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© 2024 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit. EIN: 540907624.

50 for 50: 7 Fundraisers We’ll Never Forget

By Allison Kooser

Opportunity’s work for the last 50 years has been made possible by an incredible community. From corporate partners to family foundations to individual donors, our supporters have invested in and created opportunities for hard-working people around the world. 

Occasionally, these generous people—people just like you!—decide to get creative with their giving and rally their friends and family to join them. Through peer-to-peer fundraisers, community giving, and wild challenges, Opportunity supporters have championed our clients, raised money, and become advocates for those living in poverty.

As we look back at five decades of innovative programs serving families around the world, we are excited to share a few of the most innovative fundraisers that have helped propel our work forward. Check out 7 of the fundraisers we’ll never forget.

Jump for Opportunity

In 2011, a group of young professionals decided to face their fears while raising money to end global poverty by tackling the Jump for Opportunity. They gathered in Titusville, Florida to jump out of a plane—all in support of Opportunity’s clients in Tanzania! 

Read more about the Jump for Opportunity

Live Below the Line

For three consecutive years, dozens of Opportunity supporters signed up to Live Below the Line—a challenge to eat and drink on less than $1.50/day in honor of the hundreds of millions of people who live below the extreme poverty line. As they budgeted for beans and rice, they also raised awareness and funds to support Opportunity’s clients.

Learn more about Live Below the Line


Opportunity Governor Deyl Kearin took his personal passion for endurance running to the next level with Run4Poverty—an ongoing fundraising platform through which ultra-marathoners raced to raise funds for Opportunity. In 2012, Deyl ran 155 miles across the Saharan Desert to support clients in sub-Saharan Africa. If this wasn’t wild enough, he then rallied his friends to tackle similar challenges, including races across the Gobi Desert, the Leona Divide, Patagonia, and the Grand Canyon.

Learn more about Run4Poverty

Big Birthdays

For years, Opportunity supporters have “donated” their birthdays to Opportunity International, choosing to skip presents and raise money instead. One of the birthday donors who inspired us most was Cody Williford, who donated his 5th birthday to Opportunity after reading the book, One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference—and he ended up raising nearly $5,000! What’s more, he inspired his dad to donate his birthday to Opportunity, too! Cody’s father, Jason, donated his 40th birthday and raised an additional $25,000 for Opportunity’s clients.

Learn more about Cody and Jason’s birthdays

The Opportunity Quilt

Hundreds of Opportunity supporters participated in the Opportunity Quilt—an interactive online tool designed to celebrate Mother’s Day by empowering mothers around the world. The Quilt was selected as the regional winner for the Most Creative Fundraiser in the Classy Awards in 2012! 

Learn more about the Opportunity Quilt

Climbing Kili

In 2010, Teri Goudie traveled to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in support of Opportunity International. Inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book, Half the Sky, Goudie decided that she and her friends could be an example of women helping women. They trained for months before attempting the climb, then shared their story both in-person and online.

Learn more about Teri’s climb

Donor Trust Groups

Inspired by Opportunity Trust Groups that give clients access to relationships, training, and support, Opportunity donors in Canada formed the first Donor Trust Group to build a community around giving. The model worked—and soon, a group of donors in California, led by Johanna Mahal, followed their lead. Now, Donor Trust Groups are popping up around the country, helping supporters pool their resources and multiply their impact.

Learn more about Johanna's Donor Trust Group


Interested in creating a fundraiser to help raise money for Opportunity International? Awesome! We encourage you to set up a fundraiser on Facebook which takes less than 3 minutes. All of the funds come directly to Opportunity, and it's a great way to easily share your passion to change the lives of others with your network.

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