Betsy and Dick DeVos have gained a lot of attention in the last few decades because of their political and charitable donations. If you look at their philanthropic donations, they have contributed close to $139 million in their lifetime. The kind of contributions they give roots from a family dynasty that has played a part in the Republican politics for a long time. Dick’s dad was the co-founder of Amway. In 2015, the DeVos family was ranked 24th on Forbes list of the “America’s Top Givers.”
The lifetime giving from the DeVos family has been put at $1.33 billion as per the data from the family, which is estimated to be a quarter of the $5.2 billion fortune. When you look at Betsy DeVos, she also comes from a wealthy family which is known for its charitable and political giving.
Over the years, Betsy has been viewed as a generous and pragmatic woman by both her fans and critics who dislike her devotion towards charter schools. Critics say that the charter schools and the voucher program Betsy advocates for uses a lot of tax dollars from the conventional public schools. Other critics go on to state that the DeVos couple offers charitable contributions to pursue their agenda’s in education because for-profit organizations run most of these ideologies.
The DeVos family stand with the fact that the donations they make through their foundation meet the criteria laid out to charitable organizations. The couple also insists that most of their contributions are aimed at helping more people.
Two of the schools that the couple have supported for a long time is the Potter’s House and the Grand Rapids Christian Schools. Six years ago, the couple opened the first charter school in an aviation setting on the Gerald R. Ford Internationa airport. Their donations and connections have drawn quite a number of top speakers like Apollo astronauts to the charter school.
In 2016, the graduating class counted 15 pilots who were licensed. The school focuses on aeronautical engineering, STEM, and robotics to attract kids to these avenues. Most of the students are usually economically disadvantaged while nearly 40% are minorities.
Apart from education, the couple is supportive of the Arts & Culture. In 2015, over $2.4 million was donated to these disciplines, which was 21% of their entire donations. Previously, they had donated $22 million to build the DeVos Institute of Arts Management – University of Maryland. Dick felt that by developing a high-end arts management facility, it would help shape the future of the diverse arts community.
The couple is known for making donations without strings attached to the expenditure. The couple likes contributing to something they feel will make a difference.
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