Dick and Betsy DeVos’ philanthropic record speaks for itself. The couple supports charity and education initiatives across the United States through their family foundation. Being politically affiliated with the Republican Party, the DeVoses also give substantial donations in support of Republican candidates. Their generous giving attracts appreciation and criticism in equal measure, with critics arguing that the couple gives a little too much to political campaigns. For those who understand Betsy and Dick’s charity donations, however, knows that their political giving is negligible relative to what they give to charity.
Revealing the DeVoses’ Donations
In line with the American Constitution, individuals nominated for cabinet positions undergo vetting and scrutiny before they are appointed to assume office. Betsy DeVos had to pass through the same process early this year upon her appointment by President Trump to the Secretary of Education docket. One of the issues put in the spotlight during Betsy’s vetting process was the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation where the couple was required to reveal the foundation’s spending. Records obtained from the foundation’s website showed that the couple had given philanthropic donations to the tune of $140 million for its entire active philanthropic period. The records further showed that the DeVoses had contributed close to $5.3 million to political campaigns since 2011 and $11.6 million to charity in only one year- 2015. More than $3 million of the amount spent on philanthropy in 2015, which accounts for a quarter of the whole amount, was channeled towards education programs. Of the $3 million, $357,000 was in support of organizations that advocate for education reforms. This spending was a clear indication of how weighty the DeVoses take education reforms.
Education and Culture & Art’s Donations
2013 was another year that saw the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation give hefty donations towards education programs in the United States, particularly in Michigan. Records from the Tax Department broke down the particulars of donations for that year, specifying who the beneficiaries were and how much they got. Big Rapids-based Ferris State University, for example, got $100,000 while Midland-based Northwood University got $200,000. Potter’s House in Wyoming and West Michigan Aviation Academy took the lion share, each of them receiving more than $300,000. The DeVoses’ commitment to improving Art & Culture was also evident in the couple’s donations. The sector was awarded 21 percent of the couple’s total philanthropic donations in 2015. The DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the distinguished University of Maryland on its side had received a whopping $22 million before 2015.
More about Dick DeVos
Dick DeVos is the current senior executive head of The Windquest Group. He also served as VP at Amway International and later as president of the same company. From 1991 to 1994, he was the CEO of his family’s Orlando Magic. He is a pilot by profession and an alumnus of famed Northwood University.