There have been numerous stories over the years about Goodwill operating as a behemoth sucker of charity funds that they collect and siphon to their very wealthy CEO, a man named Mark Curran. And that the other people running the operation take hundreds of thousands to millions in salary while the employees are given dirt for paychecks, if that.
Here are a few examples of how the money got distributed. Goodwill Omaha CEO Frank McGree received between $400,000 and $930,000 annually, while more than 100 workers at his stores made less than minimum wage. He was fired in 2016. The married couple in charge of Goodwill Industries of Eastern North Carolina, Dennis and Linda McLain, received close to $800,000 annually while employing workers with disabilities who were paid less than minimum wage. One old news said the president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International earned more than $700,000 a year.
Goodwill claims the money its thrift stores make goes towards community programs like job training, placement services, and classes for people who have disabilities or are otherwise challenged in finding traditional employment.
Interestingly, no one has ever seen any of those aforementioned programs in operation at any level. According to Brad Turner-Little, senior director of strategy for Goodwill Industries, “Goodwill organizations are locally controlled and operated, and each of those 165 organizations in North America is an independent nonprofit that has a board of directors comprised of volunteers from that community, The board hires an executive director or CEO to operate Goodwill in their territory—so it’s really owned by the community. They’re all autonomous, independent nonprofit organizations.”
Translated, that means they operate like franchises where the owner/operators can just pay themselves whatever they want.