- What is Goodwill?
Horizon Goodwill Industries is a human services agency and network of not-for-profit businesses. Our mission is to help people with special needs and barriers to employment improve their quality of life through work and related services. We serve 17 counties in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia. Goodwill employs over 400 people and operates 17 retail stores and other businesses to help fund programs and to provide job training and employment opportunities for our clients.
- How can I donate to Goodwill?
Just drop off your items at any of our retail stores or our Attended Donation Center in Hagerstown, MD. To find the donation center nearest you, click here. You’ll receive a receipt for your donations, which can help you at tax time if you itemize, and you’ll be helping people in our area overcome barriers to employment.
- What happens to my donated items?
Goodwill employees and clients screen, sort and prepare the broad selection of quality donated items for sale in our value-oriented Goodwill retail stores. Incoming items are screened by Goodwill personnel against established quality and selection criteria. The generated revenue from the sale of these donations is then invested in our many programs that give the disabled and disadvantaged in our community a hand up. Ultimately, we turn your donations into good jobs, good homes, and good neighborhoods.
- Will my contribution stay in our area?
Yes. Contributions of goods and money made to Goodwill support programs and services provided by Horizon Goodwill Industries in 17 counties in the four state area.
- Why should I donate to Goodwill?
Goodwill is local and it’s linked to a great cause. When you donate to Goodwill, you help us help others right here in the Quad State area to build our community one job at a time. An average of 90.2 percent of all revenue raised by Goodwill from the sale of donated goods supports job-training and rehabilitation programs for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment right here in this area. The other 9.8 percent meets administrative costs. For-profit thrift stores sometimes arrange to use a charity’s name to collect donations in exchange for a fee or a percent.
- What types of donations are accepted?
We accept new or used clothing, household items, books, and small appliances. All items must be in good, workable condition. Other contributions in the form of cash gifts or bequests are appreciated as well and can be made by contacting Craig Foster at firstname.lastname@example.org. All gifts are tax-deductible, as provided by law.
- What happens to items that aren’t sold?
Our goal is to try to generate money to fund Goodwill programs from every item that is donated. As for items that can’t be sold in our stores, we’ve found other creative uses for them. For example, some Goodwills recycle old clothing scraps into industrial wipes (cleaning cloths) for industrial buyers. Other items that are too damaged for retail sales are sold to salvage brokers. Roughly 99 percent of all donated goods are re-sold in some way, shape, or form. Goodwill provides a valuable recycling service to our community. We receive more than 215,000 donations every year diverting millions of pounds of goods away from our landfills.
- Do you repair items I donate?
No. Nowadays, the cost of repairing items greatly exceeds the price we charge in our stores. In addition, we focus our training programs on vocations that meet current employer demands.
- Why does Goodwill refuse to accept certain items?
We are unable to resell certain items and in some cases incur excessive costs to dispose of them (open cans of paint and TV monitors, for example). Also, we have neither the specialized equipment nor the staff expertise required to handle large appliances, building materials, etc.
- Do you accept cars?
Yes. We accept vehicles as donations. Click here for more details.
- Who does Goodwill help?
Horizon Goodwill serves individuals with special needs, including (but not limited to), people with disabilities, displaced workers, participants in welfare-to-work programs, people with limited work experience, people with limited education or training, older or youth workers, and workers with criminal backgrounds.
- What is a Goodwill retail store?
Today’s Goodwill stores are attractive, modern retail facilities that function as part of an extensive, full-line discount retail operation, with a special emphasis on clothing. Quality, brand-name merchandise is donated to Goodwill by private individuals, manufacturers, and other retailers. As a result, Goodwill shoppers find excellent bargains in clothing, linens, furniture, shoes, small appliances, housewares, collectibles, books, and recordings.
- Where do you get the items you sell?
From people in the community. They donate household goods they no longer can use but someone else would like to buy at a very low cost.
- Why sell the items instead of giving them away?
The resale of the goods is an important means of paying for our programs that assist people with disabilities and disadvantages.
- What do you do with things you can’t sell?
We recycle everything we possibly can. In fact, Goodwill has been described as “the original recycler.” We have special programs for recycling metal, shoes, clothing, and other materials. Several broker companies purchase items we can’t use very cheaply and in turn resell them to Third World companies or use them to make other products. This keeps a great deal of material out of the waste stream and we’re proud of being good environmental citizens.
- How can my business or organization partner with Goodwill?
Horizon Goodwill Industries partners with area employers to help recruit employees, provide job placement, job development, retention programs, and customized training services. Businesses and organizations can also use Goodwill’s production, custodial, or wood product services. To learn more, visit our Business Solutions section of this website.
- How does Goodwill help people?
Our staff helps them discover what kind of work they would do best so they will likely be successful. We train them for work and we place them in jobs in the community or at Goodwill. In addition to employment-related programs, we assist some people with social services that help them enrich their lives.
- What is Horizon Goodwill Industries?
It’s a nonprofit agency and one of the world’s largest providers of education, training, and career services for people with disabilities, disadvantages, or other barriers to employment, funded largely by our retail stores filled with your generous donations.
- Is Goodwill a business or a charity?
We’re a charity that runs a business. Goodwill is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that funds its social service programs through revenues generated by its donated goods business.
- What does Goodwill do?
Goodwill is a one-stop source for job-related services to help individuals with special needs, disabilities, and other barriers to employment. From evaluation and testing to training and education, to placement and employment services no other organization offers such a comprehensive and integrated menu of employment-related services.
- Is Goodwill hiring, and, if so, what positions are available?
Positions at Horizon Goodwill Industries are always available in several areas. Click here to see our current openings.
- Can you help me find a job?
Horizon Goodwill Industries helps individuals find work based on their own interests and abilities. We work with area employers to find jobs for those who train at Goodwill. For those interested in working at a Goodwill store, training and placement assistance is available for this employment option as well. Please see the Jobs & Careers section of our website for more information.
- What kind of training or education does Goodwill offer?
In addition to hands-on job training programs, we also provide classroom education to help individuals reach their full employment potential. For information on training and education programs, see the Jobs & Careers section of this Website.
- Who pays for Goodwill?
Most of our funds come from the sale of gently used goods in our 17 retail stores. We also receive some grants from foundations and fees for our workforce development and social services from agencies that refer their clients to us. 90.2% of our revenues support our programs; that’s a very high percentage among nonprofits.
- Claim Tax Deductions
Donations of clothing, household items, and other goods to Goodwill are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. When you deliver your donation to a store or attended donation center, please ask the donation clerk for a receipt of your items that you can keep for tax purposes.
When you file your taxes, you will have to complete IRS Form 8283 to itemize your deductions and attach it to your tax return. You can download the form here.
Per IRS publication 526, all not-for-profit organizations are prohibited from assigning values or estimates to donated items, so Goodwill always recommends that you consult a tax adviser first. Click here for our guide indicating what items generally sell for at Goodwill Retail Stores. It may help you determine Fair Market Value for your donations.
In general, the amount you can deduct is based on the fair market value of the donated items. If you believe your donations are worth more than $5,000, the IRS requires you to submit an independent appraisal with your itemized tax return. Appraisals should be done before items are donated, and payment of the appraisal is the responsibility of the donor.