Urban Legends

Dear Community Friends,

Unfortunately, a negative on-line rumor continues to resurface in the form of a years-old email that includes erroneous information and salary figures for several nonprofit organizations’ chief executives, including a reference to a so-called “Goodwill CEO and Owner Mark Curran, who profits $2.3 million a year.” Jim Gibbons is the CEO of Goodwill Industries International and I am the President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of South Central California, the local Goodwill covering Kern, Kings, and southern Tulare Counties and headquartered in Bakersfield.

There is no “owner” of Goodwill. It is a 501(c)(3) organization and local volunteer board members have the fiduciary responsibility for the organization on behalf of the community. I have been with Goodwill since April of 2001 and have never heard of a Goodwill CEO named Mark Curran. Further, no one in the Goodwill organization in North America is aware of anyone named Mark Curran ever serving as a Goodwill CEO.

Goodwill definitely encourages you to “think before you donate” — the one legitimate message that this otherwise spurious email contains — and to research and learn more about the charities you’d like to support. Be certain the organization you choose uses its revenue for charitable purposes that support a mission you can get behind. We encourage you to review our audited financial information and IRS 990 form on our website at www.TheGoodwill.org or at www.GuideStar.org, an online nonprofit database that has certified our local Goodwill with the GuideStar Gold Seal for our commitment to transparency. Use GuideStar to check each organization listed on the old email and you will find that most of the information on the chart is in error.

Our Goodwill employs 230 individuals, 70% of whom have disabilities or other workplace barriers, right here in Kern, Kings, and southern Tulare Counties. These local jobs are made possible by the generous donations of clothing and household goods from members of our community. We appreciate your support and encourage you to contact us directly if you would like a tour of our operation or need additional information.

Sheryl Chalupa, President & CEO
Goodwill Industries of South Central California

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