Dick DeVos is a reformer and a renown philanthropist. He is also a former president of Amway Corporation. Together with his wife Betsy DeVos, he has also co-founded Windquest Group as well as a family charity organization. The couple has devoted a greater part of their lives reforming policies and institutions. They also have a high political influence which has enabled significant changes in laws affecting labor and education.
Dick and Betsy lifetime charitable contributions add up to almost $139 M. The DeVos Family Foundation donated $11.6 M to charity in 2015 alone. They also gave $5. 3 million to campaigns over the last five years. Dick and Betsy are part of a family dynasty that has involved itself in Republican politics for many years. Dick’s father, Rich DeVos who was a co-founder of Amway was also a key player in Republican politics. The DeVos extended family is also involved in philanthropy, the elder DeVos together with his children gave out $104 million to charity in 2015.
Together with his wife, Dick focuses more on education in their philanthropy work. Their foundation offered $357,000 to organizations that support education reform. The couple also allotted over $3 million to education-based philanthropy which accounted for 26% of their donations in 2015.
In 2013, Dick and Betsy DeVos contributed $301,000 to Potter’s House, $100,000 to Ferris State University in Big Rapids, and $50,000 to Rehoboth Christian School in Mexico. Other amounts donated included $50,000 to Compass College of Cinematic Arts in Grand Rapids, $315,000 to West Michigan Aviation Academy, $200,000 to Dick DeVos’ alma mater Northwood University which is in Midland, and $25,000 to Detroit Charter School Company New Urban Learning. Their funding also goes to a charter school advocacy in Michigan known as the Lansing-based Great Lakes Education Foundation. Additionally, Potter’s House which is an urban Christian school and Grand Rapids Christian Schools are longtime beneficiaries of the DeVos’ contributions. The schools supported financially by DeVos offer accountability, academic rigor supervision, and adult support.
Five years ago, the DeVos’ launched the first aviation-themed charter school in the country on Gerald R. Ford International Airport. They also do offer more than the annual checks to West Aviation Academy where they are patrons. They utilize their good connections to benefit the school, especially in fundraising events.
Other than education the couple gives charitable contributions towards Arts & Culture, leadership, and development, public policy, churches as well as Health and Human Services. In 2015, they donated over $2.4 million to Arts & Culture which is their second biggest focus. These amounts account for 21% of their total charitable giving. They also gave out $488, 250 to churches, $1.3 million to public policy, $1.8 million to civic & community, $1.5 million to leadership & development and $618,000 to Health & Human Services.