Dick and Betsy DeVos are well-known for their political contributions. What is generally new to the public, however, is knowledge of their more charitable checks. Using their foundation, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, the DeVoses in 2015 saw $11.6 million go to charitable contributions. This makes the funds that Betsy DeVos has contributed to political campaigns in the past five years seem like chump change. Though the DeVos family, led by Rich DeVos, is remembered for Republican donations, this trend of matching those with charity runs deep in the family. According to Forbes, the DeVos family’s lifetime giving reaches well over a billion dollars, equaling nearly a quarter of the entire family fortune.
The main object of the DeVos’ donations is education, making up about 26 percent of their charity contributions in 2015. Their foundation has a similar focus, giving 3 percent to education reform groups. DeVos is largely interested in voucher programs and charter schools, seeing these methods as part of the solution to a broken education system. Dick DeVos identifies the main object of choice in education as offering another option to general public schools, where many children don’t receive the specific attention they need.
Dick DeVos is a philanthropist and businessman. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce as well as the president of the Windquest Group. He also serves as Vice-Chairman of the Willow Creek Association, Co-Chairman of the Grand Action Committee, and Chairman of the West Michigan Aviation Academy, which he founded. A resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan, his specialties include marketing strategy, investment management, and public relations. I think we all can find something to admire in DeVos devotion to bettering the education of our nation’s youth.