The Annual Giving Fund is a critical fundraising campaign for Opportunity Knocks. This year we approach the campaign with gratitude and determination, as we look back on what we’ve built and look forward to what we are building. We invite you to read on and hope you can support the continued construction of the Warrior Mission.

Campaign Objectives

  • Individual Donation Total | $80,000 77% 77%
  • Foundation Block Donors | 25 72% 72%
  • Bricks & Mortar Donors | $40,000 28% 28%
  • Total # of Donors | 250 50% 50%
Make an Impact


We were presented with the opportunity to rebuild our matching donation support structure through this year’s AGF when we were graduated from the Coleman Foundation’s Giving Tuesday initiative. As one door closes, another opens. We’ve been very fortunate to find a new benefactor to support us in this year’s campaign and help us cobble together the support needed to keep building this community and mission.


All donations of $1,500 or greater will be matched dollar for dollar up to $1,500. If you can give beyond that you can still count on every dollar going the full distance in our mission’s buildout. Donations made from November 15 – December 15, 2023. Our campaign’s goal requires us to find 25 generous donors at this level.


All Donations between $500 and $1500 = $500 match, donations of between $150 and $499 = $150 match. This match is eligible to all donations made from November 15 – December 31, 2023. Our campaign’s goal requires us to build up a total of $40,000 of these matches.

Increase Your Impact

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.

Matching Gift and Volunteer Grant information provided by
Powered by Double the Donation


This year’s Annual Giving Fund theme is well-suited to summarize active and ongoing endeavors in many areas of the organization. It’s all about building. We’ve been building and rebuilding the strategic plan, the programming, the team and our approach to supporting the people at the center of the mission. Scroll around below to learn more about work that has been done, work in progress and work that is coming.

Building Programs

The OK Programs platform continues its rebuild and expansion, now up to 3 days of full-day + PM programs per week, allowing us to deliver nearly 500 hours of direct service each week. As we turn the page to 2024, we will finish our expansion plan – offering 4 days of full-day + PM programs per week.

Building Enterprise

Knockout Enterprise has also been building itself back up! We’ve rebuilt the org chart and reactivated the production line, restoring pickle production to pre-COVID numbers. We’ve launched a new series of pop-ups and farmed our best season yet on the Knockout Farm. All the while we’ve hired & re-hired a total of 13 Warriors at Work. The work continues as we re-envision the strategy of the Knockout Kitchen.

Building Spaces

Our year of building also included the remodel of two new work and program spaces on the 2nd floor of the community center and the finally-complete installation of a classroom pavilion at the farm! All of these spaces have created warm and welcoming environments for the team to do their work and the programs to flourish.

Building Strategy

We will complete the rebuilding of our strategic plan in December. In true OK fashion, we are building that plane while flying it. In that, we will move forward with an application to license our day program with the State of Illinois. We will also be moving forward in the buildout of a strategic partnership with our friends at L’Arche, which will allow us to develop and deliver supports/services to Warriors on the path toward independent living in the community.




"I first learned of Opportunity Knocks when my son, Derec and I met Mike Carmody years ago when the O.K. programs were at Oak Park River Forest H.S. Mike told us the origin story of O.K as it related to his younger brother. I was interested because it was the first time, I had spoken to someone who was not speaking from just a position of educational learning about special abled people, but also personal experience...

Your message and your mission have greater impact when speaking from a position of personal involvement. It makes you more relatable. Derec has enjoyed the OK programs for many years. O.K. is truly a diamond in the rough. It offers a missing element to our community where others are lacking. O.K has cultivated the soil for Derec’s personal growth by giving him an “inclusion space” – a place where he feels respected, happy, and purposed. It is a place where he can be himself and blossom into his God-given sphere of influence. To say that Opportunity Knocks has been a blessing is an understatement, but I can think of no higher word of praise”

A lovely message by Derec’s mother Pleshette



Becca has been an OK Warrior since her high school days. Now 26, she is a regular in OK Programs and can be found most days among her mates and with her dedicated support staff. During the Pandemic, OK did extensive, creative work to find a way for her to participate even though she was unable to tolerate wearing a mask. We believe, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Becca creates opportunities for OK to exercise our commitment to engagement. OK aims to create similar opportunities for Becca...

Family Quote

“Rebecca loves Opp Knocks! She always looks forward to going. She likes the variety, and she loves the people of OK, they are her friends. They are skilled, endlessly patient, and very, very well-intended. They want the best for her. They work with her to help her build independence and communication skills.

Opp Knocks has been a consistent and wonderfully positive force in her life. Becca and the whole family are grateful for the work Opp Knocks has done with her, and we all hope to continue it for a long time to come!”

Paul & Mary Beth Erickson
Becca’s Parents



Opportunity Knocks believes that communities are stronger with the presence and contribution of Warriors. We also believe that Warriors are stronger when present and contributing to their community John Hayley and his team at Unbreakable Fitness have been long time supporters, friends and partners in the OK mission. They have also been a great host and co-creator of wellness programming...

Beginning many years back, we made a regular trek down Madison St. with a crew of OK Wellness Warriors. We felt a great welcome in their space, with their brand of fitness. John’s infectious enthusiasm and zeal for fitness has been a beautiful influence on the mission and we have continued to co-create meaningful experiences with Unbreakable Fitness. Co-hosted programming has been a mainstay at OK. Unbreakable has also committed itself to establishing a mixed-ability workforce. Not to be stopped there, John and his team have gone above and beyond to build support into the mission. They have hosted fundraising events embedded in fitness competitions. The Unbreakable team has also become a regular sign-up in the slate of teams in the OK Classic. In 2023, they hoisted the crown as the top team fundraiser, raising more than $8,500! We look forward to continuing the buildout of this great community partnership and we cherish the dedication of people like John and the Unbreakable culture he has created in his business.



Opportunity Knocks believes that individuals who face the challenge of living with intellectual and developmental differences are Warriors. OK also believes in interdependence. Warriors build communities and communities build Warriors. Look no further than Charlie O to see those beliefs in action. One of OK’s Original Warriors, Charlie has been a part of every OK event and program since we opened the doors in 2010. He is a beloved and valued member of the OK family...

Charlie lost his mom this year. The loss was devastating. He suffered through the grief and withdrew from his OK connections during that time. With time, and some encouragement from his OK Family, he began a slow return. First to the day program and finally back to his place on the line in the Knockout Kitchen! He has been a huge part of the rebuild of the Knockout Enterprise team that has reactivated the production line, restored pickle production to pre-COVID numbers, launched a new series of pop-ups and farmed the best season yet on the Knockout Farm! He is part of the amazing group that have been hired & re-hired to total 13 current Warriors at Work. The work continues as OK re-envisions the strategy of the Knockout Kitchen. At Opportunity Knocks, we envision an inclusive community where all individuals experience access, presence and support. Your support will help us continue to build that community. Please consider a contribution.



We understand that this mission is powered by the funds that support it. We appreciate your support. We appreciate the trust and responsibility that come with your support. The value of your donation is tremendous. Here’s a quick glimpse into what your dollars add.




We have committed ourselves to the endeavor of overcoming any barrier that keeps Warriors from coming to our program. As an organization, we work together to welcome everyone, regardless of ability or income. On average, program fees account for ~20% of the cost to operate. The rest comes from a diverse array of fundraising. – on AVG. 35% of Warriors receive financial support to enroll.

A $250 donation covers the cost of lunch for the full-day group in OK Programs



Our approach to programming centers on engagement. Every participant is supported and engaged. This approach requires us to invest in planning and personnel. On average, we have 20 Warriors in a program block. Of those 20, at least 4 require a 1:1 staffing designation to reach the level of engagement we aim to deliver.

A $500 donation provides 1 Warrior with 1:1 support for 1 block of programming in an 8-week session



We believe that communities are stronger with the presence and contribution of Warriors. Rich partnerships in the community allow us to venture out and connect programs to new spaces and places. Approximately, 40% of our program activities are out and about in the community.

A $1,500 donation provides 10 Warriors with a community-based, partner-hosted activity for 1 block of programming in an 8-week session


Other Ways to Support


Monthly or recurring gifts let you spread your giving throughout the year, easily budget for charitable contributions and make an ongoing commitment to Opportunity Knocks. To set up a recurring donation, click on the Recurring Donation link below. Then select your donation amount, check the box ‘Create Recurring Donation’ and set your donation frequency (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc). It’s that easy!


You can support our effort by spreading the word to your network. Click the button below to take a look at our Annual Giving Fund Outreach Toolkit. This toolkit features instructions for social media fundraisers, a customizable email/letter template, and downloadable campaign photos to enhance those posts and emails.


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.

Percent Private Funding Supporting OK

Avg Hours of Direct Service/Supports per Year

Warriors Working in Knockout Enterprise

Warrior to Staff Ratio



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.


A Collective Effort

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 96% 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.