Betsy Devos is popularly known for her current role as the United States Secretary of Education. Unknown to some, Betsy has had many other leadership roles including six years as the Chairlady of the Michigan Republican Party. Her interest in politics developed when Betsy actively played a role in Calvin College’s campus politics. Betsy has been described as a reformer who finds innovative solutions to social problems. Betsy and her husband, Dick DeVos, are generous philanthropists who often make donations through their Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation.
Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation has offered support to many organizations. In 2015, the foundation was said to have offered close to $10 million to different organizations and further pledged to offer another $3.2 million. The Devos’ target charter schools, conservative organizations, college and universities, Christian-related education groups, arts, and individuals who are poised to start education-related services in offering their support.
In 2015, Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation gave $300,000 to Success Academy Charter Schools. During the same year, the foundation gave $5000 to GREAAT Schools, Inc. The Potter’s House, Alliance for Schools Choice, Foundation for Excellence in Education received 200,000, 100,000, and 50,000 respectively from the foundation.
Conservative organizations such as the Institute for justice benefitted from the Devos’ giving. The Institute for Justice—a law firm supporting school choice lawsuits—received $10,000 from the foundation. During the same period, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank received $750,000 with another $1 million in deferred payment. Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Inc. benefited from the Devos’ generosity when they received $6500 in 2015. In addition to the donations, Betsy is a board member of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy.
The Devoses awarded University of Maryland College Park Foundation $500,000. The university is home to an arts management institute named after the Devoses. School of Missionary Aviation Technology, Ferris State University, Davenport University, and Rollins College also received donations from the family foundations amounting to over $0.5 million. It should be noted that the mentioned institutions of higher learning are just a few in a long list of institutions that have received the Devos’ assistance.
The Devos’ Foundation has recognized some Christian-related education groups. For example, Grand Rapids Christian School Association, Ada Christian School Society, and Rehoboth Christian School Association among others received over $410,000 from the Devoses.
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