Betsy DeVos: Impacting Lives Positively through Philanthropy

In the United States, Betsy DeVos is one of the influential people playing an active role in reforming the education sector. However, what many might not realize is her philanthropy work. For example, together with her husband – Dick – she co-chairs the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. The foundation has donated millions to support the work carried out by legal groups, think tanks, and leadership institutions to name a few.

Her philanthropic spirit has seen Betsy DeVos give to various schools as well, especially in Michigan. Her donations continue providing the West Michigan Aviation Academy with the finances it needs to thrive. Also, a couple of private Christian schools the Potter’s House operates have benefited greatly from her giving. Needy children can now get the best education at private schools courtesy of the Education Freedom Fund, which Betsy DeVos also donates to as well.

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Donations to Different Organizations

Betsy established the philanthropic foundation that she runs with her husband in 1989. Mostly, she donates to organizations that represent her religious and political beliefs. A conservative think tank organization based in Washington, D.C. – American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy – was the beneficiary of $750,000 from Betsy DeVos. In addition to that initial donation, the DeVos Foundation pledged a further $1m to the think tank.

Colleges and universities around the United States have also benefited greatly from Betsy’s charitable giving. She donated $500,000 to the University of Maryland College Park Foundation. Additionally, she pledged $100,000 on top of $150,000 that her foundation already gave to the School of Missionary Aviation Technology. The following are a few of other organizations that Betsy DeVos has donated to and the money received:

  1. a) Ferris State University – $113,500
  2. b) Davenport University – $55,000
  3. c) John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts – $250,000
  4. d) ArtPrize Grand Rapids – $400,000

Lifetime Charitable Donations

Over their lifetimes, Dick and Betsy DeVos have donated more than $139 million to different organizations. In 2015 alone, the couple gave out more than $11.6 million as charitable contributions. In fact, a report that the reputable Forbes published in 2015 ranked the couple as the 24th place of a list titled “America’s Top Givers.” Betsy is part of a family – the DeVos – that has donated more than $1.33 billion over their lifetime.

Betsy married into a family that’s renowned for its charitable giving. However, she is the daughter of Edgar Prince, a Holland industrialist who is also famous for his generous contributions to charitable and political organizations. Out of all the contributions Dick and Betsy DeVos have made, the education sector seemed to have benefited the most. Dick states that this is a deliberate move and a reflection of their dedication to improving education.

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