Category Archives: Philanthropy

DeVos the Next Rockefeller Family?

There is a saying that goes “more money, more problems.” More money is not a problem for Dick DeVos, an American billionaire who is deeply involved in philanthropy along with members of his family. The DeVos family has been very charitable with their money for decades, most notably in their home state of Michigan. Recently it was revealed that the DeVos family has given over 1.2 billion dollars of lifetime contributions according to a 2015 report from mlive.com. In 2014 alone, 94 million dollars was donated to various causes (these causes range from health and community services to arts and culture, and faith-based organizations such as churches) and organizations. Some notable donations include 2.9 million dollars to Grand Valley State University and 3.1 million dollars to Hope College by the DeVos family. Also according to a 2016 report from mlive.com, the DeVos family in 2013 donated 90.9 million dollars (60 million of the 90.9 million was given to organizations in Michigan). It should be noted that the patriarch of the DeVos family, Richard DeVos, along with his wife, have their own foundation, the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation and so do their four children. The five foundations work together to insure the bulk of their donations are sent to west Michigan, where Richard DeVos and his best friend Jay Van Andel, founded the company Amway in 1959. Amway started in a basement and it was reported in 2014 that Amway had made 10.8 billion dollars of sales. Aside from philanthropy and business success, the DeVos family also have numerous connections that have resulted in DeVos family members serving on various nonprofit boards around the United States. Pamella DeVos (the wife of Daniel DeVos, one of Richard DeVos’ sons) for example, is a member of the board of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Doug DeVos (another son of Richard DeVos) currently is the chairman of the board of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Betsy DeVos (the wife of Dick DeVos) was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2004 to serve a six year term on the Kennedy Center board in Washington, D.C. It is probably no surprise to you, the reader, that the DeVos family will most likely continue to give more of their money to worthy causes not only in the state of Michigan, but anywhere that help is needed to make the world a better place.