Dick and Betsy Devos are well known in the area around Michigan for several reasons. Dick Devos was the candidate for the gubernatorial seat for the state of Michigan in the year 2006. While he lost the race to the Democratic candidate, this haven’t prevented him from making donations to the Republican Party and charitable causes around the area. Since they married almost four decades ago, the Devos family has made a contribution of $139 million for various causes. According to reports obtained from the Internal Revenue Service, the Devos family made a contribution of $15 million to charitable causes in the Michigan area. As for political donations, the family made donations worth $5.3. However, they have been criticized in the past that the charitable donations are a cover up for the outsized political donations they make to the Republican Party.
The Devos family is the 24th most generous family in the USA having given away a quarter of their wealth. Recent reports show that the family has given away $1.33 billion for the last 50 years. The family is worth $5.2 billion. Betsy Devos also comes from a generous family from Netherlands known as the Edgar Prince family. However, with the DeVos family donation, there is a trend where they put much emphasis on the education sector. Of the 15 million they donated to charitable causes, 26 percent went to education. Their dedication to the education sector was what led to Betsy Devos being appointed the secretary of education. The Devos family realizes that a lot has to be done to change the education sector in the United States. The family also involves their children in these donations, something they say is a deliberate move that they have discussed with their children.
The family does not discriminate on private and public schools as they fund all schools. Some of the institutions that have received their funding include Rehoboth Christian School in New Mexico, Northwood University where Dick Devos schooled, and Detroit Charter School Company New Urban Learning. Other institutions that have benefited from their funding include Ferris State University, Compass College of Cinematic Arts in Grand Rapids and Potter’s House from Wyoming.
Dick Devos has been involved with his family business since he was a child. He is the son of Richard Devos who owns Amway Group and Orlando Magic. On official capacity, he began his involvement with the Amway Group in 1974. During this period, he has occupied different positions such as senior vice president and chief executive officer following the resignation of his father.
Other than education, the Devos Family makes donations in other sectors such as arts and leadership. Other sectors that the family focuses on include health and human services, public policy and churches.