In early 2017, Dick and Betsy DeVos decided to put into light their charitable contributions for the past three decades, amounting to more than $139 million. Even though during the confirmation hearings of Betsy DeVos, their financial activities would be scrutinized, he forwards that unveiling their contributions was an attempt to display transparency. The main avenue of their charitable donations is the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation that supports educational choice and reform in the U.S.
Dick DeVos and his family are part of a high-profile dynasty that plays a significant role in Republican politics. His father, Rich DeVos is the founder of Amway, and in 2015, together with Dick and his siblings, they donated more than $104 million to charity. In the same year, Dick DeVos set aside over $3 million for supporting educational projects through his foundation. He ascertains that this spending outlines their commitment towards improving the American system of education.
He claims that by implementing educational choice, the primary objective is to create a system that equips children with the necessary skills to succeed in the current job market. The goal is to revive the already failing system. However, many critics forward that charter schools and vouchers only channel tax revenue from the public education system. Nonetheless, Dick DeVos says that choice in education will enable more children to access the American dream.
Dick DeVos knows the importance of making donations without any existing preconditions because this allows nonprofits to do more with the funding they receive. In line with this, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation has founded several organizations and institutions including the West Michigan Aviation Academy and DeVos Institute of Arts Management. The foundation also supports Northwood University, Potter’s House Christian School, Ferris State University, the College of Cinematic Arts, American Federation for Children, and ArtPrize.
He believes that involving his whole family in the foundation’s philanthropic activities allows for a fresh perspective on the projects they decide to invest in.
About Dick DeVos
Richard Marvin “Dick” DeVos Jr. is a Michigan-based businessman, author, and philanthropist. He currently serves as President of the Windquest Group, a firm dealing with the management of investments in clean energy, manufacturing, and technology. He has previously operated as the President of NBA franchise Orlando Magic and the Amway Corporation.
Dick DeVos holds a BBA degree in Business from the Northwood University. He is also a prolific writer, and in 1997, his first book Rediscovering American Values was published. He is very passionate about aviation and regularly takes part in competitive sailing.