Blessed is the hand that giveth: Meet the DeVos family who gives without flinching

DeVos family has been ranked number 24th position by Forbes in the recent ‘American’s Top Givers.’ The family has contributed in their entirety to over $139 million towards charity activities and other philanthropic activities.


Betsy DeVos, who is currently the U.S secretary of education, has been instrumental in pushing for reforms in education policies to allow parents to take their children to schools of their choices.


Through the family charity foundation, they donated $11.6 million in 2015 towards supporting charities according to their official website.


The family is following the steps of their parents in giving generously. Lead by Dick’s dad with his family, donated $104 million in 2015 which made them the ‘Top givers’ in America.


Dick’s family through their foundation donates towards improving education environment. They support fellow reformist who is seeking education reformation. In 2015, they donated over $3 million towards educational policies and 3% of it went to groups with similar objectives as theirs.


Their main aim is to remove the ZIP code restriction imposed on children’s school choices.


In 2013, Michigan schools benefitted from their generous donations. The beneficiaries were;


  • Compass College of Cinematic Arts who received $50,000
  • Ferris State University in Big Rapids received $100,000
  • West Michigan Aviation school received $315,000
  • Rehoboth Christian School based in New Mexico got $50,000
  • Detroit Charter School Company New Urban Learning received $25,000
  • Potter’s House in Wyoming got $301,000


Foundation’s data for 2014 financial year didn’t display donations beneficiaries as seen above.


Besides supporting education, the couple also directed 21% of their 2015 total donations to Arts & Culture which is equivalent to $2.4 million. Before this, they had allotted $21 million during the launch of DeVos Institute of Arts Management located at the University of Maryland. And the rest of that year’s donations went to civic, churches, leadership programs, public policy, among other sectors.


The family also supports health care sector in its fight against cancer. They helped Spectrum Health Foundation to source qualified physician to help them in treating and researching childhood cancer.


Their support for leadership development programs is seen through $1 million donations in 2013 to Chicago-area mega church Willow Creek.


Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation


This foundation was launched in 1989 as a way of the DeVos’ family supporting the community through finances.

Dick has been instrumental in championing positive community changes. He co-chairs Grand Action, a group that has been in forefront driving changes in Grand Rapids. He also sits on the board of Grand Rapid Economic Club, among other organizations.


Betsy DeVos is also the mastermind behind the educational-choice program. She advocates for fair allocation of schools to children regardless of where they come from. She currently works as the secretary of education in the U.S