Philanthropy

The Philanthropic Records of Dick and Betsy DeVos and Their Involvement in Education Reforms

There is no denying that Dick and Betsy DeVos is one couple that shares the same philanthropic desires. Reflecting on their three decades or so together, the couple has coughed a cool $139 million in the form of philanthropic donations. But there never lacks who opt to focus on non-issues; some people claim that the DeVos have been spending too much in funding campaigns for Republican Party aspirants. These claims hold little or no water at all for anyone who cares to dig deeper for the truth. In the year 2015, for example, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation’s total donations to charity were in excess of $11 million. On the other hand, their accumulated political contributions from 2012 up to today are slightly over $5 million. If we now make the comparison, donations channeled to charity in one year only are more than double those that went to politics.

 

According to the Forbes magazine, the extended DeVos family that comprises of Dick, his dad, and his three siblings is ranked among the 25 top givers in the United States. The family’s total lifetime donations are estimated to be in excess of a billion dollars, with about 10 percent of that made in 2015 alone.

 

The DeVoses Contribution to Education

 

The lion’s share of Dick and Betsy’s donations goes towards improving education, with close to a third of the $11 million donated in 2005 going to the education sector. In addition, an extra 3 percent of the donations went to education reform organizations. Speaking to The Grand Rapids Press, Dick explained that their donations were in line with the American dream of having every American kid access quality education. He wrote off critics, arguing that all of the donations he or his wife makes support noble causes.

 

From the DeVoses Donation Records

 

Following Betsy’s appointment to head the education docket in President Trump’s administration, the DeVoses were required to issue the vetting committee with records of their philanthropic donations and political donations. The records that were given to the committee by the couple, however, were not detailed to as how much of their donations went to whom in 2014 and 2015. The records indicated that the major beneficiaries in 2013 were institutions of higher learning in Grand Rapids. Institutions, such as Potter’s House in Wyoming and Northwood University in Midland, received donations in excess of $200,000 each. The West Michigan Aviation Academy, a worldwide recognized charter school that was established by Dick DeVos to teach aviation at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, received $315, 000 in 2013.