The DeVos family has long been in the spotlights when talking about charitable causes and donations. Both Richard DeVos and his wife Betsy DeVos have fought for their beliefs by supporting non-profitable initiatives especially for promoting a better education and improve the American politics. The charitable contributions of this couple have added up to $139 million across their careers, but the maximum amount invested on charities that the family has given throughout history goes way beyond this sum. Accounting for Dick’s father, the co-founder of Amway, as well as other family members from both sides, the donations are estimated to surpass the $1 billion milestone, being estimated around $1,33 billion.
His wife, Betsy DeVos, is better known for supporting causes that improve the accessibility to education in the United States. She has done this through public speech, political movements and by donating to these causes. The couple is now lifting the veil and revealing the millions of investment they have been feeding through the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. Most of this investment had gone to education since they made a decision to make philanthropically work, when they visited Potter’s House Christian School and realized that not all American children had access to decent schools, especially for families that don’t have the best financial condition.
They are also the patrons of West Michigan Aviation Academy (founded by Richard DeVos Jr. himself) and have supported organizations like the American Federation for Children and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Pediatric Oncology Program. Looking at their most recent donations, the newest target subject for their contributions seems to be the Artistic market. They invested more than $2.4 million into that. The reason is that Richard and Betsy believe that art is an essential part of the American culture and it is critical to the future of the nation. The rest of their investments without profit seem to be aimed at Public Policy, Health & Human Resources, among others.
Who is Dick DeVos?
Richard Marvin “Dick” DeVos Jr. is the husband of Betsy DeVos, both being very famous figures in the American history. He is a businessman but is more acknowledged for the philanthropy work that he and his wife have done on the political side as well as charitable, non-profitable causes. Richard DeVos is currently the president of Windquest Group which promotes solutions and products that support clean energy. He was also chairman of the Amway Corporation which is a sales company as well as CEO of Orlando Magic & Amway Center. He has the role of advisor in two distinct companies, being them “Willow Creek Association” and “West Michigan Aviation Academy,” where he has put in practice his love and experience for aviation.
Dick DeVos, the former CEO of Amway and a philanthropist, has made total contributions worth $139 million to different philanthropic activities in the lifetime. He and his wife Betsy DeVos are known as the best example of the couples serving the society in its needs. Interestingly, they have contributed almost $11.6 million to different causes in 2015 alone, whereas their political contributions for the last five years are just standing at $5.3 million. Dick’s dad and the founder of Amway Rich DeVos, is also interested in various charitable contributions and altogether the DeVos family contributed $1.33 billion in their lifetime, which is considered to be a quarter of their $5.2 billion fortune.
The DeVos family believes that it is not about what car they drive or the quality of clothes but how much they give is important. When it comes to Dick and Betsy, they give more importance to education and thus giving more to education works. They are education activists too as they believe that the current school system in the U.S. is not sufficiently making the children competent enough. To improve the quality of education, Dick and Betsy campaigned for the school of choice, charter schools, the grading system for schools, etc. “The current system is not fulfilling the American dream. Kids in the wrong zip codes are not able to access or to achieve the necessary education to follow up the American dream,” Dick said.
After education, the DeVoses give importance to arts & culture. They set up DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland, to support the business side of the arts organizations. “We think that high-quality management for arts is necessary to ensure its future,” Dick said. Rest of the contributions are falling under civic and community, leadership and development, Public Policy, Health & Human Services, and churches. All the contributions by DeVoses are without any strings attached, and hence it gives the freedom to spend in the most fruitful way for the foundations. This was evident when the DeVos helped the Spectrum Health Foundation to hire the best physicians to treat and research on childhood brain cancer. The move gave significant results in total recovery.
Dick started his career by joining Amway Corporation in 1974 and held various responsibilities from operations to sales. In 1984, he elevated to vice president with responsibilities for foreign operations, and during his period the international sales of the firm have grown steeply. In 1991, the family acquired the Orlando Magic Basketball franchise in NBA and Dick named as the President. After two years, he returned to Amway as the President of the firm and helped it to make a major restructure, to create an umbrella organization called Alticor Corporation. Currently, he is serving as the President of The Windquest Group, an investment management firm with focused investments in manufacturing, technology, and other sectors.