy KelleySVP Human Resources$179,209
Michael BruxvoortVP of Information Technology$147,059
Juan FernandezVP, Marketing & Communications$145,328
Mark VenemaSr Director Financial Planning$142,234
Bruce HakimSr Director Legacy Gifts$127,540

Compensation data as of: 12/31/2020

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 4/7/2022. To update the information below, please email:


Making an Impact
Since 1944, Bethany has grown and developed not only into a well-known adoption agency, but a social services agency that serves and supports expectant parents, foster families, individuals and families in need of counseling, and struggling families and children who are in desperate need of even the most basic necessities. Bethany's purpose is to demonstrate the love of Christ by equipping families to be the answer for children in need. Our founders started Bethany by taking in one child who needed a home. Last year, Bethany served more than 45,000 expectant parents, children, and families.

How it All Started
In 1944, Marguerite Bonnema received the shock of her life.

To her surprise, a little neighbor girl revealed her father's strong dislike of his wife's illegitimate baby girl. "He is going to kill [the baby]," the little girl said. Marguerite replied, "Tell him not to kill her but to give her to me."

Arrangements were made-in a hurry. The neighbor mother and baby girl traveled by bus to a train station, where Marguerite and her friend and roommate Mary DeBoer received the child to live with them in their small apartment.

But the two didn't stop with one child. In the coming months, they took in five more babies, and that November, with the help of Andrew VanderVeer, they founded Bethany Christian Home as a nonprofit organization. The following year, the home moved to a residence on the 13-acre property in Grand Rapids, Michigan where Bethany's present headquarters now stand.

With a state childcare license procured, Marguerite and Mary's dream was now a fledgling reality-one which, prospering through the years, would help make countless other dreams come true.

In the words of our founders, "It was earnestly hoped that Bethany Christian Home would always be a place where Christ's presence could be felt and His blessing sought and enjoyed."

In 1951, Bethany obtained its child placement license and began serving as an adoption agency. Twenty-five children gained loving adoptive families through Bethany that year. Pregnancy counseling services also commenced, with 59 single mothers receiving guidance.

Amazing Growth, Amazing Grace
Bethany began with the dream of two women who stepped out in faith, with hearts full of love. Today, Bethany's diverse ministries and its influence both nationally and internationally have grown in ways its founders could never have imagined. But their dream remains our guiding star: to demonstrate the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting and enhancing the lives of children and families through quality social services. A string of awards, an impressive list of achievements, international favor and impact-these are just some of the by-products of serving as the hands and feet of Christ.

Program accomplishments

Bethany is reviewed by the Council of Accreditation on a regular basis to receive its reaccreditation. The accreditation process is designed to identify providers that have set high performance standards for themselves and have made a commitment to their constituents to deliver the highest quality services. COA continually recognizes Bethany Christian Services as one of these outstanding providers.