How Betsy Devos Is Changing The World With Her Philanthropy


Betsy DeVos was born in 1958 in Holland, Michigan. She is the daughter of Dutch industrialists, Edgar and Elsa. DeVos attended Holland Christian High school, and later graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Calvin College in Michigan. DeVos has a strong Christian foundation as she has been a member of the Christian Reformed Church in America since her childhood. She later joined Mars Hills Bible Church as an Elder. She is married to Dick DeVos, the former CEO of Amway, a multi-level marketing company. She was recently appointed as the 11th United States Secretary of Education, by the President of the United States.

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Family Foundation

Betsy and Dick DeVos established a family foundation in 1989. The objective of the Foundation is to cultivate leadership and transformation in arts, education, community, leadership, and justice. The DeVos family is considered one of America’s top givers with over $139 million donated to charitable causes over the years. The foundation’s giving is based on faith; from 1999-2014 the Foundation donated approximately $50 million to various Christian charities. The foundation has also been an avid contributor to health research, art organization, hospitals, religious missions, and Christian schools.

Education-Based Organizations

Betsy DeVos, through her foundation, has also made major contributions towards education. In 2015, the foundation donated over $3 million to education based causes. DeVos emphasizes on access to quality education for all children as it is fundamental to achieving the American dream. Some education-based beneficiaries of DeVos charity through her foundation are Ferris state University, Compass College of Cinematic and Arts, West Michigan Aviation Academy, Potters House, and Northwood University. DeVous also gave $100,000 to the non-profit organization, Alliance for School Choice, where she is the former chairperson. She also donated $50,000 to Foundation for Excellence, where is a former board member.

Donations to Conservative Organizations

Betsy DeVos is an avid supporter of conservative organizations. In 2015, she donated $750,000 to a Washington-based think tank, the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy, where she sits on the board. Through her foundation, DeVos has also contributed to other conservative and justice-based organizations such as Intercolliagete Studies Institute and the Institute for Justice.

Christian-Related Causes

Betsy DeVos attributes most of her donations to various Christian-based organizations to her firm religious foundation. Over the years, she has made major donations to faith-based groups and institutions such as the Christian School International, Grand Rapids Christian School Association, and Rehoboth Christian School Association.

Kennedy Center

Betsy DeVos sat on the board of directors of the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts from 2004 to 2010.Through her foundation, DeVos made a remarkable donation of $22.5 million to the organization. She stated that the funds would go into training the leaders of various Art institutions into becoming better managers of the cultural centers.

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