The Goodwill Industries International, Inc was founded by Rev. Edgar J. Helms in1902. His initiative was to collect used goods and clothing from wealthy neighborhoods and hire less fortunate individuals to repair or mend them. They would then either be resold or given to the people that refurbished them. Dr. Helms had a promising agenda; it was to offer the disadvantaged an opportunity to succeed through workforce placement. His goal was to help improve social standards among the poor.
Helms described Goodwill Industries as an “industrial program as well as a social service enterprise…a provider of employment, training and rehabilitation for people of limited employability, and a source of temporary assistance for individuals whose resources were depleted.”
Employee theft of donations is not the only problem that the Goodwill faces. There is a severe case of contributions that are stolen by non-employees; goods which have been dropped off during non-operative hours. Although some of the criminals are caught and prosecuted, they only make up a small percentage of those involved in the overall epidemic. Who really wants to steal from the Goodwill? It would have to be a really desperate situation.
Based on the rising prices of Goodwill inventory one can’t help but feel sorry for the thieves. Managers are instructed to price merchandise at a certain percent below fair market value. These low prices are supposed to accommodate the less fortunate, as the majority of their customer base is low-income families. What tool would a manager use in order to discern what a fair price would be? Well a current employee working at an undisclosed location reveals that her manager, (which was hired based on their ability to determine the value of goods) uses ebay for reference. She also states that the manager prices specific products on the average selling price of similar products sold on ebay. Now what kind of deal is that? The Goodwill is now raising their prices to meet the demands of inflation? One would agree, if so to speak, they actually paid for the inventory. Quite a few people have been known to scout thrift stores such as the Goodwill for the specific purpose of reselling the products online. The Goodwill not only offers people workforce opportunities but also offered customers a chance to make independent monetary gains through channels such as ebay. A charity such as the Goodwill should suggest that their managers not concentrate on raising the price of goods to such an extent where the core of their customer base is driven away; customers who are unable to afford the higher prices. But then again, why would they? The whole basis of the Goodwill is to raise money after all. Why not make the most of it?
According to the IRS Data Book 2007, the U.S. alone has over 1.1 million charitable organizations existing today. For every 271 U.S. citizens, approximately one charity is operating. Based on these statistics one would find it difficult to decide which charity to donate to. Well facilities that accept non-monetary contributions are often the easiest and…