Archive for the ‘Philanthropy’ Category

A Look At The Philanthropy Of Betsy DeVos

Monday, February 20th, 2017

Besty DeVos, along with her husband Dick, established the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation in 1989. Through this foundation, they have funded charitable works across the United States with an emphasis on the western half of Michigan. The main focus of their philanthropy is education, arts, community, leadership, and justice. Over the years they have donated over $139 million to various nonprofits and charities. Along with the rest of the DeVos family almost $1.2 billion has been given which ranked them 20th on Forbe’s annual 50 Top Givers list.

In addition to giving financially to causes Betsy DeVos has given her time. She has served as Chairman of the Board for the Philanthropy Roundtable and the American Federation for Children. She has also served on various other charity boards including the Foundations for Excellence in Education, the DeVos Institute for Arts Management at the University of Maryland, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Great Lakes Education Project.

In 2009 the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation founded ArtPrize. ArtPrize is an art competition held in Grand Rapids, Michigan which attracts artists from around the world. Unlike most other competitions the public has a vote in the winner, which is ultimately decided by a panel of professional artists. The top prize in the competition is $200,000 and altogether $500,000 is awarded to artists at the annual ArtPrize competition.

In addition to having served on the Board of Directors for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from 2004 to 2010, DeVos has also partnered with the center in order to fund a program that teaches future board members and art managers how to manage an art institution and raise funding. In 2010 the DeVos foundation gave $22.5 million to further the reach of this program and continue its mission in the future.

Another nonprofit that has been generously given to is the School of Missionary Aviation Technology located at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. This school gives young people the tools and knowledge to enter into the field of aviation upon graduation, including careers such as aircraft maintenance and acquiring a pilot’s license. Among other educational institutions that the have given to includes Ferris State University, Davenport University, Calvin College, and the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Community College Foundation.

Betsy DeVos has funded the Pediatric Oncology Program at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. This program is part of a network of 26 children’s hospitals and universities that research neuroblastoma treatment programs in order to fight childhood cancer. Neuroblastoma, a cancer that forms in the adrenal glands, is the most often diagnosed cancer in children less than 5 years old.

Read more:

Dick DeVos Finds Success In Business And Philanthropy

Monday, October 17th, 2016

The role of business people in their local communities is something I have had a great interest in, particularly for the DeVos family of Grand Rapids, Michigan. I have known about the DeVos family and their impressive work for a number of years since the business was headed by Dick’s father, Richard; philanthropy has been a major part of the work of the DeVos family since the early days of Richard’s ownership of the AmWay group that was marked by his own positive attitude to philanthropy. Dick DeVos has continued this work with a prolonged period of philanthropy that includes educational development, an investment in the arts, and plans to improve community links throughout the Grand Rapids, Michigan region.

Read more:

Success means different things to different people and I believe Dick DeVos and his wife Betsy see success in more than just business terms; Betsy and Dick have both had an interest in politics that has been reported in a Philanthropy Roundtable article I read with Betsy DeVos. Understanding the political situation in the world is something Dick DeVos has always been good at and impressed me with the way both he and his wife, Betsy have crossed political lines to find success for the future for their impressive work in the area of educational reform.


I believe Dick DeVos has performed a major service to the people of many states in terms of education reform after embarking on programs of change across the nation far from their Michigan home. Success in this area was achieved in Florida, which I believe has become a standard bearer for education reform across the U.S. through its use of school choice and school vouchers; using some of the fortune Dick DeVos built with the AmWay Group to provide help for those in need of education reform continues to this day.


Dick DeVos has also provided a number of services and programs of assistance for the people of his home state of Michigan designed to provide them with a better standard of living and financial security. I was particularly impressed to read through Wikipedia that Dick DeVos had been working on the Grand Action Plan for Grand Rapids that had made inroads into creating a more stable economic environment for the people of this area of Michigan.


The Success of Dick DeVos

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

One of the most influential families in the world is the DeVos family. The DeVos family ir the founders and creators of the international business known as Amway Corporation. This company, thanks to the business skills of the DeVos family grew from a basement-based company to an international corporation with several branch locations around the world. The DeVos family has become one of the most prominent families in the United States and has had their fair share of wealth as well as political power. Though the DeVos family is worth over one billion dollars, the DeVos family is mostly known for making generous contributions to their community of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The DeVos family believes that wealth should benefit all rather than just benefiting one individual.

One family member in particular is Dick DeVos, a savvy businessman as well as entrepreneur who takes much credit in developing his family company. Dick DeVos distinctly remembers playing as well as helping his family with the business while the company was still located within their basement. Dick DeVos even remembers he and his brother giving product demonstrations to clients of the company. The fact that he grew up around a business and helped to build the business add to the long list of why Dick DeVos went on to pursue a business career.

Dick DeVos’ passion for business encouraged him to eventually pursue a business degree. This business degree enabled him to fairly procure a job at Amway Corporation in 1974. Since 1974, Dick DeVos had used his intelligence in order to obtain several executive positions within the company. One position in particular was that of vice president in charge of international sales. Dick DeVos did business with over 18 other countries around the world and even raised overall international sales. By the time the Dick DeVos left his job as vice president, his overall international sales made up over 50 percent of the company’s total revenue.

With Dick DeVos’ extensive success, he has now decided to take a back seat and focus on giving back to others. With that said, Mr. DeVos, in recent news, has chosen a new CEO to run his own company. This new CEO is named Phil Dolci and was chosen for his leadership expertise as well as his intelligence when it comes to marketing. Mr. Dolci hopes that while in his position, he will live up to Dick DeVos’ expectations.