Goodwill Logo
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145 User Reviews
LAST UPDATED: October 14th, 2021
Goodwill Industries International was founded by a Methodist minister, Reverend Edgar J. Helms. As part of his ministry and work to help those in need, he collected items which were discarded by more affluent households and brought them to those with whom he was working for repair and distribution. His vision of creating self sufficiency has grown to a large network of independent organizations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Panama, and Uruguay. Each Goodwill Industries International is independently operated, and done so by region. As such policies for stores, etc. vary greatly. All information in this review is focused on the headquarters of Goodwill Industries International, which is located in Rockville, Maryland.

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The Good

  • Inexpensive fundraising expenses
  • 83 percent of revenue spent on program delivery
  • Financial information is accessible

Total Income

Goodwill Industries International received $73,884,867 in 2015, down from $89,979,218 in 2014. The organization had total revenue of $53,902,760 in 2013. The dips in support coincide with false information and negative publicity.

Administrative Expenses

Goodwill Industries International reported that in 2015, of its annual income of $89,979,218, that $3,591,289 was used for administrative expenses. The CEO of Goodwill Industries International, Jim Gibbons, received a salary of $745,000 in 2013. Contrary to reports of the top management of Goodwill Industries International earning extravagant salaries, it should be noted that in 2014, Mr. Gibbons took a pay cut of over $100,000, with a salary of $639,085. This salary data is comparable to that for others in leadership positions for charitable organizations of that size and scope, and nowhere near the purported $2.3 million salary which is often circulated via email and social media posts.

Fundraising Expenses

When comparing to many other comparably-sized charitable organizations, Goodwill Industries International does not devote much of their annual revenue towards fundraising. The 2015 fundraising expense reported was only $512,072.

Program Percentage

Those supporting Goodwill Industries International are often curious about the amount of their donation (either monetary or of goods to be sold in a Goodwill's store) which goes towards the program of providing employment and training for those needing assistance. 83 percent of all revenue is spent on the program.

Accessible Financial Information

Goodwill Industries International has published their financial information and annual reports online, however the only way which the review team was able to find them was by performing a direct search on Google. Many other charitable organizations post links to their financial information and annual reports on their website.

Donor Communication

Goodwill Industries International collects their donor's contact information and may send donors solicitations for additional donations and announcements about upcoming events or programs. Donor names can be published by Goodwill International Industries, unless the donor specifically requests to opt-out.

Awards

Goodwill Industries International has won several awards for efforts in improving career opportunities for individuals. A few of these include: 2016 - Ability One Network Awards
  • Performance Excellence in Government Contracts Award: signifies the successful partnership of the Ability One Network with Goodwill agencies in providing support to individuals with disabilities.
  • Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina (Charleston)
  • Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
2016 - HR.com Awards
  • Leadership Excellence Award: recognizing Goodwill Industries International's Executive Development Program in the Best Corporate University Category
  • Top Corporate Leader Award: Lane Schonour
2011 Telly Award
  • Winner in the Not-For-Profit category for their Donate Movement public service announcements

What Customers Are Saying

Customers of Goodwill Industries International retail stores report a high level of satisfaction with the majority of their experiences with the company. While this is not absolute, because stores are managed by different affiliates, the ratio of positive to negative experiences is comparable to those reported for other retail entities. Mission and Program Goodwill Industries International works to offer on-the-job training for those who might have difficulties finding and keeping employment for a variety of reasons, including disability, lack of experience, or even having a criminal background. By doing so, Goodwill creates opportunities for those who are in need, giving them tools to work toward self-sufficiency. Ease of Donation/Support Those choosing to support Goodwill Industries can do so by giving a monetary gift or by donating household goods to a local Goodwill Center for resale in a Goodwill Industries store. Businesses looking to support Goodwill Industries International's mission can become a partner and either create a job for one of the people who have worked at Goodwill Industries International or received training from the organization. Mutual Benefit For those looking to donate goods to Goodwill Industries International, the process allows them to remove unwanted or unneeded items from their home. By so doing, their donation is not sent to a landfill and is repurposed into another's home. Those shopping at Goodwill Industries are able to save money on their purchases, as items at Goodwill Industries stores are priced below retail. Those working with the donations at donation centers or in the retail stores are able to receive on-the-job training and become more self-sufficient.
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The Bad

  • Negative press
  • Lack of transparency

Negative Press

Almost every year and often around the holidays, an email circulates with information about various charities and the ways they are purported to use donations. Goodwill Industries International is mentioned in the email, complete with top secret information about their CEO and his salary. The biggest problem with this email is that the reported CEO of Goodwill is a person who has never been the CEO, and is otherwise unknown, Mark Curran ($2.3 million annual salary). The current CEO of Goodwill Industries International is Jim Gibbons, and his salary is proportionate with other non-profits, being $745,000 in 2013 and $639,085 in 2014. Another allegation is that Goodwill Industries International exploits disabled workers and pays them wages as low as $0.22/hour by using Special Minimum Wage Certificates. There is some truth in this, being that the wage certificates are used with a very small percentage of employees, but there is no actual proof of a wage this low. One area which is often neglected in this allegation is that Goodwill Industries International offers employees with a significant disability additional training and benefits, which can result in these employees making more than their "abled" co-workers. Variability of Store Policies and Practices Being that Goodwill Industries International has many affiliates and sub-organizations which are managed independently of the charity's headquarters, there is variability in store policies and practices. The organization does not operate as a strict franchise, with uniform expectations and policies. This can be frustrating for many who want a cookie-cutter experience with the retail stores that they frequent. When there are challenges, customers are not able to escalate their concerns with higher management or to company headquarters. Doing so results in a response that all affiliates are run independently, which often further frustrates and already frustrated customer. Lack of Transparency Goodwill Industries International, having so many affiliate locations which are run independently, does not have full disclosure about their individual organizations. There are many who have complaints with one location and then transfer their bad experience to the organization as a whole. This is unfortunate because the program as a whole has produced good results.
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The Bottom Line

The work accomplished by Goodwill Industries International has been eclipsed by inflammatory news reports or viral social media/email smear campaigns directed at some of the largest charitable organizations in the United States. Consequently, donations have steadily dropped over the last several years, but have begun to climb. The review team recommends giving to or supporting Goodwill Industries International with cash or goods donations or by shopping at its retail stores. An area which would help improve the Goodwill Industries International's image would be higher transparency of their annual reports and financial statements. Several other organizations are far more transparent with their records, and this practice helps donors feel more confident in their selection of a charity.
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Star Rating

4.1

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145 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

50%

4 grade

29%

3 grade

10%

2 grade

5%

1 grade

6%

Sentiment Criteria

Value

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Quality

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Service

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Sicely Lyn Russell Phoenix, AZ

I think Goodwill has cool options that are super cheap. And for some odd reason you can find cool fancy dresses that are actually still great quality!

7 months ago

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Janie Dennis Tallahassee, FL

Customer service is not that great in many Goodwill locations! I love the idea and the the fact that the items are so cheap! It has such a humanitarian approach to it and its fun to go to when you want to look for little knickknacks!

1 year ago

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Summer Porter Managua, MN

Goodwill makes it very easy for both customers to purchase from and donators to drop off. Their is a great variety in their stores and considering it a second hand store, it is quite organized by category. Donating is easy; as long as you have the clothes bagged up, it is as easy as entering the store and drop off at the counter.

1 year ago

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McKinzie Figueroa Provo, UT

I have not shopped too much at Goodwill, but the times that I have I have really liked it. The prices were very fair for what I was buying. There were a lot of clothes options and I was even able to find an Ugly Christmas Sweater.

2 years ago

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Emily Norton Tucson, AZ

Goodwill does a very good job of taking donations and selling them for a low price so others can afford them. I find lots of good clothes for super cheap, not to mention you can get books, furniture, and other household items for a fraction of the normal cost. The only reason I didn’t give 5 stars is because sometimes the stores seem a little dirty, but I just wash everything when I get home.

1 year ago

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Khori Howard Tallahassee, FL

I like the Goodwill in my area because I went there because I heard they offer CNA courses for free and they really are helpful when it comes to finding people jobs. They really do want you to succeed. They offer a wide variety of services to help people get on their feet from CNA courses, restaurant jobs, computer literacy, etc. plus the store that gives back as well.

1 year ago

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Ioana Asiata Herriman, UT

Goodwill is a great place to donate things that you want to get rid of. It's also a great place to shop. I can always find different things there from old gadgets and game to vintage clothes and jeans!

1 year ago

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Bailey Wilson Lubbock, TX

Goodwill is a great company, i donate and buy from them all the time. I think it is a little crazy that they receive clothes for free then charge 5-10 dollars per object but I understand its to pay the employees.

1 year ago

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Audrey Mitchell Managua, MN

Goodwill is a great location to go to if you are looking for a place that takes donations of any kind. I also have found awesome pieces of clothing and home goods that were such a cheap price.

1 year ago

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Amanda Montebello, CA

I have donated and shopped at Goodwill. The donation process is fairly easy and shopping at Goodwill is always good experience. They keep their prices affordable and have promotions.

1 year ago

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Patricia Broadus Moselle, MS

Goodwill has always been my go-to thrift store! When I was younger I used to go there with my grandparents every Saturday and I still go to this day! The prices are affordable and you always get good quality.

1 year ago

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Mickey Mangum Long Beach, MS

I've donated to goodwill many times and the staff is always friendly and courteous. They always provide me with a tax deduction form when I need one. The donation centers are clean and well organized.

1 year ago

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Mikayla Ralston Baltimore, MD

Great company. We love donating our clothes that no longer work for our family. Prices for clothes are decent depending on the location. The only downfall would be the requirement for sorting bags. Every bag has to be seperated by what is in it when donating.

1 year ago

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Destiny Wyche Tampa, FL

At first, this place was sketchy. However, they have great prices and I was definitely missing out while I waited to check it out. They also offer great services for a variety of needs that you won't know about until you go find out.

1 year ago

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Brenda Mertes Houston, TX

I'm glad that Goodwill exists. It is a great place to get last minute, cheap clothing if absolutely necessary. Some of the finds at Goodwill are amazing and bring back childhood memories. I also enjoy being able to donate at the Goodwill centers, to help others who are needing cheap clothing and games.

1 year ago

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Nicholas Genes Eagle Mountain, UT

We use goodwill when cleaning out the house. I like being able to bring things in and drop them off. Great place to look for hidden hems people give away.

1 year ago

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Patricia Menendez Miami, FL

Great company with a great donation service and message. Goodwill is not only a good place to donate unwanted clothes but it repurposes them and promotes a sustainable lifestyle with their second-hand clothing shops.

1 year ago

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Katherine Whyte Miami, FL

Goodwill is the most organized and affordable thrift store that you will shop at! There are so many styles and great deals that you will be able to build an amazing wardrobe for a low price

1 year ago

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Megan A McEvoy Tallahassee, FL

I have both donated to GoodWill, as well as bought clothing from there. Since I am a college student, GoodWill is always an amazing go-to option for buying good quality clothes for a great price!

1 year ago

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Kaysha Love Las Vegas, NV

Goodwill is a great second hand store. This store is always accepting of donations and is constantly finding ways to give back to the community.

1 year ago

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Darbles32 Managua, MN

I usually donate my clothes to goodwill and I especially like this charity because they give those who are struggling jobs at their store

1 year ago

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Nana Asiata Herriman, UT

Goodwill always has things that I need when looking for older fashion type of clothing, the service is somewhat good and the store too.

2 years ago

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Matthew Hall Gulfport, MS

The goodwill is great for those in need. From everyday wear to homecoming dresses, and even furniture. You can even find vintage clothes that are definitely worth buying.

1 year ago

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Erna E Valcin Tallahassee, FL

I love thrift shopping here! They always have a range of options to choose from and the ability to accept clothes hardly worn. This is an overall thoughtful organization.

1 year ago

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Daphne Brown Riverton, UT

I love the goodwill and the cause to help others find job. Such a great cause. They have a great website to find treasures that I enjoy shopping for them.

1 year ago

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Sara Lageman Lageman

I love what they do to help out the community. I have shopped at a goodwill store and have found some really great stuff. They do not over price the clothes either.

1 year ago

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Chaveli Tallahassee, FL

goodwill does an amazing job at gathering donates goods and placing them at an affordable value for resale

1 year ago

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Randi Nelson Managua, MN

Goodwill has been such a reliable charity to donate money to. I trust that they use the money for good uses.

1 year ago

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Hunter Nobles Olivehurst, CA

A very pleasant place to be at and a great way to donate to people less fortunate than you are. Plus, very cheap items!

1 year ago

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Donna Long Beach, MS

I just love shopping at goodwill.i like when they do there 99 cent day.i have tauhht my daughter.to go there.we ho evey sunday.

1 year ago

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Kayla Roecklein Gulfport, MS

I go there every once in a while to find some hidden gems but usually there isn't much there but i have found some nice things

1 year ago

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Treyson Lewis Pleasant Grove, UT

Goodwill is a place where you can find old clothes for super cheap. It is a super good place for thrifting and other things.

1 year ago

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Nicole Mondares Long Beach, MS

The best charity ever!! They have a low price for decent clothing. Lots of cute shoes!

1 year ago

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Tiffany Nguyen Ashburn, VA

GoodWill is a very good store to donate a lot of stuff and I love the workers there.

1 year ago

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Karen Hartnack Norcross, GA

Shop here often my granddaughter loves to go to our local store she finds really good deals on namebrands

1 year ago

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Austin Hysmith ,

Mostly reliable products. Fair prices. They have a good selection of clothes to choose from as well.

1 year ago

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Nancy Paugh Long Beach, MS

Most items are neatly organized. Staff is always friendly and helpful. Beats paying full price for name brand items.

1 year ago

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Diego Flores New York, NY

Such and amazing and welcoming company. Each store is very unique and fun to explore.

1 year ago

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Makayla Manus Gulfport, MS

Goodwill is a great place to buy nice cheap clothes that would usually be pretty expensive

1 year ago

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terryjamison Ellisville, MS

Love shopping at goodwill for certain things !! The staff is always very nice to us

1 year ago

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ChanceyParker Petal, MS

Good deals when you can find them, but some things are overpriced for a charity store.

1 year ago

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karis buggs

They always have great prices for their items but the buildings themselves are not kept up well.

1 year ago

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