Donation Facts

"Think before you donate," and we think you'll donate to Goodwill

Individuals in our community occasionally receive an old email or social media post titled "Think Before You Donate" that contains false information about a number of nonprofits, including Goodwill. We know that you want your donations to be used wisely, so we'd like to provide you with correct information for responding to these rumors.

The email falsely claims a person named Mark Curran is the president and "owner" of Goodwill. Goodwill is a network of 180 world-wide autonomous non-profit charitable organizations governed by local volunteer boards of directors. Goodwill Industries International is an association office that supports the independent Goodwills and is headed by Jim Gibbons, who has been the CEO since 2008. Goodwill International is governed by a volunteer board composed primarily from local Goodwill membership, and as such does not have an "owner." Furthermore, no one by the name Mark Curran has ever headed a Goodwill organization in the country, including Goodwill Industries of West Michigan which is led by its President and CEO Richard J. Carlson.

We would like to address some of the other issues raised in the email. Please note the following facts about Goodwill Industries of West Michigan:

  • Goodwill Industries of West Michigan is a registered, reputable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
  • As a nonprofit, Goodwill is "owned" by the communities it serves and is governed by a board of directors made up of volunteers from its 12-county service area.
  • Donations to Goodwill support our mission of providing job training and career development services, particularly to individuals with disabilities or other barriers to employment.
  • Goodwill served 5,431 individuals in 2015, and helped place more than 1,162 individuals into competitive employment. 
  • More than 90 cents of every dollar earned by Goodwill supports its life-changing mission. Nationally, CharityWatch, an independent organization that evaluates philanthropic organizations, gives Goodwill an "A" rating – one of the highest in the country for a non-profit organization.

Goodwill Industries International has also issued a response to the email rumors on their website.

At Goodwill Industries of West Michigan, we believe everyone should "think before you donate." When you do, you may rest assured that your generous donations to Goodwill help individuals find meaningful employment, thereby building lives, families and communities one career at a time.

Snopes link: www.snopes.com/politics/business/charities.asp