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Muffy MacMillan Receives Outstanding Individual Philanthropy Award

CHICAGO – November 19, 2019 – Opportunity International Board Member and Global Ambassador for Women and Girls Muffy MacMillan received the Outstanding Individual Philanthropist Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Minnesota Chapter at the National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon in Minneapolis on Friday, November 19.

“Charity focuses on eliminating the suffering caused by social problems, while philanthropy focuses on addressing the underlying social problems,” said MacMillan during her acceptance speech. “For example, giving food to a person who is suffering from famine is charity. Teaching the person how to grow food is philanthropy because it addresses the social problem causing the person’s hunger.”

“We at Opportunity are honored and privileged to be a part of Muffy’s philanthropic journey for the last decade. During this time, we have helped millions of underprivileged people around the world learn how to grow food and sell it, so their families never go hungry, and their children can go to school,” said Opportunity International Chief Executive Officer Atul Tandon. 

The Minnesota native has been a part of the Opportunity family for the past decade. From 2013 to 2016, MacMillan chaired Opportunity’s agricultural finance campaign which raised nearly $50 million to expand work with Africa's small-scale farmers. To date, nearly 500,000 farmers have been reached and more than $115M disbursed to help them improve yields, feed their communities and create jobs. She joined the Board of Directors in 2016, and in 2018 she was named Opportunity’s Global Ambassador for Women and Girls—a role dedicated to building social and economic empowerment for vulnerable women.

Her unparalleled commitment to lifting up those in need spans more than 25 years. Muffy is currently a Director for the Cargill Foundation and Waycrosse, Inc., where she serves on the Executive and Corporate Governance Committees and chairs the Education and Human Resources Committees. The Cargill organization, based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, was founded by her great-great-grandfather, William W. Cargill, and remains the largest privately held corporation in the United States. In addition to Muffy’s work with Opportunity, she has held roles ranging from board member to volunteer at more than 20 organizations. MacMillan has received numerous awards recognizing her dedication to those less fortunate, including the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Pioneer Award at the United Nations.


Opportunity International is a global non-profit committed to ending extreme poverty and promoting quality education for families in need. Since 1971, Opportunity has helped millions of families work their way out of poverty by providing financial resources, training, and delivering ongoing support to start small businesses, earn living wages, and feed their families. The organization provides loans to families seeking tuition and educators who want to improve local schools to get more children into better quality schools. In 2018, Opportunity International issued $1.9 billion in loans, reaching nearly 10 million clients in 24 countries, and helped fund 6,343 schools serving 1.8 million children. Discover more at opportunity.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.


AFP Minnesota works to create and foster extraordinary fundraising professionals for an extraordinary philanthropic community. To learn more about AFP Minnesota visit afpminnesota.org.  The Association of Fundraising Professionals, an association of fundraising professionals throughout the world, advances philanthropy by enabling people and organizations to practice ethical and effective fundraising. The core activities through which AFP fulfills this mission include education, training, mentoring, research, credentialing, and advocacy.


National Philanthropy Day was created by the National Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) as a special day to recognize and pay tribute to the contributions that philanthropy and those people active in the philanthropic community have made to our lives, our communities, and our world. 



Jennifer Winter

312.487.5038 | [email protected]










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