Dick Devos: The Man and Philanthropy

The contributions that the Devos have made over the years are estimated to be about $139 million. The amount the family has donated to political campaigns surely pales in comparison to their charitable donations made in support of humanitarian agendas. The Devos in the year 2015 made incredible charitable donations as reported in the family foundation. The foundation donated $ 11.6 million; this is interestingly twice the amount the foundation has contributed in campaign donations. This became apparent during the vetting process that Betsy Devos was subjected to before being confirmed as education secretary.


The Dynasty and Education


The family, according to Forbes, is listed as being among the top 24 givers in America. A close calculation of the contribution the family has made over the years to charity, Forbes came up with the figure $1.33 billion. This is a quarter of the total wealth the family is valued to be worth. Dick DeVos and his wife have over the years generously contributed to education related causes. In 2015 alone, 26% of their charitable contributions went to education related projects. Indeed, 3% of their charity went to groups that were championing education reform. According to DeVos, children born outside the appropriate ZIP code are not able to realize their potential and hence have no real chance at the American dream. DeVos have supported vouchers as well as charter schools which challenge the ‘one-size-fits-all’ public education system. While the system is criticized, DeVos are careful not to vilify the staff of the public schools saying that they are talented educators who need to be empowered and enabled to reach the many deserving children in America.


Major Beneficiaries


In education alone, the major beneficiaries of DeVos charity in 2013 include: ‘Compass College of Arts’, Grand Rapids, the ‘Ferris State University’ and ‘Detroit Charter School’. These institutions got $50,000, $100,000 and $25,000 respectively. Dick’s Alma mater: Northwood University, Midland received $200,000 while a New Mexico school known as Rehoboth Christian School received $50,000. Potter’s House, Wyoming received $ 301,000 while ‘West Michigan Aviation Academy’ got the $ 315,000.


More Charity


The ‘DeVos Family Foundation‘ is a dedicated to helping members of the community. The charity the foundation dole out is at the core of the family believes. At the heart of their charities is the community, education, arts, justice and leadership. In education for instance, the foundation purposes to improve access to K-12 opportunities.


In terms of arts, the foundation’s charity is dedicated to creating capacity and helping in managing and leading organizations of art. The foundation also has a soft spot for matters of justice. It consequently helps organizations that deal with the oppressed and vulnerable people. The foundation is also determined to support in the development of leaders.


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