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Top Rated

Opportunity International

CharityWatch report issued
August 2018

Top-Rated Charity
CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

Opportunity International
550 W Van Buren St
Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60607-3836

Other Names

Opportunity International - U.S.
Opportunity International Nicaragua
Women's Opportunity Fund

Tax Status


Stated Mission

Helps people in developing nations work their way out of poverty, strengthen their families and improve their communities.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 12/31/2016

Program Percentage: 86%

The percentage of Opportunity International's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $24

How many dollars Opportunity International spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
Opportunity International IRS Form 990 54-0907624
Opportunity Transformation Investments IRS Form 990 36-4382506
Opportunity International & Affiliates Consolidated Audited Financial Statements Multiple
Opportunity International Nicaragua IRS Form 990 47-0994982
Entity: Opportunity International
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 54-0907624
Entity: Opportunity Transformation Investments
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 36-4382506
Entity: Opportunity International & Affiliates
Document Type: Consolidated Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: Multiple
Entity: Opportunity International Nicaragua
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 47-0994982

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
This charity is Top-Rated
What does it mean to be Top-Rated?
Opportunity International
meets governance benchmarks.
Opportunity International
meets transparency benchmarks.
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy No Sharing  

  Name Title Compensation
1 Dennis Wallestad COO $314,259
2 David L. Simms Past Global Chief Development Officer $288,273
3 Ron Gray Secretary $259,775
Name: Dennis Wallestad
Title: COO
Compensation: $314,259
Name: David L. Simms
Title: Past Global Chief Development Officer
Compensation: $288,273
Name: Ron Gray
Title: Secretary
Compensation: $259,775

CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.
CharityWatch's rating of Opportunity International does not include the financial activities of the Opportunity member organizations; the Opportunity entities in the countries of Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Hong Kong; the Opportunity International Network; or Opportunity, Inc. These entities, which are described in the audit note cited below, operate independently of Opportunity International.

According to the Opportunity International (Opportunity) consolidated audit of December 31, 2016 (Note 1, Organization):

"Opportunity fulfills its mission through nongovernmental organizations and commercial microfinance institution members in developing countries. A member organization is an implementer of microenterprise development and provider of financial services within the Opportunity network. Funds are disbursed to member organizations to capitalize various local commercial start-up ventures and to fund their own operations. While member organizations are critical in assisting Opportunity to achieve its purpose, they are not legally affiliated with Opportunity (with the exception of the microfinance institutions that are incorporated as for-profit microfinance institutions...), and accordingly, their accounts are not included in these [audited] consolidated financial statements.

"Similarly, entities within the Opportunity support network, including Opportunity International Australia, Opportunity International United Kingdom, Opportunity International Germany, Opportunity International Canada, and Opportunity Hong Kong raise funds in their respective countries and operate independently of Opportunity. Their accounts are not included in these [audited] consolidated financial statements.

"Effective January 1, 1998, all affiliated member organizations of Opportunity signed a membership agreement formalizing the Opportunity International Network (Network). The Network was established to coordinate a common strategy among all members, to develop an accreditation process for participating members, and to manage standardization and quality throughout the Network member organizations. ... The Network is not consolidated in these accompanying [audited] consolidated financial statements as the Network is not a legal subsidiary of Opportunity.

"Effective April 1, 2014, Opportunity and two other Network support members signed a strategic alliance agreement with Opportunity, Inc., a nonprofit entity incorporated January 23, 2014. Opportunity, Inc. was established (i) to provide relief to the poor and to help end extreme poverty in the world by providing finance services to microfinance clients; (ii) to provide support and management services to Network affiliates; and (iii) to develop investment and global branding strategies for Network members. Opportunity, Inc. is not consolidated in the accompanying [audited] financial statements, as it is not a legal subsidiary of Opportunity.

"Opportunity provides a majority of the funding for the Network and Opportunity, Inc.'s operations, along with providing accounting and management services. These services are considered Opportunity's dues for Network membership and support for Opportunity, Inc. Total costs incurred by Opportunity...related to the Network and Opportunity, Inc. are $5,834,536 and $8,339,043 for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively."
CharityWatch's rating of Opportunity International (Opportunity) includes the financial activities of the Opportunity affiliates consolidated in its audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016. These affiliates include Opportunity Transformation Investments and Opportunity International Nicaragua.

According to the Opportunity consolidated audit of December 31, 2016 (Note 1, Organization):

"Effective June 19, 2000, Opportunity incorporated Opportunity Transformation Investments (OTI), which is intended to invest in and hold ownership positions in microfinance institutions as they convert from nongovernmental organizations to commercial microfinance institutions. OTI's board of directors is controlled by Opportunity. Accordingly, OTI and its controlled banks are consolidated in Opportunity's [audited] financial statements..."


"On January 23, 2014, OTI incorporated Opportunity International Nicaragua, Inc. (OINIC) to provide (i) assistance in the operation and maintenance of agricultural processing plants in Nicaragua that can assist in local community development, improve agricultural methods, and provide assistance to poor farmers...(iii) support and develop community-led projects and promote leadership development among youth and adults in selected communities in Nicaragua...and (vii) make grants, distributions, and equity investments in organizations both in the U.S. and abroad in furtherance of its exempt purpose. Net assets of approximately $1.4 million including land, buildings, and equipment owned by Opportunity were transferred to OINIC during the year ended December 31, 2016..."

Also according to the Opportunity 2016 consolidated audit (Note 8, Discontinued Operations):

"During 2015, OTI [Opportunity Transformation Investments] made the decision to sell its banking activities located in Africa. Because the banking activities in this region are a major part of OTI's operations and financial results, OTI has determined that this disposal represents a strategic shift. Accordingly, the assets and liabilities of the banking activities located in Mozambique, Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have been segregated and reported as held for sale in the [audited] consolidated statement of financial position as of December 31, 2016... Furthermore, the banking activities in these regions have been segregated and reported as discontinued operations in the [audited] consolidated statement of activities..."

In Audit Note 8, Opportunity also reports re: the discontinued operations the following, as of December 31, 2016:

-- Total assets of the disposal group classified as held for sale of $69,167,924;
-- Total liabilities of the disposal group classified as held for sale of $60,721,513; and
-- Net loss on discontinued operations of $(6,696,940) attributable to OTI [Opportunity Transformation Investments].
According to the Opportunity International (OI) consolidated audit of December 31, 2016 (Note 2(b)), OI received in-kind contributions in 2016 on which it placed a value of approximately $1.5 million.

[Note: CharityWatch generally excludes the value of in-kind (non-cash) donations of goods and services from its calculations of Program % and Cost to Raise $100. More information on how grades are calculated and the treatment of in-kind donations can be found on the Our Process page.]
According to the Opportunity International (OI) 2016 tax filing re: Compensation Information (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Parts II & III), OI reports making severance payments to the following individuals:

-- David L. Simms, Former Global Chief Dev Officer: $238,702;
-- Dennis W. Ripley, Former Chief Development Officer: $103,325; and
-- Richard C. John, Former SVP and U.S. CFO: $82,615.
According to the Opportunity International consolidated audit of December 31, 2016 (Note 16, Related-Party Transactions):

"Included in program services...are grant expenses of $10,965,060 and $17,578,677 in 2016 and 2015, respectively, which relate to disbursements made by Opportunity to its affiliated member organizations." [See the next Analysts' Note, below, for more re: the member organizations.]


"Notes payable totaling $1,062,429 and $1,353,842 as of December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively, were due to board members of Opportunity. Interest paid to related parties was $78,763 and $80,627 in 2016 and 2015, respectively."

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