Think Before You Donate - Get the Facts about Online Rumors

During the giving season, negative rumors resurface in the form of a nearly ten-year-old email that includes a variation of a message like this: “Think about these before you donate. As you open your pockets to do a good thing and make yourself feel good, please keep these facts in mind…”

The message then quotes erroneous information and salary figures for several nonprofit organizations’ chief executives, including a reference to a so-called “Goodwill CEO and Owner Mark Curran, who profits $2.3 million a year.”  

This information is not true.

  • Jim Gibbons is the CEO of Goodwill Industries International.  Michael Smith is the President/CEO of Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
     
  • Goodwill® has a more than 110 year-plus track record in providing services that meet critical human needs in local communities in the U.S., Canada, and 13 other countries. Goodwill SWPA has been serving people since 1919.
     
  • Nationally and locally, Goodwill is a leading social services enterprise, and consistently ranks among top charities that make your donations go further. Last year, Goodwill SWPA placed 724 individuals in unsubsized employerment creating nearly $2 million in economic impact for Pennsylvania.
     
  • Because Goodwill is widely known and respected as a network of nonprofits that fund job training and employment services through the sales of donated items in Goodwill stores, we sometimes stand in the line of fire from individuals and organizations who are misinformed and/or misrepresent us to the public.
     
  • Across the country, Goodwills spend about 82 cents of every dollar on programs and services for people in need.  Goodwill SWPA is proud to report that this number is 90 cents of every dollar.  This is a very healthy number in the nonprofit world, and a solid indicator of our commitment to good stewardship of your donations.

Goodwill definitely encourages you to “think before you donate” — the one legitimate message that this otherwise spurious email contains — and to research 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.

This email message has been debunked on Snopes.com. Click here to read the report.

Financial information is available in our Annual Reports, the most recent of which can be found here. Previous years can be found on our website

Please review Goodwill’s financial information on GuideStar, an online nonprofit database that has certified us with the GuideStar Exchange Seal for our commitment to transparency.