What do Mark Zuckerbeg, Michael Bloomberg, and George Lucas have in common with Spanx founder, Sara Blakely? No, no, it's not a slender behind. They are among the billionaires who have pledged to give at least half of their wealth to charity. Say again?

They signed The Giving Pledge:


The Giving Pledge is an effort to help address society's most pressing problems by inviting the world's wealthiest individuals and families to commit to giving more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charity causes either during their lifetime or after their death.

Sara Blakely is the first self-made female billionaire to pledge. The Giving Pledge idea started with Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates in 2010 and has grown to 114 members, worldwide. Tuesday night, eight new Giving Pledge signatories were added.

Sara Blakely, 42, started her 100% privately owned slimming-undergarment company with $5,000. Many remember first seeing her on the Oprah Winfrey show. Blakely sent a basket of Spanx to Oprah, who loved the product and endorsed Spanx to the world. How wonderful to see women lifting each other up. (No, that pun was not intentional, but in finding it now, I'm owning it!) Blakely looks to pay Oprah's kindness forward. After Sara made the Forbes billionaire list, she was approached by Bill and Melinda Gates to join The Giving Pledge. Blakely says she wants to contribute to the empowerment of women who are under-served.

"Since I was a little girl I have always known I would help women. In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would have started with their butts…I have so much gratitude for being a woman in America. I never lose sight that I was born in the right country at the right time. And I never lose sight of the fact that there are millions of women around the world who are not dealt with the same deck of cards upon their birth."
Other Giving Pledgers Include: David Rockefeller, Ted Turner, Reed Hastings, Richard Branson,  Mark Zuckerbeg, and Michael Bloomberg.

See more about The Giving Pledge on their website.

It's beautiful to see this small group from the '2%' giving back. The Giving Pledge is not without critics. Good and bad can be found in anyone and anything. I choose to see the good in this.

Originally posted to Leslie Salzillo on Thu May 09, 2013 at 06:08 AM PDT.

Also republished by Good News.

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