Frequently Asked Questions
September 3, 2009
Don’t see your question?
Submit your question, comment, or concern below.
Where can I donate my stuff?
Contact your local Goodwill to find out where you can drop off your donations or how you can have them picked up.
Does Goodwill make house calls to pick up donations?
Most Goodwills make house calls for furniture or other large items that are hard to transport. Contact your local Goodwill to find out whether or not pick-up service is available in your community.
Why should I donate to my local Goodwill rather than another thrift store?
Goodwill Stores are linked to a great cause — 82 percent of Goodwill’s revenues go directly into employment and training programs for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment!
For-profit thrift stores sometimes arrange to use a charity’s name to collect donations in exchange for a flat fee or a percentage of the revenue. Often this deal is not generally publicized, and the percentage that charity actually makes may be less than 5 cents for every dollar spent. Make your donations wisely!
It seems like Goodwill services vary in different geographic locations. Why is this?
We are the corporate headquarters for Goodwill and we work with an autonomous member network. Our member Goodwills strive to identify the needs of the community and the demand of local industry for employment. Based on the needs of the community, each local Goodwill designs programs and services that give Goodwill graduates the skills they need to find work right where they live.
What happens to donated items that aren’t sold at Goodwill stores?
Our goal is to try to generate money to fund Goodwill programs from every item that is donated. So in most cases, we’ll do what we can to get items in salable shape.
As for items that can’t be sold in our stores, we’ve found other creative uses for them. For instance, some member Goodwills recycle old clothing scraps into industrial wipes (cleaning cloths) for industrial buyers. Other items that are too damaged for retail sales are sold to salvage brokers.
If I shop at a Goodwill store, will I be depriving disadvantaged people of stuff they need?
No. Goodwill serves disadvantaged people by educating, training and placing them into jobs. By becoming gainfully employed, these individuals gain resources to buy the things they need. Many disadvantaged people who are in training or are employed by Goodwill Industries are offered vouchers or discounts at Goodwill retail stores.
Who does Goodwill help?
Goodwill serves those with barriers to employment. This includes individuals with disabilities, people with limited work history, those who have experienced corporate downsizing and recipients of government support programs. Goodwill’s services are designed to meet the training and placement needs of the individual.
Does Goodwill offer volunteer opportunities?
Yes! Most local Goodwills have local volunteer chapters. Contact the Goodwill nearest you to learn about volunteer opportunities in your community. Each local Goodwill also has a volunteer board of directors. Local business advisory councils may also contribute experience and expertise to our mission by serving as volunteers.
I have a question about store policies and operations I have experienced. Who can help me?
All Goodwill stores and donation centers are owned and operated by the local Goodwill Industries serving your community. Senior management at these Goodwills would like to know of your questions and concerns. Please use the Goodwill locator to find the appropriate main office to call or write.
Goodwill Industries International has no control over local store and donation operations, and can only refer any messages sent to us to the local Goodwill for prompt attention.