Think before you donate – and get the facts about email rumors

Goodwill has a century-long history of providing much-needed services throughout the U.S. and in 14 other countries. We’re proud to consistently rank among top charities that make your donations go further. Closer to home, Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota helped more than 30,000 people last year experience the power of work – through job skills training, placement assistance, mental health clinics, medical equipment loans and many other services.

We are widely known and respected for our donation centers, thrift stores and employment services. That is why we sometimes stand in the line of fire from individuals and organizations who are misinformed and/or misrepresent us to the public.

One rumor continually resurfaces in the form of a 2005 email – along with many social media posts and websites – 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 chief executives – including a reference to a so-called “Goodwill CEO and Owner Mark Curran, who profits $2.3 million a year.” Frankly, this person does not exist. Jim Gibbons is the CEO of our national parent organization, Goodwill Industries International, and I am the President and CEO of Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota.

Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota earned over $80 million in revenue in 2014, and we invest over 85% of our net earnings in local job training and placement services. This is a very healthy number in the nonprofit world, and a solid indicator of our commitment to good stewardship of your donations.

We definitely encourage you to “think before you donate” – the one true and helpful message that this otherwise erroneous email contains – and to research and learn more about the charities you’d like to support. Be certain the organization you choose uses its funds to support a mission you can get behind.

Review our Annual Report Summary and IRS 990 form on our website, which report how we spend our dollars. You may also learn about Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota on GuideStar, an online nonprofit database that has certified our organization with the GuideStar Exchange Seal for our commitment to transparency.

Thank you for continuing to donate, shop, support and spread the word about Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota. Together, we prepare people for work.