The Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation donated over $49.5 million dollars reports Michigan Live. The well-respected newspaper has studied the IRS documents that the foundation is required to file. The newspaper reports that the largest donation was $250 million, and the smallest gift was $1 million.
Dick DeVos says that what he learned about taking care of his community was the result of training given to him by his father who started the successful Amway Corporation. The foundation received their initial funding from his father but has added generously to it over many years.
The foundation has five primary focuses. The first focus is providing positive changes in education. As an example, the foundation has been instrumental in the formation of an aviation school where young people can learn about all aspects of the industry. Upon graduation, these young men and women can either further their education in college or get high paying jobs in aviation. The foundation has also given numerous scholarships that have allowed students from families in poverty to attend private schools.
The second focus of the foundation is to support community health organizations. The foundation is responsible for helping create Grand Rapids Medical Mile and building the children’s hospital that bears the family name.
The third focus of the foundation is to build leadership among artists particularly in the western Michigan area. The foundation is responsible for helping to create ArtPrize. Dick’s oldest son is interested in the arts which has prompted his giving to this cause even more. The foundation is instrumental each year in offering over three miles of art activities and exhibits in late September and early October each year.
The fourth focus of the foundation is justice throughout the world. The foundation has given grants to the Center for Individual Rights who fought Michigan University to have race discredit as a criterion for admission.
The last focus of the foundation is in leadership. The foundation has been instrumental in its support of the Grand Rapids Downtown Market that has allowed numerous businesses to get started from only dreams.
The foundation has a lengthy history with most of the organizations that it supports. The foundation’s board meets quarterly to approve requests. Each year the foundation adds about five to ten new organizations to its list of supported activities.
Those seeking more information about the foundation are urged to contact them or see the article published in Metro Times.