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FAQ

Good questions deserve good answers.

Learn more about Goodwill, our stores, donation locations and career centers. Don’t see the answer you’re looking for? Contact us for more information.

Our Agency

Is Goodwill a nonprofit organization? 

Goodwill is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. Our mission is to help people with disabilities, and other barriers to employment, achieve independence and self-sufficiency through job training and support services.

Does Goodwill utilize the 14c Special Minimum Wage Certificate? 
As of June 30, 2017, Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut no longer utilizes the Special Minimum Wage Certificate. All of our employees meet or exceed the state minimum wage. Communities across the country have employers utilizing the Special Minimum Wage Certificate. These employers include some Goodwill organizations as well. They use the certificate as a tool to connect people with disabilities to the workforce. Services provided at Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut focus on community employment and community integration to maximize independence and self-sufficiency.
Is it true that your CEO makes a $2.3 million dollar salary? 

No, our CEO and President Vickie Volpano does not make a $2.3 million dollar salary. There are 162 independent Goodwill chapters in the United States and Canada. Each one is governed by its own Board of Directors. Our Board of Directors determines our CEO’s salary and, in doing so, takes into account the complexities of the CEO’s job based on his/her leadership, strategic goals and performance. You can view our 990 Federal return in our Press Room.

Does Goodwill give away donated items to people in need?  

Goodwill uses the revenue generated by selling donated items in our retail stores to help fund job training and support services. We also partner with community agencies who provide emergency assistance to help them meet immediate community needs.

What is Goodwill's relationship to the Dell Reconnect Program? 

Goodwill does not participate in the Dell Reconnect program; however, electronic donations from the public make a positive impact in our communities and on the environment.

Goodwill has a long history of advancing recycling, reducing and reusing practices by accepting donations of gently used materials. We strive to provide Connecticut residents with e-waste solutions that meet the industry’s highest standards.

We work in partnership with Newtech Recycling, Inc., a certified electronics recycler, to make donating technology free and convenient for donors. Whenever possible, we work to extend the life of donated electronics by reselling the items in Goodwill stores. Items not sold in stores are gathered for responsible recycling.

How can I help Goodwill? 

There are many ways you can help Goodwill make a difference in your community, including:

  • Donating clothing and household items to Goodwill
  • Shopping at Goodwill retail stores
  • Making a monetary donation to Goodwill
  • Remembering Goodwill with a bequest in your will
  • Providing opportunities for job training at your place of business

Our Stores & Donation Locations

Do you offer home pick-ups? 

Goodwill has more than 30 donation locations conveniently located across western and northern Connecticut. We do not offer home pick-ups.

Why won't you take everything I want to donate? 

With the exception of clothing, which can be sold in secondary markets, we ask that all donations be in good, sellable condition. We are required to pay very expensive fees to dispose of non-sellable items. Since this money would be better spent on programs to help people, we kindly ask that you refer to our Goodwill Donation Guidelines before deciding what to donate to Goodwill.

I donated but lost the tax receipt. Can I obtain a copy? 

Due to the high volume of donations we receive, it prohibits us from keeping records. Unfortunately, Goodwill is unable to replace your donation receipt if it is lost or stolen. However, federal tax guidelines may allow you to receive a tax write-off even if you do not have your receipt. In the place of your donation receipt, please itemize your donated items, place a value on those donated items, and include the date and location of drop off. Goodwill’s Tax ID # is 06-0662111.

How do my donations help my community? 

Your donations help fund job training and support services that help individuals achieve independence, self-sufficiency and a better quality of life.

Why should I donate to Goodwill instead of another nonprofit organization? 

Goodwill retail stores are linked to a great mission. Revenue generated from the sale of donated items helps fund job training and support services for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.

For-profit thrift stores sometimes arrange to use a charity’s name to collect donations in exchange for a flat fee or a percentage of the revenue. Often this deal is not publicized, and the percentage that charity receives may be less than five cents for every dollar. We encourage consumers to research an organization so that they are confident their donations are going where they are intended.

What happens if I accidentally donate an item and want to get it back? 

Goodwill receives millions of donated items a year. When an item is donated by mistake, we make every effort to find it; however, we process donations so quickly and efficiently that it is virtually impossible to find a specific item once it enters the processing cycle.

Who shops at Goodwill? 

Our research shows that individuals from all walks of life and income groups shop at Goodwill. The common thread amongst shoppers is that they like to save money and enjoy the thrill of the hunt that our stores provide.

If I shop at a Goodwill store, am I depriving disadvantaged people of things they need? 

No. In fact, you are supporting disadvantaged people with each purchase. Goodwill uses the revenue from store sales to educate, train and help them to find jobs.

If the items in your stores are donated, why don't you charge less for them? 

Although Goodwill sells donated items, we do have to pay expenses associated with running a retail operation. We pay the salaries, benefits, education and training costs of our employees who pick-up, process, distribute and sell donated items. Our costs also include transportation; fuel; vehicle maintenance; and utilities such as electricity, heat, water, and sewer. Our prices are very competitive and lower than most department store prices.

Remember that when you shop at Goodwill, you are not only finding great bargains but also helping put people to work. In 2016, Goodwill donors and shoppers provided the means to help 2,312 people find employment.

How often does your store inventory change? 

New merchandise is added to our sales floor every day. We receive tens of thousands of donations every week, and we process them as quickly as possible to make them available for sale. No matter when you visit Goodwill, it’s a different store every day!


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