Frequently Asked Questions

ABOUT OUR AGENCY IN GENERAL

Is Goodwill a nonprofit?
Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization by the Internal Revenue Service. Our mission is to help people with disabilities, and other barriers to employment achieve independence and self-sufficiency through job training and other support services.

Does Goodwill give away donated items to people in need?
Goodwill sells donated items in our retail stores and the revenue generated is used to help fund job training and supportive programs. We do partner with community agencies who provide emergency assistance and offer gift cards to assist them with meeting the immediate needs in the community. Learn more here.

Does Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut utilize the 14c Special Minimum Wage Certificate?
As of June 30, 2017, Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut no longer utilizes the Special Minimum Wage Certificate. All of our employees meet or exceed the state minimum wage.

Communities across the country have employers utilizing the Special Minimum Wage Certificate. These employers include some Goodwill organizations as well. They use the certificate as a tool to connect people with disabilities to the workforce. Services provided at Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut focus on community employment and community integration to maximize independence and self-sufficiency.

What is Goodwill's relationship to the Dell Reconnect Program?
Goodwill of Western & Northern Connecticut does not participate in the Dell Reconnect program. Goodwill has a long history of advancing recycle, reduce and reuse practices by accepting donations of gently used materials to support the organization’s charitable mission. At Goodwill, we are committed to the responsible recycling of donated electronics. We strive to provide Connecticut residents with e-waste solutions that meet the industry’s highest standards.

We work in partnership with Newtech Recycling, Inc. to make donating technology free and convenient for donors. Whenever possible, we work to extend the life of donated electronics by reselling the items in Goodwill stores. Items not sold in stores are gathered for recycling. Newtech Recycling, Inc., a certified electronics recycler, is responsible for providing safe, environmentally sound methods of recycling and disposal that meet or exceed industry standards.

Electronic donations from the public make a positive impact in our communities and on the environment.

How can I help Goodwill?
There are many ways you can help Goodwill to make a difference in your community. Some include:

  • Donate clothing and household items to Goodwill.
  • Shop at Goodwill retail stores.
  • Make a monetary donation to Goodwill.
  • Remember Goodwill with a bequest in your will.
  • Hire a Goodwill program participant.
  • Provide opportunities for job training at your place of business.

ABOUT OUR STORES AND DONATION CENTERS

Do you offer home pick-ups?
Goodwill has over 30 donation locations conveniently located across western and northern Connecticut. Visit www.gwct.org/donation-locations to find one near you. We do not offer home pick-ups.

Why won't you take everything I want to donate?
With the exception of clothing, which can be sold in secondary markets, we ask that all donations be in good, sellable condition. We are required to pay very expensive fees to dispose of non-sellable items. Since this money would be better spent on programs to help people, we kindly ask that you refer to our Goodwill Donation Guidelines before deciding on what to donate to Goodwill.

I made a donation but lost the tax receipt. Can I obtain a copy?
Unfortunately, Goodwill cannot provide copies of donation receipts. Due to the large volume of donations we receive it prohibits us from keeping records. We urge you to safeguard your receipt, as this is the only copy available. Goodwill’s Tax ID # is 06-0662111.

How do my donations help my community?
Your donations help to fund job training and supportive programs that help individuals achieve independence, self-sufficiency, and a better quality of life.

Why should I donate to Goodwill instead of another nonprofit organization?
Goodwill retail stores are linked to a great mission. Revenue generated from the sale of donated items helps to fund job training and support programs for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.

For-profit thrift stores sometimes arrange to use a charity’s name to collect donations in exchange for a flat fee or a percentage of the revenue. Often this deal is not publicized, and the percentage that charity receives may be less than five cents for every dollar. We encourage consumers to do research on an organization so that they are rest assured their donations are going where they want them to.  

What happens if I accidentally donate an item and want to get it back?
Goodwill receives millions of donated items a year. When an item is donated by mistake, we make every effort to find it; however, we process donations so efficiently and quickly that it is virtually impossible to find a specific item once it enters the processing cycle.

Who shops at Goodwill?
Our research shows that individuals from all walks of life and income groups shop at Goodwill. The common thread amongst shoppers is that they like to save money and enjoy the thrill of the hunt that our stores provide.  

If I shop at a Goodwill store, will I be depriving disadvantaged people of stuff they need?
No. Goodwill serves disadvantaged people by educating, training and helping them to find jobs. By becoming gainfully employed, these individuals gain the necessary resources to provide for themselves and their families.

If the items in your stores are donated, why don’t you charge less for them?
Although Goodwill sells donated items, we do have to pay expenses associated with running a retail operation. We pay the salaries, benefits, education and training costs of our employees who pick-up, process, distribute and sell donated items. Our costs also include transportation, fuel, vehicle maintenance and utilities such as electricity, heat, water, and sewer. Our prices are very competitive and lower than most department store prices. Remember that when you shop at Goodwill, not only are you finding great bargains but you are helping to put people to work. In 2016, donors and shoppers to Goodwill provided the means to help 2,312 people find employment.

How often does your store inventory change?
New merchandise is put on our sales floor every day. We receive thousands of donations every week, and we process them as quickly as possible to make them available for sale. No matter when you visit, Goodwill will always have something you are looking for and even things you weren't looking for!