Dick and Besty DeVos has garnered a lot of attention for their large political donations. Those are however small likened to their charitable aids which are approximate $139 million. In 2015, the DeVos family made a contribution of $11.6 million to various charities. The amount was double $5.3 million campaign money donated over the last five years. The DeVos have been part of a high profile part of a private empire that has been a major player in Republican political affairs for years. By 2015, the couple had contributed $104 million in charity donations.
Education is the top priority in Dick and Betsy philanthropic activities. In 2015, over $3 million was allocated to educational causes which accounted for 26% of their total charitable donations. The family foundation also awarded $357,000 approximately 3% to groups that support education reform. As DeVos stated, it became apparent that the current education system was of full filling the American dream. There was increasing civil rights problem where kids who grew up in the incorrect zip codes could not access the American dream.
In 2013, the DeVos couple charitable contributions benefited primarily Michigan schools. The main beneficiaries were
- Compass college of Cinematic arts $50,000
- Ferris state university $100,000
- Detroits Charter School $25,000
- Northwood University in Midland $200,000
- Potter’s House in Wyoming $301,000
- West Michigan Aviation Academy $315,000
- Rehoboth Christian school in New Mexico $50,000
DeVos Foundation makes contributions to organizations that meet standards of charitable organizations. They include contributions to Lansing-based great lake education foundation and Michigan-based charter school. As DeVos states, the bulk donations are aimed at helping people directly. They are not political organizations advocating any political agenda. Instead, they are trying to serve people. According to Dick DeVos, the schools they support financially are those of environment consistency, answerability, management and adult support. He stated in an interview that their kids know where their parent’s hearts are. They discuss their charitable works with the kids who tell them where they should invest next and also advise them when their contributions fall short.
In 1991, DeVos was on a path to take up the CEO’s job in his family’s Amway Corp. He later became the CEO in 1993 up to 2002. He participated in a campaign against a sports facility outside the central business district which led to the formation of Grand action. Most of their lives, DeVos, and his wife have spent attempting to change institutions and policies. The couple successfully pushed for the expansion of charter schools in 2012. Between 1989 and 2015, the two gave away $138.7 million to leadership programs aimed at education reforms and scholarship in private schools. They also made a contribution of $12.5 million in 2006 towards the contribution of a children’s hospital in the spectrum health system. The hospital was named after Dick’s mother, Helen DeVos.