Dick and Betsy DeVos stay in the spotlight for their generous political donations. The couple is disclosing a breakdown of their donations because they have faced some scrutiny over the sizable amounts. $11.6 million was given in charitable donations in 2015. This is a great deal more than the $5.3 million given in campaign donations in the last five years.
The couple made the Forbes’ “America’s Top Givers” list at the 24 spot. Forbes compiled information that the DeVos supplied and estimated the families lifetime donations to be $1.33 billion. Dick and Betsy DeVos both come from prominent families known for their charitable donations.
What this means for Dick and Betsy DeVos is where their priorities are. A little over $3 million was donated to educational uses. On top of that, their foundation donated $357,000 to organizations that support the reform in education.
The overall goal that Dick DeVos wants to accomplish is to do something about the one size fits all educational platform. His aim isn’t to point out employees because there are numerous great teachers administrative staff who continue to work hard.
Dick and Betsy DeVos donations are under constant scrutiny by those that say it is merely a smokescreen to cover the agenda of promoting education with vouchers and by promoting charter schools because they are run for profit. But the full report shows that the DeVos priorities remain the same, and is for education and the right for all students to have access to a quality education.
Dick DeVos opened his own aviation charter school about five years ago. Beyond writing their annual donations, their connections nationally brings in A-list speakers to the annual gala/fundraiser. DeVos is proud of the school’s accomplishments and also proud of this past years class that had 15 graduated pilots. The graduation rate is high, reaching 86 percent according to the state of Michigan. The school is opened to all students despite their economic status and background.
Education isn’t the sole focus of Dick and Betsy DeVos. They support Arts & Culture. Their donations in 2015 was $2.4 million. And $22 million was donated to open the DeVos Institute of Arts Management in Maryland at the University of Maryland.
The DeVos also donate to organizations outside of education and Arts. They gifted to Spectrum Health Foundation. This was to help with studies conducted to combat deadly childhood cancers of the brain.
Dick DeVos business career included working at NBA’s Orlando Magic, numerous executive positions at Amway, and is currently the President at The Windquest Group. He has his hands in several community projects stemming around education. He and his wife believe that all children should have access to quality education. Dick has been married to Betsy for over 35 years. During that time they had seven children and five grandchildren.