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1,000 Women Entrepreneurs Selected to Receive COVID-19 Relief Grants from Red Backpack Fund

(Washington, DC) September 28, 2020 - GlobalGiving is proud to announce that 1,000 women-owned businesses from across the United States have now been selected to receive $5,000 relief and recovery grants from The Red Backpack Fund to combat the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation donated $5 million to support women-owned businesses in the wake of COVID-19 and teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish The Red Backpack Fund in April 2020. Since then, 1,000 women business owners have been selected to receive grants from the fund.

In addition to the grant, each recipient will also receive a free all-access pass to MasterClass, which includes Sara Blakely’s class on entrepreneurship, and a “lucky” red backpack. Blakely started Spanx with her “lucky” red backpack from college, and it has become a symbol to The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation of starting small while dreaming big.

“My hope is that this gift will help alleviate some of the pressures caused by this horrible pandemic. Twenty years ago, I started Spanx with $5,000 in savings, and I see this as a time to pay it forward. Small business is the backbone of our culture. I know what it’s like to be a small business owner, and I want to provide some relief to these entrepreneurs during this time,” said Spanx Founder Sara Blakely.

Thousands of business owners and nonprofit founders from cities and towns across the United States and its territories applied to receive a grant from The Red Backpack Fund to combat COVID-19 economic hardships. All grant recipients underwent GlobalGiving’s rigorous vetting process and were selected for the grant based on their applications, urgent need for COVID-19 relief, and demonstrated capacity to overcome COVID-19 setbacks.

The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation partnered with GlobalGiving, a 501(c)(3) organization with nearly two decades of grantmaking experience, to establish and manage The Red Backpack Fund. GlobalGiving assembled a 100% women-led team to manage the grantee selection process. The team includes grant specialists, social workers, female entrepreneurs, analysts, and monitoring and evaluation experts.

"We're proud to deliver on the promise of The Red Backpack Fund and to bring good news to brave women entrepreneurs across the United States who are persevering through the COVID-19 crisis," said GlobalGiving CEO Alix Guerrier.

Meet a few Red Backpack Fund grantees, who are distributing food packages to hungry families, creating safe education opportunities for kids, and more.

Although Sara Blakely's initial goal of selecting 1,000 women to receive grants has been met, The Red Backpack Fund will continue to accept donations through the end of the year in response to the acute need for help. A final sixth round of grantees will be announced by Oct. 30, 2020.

"This pandemic and its economic effects only exacerbate the pervasive problem of gender inequality, with women experiencing a disproportionate share of the negative impact. If you are in a position to help, a gift of any size to The Red Backpack Fund is one way to start a powerful ripple effect in these trying times," Guerrier said.

Donations to The Red Backpack Fund after the sixth round of grantees are selected will be awarded to a nonprofit focused on helping women entrepreneurs succeed. You can learn more about The Red Backpack Fund and make a gift at

About The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation

Since its inception in 2006, the Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation has donated millions to charities around the world, focusing on charities that empower underserved women and girls. In 2013, Sara Blakely became the first self-made, female billionaire to sign the Giving Pledge, created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, promising to give at least half her wealth to charity. In 2020, Sara and the Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation launched the Red Backpack Fund in partnership with GlobalGiving. Back by Sara Blakely, the $5 million fund supports the recovery and revitalization of female-owned businesses in the U.S. impacted by the coronavirus crisis. While many of the world’s resources are being depleted, one is waiting to be unleashed: Women. The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation is on a mission to support women and help them SOAR through education, entrepreneurship and the arts. Learn more at

About GlobalGiving

GlobalGiving is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit that makes it safe and easy to support important causes around the world. When a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic strikes, GlobalGiving quickly delivers funds to vetted organizations that are best-suited to lead immediate and long-term relief and recovery. As part of its mission to accelerate community-led change, GlobalGiving provides tools, training, and support to help nonprofits, donors, and companies increase their impact and make the world a better place. Learn more at

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Media Contact:

Marlena Hartz
GlobalGiving Director of Communications + Marketing

The Red Backpack Fund

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