Living Philanthropic Ideals: Betsy Devos’ Financial Gifts

It is one thing to speak about your opinions, but it is quite another thing to actually back up your words with money. Financial gifts say a great deal about the person who contributes them: what that person stands for, what they support, and what they value. Lately I have been gaining inspiration from learning about the financial giving patterns of our US Secretary of Education: Betsy DeVos. Many of Devos’ gifts reflect her beliefs on education. Let’s look at some of her gifts, as well as her background.


Betsy DeVos grew up in Michigan, and attended a private Christian high school. She then attended Calvin College, also in Michigan, and studied business. DeVos entered politics soon after college, within the Republican Party. Her roles and responsibilities expanded considerably as the years progressed, leading up to her current seat as the Secretary of Education.


The philanthropic activities of Betsy DeVos highlight her devotion to education, a field that she has been passionate about for years. She and her husband, Dick DeVos, founded the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. This foundation gave New York’s Success Academy Charter Schools $150,000 in 2015, and then another promised gift of the same amount. In addition, her foundation gave $50,000 to the Foundation for Excellence in Education group.


Besides education, Betsy DeVos is also passionate about her Christian ideals and her conservative political views. Her gifts support these ideologies, and allow the groups which she supports the ability to be more active and create lasting change in the world. For examples of her support of the Christian faith, we can look to her many gifts to Christian educational groups, such as the Grand Rapids Christian School Association, Christian Schools International, and the Rehoboth Christian School Association.


She is personally active in the republican conservative party, but also gives money to back her own actions and words. For instance, she recently donated $6,500 to a group called the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Inc.. This organization is known for spreading and promoting the conservative ideology on college campuses. Since DeVos herself was politically active during college, and later became more involved in the republican party, it makes sense that she would want to help college students explore and follow the conservative path as well.


I greatly admire people who use their money in ways that align with their personal beliefs and values. Betsy DeVos is a philanthropist that we can gain inspiration from, due to her consistent giving patters which stick so steadily to her passion for education, Christianity, and the conservative ideology. It is interesting to take a look at her specific gifts and notice how well they match with her actions as a political leader.


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