Dick and Betsy DeVos are garnering attention and criticism for their political donations. However, these are minimal compared to their generous charitable contributions, which total to about 139 million US dollars over their lifetimes. As Betsy DeVos’ contributions to education causes and the Republican candidates were being investigated ahead of the confirmation hearings, the West Michigan couple disclosed millions in charitable donations, which they channel through their foundation.
According to the latest report from Dick and Betsy Family Foundation website, in 2015, the couple gave out 11.6 million US dollars in contributions. This is twice the $5.3 million figure donated to Republican campaigns in five years, which was reported to the central government during her Cabinet post’s vetting. In the political arena, the couple has been part of the Republican Party for a long time, but critics argue that they use both charitable and political donations to actualize their concepts of education by advancing vouchers and charter schools.
Forbes put the entire DeVos family’s total contributions at 1.33 billion US dollars, using the data from the family. For Betsy and Dick, their benevolent giving shows that they prioritize education causes. As a result, they gave out more than three million US dollars to educational causes in 2015, which is 26% of their entire donations that year. Moreover, their foundation awarded 357,000 US dollars to organizations supporting education reform. However, their critics argue that schools championed by DeVos family draw off tax money from public schools.
Richard “Dick” DeVos
Dick DeVos (born in 1955) is the first born child of Richard DeVos, Sr. – the co-founder of Amway Corporation. Amway is a sales company that offers its household, personal care, and health commodities through dealers. Dick started his career at the corporation in 1974 and worked in various positions in the company’s departments. Later, in 1984, he was promoted to the company’s Operations Vice President, to gain experience beyond the firm. Consequently, he left the corporation to start The Windquest Group, which is a company that markets and manufactures closet organizers and storage. Dick remains actively involve in the management of The Windquest Group.
Dick’s father selected him in 1991, to run the Orlando Magic Basketball permit of the National Basket Association, which was acquired by their family. However, his focus was still in the Windquest Group’s management. Afterward, in 1993, he rejoined the Amway Corporation to succeed his father as the corporation’s president. Just one year later, he oversaw the reformation of the global marketing organization. Furthermore, he helped create the Alitor Corporation, which comprised the Quixtar Corporation, the Access Business Group, and the Amway Corporation. Today, he is married to the 2017 U.S. Education Secretary-nominee, Betsy DeVos.