With Holiday Giving, Be Merry and Be Wise

Goodwill urges donors to ensure intended nonprofits and the communities they serve benefit from their donations. Donation-Bin-Field-Guide (2)

Marion Goodwill Industries is urging people to recognize the value in the used clothing and other household goods they donate this holiday season and to carefully consider if the charities they intend to support are clearly benefiting from their donations. Not all thrift stores are charities, and some for-profit companies solicit donations under the name of charities while giving little or none of the proceeds to those charities.

Goodwill is committed to transparency and advises donors to ask questions and be sure that any organization collecting clothing and household items can immediately provide information about their mission, history and the causes they are asking you to support.

“Far too many for-profit organizations are collecting donated goods and misleading the public, so it is important to give to charities you know and trust,” said Kathy Wink, Director of Marketing and Development “Many donors aren’t asking enough questions.”

You can make sure your donations are benefiting the people who need them most by asking a few key questions:

  • Will your donation be used to support a cause you believe in?
  • Does the organization receiving your donation serve the community?
  • How will your donation help people in need?

“When a for-profit company uses the name of a charity but gives little, if anything, to the nonprofit, it is a disgraceful breach of the public’s trust, and every effort must be made to hold organizations accountable,” said Wink. “It is important for consumers to avoid donating to organizations that can’t immediately provide information about their mission, history and the causes they are asking you to support.”

Goodwill advises donors to:

  • Give to charities you know and trust — such as Goodwill Industries of Marion Goodwill Industries. Note that fraudulent charities often modify the names of established groups, so be sure to carefully read the name of the charity before giving.
  • Familiarize yourself with the organization to which you are donating. Avoid giving to organizations that send unsolicited emails, those that ask for your credit card number over the telephone, and those that request payment in cash.
  • Find out how your donation will be used and how much the organization intends to raise.

Consult charity-rating agencies such as Charity Navigator and GuideStar to find more information about specific charities.

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