In 2010 Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet announced The Giving Pledge, a pledge taken by some of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Those that take the pledge commit to giving the majority of their wealth to charity and now the growing list of participants has its first self-made female billionaire, Sara Blakely.
Sara Blakely’s Spanx empire made her a billionaire and now she is committing to giving more than half of her wealth to charitable organizations. In Blakely’s case, she’s focusing on women. In her The Giving Pledge letter (PDF), Blakeley says:
“I am committed to the belief that we would all be in a much better place if half the human race (women) were empowered to prosper, invent, be educated, start their own businesses, run for office - essentially be given the chance to soar! I pledge to invest in women because I believe it offers one of the greatest returns on investment. While many of the world's natural resources are being depleted, one is waiting to be unleashed - women.”
Blakely was one of nine new pledge participants announced in a May 7, 2013 release. Other recent signatories include Lord Ashcroft, Monica and David Gelbaum, Craig and Susan McCaw, Stephen M. Ross, Paul E. Singer, Mark and Mary Stevens, Tad Taube and Samuel Yin.
The Giving Pledge now includes commitments from 114 families in 10 countries, 23 United States and Washington, D.C.