Rumors About Goodwill

Our Response to Rumors about Goodwill:

Goodwill® has more than a century of experience at helping people with disabilities and other barriers to employment in the U.S., Canada, and 13 other countries. Goodwill is a leading social services enterprise, and consistently ranks among the nation's top charities.

Your donations to Goodwill's Retail & Donation Centers and your financial contributions to Goodwill SWFL, fund programs and services that assist tens of thousands of Southwest Floridians each year.

Unfortunately, we sometimes stand in the line of fire from individuals and organizations who are misinformed and/or misrepresent us to the public.

This negative rumor mill has recently resurfaced in the form of a six-year-old email 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 organizations' chief executives, including a reference to a so-called "Goodwill CEO and Owner Mark Curran, who profits $2.3 million a year."

This information is erroneous.  As nonprofit organizations, neither Goodwill Industries International nor Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida are "owned" by anyone. Steven C. Preston is the actual CEO of Goodwill Industries International and reports to a volunteer Board of Directors. Locally, John Nadeau is the President & CEO of Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida.  He, too, reports to a volunteer Board of Directors. 

Here in Southwest Florida, approximately 90% of the revenue we earn is spent on our mission services. This is a very healthy number in the nonprofit world, and a solid indicator of our commitment to good stewardship of your donations. Goodwill adheres to a strong Corporate Compliance philosophy that demonstrates what our organization stands for, including its ethical, social, and environmental values. Corporate Compliance Manual for Goodwill Industries of Southwest Floirda, Inc.

Goodwill definitely encourages you to "think before you donate." That is the one legitimate message that this damaging hoax email contains. We also suggest that you learn more about the charities you'd like to support. Make sure the organization you choose uses its revenue for charitable purposes that support a mission you believe in.

For more information, we encourage you to visit the GuideStar website by Candid, which posts financial records and independent reviews of charities. There, you can review our IRS 990 form, required of most federally tax-exempt organizations GuideStar by Candid has certified Goodwill Industries International with the GuideStar Exchange Seal for its commitment to transparency.

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