An Insightful Look at the Background and Philanthropic Endeavors of Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos has proven to be an all-round person as far as business, politics, philanthropy, and leading are concerned. She prides herself on being a disruptor, advocate, and leader, which is clearly shown by her engagements. Additionally, Betsy has managed to step aside from both her husband and family’s shadow by creating a name for herself in politics, business, education reforms and other spheres. By doing so, she has demonstrated not only the attributes of a strong woman but also those of a role model to other women around the world.


Betsy’s Background


Born on January 8, 1958, Betsy DeVos is the daughter of a billionaire industrialist, Edgar Prince, the brains behind the inception of Prince Corporation in Holland, Michigan. Betsy is also the daughter-in-law of Amway founder, Richard DeVos, a renowned billionaire in Michigan. She is married to Dick DeVos, the rightful heir to Amway, a consumer marketing company. Away from her family, Betsy studied at one of the popular private schools in Holland, Holland Christian High School. Later on, she joined Calvin College where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics degree in 1979.


Philanthropy and Financial Giving


Betsy and her husband, Dick DeVos, have created a name for themselves in the philanthropy records. They advance their charity activities through the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. Since the inception of the charitable organization in 1989, it has made considerable contributions towards various areas such as arts, justice, community, education, and leadership. In 2015 alone, the foundation’s total contributions amounted to $11.6 million, which led to a surge in Betsy and Dick DeVos’ lifetime giving to about #139 million. This impressive feat led Forbes to include the DeVos family as #24 on the 2015 America’s top givers list.


Being among top givers in America has seen the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation donate millions of dollars to various causes. Some of the beneficiaries include conservative, free-market think tanks, Christian schools, art organizations, health research organizations and, hospitals among others. The Institute for Justice, Action Institute, Michigan’s Pregnancy Resource Center, Baptists for Life, Center for Individual Rights represent some of the organizations that have received funds from the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. The foundation has demonstrated a significant focus on educational-donations whereby private Christian schools have benefited greatly from the couple’s altruism. In fact, between 1999 and 2014, such schools received about $8.6 million while charter and public schools got $5.2 million and $59,790 respectively.


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