Most wealthy families and individuals in the United States have been associated in one way or another with outsized giving to either charitable or political causes. The DeVos family is one of the families that has made a name for itself when it comes to making large-sized donations, especially to support political efforts. However, their political donation is nothing compared to what the family gives in the form of charity. In fact, both Dick and Betsy DeVos have donated about $139 million to charity throughout their lifetime.
Dick and Betsy DeVos opted to lift the veil on their philanthropic contributions ahead of Betsy’s confirmation to serve as US education secretary. The couple’s donation trend revealed that their tremendous generosity to charitable endeavors as opposed to political causes. According to their Foundation’s website, the couple gave out $11.6 million to charity. The philanthropic donation is about double the amount ($5.3 million) donated to campaign efforts over the past five years.
Dick DeVos together with his four children gave $104 million to charity in 2015. This amount landed the family the 24th position on Forbes list of most recent America’s Top Givers. By utilizing data from the DeVos family, Forbes estimated the entire DeVos family’s donations at $1.33 billion over their lifetime. Additionally, Dick and Betsy DeVos have displayed their support for educational causes through oversized donations. In 2015, they channeled more than $3 million to educational matters, which formed about 26% of the philanthropic contributions that year.
A Closer Look at Dick DeVos
Dick DeVos is one of the wealthiest individuals in the state of Michigan. He is eldest son Corporation of Amway co-founder Richard DeVos, Sr. Dick started working for his father’s company in 1974 by rotating in various divisions of the company. Later in 1984, he was given higher responsibilities through being promoted to VP of operations in about 18 nations around the world. Dick DeVos then left Amway to establish a new venture called The Windquest Group. He maintained his involvement in Windquest management even after being appointed to manage Orlando Magic Basket basketball franchise by his father in 1991.
In 1993, Dick made his way back to Amway Corporation to serve as the company’s president. He served as the company’s president even during the establishment of Alticor Corporation, as an umbrella firm. Aside from business, Dick DeVos has indicated political interest, especially when he ran for the governor seat for the state of Michigan. Additionally, he is a family man who is married to Betsy DeVos, the current US secretary of education. Betsy is the daughter of Edgar Prince, the president and founder of Holland, Michigan-based Prince Corporation. Her brother Eric Prince operates a military contractor company called Blackwater, which is based in North Carolina.