Through their family’s foundation, Dick and Betsy DeVos support various charitable organizations with the aim of helping people directly. They do this using initiatives concentrated on making an impact in sectors such as arts and culture, leadership, justice, education, and community development. Recently, one of the founders, Dick DeVos, revealed the foundation’s total spending and donations, which has been valued at over $139 million.
Dick and his wife Betsy, the current Education Secretary of the U.S have attracted significant criticism and scrutiny for their political contributions. However, it is important to note that their charitable givings considerably outweigh the political donations. In the last five years, Dick and Betsy have cumulatively donated $5.3 million to political causes in comparison to the $11.6 million they gave to charity in 2015 alone. Dick DeVos forwards that revealing these statistics was an effort to promote accountability and transparency, and not only because of Betsy’s confirmation hearings.
Dick DeVos involves his family in his philanthropic activities because he believes that his four children can give the foundation a different outlook on their areas of investment. The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation focus a significant part of their philanthropic efforts into educational reform and school choice. This is because Dick views the current education system as inadequate in offering children the opportunity to succeed. The most prudent option would be to develop a new system that will allow the talented educators to reach every child effectively. This will ensure that the institutions they support financially exercise accountability, adult supervision and support, as well as academic accuracy.
Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation also exercises considerable support for arts management and culture. Through the University of Maryland, the couple founded the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, an institution set up to equip artists with the business aspects of their art. The foundation also supports other organizations such as ArtPrize, the American Federation for Children, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, and the West Michigan Aviation Academy, among many others.
About Dick DeVos
Richard Marvin “Dick” DeVos Jr. is a businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist based in Michigan. He attended the Northwood University and attained a BBA degree from the institution. He is currently the President of an investment management firm known as the Windquest Group. Dick DeVos has served as the CEO and President of NBA franchise, Orlando Magic. He has also operated as the Vice President and later the President of Amway Corporation.
Dick is the author of a best-selling book called “Rediscovering American Values” that was published in 1997. He serves on several boards such as those of Willow Creek Association, West Michigan Aviation Academy, and Spectrum Health. He is also passionate about aviation and is a competitive sailor with two national titles under his belt.