Youngstown Area Goodwill Industries is grateful to all the people who donate their gently used items, including clothing and household goods, so that we can provide career and social services for those who need them in our community. Whether people choose to donate to Goodwill or another worthy cause, however, we strongly urge them to take a moment to educate themselves about the charities they support.
As this holiday season comes to an end, it's important to remind donors that some organizations operating thrift stores or donation bins give as little as 5 percent of their overall revenues to charity.
According to CharityWatch, formerly known as American Institute of Philanthropy, charities should devote 60 percent or greater from their overall revenues on charitable programs. Most highly efficient charities are able to spend 75 percent or more on programs.
Every regional Goodwill is a nonprofit with a local staff. At Youngstown Area Goodwill Industries, we earn $6 million in revenue each year, and we spend more than 85 cents of every dollar on job training programs and community-based services for people with disabilities and disadvantages. This is a very healthy number in the nonprofit world, and a solid indicator of our commitment to the good stewardship of your donations.
We have more than 100 years of providing services that meet critical human needs in our five-county area. Goodwill is a leading social services enterprise, and consistently ranked among top charities that make your donations go further.
Goodwill encourages people to "think before you donate" - the one legitimate message that this otherwise spurious letter contains - and to research and learn more about the charities they support. They should be certain the organization they choose uses its revenue for charitable purposes in support of a mission they are passionate about.
To learn more about Goodwill, visit our website at www.goodwillyoungstown.org or call 330-759-7921.
Michael W. McBride