False Rumors



“Think before you donate” and we think you will see why donating to Goodwill® is the right choice. Goodwill is the leading workforce provider in the world, placing someone in a new job every 30 seconds of every business day. Goodwill has a more than 118-year track record in providing services to people going through transition, whether due to military service, lack of education or work experience, mental or physical challenges, or being impacted by the criminal justice system. There are 156 local 501(c)(3) Goodwill organizations in the U.S. and Canada, and a presence in 12 other countries. Goodwill is proud to be recognized by GuideStar with its Platinum Seal of Approval, the highest rating for nonprofit organizations. Goodwill retains the highest ranking by Charity Watch, formerly known as the American Institute of Philanthropy, which provides information about charities’ financial efficiency, accountability, governance and fundraising.

Because Goodwill is widely known as a retail entity, there is a lot of misinformation and misrepresentations about our brand. In particular, there is a rumor that has been circulating for more than 15 years that insinuates we have an owner by the name of “Mark Curran.” As a nonprofit, Goodwill does not have an owner and no one by that name as ever been affiliated with the Goodwill network. David Wells is the president and CEO of Alabama Goodwill Industries.

We know that you want your donations to be used wisely, so here are the facts about Goodwill:

  • More than 85 percent of collective revenue from the sale of donated goods at Goodwill organizations support and grow their critical community-based programs and services, including job placement and training, credentials and certifications, and support services, such as child care, financial education, mentoring and transportation. This is well above the Better Business Bureau’s accountability standards, which require that an organization spend 65 percent of its total expenses on program services.
  • Last year, more than 230,000 people in the U.S. and Canada connected with jobs or earned employment through career services offered by Goodwill organizations in North America. More than 1.5 million people engaged in face-to-face Goodwill services to build their career and financial assets, and advance in their careers. Additionally, more than 24 million people have accessed Goodwill’s mobile and online services, including virtual career fairs and mentoring.
  • The Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator® (GDCA), a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Google.org equips people with digital skills in a changing economy. Since its launch, it has engaged more than 1 million individuals in digital skills training for career pathways and more than 10,000 receive job readiness training, with an additional 153,000 using those skills to connect with employment. The GDCA enables participants to learn basic online skills as well as train in more advanced skills, such as coding and cyber security skills.
  • Through Goodwill organizations’ donated goods operations, 4.6 billion pounds of people’s usable goods have been recovered by selling them in Goodwill stores and outlets as well as online, giving them a second life and giving people a second chance.



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. Read more about Goodwill’s impact to transform the lives of individuals through our programs.

View Goodwill’s feature in the Better Business Bureau trust report.

For more information debunking this hoax email, please visit Politifact and Snopes.com, a website which validates and debunks urban legends, Internet rumors, e-mail forwards, and other stories of unknown or questionable origin.

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