Facts about Goodwill

“Think before you donate” and we think you’ll donate to Goodwill.

You might occasionally see an old email or social media post titled “Think Before You Donate” that contains false information about several nonprofits, including Goodwill. We know that you want your donations to be used wisely, so here’s some correct information you should know, to respond to these rumors.

Goodwill Industries International also has issued a response to the “Think before you donate” rumors.


FALSE: Mark Curran is the president and “owner” of Goodwill and makes $2.3 million.

TRUE: Goodwill is a network of 162 worldwide autonomous nonprofit charitable organizations, each governed by a local board of directors. Goodwill Industries International is an association office that supports those independent Goodwills. Goodwill Industries International is governed by a volunteer board and as such does not have an “owner.” No one named Mark Curran has ever headed any Goodwill organization anywhere, including Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin. Chris Hess is the Goodwill NCW President and CEO. Our IRS documentation discloses wage information. Click here.


FALSE: Goodwill is a for-profit company.

TRUE: Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin is a registered, reputable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Click here for financial documentation. As a nonprofit, Goodwill is “owned” by the communities it serves and is governed by a board of directors made up of volunteers. Click here to see our board of directors.


FALSE: If you get all of the donations for free, you should give them away to people in need.

TRUE: The sale of donations to Goodwill NCW supports our mission of Elevating People by Eliminating Barriers to Employment through our 22 programs and services. The dollars Goodwill earns support its life-changing mission. Click here to read personal stories of some of the people whose lives have been transformed through Goodwill programs.

Our GoodNeighbor program works with other service agencies to help people in need by providing gift cards to our retail stores and training centers. We gave away nearly $1 million of free merchandise in 2018 to people in need. Nationally, CharityWatch — an independent organization that evaluates philanthropic organizations — gives Goodwill an “A” rating, one of the highest in the country for a nonprofit organization. We also are a platinum-level GuideStar participant, demonstrating our commitment to transparency.

FALSE: You take advantage of people with disabilities by paying them sub-minimum wage.

TRUE: We pay all team members, regardless of ability, at least minimum wage. While the Fair Standards Act provision known as 14(c) allows some employers to pay substandard wages to workers with impairments, Goodwill NCW continues to pay ALL team members at least minimum wage, and most earn more than $9 an hour as a starting retail wage.

You can be an advocate for Goodwill NCW. When you hear or read false Internet rumors, please help set the record straight and share this link. Thank you for your support.