The Giving Life of Dick and Betsy Devos

People from Michigan know the DeVos family for two reasons. They help the less privileged people in the society, and they make outsized political donations to the Republican Party. Dick Devos on the other hand, is remembered for vying for the 2006 Michigan gubernatorial seat. He married Betsy Devos in the year 1989, and since then, the family has splashed over $189 million in donations. Betsy Devos, on the other hand, is the current education secretary for the United States. She was perhaps chosen for this job because of her involvement with educational reforms in the United States. Not only do they do this alone but they have also involved their children in their philanthropic work, a move that they term as deliberate.


According to papers obtained from the Information Revenue Service, the Devos Family spent over $ 15 million in the year 2015. Out this, $11 million went to charitable causes while $4 million went to campaign donations for the Republican Party. The Devos family has being attacked by critics that they make these huge charitable donations to cover their outside political donations. However, one pattern is clear from their charitable donations. They pay a lot of emphasis on education as 26 percent of their 2015 donation went to education particularly educational institutions and religious organizations. The reason they pay emphasis to education is that the current education system does not allow many Americans to realize the American dream.


Dick Devos believes that there are marginalized students who don’t stand a chance when it comes to the current education system and this is why he is focusing on the same. He also acknowledges that there are men and women who have dedicated their life to help change the current system. Schools that have been funded by the Devos family include Detroit Charter School Company New Urban Learning that received over a hundred grand, the West Michigan Aviation Academy that received 315 grand and Ferris State University that received 100 grand. During an interview, Dick Devos says that they make these donations to help normal Americans and not to attract attention. Betsy Devos refused to comment on the same.


As mentioned, education covers a substantial part of their funding; the rest goes to other areas such as arts and culture that received 21 percent of the cut, leadership and development that received 13 percent of the cut and churches that received 4 percent of the donation. Other areas that received the funding include public policy that received 12 percent of the donation, community development that received 16 percent and health and human services that received 5 percent of the cut.


Dick Devos is the son of Richard Devos, the owner of Amway Corporation. He has been involved with all his father’s ventures such as Orlando Magic and Amway Corporation.



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