The has announced that nine more wealthy families and individuals — including two from outside the United States — have joined the campaign, bringing the total number of pledge signatories to a hundred and fourteen.
The new signatories to the pledge are Lord Michael Ashcroft, founder of Crimestoppers and a former treasurer and deputy chairman of the UK's Conservative Party; Spanx founder Sara Blakely; Axion Power International chair David Gelbaum and his wife, Monica; telecommunications entrepreneur Craig McCaw and his wife, Susan, a former U.S. ambassador to Austria; real estate investor and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross; venture capitalist Mark Stevens and his wife, Mary; hedge fund billionaire and LGBT activist ; Koracorp chair/CEO and president Tad Taube; and textile and retail tycoon Samuel Yin, the first signatory from Taiwan. In addition, coal mining mogul Joe Craft, who signed on in late 2012, also was announced as a signatory.
Blakely, the youngest self-made woman on Forbes' billionaires list, told the that she spent months mulling the invitation to join the campaign, which Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates initiated in 2010 to inspire deeper engagement in philanthropy and increase charitable giving globally. "I'm at a slightly different stage in my journey," she said, noting that Spanx remains a privately held company of which she owns 100 percent. "I haven't monetized the bulk of my wealth. But I have been setting aside profits every year, as I always knew I wanted to do something like this." Her giving to date has focused on helping women and girls, including a $100,000 donation to the , a Detroit-based humanitarian campaign working to create jobs for homeless women. "I pledge to invest in women because I believe it offers one of the greatest returns on investment," Blakely wrote in her .
The 114 signatories to the campaign represent ten countries and twenty-three U.S. states and the District of Columbia. "As the Giving Pledge grows in size and scope, we will benefit from broader perspectives and experiences," said Melinda Gates, co-chair of the . "We've found that the opportunity for us to share best practices and learn from each other's global experiences is enabling us to have the greatest possible impact with our charitable giving."
To read the of new signatories, visit the Giving Pledge Web site.