The Philanthropic Works of Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos, alongside her husband Dick, has been an active philanthropist for close to three decades now. Besides advancing the Republican Party agenda by donating campaign money to Republican candidates and politicians across the country, the DeVoses have also spent considerable amounts of their fortune in other philanthropic endeavors over the years. The channel through which the DeVoses have made most of their contribution to charity is the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, founded in 1989 specifically for this purpose.



Through the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, Betsy DeVos has been instrumental in advocating for conservative values that the family believes in. Some of the areas that they have donated towards include leadership, art, Christian charities and in education. Education reform has been a key area of interest for Betsy DeVos. It is no surprise, therefore, that the major chunk of their donation money is directed towards educational programs that further their educational reform agenda.



In 2015, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation donated 10 million dollars to charity and pledged additional 3.2 million in grants to different charitable organizations in the coming years. These donations made Betsy DeVos among the highest donors to charity in the entire country and cemented then Devoses family position in the American philanthropic arena. Unsurprisingly, the bulk of these donations was made to educational institutions and bodies involved in the formulation of education policy in different parts of the country.



Betsy DeVos, through the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, gave 400,000 dollars to the 74, an education site founded by former CNN anchor Campbell Brown. This would be channeled to the Partnership for Education Justice, a non-profit founded by Ms. Brown. 150,000 dollars was donated to the Success Charter Academy Schools with a pledge of an equal amount to be disbursed to the same institution at a future date. The Christian School in Grand Rapids, Potter House received 200,000 dollars while the Alliance for School Choice was given 100,000 dollars. Ms. Betsy DeVos only recently stepped down as the chair of American Federation for Children which works in close collaboration with the Alliance for School Choice.



Betsy DeVos has been a reformer nearly all her life. While she was at Calvin College, she got actively involved in politics and has remained committed to politics ever since. Over thirty years since she left the institution, Ms. DeVis has been involved in various party organizations, campaigns and action committees. For over six years, she was the chair of the Michigan Republican Party.



She says that her entrance into philanthropy was not a one-time event, but rather the culmination of a gradual process which started on her first visit to Potter House School in Grand Rapids. She and her husband were inspired by the serene environment created at the school which was brilliant for learning and safe for all. This convinced her that she had to be involved in the creation of such an environment. She believes strongly that such an environment can only be created through rigorous education reform.


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