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5 Things You Need to Know About Goodwill

1.  Just as our name suggests, Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina serves 16 counties in the Upstate and Midlands of South Carolina. 

We’re local.  We are right here, living and working in the Upstate and Midlands.  That means the value of your donations stays here in South Carolina, and benefits our neighbors and friends who need help finding employment.   Our leadership – including our volunteer Board of Directors – can make decisions and take action based on the specific needs of our service area.  And, together we build a stronger South Carolina – one job, one stable family, one changed life at a time! 


2. All of our 800+ associates in the Upstate and Midlands of South Carolina earn more than the minimum wage.  

Our associates are also eligible for benefits including healthcare coverage, paid vacation, paid sick time, and retirement savings.  

While some Goodwill agencies are among the 3,300 organizations nationwide using the Special Minimum Wage Certificate to provide additional training and work opportunity choices, Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina does not.  (You can read more about the Special Minimum Wage Certificate here.) 


3. Patrick Michaels is our CEO, and he definitely doesn’t “own” Goodwill.  

Not everything you see on the internet, email, social media, etc. is true.  Unfortunately, Goodwill and several other nonprofits have been targeted with particularly persistent, untrue rumors and messaging that’s been around since 2010 and claims that “Goodwill CEO and owner Mark Curran profits $2.3 million a year.”  It looks something like this:  

We added the “False” because – you guessed it! – this information is not true. No one named Mark Curran works, or has ever worked, for any Goodwill organization. As a registered 501(c) 3 not for profit organization, Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina is not “owned” by anyone. Our CEO is Patrick Michaels and he reports to a volunteer Board of Directors. The CEO of Goodwill Industries International is Jim Gibbons; he also reports to a volunteer Board of Directors. You don’t have to take our word for it; Snopes has also researched and debunked this rumor.  

However, we DO encourage people to think before they donate, and to research their chosen nonprofit before they give. As for us, we’re pretty transparent. You can look us up at or view our financial information right here on our website.   


4. We devote over 93 cents of every dollar we spend to our mission: job training and placement services for people in this community.  

Stewardship is important to us; in fact, it’s one of our corporate values.  So we are especially proud of this number and what it says about the efficiency of our operations and our commitment to our mission of helping people become financially independent through employment.   


5. Donations are just the beginning. 

Literally!  Donations set in motion what we affectionately call “The Donation Cycle.”  First, a generous donor decides to Give it Good.  Then, the donations are processed and sold in one of our retail stores.  

That’s when the real magic happens.  We turn your donations in jobs!  The funds from the sale of donated items support job training and placement programs, including our 27 Goodwill Job Connections, our 6 industry-specific training programs, or one of the many other employment programs we offer to help people become independent through employment.  

Last year, we helped 12,152 people find jobs.  The first-year wages earned by those 12,152 people could generate a potential economic impact – right here in South Carolina – of over $149 million. 

Pretty impressive for a donation, right?  That’s one reason we say “Nobody gets more out of it than Goodwill!”    


Now that you know the facts, please share! 

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