Goodwill Facts and Myths

Goodwill is widely known and respected as a nonprofit that funds job training and employment services through the sales of donated items. Because of that, we sometimes stand in the line of fire from individuals and organizations who are misinformed and/or misrepresent us to the public.

Next time you see a friend perpetuating this old hoax, share this page with them (or send them to Snopes).

Facts and Myths

  • Nonprofit Serving Our Community
    • Goodwill-Easter Seals is one of Minnesota’s longest operating 501(c)(3) nonprofits, founded in 1919 to help people experience the power of work.
    • The average unemployment duration in the U.S. is over 25 weeks and the unemployment rate is 60% higher for people with disabilities. The poverty rate for families of color is up to triple the rate of white families. Our 1-1 employment services help narrow these gaps.
  • Donate. Shop. Support Our Mission.
    • Donating and shopping at our stores helps us connect four people with jobs every day.
    • “Why do you sell things that you get for free?” Donations stock stores to support our mission, but there are many costs to get that lamp from your trunk onto a shelf.
    • We employ over 2,000 people and everyone earns more than the MN minimum wage.
    • Our average job training graduate earns over 30% above minimum wage.
  • A Greener Minnesota
    • Minnesotans generate over 2.9 million tons of waste for landfills every year.
    • Our “donate-shop-reuse-educate-employ” model diverts over 60 million pounds from landfills annually, which is equivalent to 75 Boeing 747 jumbo jets!
    • We lead the Twin Cities as a provider of electric car charging stations, and over 60% of our stores are Energy Star rated.
  • Leading by Example
    • Your aunt’s Facebook feed is great, but her facts on Goodwill might only be so-so. We have nine 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator and meet all Charities Review Council standards.
    • CEO Michael Wirth-Davis, DPA has led the organization for 28 years. He teaches and volunteers his time speaking to various groups (he doesn’t have a yacht or get paid millions of dollars).

Download the pdf here.


Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota holds many certifications and accreditations to ensure transparency with donors and the highest level of service to our program participants. Nationally, Goodwill is rated an "A" grade by Charity Watch, and GESMN just earned its ninth consecutive 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, a distinction obtained by only 2% of charities they review nationwide.

2018 World Value Index

For three years in a row, Americans told the World Value Index that Goodwill is the brand they trust more than any other.

The World Value Index is based on a nationally representative, comprehensive survey of 3,000 Americans on perception, awareness and behaviors in response to the purpose and mission of organizations and brands.

Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and has a Federal Tax ID: 41-0706171.