The truth is not all millionaires and billionaires give their money away. Some of them say they worked hard to get it, and they want to keep it. That mentality doesn’t sit well with most Americans. Americans are big givers for the most part. In fact, without people that are willing to give to worthy causes this country would be in worse condition than it is now.
But there are wealthy people that are not afraid to give their fortunes away to help other people. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet fall into that category, and so does Dick DeVos. DeVos may not be as well-known nationally as Buffet and Gates, but the people of Michigan know the DeVos name and the family members that use it.
Dick DeVos is one of those wealthy people that became well-off through developing his career over many years. DeVos started working for Amway in 1974, and he worked his way up the ladder and eventually became President of Amway. DeVos is known as the man that brought Amway to the world. When DeVos left Amway, the company was doing more than $4 billion a year in sales. Sales are over $10 Billion a year now.
A recent article posted by Mlive.com outlined the depth of the DeVos giving. In 2013, the five DeVos Family Foundations donated more than $90 million to various organizations. About 27 percent of that donation went to community and health services; 13 percent went to faith-based organizations or churches, 12 percent went to art and cultural endeavors, and 48 percent went to education-related organizations. Most of that money, more than $60 million, went to Michigan organizations, and almost all of than $60 million stayed in Grand Rapids.
Mr. DeVos learned how to give charitably from his father, Rich. Rich is a co-founder of Amway. The elder DeVos started the company with Jan Van Andel in his basement in 1959. Amway has made the family one of the riches families in Michigan.
But Dick DeVos and his wife Betsy also give money to various causes through the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation. Some of the causes they support are The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Grand Valley State University, and several local charities in the Grand Rapids area.
DeVos currently spends a great deal of time working with Willow Creek Association, Thunderbird School of Global Management, RDV Corporation, Regional Air Alliance of West Michigan and Spectrum Health System. He sits on the board of those organizations. Dick and Betsy also manage The Windquest Group investment firm.