Betsy Devos: One of the Nation’s Top Givers

Much is expected from those to whom much has been given – this could be the motto of Betsy Devos, though she might argue that her family and that of her husband, were given only opportunity; they earned the money they have.

Categorized by Forbes in 2015 as number 24 on their list of America’s Top Givers, it might be more efficient to list the establishments that have not been assisted by Ms. Devos than those that have. Long devoted to their Christian mission and school education, the Devos Foundation donated over $100 million dollars to deserving organizations, of which approximately half went to Christian organizations.

When her four children were small and began attending school, Ms. Devos became interested in education. She visited local non-public schools in her home state of Michigan and visited the public schools. She realized what the statistics on the public system have reflected for many years: public education was failing. We, as members of the pool supporting public education, were investing in a failing system that was not educating children and was, in some cases, actually putting children in dangerous environments. Read her interview with Philantrophy Table.

Ms. Devos and her husband were blessed with assets that enabled them to send their children to any school, but Ms. Devos realized that few people had that option. On invitation, she and her husband visited The Potter’s House in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Both were impressed by the quality of the education offered there and by the dedication of the school parents who worked long and hard to afford it because the available public education was inadequate.

With the sponsorship of the Potter’s House, Ms. Devos turned her attention and considerable means to education and found many similar instances of poor public institutions. Ideally, we would revise these institutions that we all support with our taxes, but vast opposition to substantive change led Ms. Devos to making more and more substantial investments in successful, private education.

Read more: http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/01/31/512507538/under-devos-heres-how-school-choice-might-work

In time, this graduate of tiny Calvin College in Michigan, became a philanthropic force in the nation. Though her foundation, Betsy Devos has contributed to countless educational institutions as well as many art and research establishments.

No single family can support all of the American children deserving of quality education. Betsy realized that making an impact in education required political involvement. She expanded her efforts into nation-wide opportunities for school choice and has seen substantial success, particularly in Florida.

Her organizations continue to support educational and artistic opportunities for people across the country and the list of organization to which the Devos family contributes continues to grow.

Ms. Devos plans to extend her influence nationally through her current nomination and it will certainly be a great day for education when she begins that excellent work.

Dick DeVos Philanthropy

The DeVos family is known broadly for being one of the founders of giant multi-level marketer Amway. Today, Dick DeVos has branched off into philanthropy. Mr. DeVos believes that those who have been blessed with a lot of money should invest it to help those who are struggling. The Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation exists to take the DeVos family wealth and transform it into positive community outreach and support vehicles.

 

The Foundation focuses on assisting people in five core areas, education access, community outreach, the arts, social justice, and leadership. Other organizations can come to the foundation and request support. If they decide to be long term partners, the Foundation will then open up resources that can transform the organization’s operating model.

 

Dick DeVos is of Dutch ancestry, which heritage he shares with other famous American families such as the Roosevelts, Kochs, Van Burens, and Voorhees. Mr. DeVos believes that helping the community is essential to a wealthy individual’s daily duties. He feels that stewardship and his personal faith have helped shape understanding of becoming a wise philanthropist. Dick DeVos is known for debating labor union kingpin James Hoffa in a series of public debates in 2012.

 

Dick DeVos is a member of the Windquest Group, an investment organization which specializes in technology, manufacturing, and environmental engineering. The Windquest Group takes the DeVos family fortune and turns it into something that can impact the future positively. Dick DeVos has fought the public education machine by advocating school vouchers for the poor. Although some of his legislative attempts have not been successful, Dick DeVos has successfully funded the Education Freedom Fund, which provides school vouchers to low income children.

 

Dick DeVos is a low profile big contributor to the Michigan Republican party. DeVos believes that right to work laws contribute strongly to job creation. MSNBC has moaned about the vast political influence that DeVos has over the Michigan legislature, “Among Michigan power brokers, DeVos might well be the bigger name.”

 

DeVos values a soft and quiet method of changing U.S. culture for the better. “My mother taught me to be respectful and polite,” DeVos emphasizes, after the news media made fun of his attempt to become Michigan’s governor in 2006. DeVos partly lost because his Democratic opponent complained during the debate about his investment in a nursing home. Voters found that unsavory, though DeVos himself did not mean anything malignant by it.