The Beneficiaries of Dick DeVos Philanthropic Deeds

It is unquestionable how Dick and Betsy gather much attention, particularly, for their generous political donations. Also, how the couple often trends in the media due to their generosity. For instance, they both spoke Evergreen Commons, in September 2010. Through their foundation, the couple lifts the veil on the charitable giving. DeVos has donated a total of approximately. In 2015, the couple cashed out about 12 million in philanthropic contributions. The figure doubles the $5.3 million in campaign contributions over the past five years. Betsy and Dick DeVos portray a part of high-profile of a family dynasty.


Major contributions in the education sector

Dick DeVos deploys both charitable and political donations for pursuing their ideological education agenda. He does this through the promotion of vouchers as well as charter schools, which are mostly managed by non-profit organizations.


For the couple (Betsy and Dick), their contributions are evidence that education is vital. They donated over three million US dollars for educational causes in 2015. The figure accounts for 26% of their philanthropy in the same year. Their foundation donated 3% or $357, 000 to teams supporting education reform. The primary beneficiaries in 2013 were;

  • $25,000- Detroit Charter School Company (New Urban Learning)
  • $50,000- Compass College of Cinematic Arts in (Grand Rapids)
  • $50,000- Rehoboth Christian School (parent controlled)
  • $100,000- Ferris State University (Big Rapids)
  • $200,000- Dick DeVos’ alma mater Northwood University (Midland)
  • $301,000- Potter’s House (Wyoming)
  • $315,000- West Michigan Aviation Academy


DeVos ensures the donations of their foundation meet the charitable organizations’ criteria. For instance, contributing to Great Lakes Education Foundation, which is a charter school started by Dick and Betsy. The couple emphasizes that most of the contributions aim at serving people and making lives better than before.


Expanding to the Arts and Culture sector

The couple also focuses on Arts and Culture. They contributed 21% or $2.4 million of their entire charitable donation towards arts and culture. To the DeVoses, having a proper arts management is critical to the future of their large arts community. The other part of the share is divided into the following:

  • $488,250, or 4 percent- churches
  • $618,000, or 5 percent- Health & Human Services
  • $1.3 million, or 12 percent- Public Policy
  • $1.5 million, or 13 percent- leadership and development
  • $1.8 million, or 16 percent- civic, community and other


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Where The Total In Giving For One Of Michigan’s Richest Businessmen, Dick DeVos Sits At

It’s hard to track down just how extensive businessman Dick DeVos‘s philanthropy is with how far and wide he and his wife Betsy spread their contributions, but the mystery number of their lifetime giving has now been made known. Betsy was chosen by President Donald Trump to be the next Secretary of Education, and as part of the confirmation process the DeVos’s released their financial statements. It was found that their lifetime giving sits around $139 million though there are still many funds that are unaccounted for. This high number is not a surprise given how important certain causes including education have been to Dick and Betsy.


Dick DeVos is from the affluent DeVos family who are based in Grand Rapids, MI. His father Richard DeVos Sr. started one of the longest running multilevel marketing companies that operates on a similar business model to companies like Avon and Mary Kay. That company is Amway Corporation where Dick served as a vice president after finishing his bachelor’s degree at Northwood University. Dick’s primary focus while working at Amway was to tap into overseas sales, and by his 6th year as vice president company sales overseas accounted for 50% of revenue.


Dick left Amway in 1989 and started his own company, The Windquest Group where he would later devote all his work to. But he returned to Amway in 1993 to become CEO during which time he opened many new offices in the Asia Pacific region and started a parent company, Alticor. Dick was also president of the Orlando Magic for a couple years when his father bought the team in 1991.


In their educational philanthropy, Dick and Betsy have been working with private schools to fund operations and provide the means for poorer families to send their children. They started the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation in 1992 and not long after began the Education Freedom Fund and Kids First USA. Their activities eventually led them to form charter school groups including the Great Lakes Education Project. In 2010 they opened a unique charter school that taught students flying lessons and advanced technology courses known as the West Michigan Aviation Academy.


Dick and Betsy have given to several churches including Willow Creek and Mars Hill Bible Church. They also joined David Rubenstein and several other donors to fund the completion of the Kennedy Center’s Institute of Arts Management which was promptly renamed in the DeVos’s name after a $22 million contribution. Dick DeVos also ran for governor in 2006, but when that effort fell short he joined the Mackinac Public Policy Center and Heritage Foundation in the fight for right-to-work legislation. He also is the author of the 1998 bestseller “Rediscovering American Values.