Dick DeVos and Betsy DeVos has been in the news for their contributions to the political donations, but those are just the icebergs compared to the donations that they have made to the charitable institutions in the country and those outside of it. The DeVos family had donated about $1.33 billion through their lifetime out of their $5.2 billion estimated fortune. In 2015 alone, the couple had given $11.6 million to different charitable institutions as I could infer from their website.
The primary beneficiary of Dick DeVos donations was to educational causes. In 2015, their main contribution, about 26 percent of their total contribution, was to educational purposes. Also, they awarded about $375,000 to different groups that were supporting education reform something which Betsy DeVos significantly support. It is this contribution that showcases what their priority in life is and it is to improve the education system in the country. They think that the current system is not fulfilling the American student’s dream and it is through this little contribution they would like to support educational reforms and help achieve the necessary steps required for the American dream to be achieved.
After education, their top priority is Arts and Culture, and the couple donated about $2.4 million to the cause. They started the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. The remaining part of their donations went to civic, community and other; leadership and development, public policy and others. The couple does not dictate the organizations they donate to on how to spend the money they contribute. It is only when they feel something will make a difference, do they advise them.
The couple includes their five children in the all the decisions that they make about donating the money. In my opinion, it was because of this, that they added the word ‘family’ to their foundation to show this approach. According to Dick DeVos, their children offer them a new perspective on the different places that the couple should donate to. Also, they also propose about the kind of donations that they should make and what will make a difference to the cause.
Dick DeVos has held a number of executive positions throughout his business career. From 1993 to 2002, he was the President of Amway and overlooked operations of the company in about 50 countries spreading across six continents. Before that, he served as the Vice-President of the company from 1984 till he was made the President in 1993 and was responsible for its operation in countries outside of North America. It was under his leadership that the company started its business in more international markets and tripled its sales. He was also the President and CEO of Orlando Magic for three years after its family acquired the company.