With lots of attention at their backs, Dick and Betsy DeVos have recently unveiled their philanthropic giving totaling from their tremendous $139 million in donations throughout their lives. While some of their contributions have been made to political parties and causes, the vast majority of their giving has been made to philanthropic endeavors. With his wife Betsy being scrutinized during her Secretary of Education nomination, Dick has stepped forward to shine a light on the couple’s donations that have been filtered through their foundation. In 2015, the DeVos family shelled out an astounding $11.6 million in charitable donations; double the amount they have spent in campaign donations in the last five years. As a high-profile family, Dick and his wife have been huge players in the politics of the Republican Party for years. Adding in Dick and Betsy’s $11.6 million in charitable donations, the entire DeVos family is responsible for doling out $104 million in charitable donations for the entire 2015 year.
Dick and his entire family were dubbed the 24th family on the list of “America’s Top Givers”, created by Forbes. Forbes used the extended family’s lifetime giving data to accumulate an estimation of $1.33 billion in charitable donations over their lifetimes, almost an entire quarter of the family’s fortune. Dick and his wife have mainly made contributions within the education industry, although not all of their charity has been spent there. In 2015, 26 percent of their personal charitable giving was allocated to educational causes, in addition to the $357,000 raised by their foundation to support education reform. Dick believes that the current education system does not fulfill the American dream and alongside his wife they have worked hard to help reform that education system. Their personal contributions and those made by their foundation have helped many educational organizations like the Northwood University in Midland, the Rehoboth Christian School, the West Michigan Aviation Academy, the Ferris State University in Big Rapids, and the Detroit Charter School Company New Urban Learning.
Dick DeVos is also a successful businessman. He was born as heir to the multi-billion dollar Amway Corporation, run by his father. Dick began working for Amway in 1974, becoming the company’s Vice President in 1984. He also became part owner of the Orlando Magic NBA franchise in 2005, splitting ownership of the team with his other siblings. In 1993, Dick became the President of Amway, succeeding his father. In 2000, he oversaw a major restructuring of the company, eventually putting Amway as a subsidiary company to mother company, Alticor. Dick DeVos is currently the President of the Windquest Group, a privately held firm that invests in manufacturing, technology, and clean energy businesses.