Opportunity International

Summary

Opportunity International is in the global fight against poverty. Al Whittaker founded the first Opportunity program in Latin America in 1971. In 1976, David Bussau, an Australian entrepreneur, founded a similar job creation program in Indonesia, and in 1979, the two programs united. It's mission is motivated by Christ's call to serve the poor. By the end of 2008, Opportunity International had expanded to 28 developing countries, serving over 1,250,000 loan clients, 420,000 savings clients and insuring over 1.8 million lives. Opportunity International is a nonprofit organization. Contributions to it are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.


Contact information

Mailing address:
2122 York Rd
Oak Brook, IL 60523-0523

Website: www.opportunity.org

Phone: (630) 645-4100

Email: getinfo@opportunity.org


Organization details

EIN: 540907624

CEO/President: Vicki Escarra

Chairman: Mark Thompson

Board size: 18

Founder: Al Whittaker, David Bussau

Year founded: 1971

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 12/31

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Purpose

Opportunity International is in the global fight against poverty. Al Whittaker founded the first Opportunity program in Latin America in 1971. In 1976, David Bussau, an Australian entrepreneur, founded a similar job creation program in Indonesia, and in 1979, the two programs united. It's mission is motivated by Christ's call to serve the poor. By the end of 2008, Opportunity International had expanded to 28 developing countries, serving over 1,250,000 loan clients, 420,000 savings clients and insuring over 1.8 million lives.

As a microfinance organization, Opportunity provides poor entrepreneurs with capital (as little as $50 but typically around $180) and business training to start and expand small businesses. By increasing their clients' income level, Opportunity seeks to provide improved living conditions, access to health care and education for children so that the cycle of poverty is permanently broken. Women are the most economically vulnerable people in the Developing World, and 85% of Opportunity's loan clients are women.

The majority of Opportunity's clients are part of Trust Groups, in which 15-40 people self-select its members and choose their leaders. The members each receive a loan and agree to co-guarantee the loans of the other members. This fosters a commitment to the success of the group, as well as social and economic development within the community. 98% of Opportunity's clients repay their loans, and the money is then re-loaned to another client, so that the money is re-cycled and not consumed.

Opportunity is also working to build scalable, sustainable, and accessible banks throughout the developing world to provide savings and insurance products tailored to the specific needs of each region. Savings accounts provide a secure, convenient way for clients to manage money and prepare for a crisis or business opportunity. These savings accounts also bring stability and a means to move away from subsistence living. Opportunity's MicroEnsure, the world's first and largest microinsurance broker, provides protection against the many risks faced by those living in poverty. Innovative products cover more than 800,000 policyholders with crop, loan, health, life, and property insurance-offering clients a safety net when an unexpected hardship or disaster occurs.

Opportunity seeks to transform the lives of their clients economically, socially and spiritually. Clients attend weekly Trust Groups meetings, where they receive Bible-based training on business practices, prayer and devotions. Opportunity has no denominational affiliation, and is dedicated to serving poor clients "of all faiths and no faith".

Opportunity International is a nonprofit organization. Contributions to it are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.


Mission statement

Opportunity International uses the following to express their mission:

Our mission is to provide opportunities for people in chronic poverty to transform their lives. Our strategy is to create jobs, stimulate small business, and strengthen communities among the poor. Our method is to work through sustainable local microfinance institutions that provide small business loans, savings, insurance and training. Our commitment is motivated by Jesus Christ's call to serve the poor. Our core values are respect, commitment to the poor, integrity, and stewardship.


Statement of faith

OI uses the following to express its guiding principles:

"Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from one who wants to borrow from you." Matthew 5:42

People who care about the poor and hold scripture in high regard are not surprised to learn that several hundred verses in the Bible attest to God's concern for the poor. In Matthew 25, Jesus says,"whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

The Oxford Declaration on Christian Faith and Economics affirms that poverty was not part of God's original creation, and that poverty and powerlessness are an offence to God and a denial of his loving provision for his creatures. To neglect the poor reveals a lack of love that does not match God's unlimited concern for humanity, nor Christ's mission that portrays deep care for suffering people.

"He who oppresses a poor man insults his maker." Proverbs 14:31

Opportunity International heeds Christ's call to serve the poor by providing opportunities for impoverished people to transform their lives through microenterprise development--providing small business loans and training so people can work out of poverty with dignity. This strategy demonstrates that God's concern for the poor is not just to meet their economic needs, but to empower them to meet their own needs.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Relief and Development

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating342 of 43054 of 60
Fund acquisition rating345 of 43050 of 60
Resource allocation rating139 of 43034 of 60
Asset utilization rating405 of 43058 of 60

Financial ratios

Funding ratiosMedian % for
all ministries in
MW database
20172016201520142013
Return on fundraising efforts Return on fundraising efforts =
Fundraising expense /
Total contributions
7%17%14%20%19%21%
Fundraising cost ratio Fundraising cost ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total revenue
6%8%7%11%6%6%
Contributions reliance Contributions reliance =
Total contributions /
Total revenue
95%50%52%58%31%29%
Fundraising expense ratio Fundraising expense ratio =
Fundraising expense /
Total expenses
6%8%8%12%6%6%
Other revenue reliance Other revenue reliance =
Total other revenue /
Total revenue
5%50%48%42%69%71%
 
Operating ratiosMedian % for
all ministries in
MW database
20172016201520142013
Program expense ratio Program expense ratio =
Program services /
Total expenses
83%86%87%83%92%92%
Spending ratio Spending ratio =
Total expenses /
Total revenue
99%102%87%93%102%105%
Program output ratio Program output ratio =
Program services /
Total revenue
81%87%75%77%94%97%
Savings ratio Savings ratio =
Surplus (deficit) /
Total revenue
1%-2%13%7%-2%-5%
Reserve accumulation rate Reserve accumulation rate =
Surplus (deficit) /
Net assets
3%-2%18%8%-4%-7%
General and admin ratio General and admin ratio =
Management and general expense /
Total expenses
10%6%5%5%3%2%
 
Investing ratiosMedian measure
for all ministries
in MW database
20172016201520142013
Total asset turnover Total asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total assets
1.320.170.200.200.340.33
Degree of long-term investment Degree of long-term investment =
Total assets /
Total current assets
1.535.374.971.801.081.11
Current asset turnover Current asset turnover =
Total expenses /
Total current assets
2.530.890.980.350.370.37
 
Liquidity ratiosMedian measure
for all ministries
in MW database
20172016201520142013
Current ratio Current ratio =
Total current assets /
Total current liabilities
9.090.550.531.901.781.75
Current liabilities ratio Current liabilities ratio =
Total current liabilities /
Total current assets
0.101.831.890.530.560.57
Liquid reserve level Liquid reserve level =
(Total current assets -
Total current liabilities) /
(Total expenses / 12)
4.07-11.14-10.8416.1814.1314.05
 
Solvency ratiosMedian % for
all ministries in
MW database
20172016201520142013
Liabilities ratio Liabilities ratio =
Total liabilities /
Total assets
10%84%84%83%77%76%
Debt ratio Debt ratio =
Debt /
Total assets
0%50%44%52%23%20%
Reserve coverage ratio Reserve coverage ratio =
Net assets /
Total expenses
63%94%83%89%68%73%

Financials

Balance sheet
 
Assets20172016201520142013
Cash$35,837,237$39,414,085$39,660,029$104,396,441$76,352,465
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$13,277,250$12,138,656$142,902,040$256,233,162$258,082,619
Short-term investments$600,843$541,753$658,135$835,465$2,716,425
Other current assets$375,668$390,668$272,568$301,605$312,017
Total current assets$50,090,998$52,485,162$183,492,772$361,766,673$337,463,526
Long-term investments$8,812,520$5,931,467$11,227,491$6,865,250$11,586,557
Fixed assets$5,063,204$5,941,014$5,672,286$23,787,462$26,763,071
Other long-term assets$204,800,511$196,241,945$130,355,986$0$0
Total long-term assets$218,676,235$208,114,426$147,255,763$30,652,712$38,349,628
Total assets$268,767,233$260,599,588$330,748,535$392,419,385$375,813,154
 
Liabilities20172016201520142013
Payables and accrued expenses$16,652,046$16,347,637$18,550,591$29,985,514$34,351,466
Other current liabilities$74,769,203$82,787,780$77,930,677$173,157,632$158,669,234
Total current liabilities$91,421,249$99,135,417$96,481,268$203,143,146$193,020,700
Debt$133,087,115$115,332,211$172,143,186$88,748,979$73,752,472
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$2,499,887$3,396,794$4,993,288$9,176,940$19,472,626
Total long-term liabilities$135,587,002$118,729,005$177,136,474$97,925,919$93,225,098
Total liabilities$227,008,251$217,864,422$273,617,742$301,069,065$286,245,798
 
Net assets20172016201520142013
Unrestricted$23,481,903$24,214,979$27,744,257$43,641,017$51,164,796
Temporarily restricted$18,277,079$18,520,187$24,378,911$42,701,678$33,394,935
Permanently restricted$0$0$5,007,625$5,007,625$5,007,625
Net assets$41,758,982$42,735,166$57,130,793$91,350,320$89,567,356
 
Revenues and expenses
 
Revenue20172016201520142013
Total contributions$21,966,111$30,812,404$39,772,061$40,217,599$34,535,623
Program service revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$21,226,434$27,194,148$27,206,170$74,568,710$62,446,736
Other revenue$578,642$1,482,045$2,130,777$16,648,091$20,397,618
Total other revenue$21,805,076$28,676,193$29,336,947$91,216,801$82,844,354
Total revenue$43,771,187$59,488,597$69,109,008$131,434,400$117,379,977
 
Expenses20172016201520142013
Program services$38,067,841$44,845,857$53,447,867$123,299,344$113,354,896
Management and general$2,733,353$2,511,814$3,256,182$3,545,274$2,808,064
Fundraising$3,700,196$4,301,394$7,839,437$7,829,659$7,241,564
Total expenses$44,501,390$51,659,065$64,543,486$134,674,277$123,404,524
 
Change in net assets20172016201520142013
Surplus (deficit)($730,203)$7,829,532$4,565,522($3,239,877)($6,024,547)
Other changes in net assets($245,981)($11,358,810)($20,462,282)($4,283,902)$0
Total change in net assets($976,184)($3,529,278)($15,896,760)($7,523,779)($6,024,547)

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.


History

In 1971, Al Whittaker, president of Bristol-Meyers International Corporation, asked poor people, "What do you need?" They answered, "We need work. With jobs we will solve our own problems." Whittaker acted on that answer and founded the first Opportunity program in Latin America. In 1981 Al Whittaker, President Opportunity International, retired and is Chairman Emeritus.

In 1976, David Bussau, an Australian entrepreneur, founded a similar program in Indonesia. Three years later, the two programs united. Poor people on two continents proved that with small loans to start up or expand micro-businesses and cottage industries they could support their families. The Opportunity Network now has partners in 29 countries, in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.


Program accomplishments

GLOBAL IMPACT

Loan clients: 1,250,000

Dollars loaned in 2008: $840 million

Average first loan size: $181

Loans to women: 85%

Repayment rate: 98%

Savings clients: 420,000

Savings deposits: $225 million

Microinsurance Policyholders: 815,000


Needs