Goodwill and all of its sub companies need to have their "non-profit" status taken away. This organization is a pure profit play. The general public is led to believe otherwise. Goodwill makes it hard to get to the real facts with all their smoke and mirror tricks.
Review from Guidestar
I frequent the Goldsboro Goodwill Store every week and purchase a lot of items as I even purchase and donate to needy individuals, especially in household items and clothing. First of all, there are NO shopping "CARTS" , only hand plastic baskets. When you pick up a large items, such as a picture, large arrangement of flowers, or large glass item, you have no cart to put the item in. I tried to put the picture behind the cash register area to hold until I could check out as I always shop for many items, and was told by the clerk I could not leave the picture in that area. These are at the front of the store and so where are you to put this picture while continuing to shop? I'm sure the clerks are doing their job, however the owners/Manager should be more accommodating in situations like this. I have been told I would have to pay for the large item, take it out of the store and come back in to continue to shop, thus having to write two checks. It would be to your best interest if you would have at least a dozen of carts available for shoppers. Also, your employees could exemplify a nicer attitude toward ccomodating customers when they have items too large for the hand basket which is also heavy when loaded with what you can get in it. It is awfully hard to carry items I your hands and try to continue to shop. This is a busy store on many occasions. Also, the pricing of many items is too high. I have observed a heavily used plastic bowl priced at $1.99 that you can purchase at the local Dollar Store/and/or WalMart for only 75 cents and it is brand new. Just last evening there were 5 rolls of wall paper that had the original store price as $1.00 and you have it marked $1.99. Naturally there are too many items to mention, I'm just trying to get the point across that many items are over priced. At one time the furniture at the Goldsboro Store was in POOR condition, actually was not fit to be on display. It stayed on display for 2-3 months, finally got missing. I am a big shopper whereas there are those who drop in for small items and don't need a cart. PLEASE take this complaint into consideration. 1) Needs Carts 2) Employees attitudes need adjusting and be more accomodating 3) Prices need to be more in line (You don't mark all figurines at the same price............ like $2.99 for one in excellent condition and the others might be of a different matter (cheaper materials) and be worth much less. Don't mark them all the same just because these are all figurines.
You will move more merchandise if you would provide shopping carts and be more customer friendly in helping with large/heavy items. Also, signs should be posted for parents to manage their children and "No running and Screaming" or a nicer word ( "No Loud Noise").
I am expressing my observation and suggestions to help this Store and the Customers. You will see an increase of Sales and you can move out more merchandise . Please note that I did not rate your store very low, however improvements are necessary. And until you provide shopping carts, customers should be able to leave large items at/near the check out so they can continue to shop for additional items. Going into your Store is to Shop, not be told you can't leave a large (16 x 20) picture in the "clear" area behind the cash register.
Having moved recently to the area and being an avid thrift-store-shopper, I am very disappointed to find that the Goodwill stores in and east of the Durham-Raleigh area do not have access to public restrooms for their customers. It seems that a business of that size should be required or would at the least be willing to allow restroom facilities. I also notice many of their stores do not even have shopping carts ! Those hand-held plastic baskets are bulky and do not allow for comfortable shopping, besides, if they had restrooms and carts available it just might increase their sales ! Show some consideration to your customers, Goodwill! They are the ones keeping your stores open ! And, I might add some of the employees could show some friendliness to the customers as well.
The Garrett Road Site is requiring donors to complete a donation form for THEIR records that states the donor's name and address, then the attendant gives donor a tax receipt. Attendant does not know why this is being required of them, just said it is directive from their corporate headquarters. I contacted the Central NC Goodwill website and they referred me to the Eastern NC website - said there are actually 4 independent Goodwill Headquarters in NC and each operate independently, so Central NC Goodwill would not answer my question as to why this new record keeping policy was instituted, or whether it was even legit or just some local attendants gathering up names and addresses for whatever purpose.I have been a longtime doner but I am not donating anymore if I don't get a sufficient response. I don't want advertising spammers mailing me or visiting my doorstep and I don't need Goodwill to waste $ on sending thankyou notes (if that is even an intention). If this is for their corporate tax reporting, a sign should be clearly posted on the inside wall for donors to avoid concerns.
This a HORRIBLE company to work for, and people should not donate to them! They micro-manage and will not let you make any decisions being a store manager. They watch their employees on the camera more than they do the people that come into the store and steal everyday. They don't tell you that when you are hired that you will be cleaning up pee and feces from people that decide to use the bathroom in the dressing room or outside in the parking lot and don't give you the right tools to clean it up. This is a very physically demanding job, where you have to work crazy hours, and sometimes don't even get a break because they don't have enough staff on, or there isn't another manager.
Goodwill claims that they are a non profit organization but will fire managers for not meeting sales, when you have no control over people coming into the store to buy things. Sometimes homeless people come into the store and ask for clothes and we have to turn them away and refer them to the Salvation Army, or helping hands mission because goodwill doesn't believe in helping out the homeless which I don't understand because everything in the store is donated to them. People need to be weary about working for Goodwill because you will not be happy. The money that you earn isn't worth the time, aggravation and stress that you have to go through at this place. They definitely don't live up to their mission statement.
This store traffics in drugs, employs drug convicts, calls the cops on donors, and fabricates legal cases against donors they harass. They appear to hate White people. Dana Marie Lynn impersonated in court the employee (still unknown) I donated items to. Lynn and the employee perp multiple felonies in this case. I spent two years in court defending myself. Apex, NC Police were involved because they traffic in drugs, as does the Raleigh PD. Lynn is still there.
They treat employees like children. They give the impression to the public that they hire people who could not get a job else where or who have disabilities or criminal records, but this is not true. Most employees have had long careers in retail or other normal jobs. But the culture of corporate is fire fast with just a phone call. One store has had 10 people fired or quit in the last 10 months and that's just one store so I can imagine it is like that in all the stores. The pay is great for retail in the area, so any smart person should know that when the pay and benefits are good but you still have high turnover then there is a major problem in the company. You are devalued and treating like a child, they will take your vacation days if there is bad winter weather and you can't come in and you have to use vacation days for doctors appointment. You cannot request for that to be your day off for that reason. So basically the culture is one of fear of always losing your job when you walk in every morning even when you are doing nothing wrong. And they will not tell you why they are firing you and will only fire you over the phone like cowards. They do help some in the community but I can see how much more they could do. My advice to Goodwill... Charity starts at home.... Treat your employees with more respect and involve them more with the company and its mission, if they have job satisfaction that will strive to make the company better! Have each store donate directly to a cause in the town it is located in, like sponsor a family for Christmas or donate unsold shoes and other items to the homeless or veterans. Involve and support your employees they are working hard when they first start out but your culture tears them down and they give up! And when corporate comes into the store please greet each employee and show some respect instead of instilling fear!!!
No way I will shop here. They are leading the public into believing they are non-profit, yet their President and VP earn an incredibly large salary. There are other wonderful thrift stores in the Raleigh area that can benefit, shame on Goodwill.
$800K a year for the husband and wife president and VP. I'll keep donating but I'll find another organization to which to donate. These people are scum.
Shame on Dennis and Linda McLain and on the Board of Directors for paying and accepting such grossly inflated salaries. They are earning easily 4 times more than a reasonable salary for their positions. The public has just learned of this scandal. What are you as the Board going to do about it?
The chapter of Goodwill has eliminated all its programs aimed at the special needs community over the last few years. They had 2 programs that helped individuals transition from school to the working world. Despite being full to capacity every session, this program was closed. They also had a program where participants were brought in to work in the garden/farm. This too was closed.
Contrary to their advertising, this Goodwill does little more for employment and training than any other retail employer in North Carolina. They do still have a website that provides basic skills…but they closed the program that taught people office skills and how to get and keep such a position. I guess canned web videos are more efficient, and you don’t have to teach office demeanor or resume writing at all.
I was curious how this organization had such good reviews. Then I noticed, most of the positive reviews are written by people who work for the organization. Their lawyer wrote a review, how nice. Rene M. sounds like her organization is completely funded, if now owned by Goodwill.
This Goodwill excels at its mission. That mission is, of course, to make Dennis and Linda McLain a ton of money.
Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities has had the good fortune to be involved with Goodwill Industries of Eastern North Carolina for several years. In our interactions with Goodwill Industries of Eastern North Carolina (GIENC), we have found them to demonstrate impeccable business practices and a genuine commitment to families and individuals involved with developmental disabilities. GIENC tends to identify unmet needs in their geographic area and mobilize resources to meet those needs in a highly thoughtful, productive, effective manner. Their reach is broad and their support for families involved with developmental disabilities is quiet, sincere, and extremely accountable. We are proud to have the opportunity to work with Goodwill Industries of Eastern North Carolina and look forward to a continued strong relationship with them in the years to come. We encourage others to learn about GIENC’s work and commitment by visiting their website at http://www.goodwillenc.org.
Mary Freeman, President & CEO Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities
I am an attorney with Ward and Smith, P.A. in Greenville, NC. I met the McLains and Goodwill Industries approximately 3 years ago. In the interim, I have worked with them closely and believe that I have come to know them well. My involvement with Goodwill is through Boys & Girls Clubs in Greenville and Kinston, NC. I have been involved with Boys & Girls Clubs for almost 22 years. Goodwill and the McLains sought us out because they heard that a Methodist Church in Greenville houses a Boys & Girls Club. Goodwill immediately became a financial supporter of that Club, and has consistently been a supporter since then.
Then, a Club in Kinston closed down due to lack of funding and loss of support by the local business community. We were aware of the closing, and concerned, but unable to do anything due to our own recession-based funding woes. Dennis McLain called me and asked if we (Boys & Girls Clubs of Pitt County, Inc) would get involved if Goodwill would provide financial support. We became involved, and that Kinston Club is operational again and serving close to 100 children daily. This is all due to the initiative shown by Goodwill and the McLains. We did not seek them out. In both Greenville and Kinston, they initiated their involvement, looking for opportunities to make a difference for children.
I have seen Dennis McLain speak both to children at Boys & Girls Clubs, and to adult supporters of those Clubs. I know Linda McLain quite well also. I have met the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Goodwill. I know where their hearts lie: they have a passion for helping disadvantaged people, and especially children. They have directed their passion, and the funds of Goodwill, to doing good, and have indicated that they want to do even more for children in eastern NC.
The world sorely needs more non-profits like Goodwill, and non-profit managers like the McLains.
H. L. Stephenson III
Review from Guidestar
My first contact with Goodwill Industries of Eastern NC was about three years ago. I am the director of, what was then, small non-profit, that assists families who have children born prematurely or with special needs. Family Support Network of Wake County had been supporting families for 24 years, with 1.5 full time employees in Wake County. Because of the economic climate we lost the majority of our funding and were at risk of shutting down. We did the typical fundraising events and raised enough for a couple of months. Of course during those events we had no time to serve families.
I met with Goodwill Industries of Eastern NC and we realized we had very much the same mission of supporting people. For the past several years we have been part of GIENC and employed by them. We still have our own Board of Directors who gives the program complete guidance.
Because of GIENC’s support, FSN now has 12 employees and covers 13 different counties in Eastern North Carolina. We have employees in four different neonatal intensive care units to assist families who children were born prematurely or with special needs. We have started many new programs that support families because of Goodwill’s generosity. Last year we had over 4,000 contacts with parents that we supported. That would not have been possible without the support of GIENC.
I encourage you to go to their website and see all the wonderful things they do to serve the people in their community.
My organization is very grateful to GIENC and extremely happy to be part of their family!
Review from Guidestar
GIENC is an organization I'm honored to be associated with. I have personally and professionally worked with top level management and Board Members to further the mission of assisting families. GIENC has been generous in providing support to many Boys & Girls Clubs organizations, two of which I served as Executive Director. Without the various levels of support, several of these B&G Clubs would be non-existent. I have always witnessed a true community effort with GIENC, an effort that expands globally. The integrity of GIENC has never been comprised during my 4 year relationship and I look forward to partnering with GIENC for many years. I can honestly say that GIENC is responsible for providing free sevices to over 2,500 youth and families during our collaboration.
Review from Guidestar
Strait to the point. Seen this first hand. They are like any other conglomerate, except they make it look their are doing something different with their "non" profits.
This particular chapter of Goodwill claims that its mission is to provide people of eastern North Carolina with the dignity of a job with a living wage, with particular emphasis on those people who are disabled. However, in truth this organization is more interested in profits to expand their footprint and actively engages in practices that not only do a disservice to the idea of Goodwill, but also to a respectable company. To sum it up briefly, their claim that .89 of every dollar goes to program initiatives includes all operating expenses for their retail locations, including the inflated wages of its president and vice-president (husband and wife, incidentally), who, despite making over $700,000 combined every year, still file for a 'religious' housing allowance on their tax return, as Mr. McClain is an ordained Methodist minister. Meanwhile on the operational store level, employees are daily faced with situations that should require charity, yet are instructed by our superiors that 'our prices are low enough so that people in extreme circumstances can still afford our products.' For instance, in my time with them I had the unfortunate position of informing a family whose house had recently burned down that we could do nothing for them (they had been issued a vouchers which i couldn't accept, according to my district manager; I was told to send them to the Salvation Army or to have them come back when they had money).
While they operate a website call gcflearnfree.org which provides people with basic interactive lessons on everything from computers to math, I truly doubt it costs millions to keep it operational. Keep in mind that donations are big business--in 2008, their projected goals for the company exceeded $25 million, all from product that was either donated outright or purchased for a pittance (as in old/broken Target merchandise). A glance at their Form 990 on their website will reveal that even some of their district managers crack six figures, a big reason why nobody speaks to the elephant sitting in the room--that being, for a 'NON-profit' that exists solely on the generosity of others, why is it run with such a bloodlust for profit. If the corporate structure gets handsomely paid, then why address the fact that such profits aren't equally distributed to the lowest rungs, to the people that actually earn and need it?
Despite their mission statement of providing people with the dignity of a job, they regularly instill in their employees a sense of fear and dread, where in the day-to-day setting, they fear being terminated for some minor, unknown offense (official corporate policy is to terminate the employees without furnishing a reason, in accordance with North Carolina's at-will labor laws). I've known perfectly good workers who have been with them for years (one for 5+ years) summarily dismissed without explanation or cause. Even as a manager, I was subjected to the same treatment; when I called the corporate office for clarity/closure, I received only silence. I left repeated voicemails to no avail, and then discovered when I called my old store that the employees there were instructed not to speak to me, for fear of their jobs. Keep in mind that Goodwill employs people who might not be in the best life circumstances (though most are not disabled as they would claim) and pays them $10 an hour for retail work, perhaps more than they can get elsewhere, and you can understand how employees can be intimidated and mistreated. I had originally hoped to make a career out of this position, to work in the services of those less fortunate; however, once employed, I discovered that basically this company exists to prey on the poor and reap the benefits of 'non-profit' status and name recognition.
In closing, based on my experiences, I will NEVER recommend ANY Goodwill to anyone ever again, and I would offer that for anyone considering a donation to them, do your due diligence in researching and confirming what I've related. Their IRS Form 990 is posted on their website, though I suspect people overlook it (and that Goodwill hopes/expects that).