As I read a recent article about the DeVos family I was shocked at the sheer level of philanthropic giving Dick and Betsy DeVos have undertaken over the course of their lifetime. No matter where you stand on the political spectrum it is unlikely you could be any different than myself in being impressed by a level of giving that has seen the married couple provide around $139 million to good causes during their lifetimes. Former AmWay group President Dick DeVos and his newly installed Secretary of Education wife Betsy have provided more than $11 million in 2015 alone as they have continued to provide support for the good causes that reflect their own views on life and their conservative values.
Dick DeVos and his wife Betsy were better known to me as political donors who have played a key role in the 2016 Presidential election cycle, so I was extremely shocked to discover the just over $5 million in support provided to candidates for the Presidency is dwarfed by the more than $11 million the couple recently gave to philanthropic causes. In reading more about Dick DeVos I have been impressed with the way he has explained his philanthropic career comes from the inspiration provided by his father, Richard, who founded the AmWay Group and has also been a dedicated philanthropist; between Richard DeVos, Dick DeVos, and Dick’s three siblings over $104 million was provided for good causes in 2015 alone.
Despite the fact he was born into the impressive family that developed the AmWay Group, Dick DeVos was not given an easy ride through his early life and career, which included Richard DeVos sending his son to a Michigan public school and giving him his first job far below executive level. Dick DeVos eventually arrived at executive level with AmWay in 1986 and went about turning the international sales department into the most important in the company; Dick would eventually become President and CEO of AmWay in 1993 after a short period spent heading the Orlando Magic NBA franchise.
Dick DeVos is keen to point out his philanthropy is not limited to education reform, although this did make up around 26 percent of the overall giving by Dick and Betsy DeVos in 2015 to the tune of just over $3 million; the varied giving of Dick DeVos reflects his world view that includes a major philanthropic effort to increase the knowledge of the arts. The founder of The Windquest Group does not forget his roots in his annual philanthropic giving, which includes donations to many community groups in Michigan along with a major dedication to Dick’s former college, Northwood University.