ANNUAL GIVING FUND | 2022
The Annual Giving Fund is a critical fundraising campaign for Opportunity Knocks. This year our hearts are full as we reflect upon the ways our Warriors have grown in 2022 and look forward to what 2023 has to offer. Please consider supporting our efforts.
Total Donation Amount | $80,000
Total Matching Goal | $27,000
Total # of Donors | 250
You can boost our fundraising effort by spreading the word to your network. These critical funds will help to ensure that the Warrior Mission continues to move forward.
We’ve now made it even easier to share the OK Mission with your network! Click the button below to take a look at our Annual Giving Fund Marketing Toolkit. This toolkit features instructions for social media fundraisers, a customizable email/letter template, and downloadable campaign photos to enhance those posts and emails.
Each year the Annual Giving Fund allows us the opportunity to look back on our year with gratitude, while also looking forward to the next year with clear ambition. We flourished in so many ways in 2022. Warriors lead the way in flourishing, with true Warrior spirit and grit. 2022 has brought us great opportunities for growth and we cannot wait to see what the next year holds.
The OK Programs Platform has grown immensely since it began, and we are excited to continue to revise the platform’s offerings to fit the needs of our Warriors. We find ourselves offering what we believe to be our best version of dynamic, person-centered, and community-based OK programming.
This past year, we have begun to redesign our spaces, including the Life Shop and the Knockout Farm, and have invested in equipment upgrades and leadership development training for all of our staff. We are also dedicating significant energy to completion of our strategic plan revision project and the application process to become a state-certified residential service provider.
Striving toward these objectives and advancing our work will take significant resources and support from our community. We hope to use the Annual Giving Fund as a stage to show you what has been done and appeal for your support to continue to do what needs to be done to keep the Warrior Mission going strong.
With re-established in-person programs, we are finally getting back to a sense of normalcy, and have returned with a renewed focus on our outreach efforts in addition to expanding services. Today, we are hosting the highest number of Warriors in Programs since the pandemic began, and have been grateful to branch out and welcome even more Warriors to OK from a variety of spaces, both new and established to OK.
One such Warrior we have welcomed to Programs is Ron Turner. Ron started to attend OK Programs in May of 2022, coming to us all the way from Pennsylvania! After this big move, he and his sister were eager to find a program as robust as what he had previously and signed up for OK Programs. We were grateful to welcome Ron into OK Programs and honored to have him in the OK Family.
When Ron first started programs, he was reserved as he got to know his Warrior peers a little better, one Warrior Welcome at a time. Not even a month into programs, there was a visible change in Ron as he had grown comfortable with the group. Today, he is very lively and has shown to have strong leadership skills, as observed by OK Volunteer Coordinator and Program Leader, Netta Williams. Ron flourishing in Programs is a testament to the community that has been and continues to be built within and around Opportunity Knocks.
“Ron has not been with our program very long and was very quiet and shy when he first arrived. He has since then become very lively and has very strong leadership roles, and has the respect of his fellow Warriors.” – Netta Williams, Volunteer Coordinator and Program Leader
After so many instances of change these past few years, we are grateful to get back into the swing of things in OK Programs. With community being the foundation of programs, we were so excited to connect in person once again! Whether volunteering at food pantries and farms, or venturing to places both new and familiar, it has been wonderful to get back into the community. One of the most significant connections we were able to rekindle this past year was with OPRF’s CITE Program. It is great to share a presence in the Community Center once again and invite students to join in our program activities.
The CITE Program is the final stage of programs provided by public schools and focuses on similar program themes to OK, preparing students to transition into this new stage of their lives post-high school. Building these relationships with CITE students is a key way we create community both inside and outside of OK. We welcome many CITE students to programs each year, and this past summer, we got to welcome Jenna Ricks to OK Programs.
When Jenna officially joined OK in June of 2022, she was already familiar with OK staff and many Warriors she had seen at the Community Center, in addition to her peers that were already attending Programs after school. And, because CITE shares space with OK, there had been many instances in which Jenna and her CITE peers joined OK activities in the past, including CITE’s graduation ceremony! We were very excited to welcome Jenna to programs after graduating from CITE in May and have watched her shine in so many ways.
Since starting programs early this summer, Jenna has been a rockstar with welcoming new experiences in programs. On site at programs every day, Jenna has tried many new activities, most notably trying new recipes and kayaking, to name a few. She also looks forward to group outings and volunteering, particularly at the OPRF Food Pantry. We couldn’t be more excited and honored to have Jenna join us after graduation.
“Jenna has flourished a lot ever since she joined OK Programs. She is a very active person and I see that she loves trying new things that we have in each different activity. I can tell that she really enjoys being at OK and being able to make new friends or see old friends. She is a very sweet person and nice to have a conversation with.” – Danielle McBride, Program Leader
We have assembled two very generous matching gift offers totaling $27,500 to help drive our Annual Giving Fund. The Coleman Foundation, Not Your Father’s Foundation, and new addition thanks to a Friend of OK are backing our effort to call out to the Warrior Nation and help meet the match. Read on for more details.
FROM NOVEMBER 15TH THRU DECEMBER 15TH
The Coleman Foundation will provide any gift of $1,250 or more with a $1,250 match, up to a total match cap of $12,500. Big thanks to our long-time friends at the Coleman Foundation for showing us so much love and support over the years and through this match.
FROM NOVEMBER 15TH THRU DECEMBER 15TH
Not Your Father’s Foundation will match all gifts between $150 and $499 at $150 and all gifts between $500 and $1250 will be matched at $500, up to $15,000! Big thanks to our generous friends at Not Your Father’s Foundation for stepping up to back this match in our Annual Giving Fund campaign.
FROM NOVEMBER 29TH THRU DECEMBER 15TH
Another OK Friend Has Joined Us! From now until December 15th: A generous friend of OK has pledged to match gifts between $1 and $149, one-to-one. This means your donation of up to $149 will have double the impact, all thanks to our wonderful friend!
Did you know that many employers match their employees’ donations? A matching contribution could double or even triple the impact of your gift.
Past donations made during the year may also still be eligible.
Don’t wait-use the search box NOW to see if your employer has a matching program.
Donation of appreciated shares of marketable securities like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds is an attractive, tax-wise alternative to a cash contribution. Benefits to you are many. You will have lower out-of-pocket costs for your contribution. You may avoid capital gains tax by donating the appreciated securities to OK. You may take a charitable income tax deduction, as defined by law, equal to the value of the donated securities on the date the gift is irrevocably transferred to OK through its intermediary Stock Donator.
Opportunity Knocks is a 501c3 non profit organization dedicated to enriching life and community. We exist to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as they live, work, learn, grow and connect within their community.
We believe in the strength, power and value in the voice of every Warrior. We value the importance of an interdependent connection between each Warrior and their community, along with the continuous importance of developing healthy relationships and social connections. We approach all of life’s experiences fearlessly, unhinged by abilities. We underscore everything with our belief in Wellness of mind, body and spirit.
Opportunity Knocks exists to support people with different abilities as they live, work, learn, grow and connect within their community. We believe in a dynamic, person-centered and community-based approach to programming that engages the voice of all Warriors.
We also believe in a dynamic, person-centered workforce that includes the voices of all varieties of humans. We strive to build our team with that ideal in mind. Everyone has something to offer this mission. Come bring what you have. Click below to learn more about our team and the positions that are available at OK.
As a grassroots organization, thriving in spite of an underfunded system of support from the State of Illinois, we have built OK on a foundation of community support. We rely heavily on a vast network of donors, volunteers, and partners to help support, sustain and grow our mission. We are blessed with a great network, but it is paramount that the network continues to grow. Come get involved.
We are 94% privately funded. Without your support, we would not exist. Please consider supporting the Warriors today.
From program support members to event staff volunteers, corporate groups and internships, opportunities to connect abound.
Corporate sponsorships, program partnerships and all sorts of ways in between to connect your group with our group in mission.