The Philanthropic Activities of Dick DeVos

Dick and Betsy DeVos are most known for their often perhaps extravagant political donations. However, such donations would be made to look reasonable for the dwarfing effect of their philanthropic contributions. It has been revealed that throughout their lifetimes, the couple has spent well over 139 million dollars in charitable activities. The couple which is from West Michigan revealed the extent of their charitable activities and expenditure in January just before Ms. Betsy DeVos was confirmed for the position of secretary of education in the American cabinet. It was revealed that through their foundation the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, the couple had spent 11.6 million dollars in 2015 alone on charitable contributions. This doubled the 5.3 million dollars the couple had contributed to political campaigns and similar politically motivated courses over the past five years combined. The amount spent on political campaigns had been reported to the federal government, again, before Ms. Betsy’s confirmation in the cabinet as part of her vetting process.

 

The DeVos originate from a family dynasty with a lengthy history of supporting the Republican Party. Dick DeVos’ father, Rich DeVos is the co-founder for Amway Global and is one of the key funders of the Republican Party even to date. Rich DeVos, along with his four grown sons, handed 104 million dollars as a donation to the Republican Party in 2015 alone, placing the family as the 24 biggest givers of the year as ranked by Forbes. The family had jointly spent well over 1.33 billion on giving, representing about a quarter of their combined 5.3 billion dollar net worth.

 

For Dick and Betsy, their giving and philanthropy are mostly directed towards educational vocations. They spent 3 million dollars in on education causes in the year 2015, representing 26% of their entire charitable donations. They also gave 357,000 dollars to groups that are committed to educational reform. This represented 3% of their entire giving. Dick DeVos confirms that educational reform is a priority for the couple and maintains that the current education system is skewed against people who originate from certain ZIP codes which he believes will likely not be able to realize the American dream. He believes very strongly that unless the American education system is reformed, such an unfair imbalance will persist, and many people will suffer as a result. That is the main reason why the family has committed itself to contributing to education reform through all channels at their disposal.

 

Dick DeVos is the president and chief executive officer for the downtown Grand Rapids based Windquest Group. He is the father of four children and an equal number of grandchildren. He is also a senior member and a major contributor to the Michigan Republican Party.