Betsy DeVos: Role Model For Philanthropy 101

Elizabeth “Betsy” DeVos was born and raised in Holland, Michigan to successful billionaire businessman Edgar Prince and his wife Elsa. One of four children, Betsy went on to attend Holland Christian High School and Calvin College where she studied business administration and political science. Her interest in campus politics translated into a long term affiliation with the Republican Party. Betsy started as a local precinct delegate and went on to become the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party four times. Betsy and her family have been consistent in supporting the party and what it stands for and is one of the largest private donors in the country to candidates running on Republican tickets.

Betsy married Richard “Dick” DeVos and the couple has four children together. In 1989, the pair started The Windquest Group as well as the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. In the area of business, The Windquest Group is a privately held management and investment firm with holdings in clean-tech, manufacturing, non-profit solutions, hospitality and technology. The foundation (dbdvfoundation.org), on the other hand, supports “organizations and programs that focus on community, education, the arts, justice, and leadership” as described on their website. To date, Betsy and her husband have given away tens of millions of dollars to various organizations in support of that mission statement. Under the category of education, they are staunch advocates for school choice and charter schools. Funding has been distributed to organizations such as Success Academy Charter Schools, Alliance for School Choice and The Education Freedom Fund. The DeVoses’ are also very dedicated to the arts. Betsy served as on the board of directors of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for six years. During that time, the focus was to create a center that would teach arts managers and board of directors how to manage and fundraise for their cultural institutions.

Learn more: http://nypost.com/2017/01/30/why-we-need-an-outsider-like-betsy-devos-as-education-secretary/

Today, Betsy DeVos currently serves on the board or is in a leadership position with the following organizations: The Windquest Group, American Federation for Children, Aaliance for School Choice, ArtPrize, Philanthropy Roundtable, Foundation for Excellence in Education, DeVos Institute for Arts Management, Great Lakes Education Project nod The Potter’s House School.

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