Dick DeVos is regarded as one of the most successful American entrepreneurs. The West Michigan native is the face of the DeVos family business empire, which spans various industries. Apart from his corporate endeavors, Dick is a consummate philanthropists. He supports various charities through the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, which he co-founded and heads alongside his wife. His dedication to humanity has seen him continually ranked among the most prominent givers in the US by respectable media outlets.
Dick asserts that the donations that he makes are inspired by his dedication towards the improvement of livelihoods and education standards. He has been on the forefront making notable donations to different organizations besides initiating local community projects. He also funds education reform bills in different states throughout the US. Dicks prominence in the humanitarian scene is attested to by the fact that he bequeathed more than 11.6 million dollars to different organizations in 2015 alone. This is a significant amount by any standards.
Dicks involvement in philanthropy is not surprising considering that he comes from a family of well-known philanthropists. His father, Richard DeVos, established and heads the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, which has bequeathed more than 900 million dollars to various noble causes. Dicks siblings are also notable philanthropists in their own right. The family is involved in the operation of 5 foundations, which is quite a feat. This clearly shows that philanthropy is deeply embedded in the DeVos family DNA.
Commitment Towards Education Reform
Dick points out that he and Betsy were drawn towards funding education reform after noticing that there were glaring discrepancies in the sector, which is an important pillar of the society. The current education system doesnt have the ability to enhance equal access to learning opportunities. It only favors the rich, a situation that Dick strives to change by funding education reform bills.
In this regard, Dick has supported various education institutions including Ferris State University, Detroit Charter School Company New Urban Learning, Potters School, Rehoboth School, West Michigan Aviation Academy, and Compass College of Cinematic Arts. To guarantee proper utilization of the funds, the Dick and Betsy Family Foundations ensures that they are channeled to the intended causes. It also offers advice to the institutions pertaining to the management of the funds.
Dick has been supporting ArtPrize, for more than 8 years. This is an annual art competition that is held in Grand Rapids. In 2010, he also pledged more than $22million to Kennedy Center Institute of Arts Management, which has since been renamed DeVos Institute of Arts Management. The center offers technical and financial assistance to upcoming artists. Dicks foundation similarly funds institutions that encourage free-market economics. These include Northwood University and the Action Institute.