Betsy DeVos: A Lifetime of Charitable Giving

I best know Betsy DeVos for her prominent role in the political sector of education reform as our United States Secretary of Education. Yet, she is also very highly known in the philanthropy sector. I read an article recently where she discussed how she fuses giving in the philanthropic world with her desire to reform certain aspects of the U.S. Education system for a holistic approach to her life’s work.


Betsy DeVos and her husband Dick are best known for their large political contributions. However, I was surprised to find that their charitable contributions superseded the political ones. One article ball parked that number of more than $130 million throughout the couple’s lifetime. In 2015 alone their foundation, The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation shared tax records that showed over $11 million in charitable contributions. This incredible amount has contributed to many of the causes that Betsy DeVos is passionate about: education, Christian groups, conservative non-profits and the arts.


A sizeable piece of their funding goes to education groups, with many of them being located in their home state of Michigan. They provide scholarships for students from low income families who wish for their children to gain a Christian education from The Potter’s House School in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They are also the school’s biggest donor.


Many of the education groups that Betsy DeVos donates to strive to further support her desires for education reform. For example, the DeVos Family Foundation is a contributor to the Foundation for Excellence in Education as well as the American Federation for Children, both organizations that Betsy I she is highly involved in. The American Federation for Children works closely with the Alliance for School Choice, which is one of the educational reform items that Betsy DeVos is working to bring about in America.


Outside of donations, Betsy DeVos is very active in bringing her leadership skills and focus on education reform to a variety of elite groups. She sits on a prominent board with people like Condoleeza Rice and Charles Schwab to help guide the educational think tank FEE, which was founded by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. The think tank seeks to bring about educational reform for things like school choice and charter schools by bringing together reform minded people.


With her appointment to become the U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos has been able to successfully continue the work of the DeVos Foundation while still taking on such a vast role in our country’s political arena. She and her husband are wholly commited to continuing to give back in the education sector and beyond. It is a positive statement to what one family can accomplish when they choose to give back after coming into a position of great financial success.


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