Category Archives: Philanthropyic Leaders

Dick and Betsy DeVos, The Exemplary Givers

Dick and Betsy DeVos have over the years attracted a lot of public attention based on their noble giving. Most people complain about the couple’s political giving acts, forgetting that the couple gives more in charity organizations than in politics. Most of the critics assume that Dick and Betsy DeVos give to bribe, forgetting charitable donations have no political influence.

Dick and Betsy DeVos borrowed their giving acts from their parents, who were also highly influential in the political realm. Case in point, Rich DeVos, Dick’s dad, entered the Forbes list of highest givers in 2015 when his donations totaled to $104 million. Additionally, even in previous years, Rich gave for political and charity reasons, as shown in the national history records. In a similar manner, Edgar, Betsy’s dad was a famous giver in Holland as he was an influential industrialist. Therefore, one concludes giving is in Dicks and Betsy’s genes and cannot be muted.

Dick and Betsy DeVos do not give haphazardly. Instead, they are focused towards making changes in institutions and systems, which they do not like. The couple specifically focuses on improving the education sector. In an interview conducted by the BBC, Dick stated that they noticed a loophole in the American education system that denied some kids the achievement of the American dream. Dick said that the children who came from the wrong zip codes ended up missing opportunities because of the poor education system. Consequently, the couple gives to Vouchers and Charter schools so that the institutions can address the issues that are ignored in the public schools. In so doing, Dick and Betsy DeVos assume that the public schools will borrow a leaf from these schools and also transform. Statistics show that the couple gave more than $3 million to education related courses and added an additional $357, 000 to education reform groups.

Albeit the family has always given, Betsy’s nomination in a political position raised more scrutiny to the family’s giving. Their assets were reviewed and they await a hearing in the near future concerning their assets. However, the couple has come up strongly defending their giving as more charitable than political.

Dick DeVos makes changes

Dick has great leadership qualities as he easily influences people to follow in his direction. As a result, he has severally been referred to as a change leader. An example of his high influence was felt when he took over the family business Army Corp as CEO in 1993. It was immediately after his assumption of office that he formed the Action Group of business leaders. The group gave life to the society as it helped in the construction of many institutions such as Michigan State University, the DeVos Place Convention Center and Van Andel Arena.

 

 

The :Do Good Institute” Shows How To Assist In Philanthropy

Bruce Levenson has enjoyed a successful business career as the founder of the United Communications Group and as the former owner of the Atlanta Hawks* NBA franchise, see forbes.com*, but his philanthropic work often seems to have left the native of Washington D.C. frustrated in his attempts to give back to various community groups. Levenson established the $75 million “Do Good Institute” at the University of Maryland in a bid to make sure members of the philanthropic community were given the highest level of business education to match the passion these individuals showed as community leaders; Bruce Levenson himself explained his own path had crossed many passionate individuals who could have achieved much more if they had a greater level of business understanding.

The man who co-founded the United Communications Group in a spare room in 1977 is looking to take the template for the “Do Good Institute” to other schools across the U.S. in a bid to develop the next generation of not for profit leaders and philanthropists. Success came quickly for the “Do Good Institute” when Philanthropy 101 was first offered in 2010 and $10,000 was provided for students to donate to good causes of their choice as part of what became the first step in developing the Philanthropy major at the University of Maryland.See, https://www.benzinga.com/news/17/03/9165680/university-of-marylands-non-profit-initiative-is-changing-higher-education.

Looking back at the career of Bruce Levenson shows just how successful the former journalist for “The Washington Star” has been at identifying the next innovations in technology and society. Levenson took UCG from a single oil industry newsletter to one of the largest real time information suppliers in the world; identifying technology also allowed Levenson the opportunity to develop further business models from the innovations created for UCG, including the Gas Buddy app and the TechTarget company that have both proven major successes for the Maryland based business leader.

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