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.