It’s been known for quite awhile that Dick and Betsy DeVos have given away a lot of money, but the extent of this giving hasn’t been known. In a recent interview, Dick revealed that so far they have given away about $139 million. He said that quite a bit of this money went to educational causes as well as arts and developing the next generation of leaders. They also donate to health and human services as well as religious causes and public policy.
Dick DeVos elaborated that in 2015 he and his wife gave $3 million to a variety of educational causes. The money they donate is through their Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. They want to change the system of education in the United States because they say the current public education system is failing. Dick says that the two big determinations in if a child gets a good education is the zip code they live in and the income of the family they come from. He says this isn’t fair as it results in dysfunctional schools overwhelming being in areas that low-income people live in. He wants to change this by using educational reforms in order to help these people send their children to privately run charter school instead.
The arts are another focus of Dick DeVos. He says they gave $2.4 million in 2015 to a number of arts and culture nonprofits. One of the nonprofits he supports is the DeVos Institute of Arts Management which is designed to graduate the next generation of leaders in the arts community.
Dick DeVos grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His father is a co-founder of Amway, a firm that Dick joined in 1974 after graduating from Northwood University with a degree in business administration. His success at the company eventually led to him becoming a Vice President where he was focused on increasing the company’s international sales. When he started in this position very little of the company’s revenue came from outside the United States. After six years of his leadership in this position international sales made up more than half of the company’s sales.
The Windquest Group is a company that Dick Devos co-founded, along with Betsy, in 1991. This is an investment company which focuses on companies the technology industry as well as manufacturing. One of the core beliefs at the company is investing in sustainable companies. The companies they invest in not only offer sustainable solutions but they are also run in an economically responsible way so that their businesses themselves are sustainable. They avoid companies who’s products rely on tax incentives and subsidies because once those go away the company will likely not be able to continue.