OAK BROOK, IL--(Marketwire - December 1, 2008) - Imagine giving a present worth 10 times the amount you paid for it -- one that honors the recipient and helps the world's poor for years to come.

OptINnow.org, a new initiative of Opportunity International, one of the world's largest and fastest growing microfinance organizations, offers gift cards for as little as $25 that help fund small business loans for entrepreneurs in the developing world. The loans help the working poor build businesses that feed families, send children to school and employ neighbors in their communities.

As the loan is paid back -- as 98 percent are -- the money is recycled again and again to help many more Opportunity International clients work their way out of poverty, making it the gift that keeps on giving. On average, a loan is repaid in four to six months, so a $25 donation becomes at least $250 over five years and helps provide 10 loans to the working poor during that time.

In today's tight economy, many Americans are choosing to cut back on holiday spending but not on charitable giving. A tax-deductible OptINnow™ gift card is the perfect gift idea for those who want to make donations on behalf of friends and family members in lieu of purchasing presents. It's an easy gift to give and a fun one to receive. Here's how it works:

--  Log on to OptINnow.org, and click on "OptINnow Gift Cards."
--  Fill in the amount and the recipient's email address, and enclose a
    personal note.
--  An email is sent to the recipient after the gift card is purchased.
    The recipient then visits OptINnow.org to pick a country, the type of
    business and a specific entrepreneur to support in the form of a loan to
    start or expand a business.
--  Gift givers can choose to print out the gift card instead and mail it
    with a holiday card or include it as a "stocking-stuffer."

All donations and gift card purchases on OptINnow.org are processed confidentially through Google Checkout. OptINnow™ is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible. For more information visit: www.optinnow.org.

Opportunity International has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator, the leading independent source for evaluating not-for-profit organizations. For more information on the Charitable Navigator's ranking, visit Opportunity International's rating page on www.charitynavigator.org.

About Opportunity International

Opportunity International is committed to solving global poverty. Serving approximately 1.2 million poor entrepreneurs in 28 developing countries, Opportunity International is a pioneer in offering small business loans, savings, insurance and training in basic business practices to women and men living in chronic poverty. Founded in 1971 as one of the first microcredit lenders, Opportunity International provides small loans -- sometimes as little as $50 -- and other services that allow poor entrepreneurs to start or expand a business, develop a steady income, provide for their families and create jobs for their neighbors. Opportunity International maintains a network of offices across the globe, with U.S. offices in Oak Brook, Ill. and San Diego. For more information, visit www.opportunity.org.

Contact Information: Media Contacts: Don Ingle Opportunity International (630) 242-4128 Cynthia Greenwood Opportunity International (847) 404-8404