The Philanthropic Giving of the Devos Family

Billionaire Rich Devos has long been a large donator various charities. Despite his great financial accomplishments in the past, Dick DeVos considers his philanthropic giving as his greatest work. The Devos family has stated that it has thus far given $1.2 billion in philanthropic giving. One of the family’s biggest giving sectors is in support of conservative political candidates. But they are also very generous with other causes in 2013 and 2014 combined giving more than $180 million. Most of their giving is to charities and hospitals in their hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Devos’ family has five different foundations: the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, the CDV5 Foundation, and the Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation. These foundations are all unique, but are run by similar guiding principles.

Richard DeVos began amassing his considerable fortune in 1959 as co-founder of Amway. Today Amway brings in billions of dollars per year and Richard has become the second richest individual in Michigan. Richard and all of his children work in cooperation with each other in their giving with each of them taking turns giving to an agreed upon cause. After supporting conservative politicians, giving to Grand Rapids public schools is their biggest concentration of giving. Their longest area of concentrated giving has been in financial giving to Christian nonprofits that help the poor and needy. They do not simply give a random sum to these organizations and hope it is enough. The dollar amount given is always calculated for exactly what they need to be a successful charity.

They also do more than just give money to these non-profits. All of the family members have at various times sat on the board of a charity board somewhere in the world. Many of these boards are very high profile with celebrity members and world leaders on some of them.