Philanthropy and wealthy family dynasties go hand in hand. The Koch, Walton, Simon and Buffet are just a few of the billionaire families who have powerful foundations. One family that isn’t as well known but equally big on giving is the DeVos family. This conservative clan of billionaires has been a major charitable contributor for several decades
Dick DeVos and his family amassed a huge fortune with Amway products. The platform has made the family one of the richest in the U.S. Amway founder Richard DeVos and his wife, Helen, run a large foundation in Michigan. The considerable amount of wealth they have distributed through their foundation has helped many of the state’s underprivileged. The DeVos’ are staunch supporters of school choice. A great deal of the money has gone to Christian and faith-based schools and organizations.
The 90-year-old Richard DeVos Sr. not only founded Amway in 1959, he is also owner of the Orlando Magic NBA team. After a stint in the Air Force during WWII, DeVos followed his entrepreneurial spirit by founding the Amway Corporation. Over the years, the multi-level marketing program has expanded into 100 countries. DeVos Sr. is now one of the richest men in the U.S. with a net worth of over $9 billion.
The DeVoses have a great deal of influence in Michigan’s evangelical community. They have given a great deal of funding to many conservative candidates. The DeVos’s son, Dick DeVos and his wife Betsey also wield a considerable amount of power. Many believe that the DeVos’ influence helped transform Michigan into a “right to work” state. There is no doubt that the Devos family does a great deal of political policy shapers. There is likely no change on the horizon.