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    A Guide to Holiday Giving

    Did You Know?
    Goodwill® consistently ranks among the top charities that make your donations go further. For 110 years, Goodwill has supported people in their journey to employment and independence in communities across the US and Canada.

    You want your gift to make a real difference, right? When you think about giving during this holiday season, take the time to understand how your donation can have the most impact. Here are some tips to help inform your holiday giving decisions, whether your donation is money, time or gently used goods.

    Know How Your Money Will Be Used

    Research the charities you are considering for an end-of-year financial gift, so you understand how your money will be used effectively. GuideStar, Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau have great resources for this. Your financial gift to Goodwill strengthens communities and helps put people to work. Eighty-two percent of your financial gift supports our mission services and programs.

    Give the Valuable Gift of Your Time

    Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community, and it’s something you can feel good about! Goodwills offer a variety of volunteer positions in your community, such as youth mentors, resume reviewers, practice interviews and more. Check out volunteer opportunities with Goodwill and other organizations through Volunteer Match.

    Give Your Used Goods Wisely: All Donation Bins Aren’t Equal

    Goodwill sells your donated goods, and uses the revenue to provide job training and support services in your community. Check out the Donation Impact Calculator to get an idea of how your donated items make a difference. Eighty-two percent of the revenue from sales of your donated items supports our mission services and programs.

    Many people look first for a nearby donation bin. But did you know that many bins actually benefit for-profit organizations? Some of these for-profit companies maintain the bins then process and resell the goods, often outside of your community, giving only 4 to 6 percent of the profits to nonprofit organizations. Take a little time to donate at bins that are making the most of your donation and helping your local community.

    Get the Facts about “Think Before You Donate” Email Rumors

    Recently, a 5-year-old email has been recirculating and posted on blogs and social media. One variation of this message says, “Think about this before you donate. As you open your pockets to do a good thing and make yourself feel good, please keep these facts in mind…” In the attempt to discredit reputable nonprofits, the message also quotes erroneous information and salary figures for several nonprofit CEOs, including a non-existent GoodwillCEO. Read Goodwill’s corrective statement regarding this email rumor.

    Goodwill encourages you to “think before you donate” and learn more about the charities you’d like to support. Be certain the organization you choose uses its revenue for charitable purposes that support a mission you can get behind.

    Arlene McCrehan
    As Senior Director for Digital Media, Arlene leads the social, mobile and public web initiatives for Goodwill Industries International. Her team’s social media initiatives were recently profiled on fastcoexist.com, and recognized by the Society for New Communications Research and the International Association of Business Communicators. Blogger Beth Kanter interviewed Arlene about Goodwill’s strategic integration of mobile technology for her book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit. McCrehan also provides guidance around information architecture, design and content in the implementation of new technologies, campaigns and micro sites. She is the co-inventor of the Donation Impact Calculator (patent pending).
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