Dick and Betsy DeVos have come under sharp criticism for their political giving in the recent past. Nevertheless, the people who criticize them can only be termed as ignorant since the couple gives more towards charitable courses than towards political ones. In fact, the latter is just pocket change in comparison to the former. Case in point, Dick and Betsy DeVos gave $11.6 million in charitable donations in 2015. That was more than half what they had given in the last years towards political courses according to Betsy. Moreover, their total charitable giving as a couple amount to $139 million according to the couple’s foundation website.
Betsy and Dick say that they mostly give towards education related courses. Asked why they do that, Dick said that they noticed a problem in the current public education system, thus they give towards other types of schools to improve the students’ chances of making it. Dick said that he neither had a problem with the people who were employed in the public system nor the administrators, as he knew they worked hard. Nevertheless, he stated that the public school system does not favor kids who come from the wrong zip codes. These kids are denied the chances of attaining the American dream.
Education Related Giving
Betsy and Dick DeVos mainly give towards Charter and Vouchers schools, a fact that makes them criticized since these schools are owned by businessmen. However, Dick says that he once went to Potter’s House School and realized that most of the kids were from disadvantaged homes and their parents could hardly afford to pay their tuition. However, because the school offered a better learning environment, the parents made sacrifices to educate the kids there. As a result, Dick and Betsy decided to support most of the kids in the school to meet their tuition requirements.
Arts and Culture Related Giving
The couple’s second biggest focus in their donations is Arts and Culture. Dick and Betsy donated over $2.4 million towards the course in 2015, and this was 21% of their total giving that year. Previously, the couple also donated $22million in the launching of DeVos Institute of Arts Management that is at the University of Maryland. The couple says that they feel that high-quality arts management in the country is critical for the diversification of arts. The couple also gave 13 percent of their donations to leadership and development related courses.
Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation
Dick and Betsy DeVos based their family foundation on the model their parents left them. The couple was asked to give towards organizations and community as a way of being good stewards of what they had. The model dictates that giving should mainly be towards justice, leadership, education, arts, and community. The giving is also geared towards cultivating leadership and leveraging support in the five fields mentioned above.