Organization: Opportunity International

Location: Chicago, IL

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About Opportunity International:

Opportunity International (Opportunity) is a global nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago that helps people in developing nations break the cycle of poverty, transform their lives, strengthen their families and improve their communities. The organization supports local microfinance organizations that provide innovative financial solutions to empower people, create jobs and build vibrant communities. Their products, services and training enable clients to develop businesses, to save and to insure against an uncertain future.

The organization pioneered microfinance lending in 1971 and has since helped clients create 15 million jobs through 23 million loans valued at nearly $6 billion that spurred economic development and changed millions of lives. Opportunity intends to double that number to help clients create 20 million jobs by 2020, which will impact 100 million people.

The Opportunity Network is made up of 47 organizations, 39 of which are microfinance institutions (program partners) operating in Africa, Eastern Europe, Central and East Asia and Latin America. These program partners provide loans and other support directly to families in need. Funds to support the work of program partners are raised through support partners operating in various countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the US. These funds are provided to program partners as equity, loans or grants. While program and support partners have close relationships, each operates as an independent legal entity. No program or support partner acts as agent for any other program or support partner, nor has authority to bind any other program or support partner. Opportunity supports implementation of the strategy and oversees the programs worldwide. Opportunity does not operate programs in the US; all programs are in the developing world.

Opportunity International is motivated by Christ’s call to love and serve the poor. The organization seeks to emulate the Good Samaritan, whose compassion crossed ethnic groups and religions. Opportunity serves all people regardless of faith, ethnicity and gender and does not link evangelism with the provision of its programs. Opportunity envisions a world in which all people have the opportunity to achieve a life free from poverty, with dignity and purpose. They work toward this goal through specific methods, including, but not limited to:

  • Supporting local microfinance organizations that provide innovative financial solutions;
  • Creating innovative partnerships to provide complementary services to their clients; and
  • Strengthening and influencing value chains to benefit their clients, connecting them to viable markets and driving economic progress.

Just as some organizations are called to provide disaster relief or build houses or churches, Opportunity International has been called to bring hope and economic security to the poor through microfinance and other financial services.

For more information on Opportunity International, please visit

The Opportunity:

At this important moment in its history, Opportunity International is seeking to add a top tier development professional to lead its institutional advancement. The Senior Vice President, Institutional Advancement (SVP) is responsible for raising major funding (over $12M per year) from corporations, government and foundations headquartered in the US and abroad in coordination with colleagues in the US, Australia, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom. The SVP will serve as the senior global account relationship manager for all assigned donor institutions and help to establish and sustain relationships with c-suite level contacts among Fortune 1000 level corporations. This position will be based in Chicago.

Reporting to the President, Opportunity US and partnering closely with the Global CEO, Vicki Escarra, the SVP will be a strategic and valued fundraising leader who will thrive working in a changing and complex environment. S/he will be an engaging collaborator who will establish productive relationships internally and externally.

The SVP will be a bold thinker and a strategic, yet hands-on executor who will lead a best-in-class institutional advancement program. S/he will bring a genuine passion for Opportunity’s mission coupled with deep experience driving fundraising success. S/he will oversee and manage the team of five Institutional Advancement Vice Presidents. The SVP will actively manage a donor portfolio by personally participating in cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.

The SVP will drive Opportunity’s institutional advancement global strategic planning activity and develop ongoing partnerships to advance Opportunity’s mission with key organizations. This will require active coordination with the Global CEO, the President of Opportunity US and all of Opportunity’s Support Member CEOs.

Working closely with Opportunity’s global leaders, the SVP will develop tailored strategies for donors that lead to awareness, understanding and appreciation for Opportunity’s economic development business strategies, features and benefits. These solutions can involve any or all of the following engagement strategies that provide high value to the donor and to Opportunity International:

  • Grants coming from corporations – Corporate Social Responsibility or independent foundations;
  • Business partnerships with corporations;
  • Multi-donor funded projects that might include governments, foundations, corporations and individual donors; and
  • Development of complex funding projects that may include grants, debt, program related investments and guarantees.

S/he will understand corporate giving, cause marketing and shared value strategies facilitating relationships. This will help position Opportunity as the “go-to NGO” for corporations looking to support international economic development and generate the greatest amount of impact for their time and dollar investments.

Key metrics for success of this role include:

  • Enhancing Opportunity’s overall approach to institutional advancement with an increased focus on corporation, government and foundation giving;
  • Raising (or leading a team that raises) a minimum of $12M per year in revenues from institutional donors;
  • Developing and maintaining relationships with c-suite leaders in the Fortune 1000 corporations, principally in the US but including key corporations based oversees;
  • Achieving strong partnerships with Opportunity’s Global CEO, key leaders on the Boards of Directors and leaders of all Opportunity Support Members (Australia, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom), facilitating global opportunities for corporate support and engagement;
  • Implementing policies, procedures and metrics to ensure transparency and build confidence with leadership; and
  • Increasing the effectiveness and productivity of the team, bringing energy and passion to the organization. The Institutional Advancement staff will clearly understand expectations and will be engaged, driven and motivated.

Candidate Profile:

The Senior Vice President, Institutional Advancement will enhance Opportunity International’s overall approach to fundraising and refine its institutional advancement efforts. S/he will bring a genuine passion for the Opportunity’s mission coupled with deep experience driving fundraising success.

The ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:

An Expert in Development

The SVP will be an experienced leader in the field of development with a measurable track record of success. S/he will have proven expertise with a wide range of fundraising channels, with particular emphasis on government, multi-national corporations and foundation giving. S/he will embrace Opportunity’s culture and will have the character and confidence to expand the organization’s institutional advancement program. S/he will flourish in a mission-driven, business environment and will be energized by the prospect of joining a complex, global organization. S/he will have a strong data and analysis orientation and a proven ability to use metrics to drive development decisions and achieve strategic objectives. The SVP will have a demonstrated record of implementing direct fundraising initiatives including prospect identification, institutional cultivation and successful solicitation. The SVP will operate as an individual major gift officer and contributor, responsible for a portfolio of institutional and individual donors. S/he will adopt an entrepreneurial approach to expanding and deepening new and existing donor support.

Strategic Leadership and Management Acumen

The SVP will be a strategic and results-oriented leader who, along with the key global leaders, sets and articulates a vision for the organization’s next institutional advancement chapter, builds and executes a development plan and evaluates outcomes with a metrics-based approach. In order to achieve desired results and support strategic objectives, the SVP will have the skills to effectively build, develop and lead the institutional advancement team. S/he will offer creative, yet practical, ideas to achieve the strategic direction. S/he will be an innovative and energetic individual who functions well in a fast-paced, changing environment. A diplomatic and supportive professional, the SVP will enhance Opportunity’s culture of collaboration.

An Action-Oriented Leader with Strong Execution Skills
The SVP will have a proven record of converting strategy into effective execution. S/he will be a detail-oriented individual who functions well in a complex, changing environment. S/he will be an assertive and results-oriented leader with the ability to translate tailored strategies to donors, leading to awareness, understanding and appreciation for Opportunity International’s objectives. The SVP will be a hunter and builder with the ability to set priorities decisively and ensure accountability. The SVP will also recognize that Opportunity International is undergoing significant change in numerous areas and will be comfortable working and contributing in this environment.

A Passion for the Mission

The SVP will have a passion for the mission of Opportunity International and a commitment to ending global poverty. S/he will embrace the core values of the organization and its commitment to transforming the lives of clients, their families and their communities. S/he will be energized working in a global organization while continually innovating to help expand the brand and reach. The SVP will have a collaborative spirit and will be an empathic leader, treating others with respect. S/he will be an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

A Bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree in a related field is preferred. Domestic and international travel will be required.


Marissa Martin of Koya Leadership Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role, please submit your materials here or email Marissa directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit