The DeVos family has certainly received a lot of attention for their enormous political donations. Criticism has come tenfold with the announcement of Betsy’s nomination for Secretary of Education under President Trump. Dick and Betsy stepped forward recently however, Dick finally lifting the veil on their almost $139 million given in charitable contributions which makes their political donations look like pocket change. As Dick wanted to show, their foundation handed out an astounding $11.6 million just in 2015. The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation 2015 report doubles the amount given by the couple in campaign donations over the last five years.
Dick and Betsy are both part of Michigan family dynasties, with Betsy being the daughter of billionaire industrialist Edgar Prince and Dick being the heir to the Amway fortune. Both of their families have been involved in Republican politics and philanthropy for decades now, with the entire DeVos family handing out a cool $104 million in donations for the year 2015. The DeVos family was named as number 24 on Forbes‘ America’s Top Givers list, with the family’s lifetime giving approximated at $1.33 billion. That number is around a quarter of their combined estimated fortune.
When it comes to philanthropy Dick and his wife Betsy have always been dedicated primarily to education. For the year 2015, 26 percent of their charitable donations for the entire year were allotted to educational causes; $3 million. The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation also doled out another $357,000 to educational reform groups. Some of the organizations that were recipients of the donations are the West Michigan Aviation Academy, the Detroit Charter School Company New Urban Learning, and the Potter’s House in Wyoming. Their generous giving is indicative of their passion for improving education. Both Dick and Betsy believe that the country’s current education system does not allow the American dream to be fulfilled. While critics argue about their vouchers ideas and their love for charter schools, Dick and his wife don’t think it’s right that children born in the ZIP code are not allowed the same access to education as other children. The Devos’ goal is to change the current educational platform that is one-size-fits-all.
Dick DeVos is the oldest of all the DeVos children, their father being the co-founder of Amway Corporation. Dick started working for his father’s company in 1974, becoming Vice President in 1984. He left Amway in 1989 to start work on his new business, The Windquest Group. He was selected by his father in 1991 to manage the Orlando Magic NBA franchise. He went back to Amway in 1993, this time becoming the company’s President. He oversaw the company’s restructuring in 2000, creating a new mother company, Alitcor. Just two years later he retired from his position at Alticor to invest all of his time with The Windquest Group.