Lots of criticism and attention seems to follow Dick and Betsy DeVos in every move they make. Their outsized political donations have formed the basis of hot debates. However, the couple’s charitable donations that total to approximately $139 million in their lifetime make their political donations insignificant.
Being a nominee for the docket of U.S. Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos’ contributions to school choice initiatives and Republican candidates went through an intensive scrutiny ahead of the January 11 confirmation hearing. The West Michigan couple lifted the mask on the millions of dollars that their foundation has given out to various philanthropic causes.
The report posted on the Website of Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation indicates the DeVoses handed out a record $11.6 million in charitable donations in 2015 alone. The figure is twice the $5.3 million in political donations over past half a decade that Betsy DeVos presented to the federal government during her vetting procedure for the Cabinet docket.
The DeVos family has supported Republican politics for several decades, headed by Dick’s Dad, Rich DeVos. Dick DeVos and his four children doled out $104 million in charity giving in 2015, earning the family position 24 in the Forbes’ list of American Top Givers. Leveraging data provides by the DeVos family, Forbes Magazine put the lifetime contributions of the extended DeVos family at $1.33 billion. Born to the late Holland investor Edgar Prince, Betsy DeVos also hails from a family popular for its charitable and political contributions.
Why DeVos family donates billions
Dick and Betsy focus their philanthropy giving to education. In 2015 alone, they contributed more than $3 million to educational initiatives. Their foundation also gave out $357,000 to charitable entities that champion education reform. Dick DeVos confirms that the schools that benefit from his family’s donations are centers of academic excellence, adult support, and keen supervision, as well as accountability. Schools such as the Potter’s House and the Grand Rapids Christian Schools have received funding from the couple for decades. Dick and Betsy are the brains behind the renowned West Michigan Aviation Academy.
Dick DeVos’ work history
Dick DeVos has held a series of executive positions at globally acclaimed firms, including the NBA’s Orlando Magic, The Windquest Group, and Amway International. DeVos made a tangible impact on the Amway International between 1993 and 2002 while serving as the president. He managed the firm’s operations in 50 nations and six continents. Before his retirement, Amway made sales of $4.5 billion. Before rising to the presidency, DeVos was the VP of Amway and held the responsibility for the operations of the firm in 18 nations. He also headed the Orlando Magic for three years. Currently, DeVos dedicates his time and unparalleled business experience towards managing his company, the Windquest Group.