Lifting the Veil on Betsy DeVos’ Philanthopic Activities and Donations

Betsy DeVos is the 11th and current US Education Secretary. She is married to Dick DeVos with whom they have operated the Windquest Group from 1989. Betsy and her husband are well known for their political donations but these are nothing when compared to the charitable donations they have made. Together they formed the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation in 1989, which focuses on justice, arts, leadership development and education. I read that Dick and Betsy DeVos’ family has managed to contribute about $139 million to charitable organizations and causes over its lifetime. Visit their foundation at dbdvfoundation.org

A Look at Betsy DeVos’ Financial Giving

In the year 2015, Betsy DeVos’ family gave out $11.6 million to charity, according to a report on her family foundation’s website. According to data given by the family to Forbes, the whole extended DeVos family has so far contributed about $1.33 billion to charity. This is almost a quarter of the total estimated family fortune of $5.2 billion. Betsy and her husband have always given education the first priority. Educational causes benefited from $3 million in 2015, which accounted for 26% of their total contributions that year. In addition, the foundation also donated $357,000 (about 3%) to various groups that are in support of education reforms.

In 2013, Betsy DeVos and her family foundation donated huge funds to various schools, universities and colleges. The Grand Rapids-based Compass College of Cinematic Arts received $50,000, Northwood University (Dick DeVos alma mater $200,000), Potter’s House in Wyoming ($301,000), Rehoboth Christian School ($50,000), West Michigan Aviation Academy ($315,000), Detroit Charter School Company New Urban Learning ($25,000). These figures were lifted from the tax records of her family’s foundation. The foundation’s tax returns in 2014 however, do not have the same breakdown of donations. Betsy DeVos and her husband ensure that all their donations meet the criteria for charitable organizations, and they are aimed at helping people in a direct way. The family is well known for giving these donations without any strings attached on how it will be spent. Check her website for more info at betsydevos.com

About Betsy DeVos

Mrs. DeVos got her BA from the Calvin College based in Grand Rapids, MI. she has been a key player in the Republican National Convention and was at one time the party’s statewide chairwoman in the 90s. Betsy DeVos is an outspoken advocate especially on school vouchers and school choice matters. Mrs. DeVos has played an important role in developing the charter school system in Detroit. She plays an active role with a number of nonprofits for education reform and has been at the center of establishing several political action committees that support these goals. She is a renowned philanthropist and together with her husband they founded the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation back in 1989. She has served on the boards of John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and ArtPrize, an not-for-profit art competition that was founded by her son.

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