We’ve compiled a list of our most common questions for your convenience. Select a topic below to learn more.
The sale of donated items sold in Goodwill Omaha’s retail stores supports the job training programs and placement services we provide to the community. Here’s how: Generous people donate gently used items to Goodwill. We sell those donated items in our retail stores. The proceeds from those sales subsidize our mission programs, giving thousands of individuals in the Omaha area the chance to earn a living, discover independence and succeed in life.
Yes. Goodwill Omaha is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and both monetary and material donations to Goodwill Omaha are tax-deductible. To learn how to determine the value of your material donations, visit IRS.gov.
Goodwill Omaha takes the privacy of our donors very seriously, and we take great care and concern for all devices that could possibly contain customer data. We do ask that donors do their best to delete any sensitive information that may be on their devices before donating them. Once your computers or devices are in our hands, our technicians perform a four-step process:
Phase I: Our technicians secure all reusable systems and hard drives — as well as any materials they’ll send for recycling — in a secured, monitored area that only the GoodBytes manager and techs can access until materials are processed. Machines that we cannot refurbish at our location are palletized in our secure facility until we ship them to the Dell Reconnect main processing facility, which follows or exceeds the same stringent standards.
Phase II: Once technicians determine which desktop and laptop computers are viable for refurbishing, they remove the hard drives from the computers to be refurbished and test them using noninvasive means to determine viability. This test is the low-level variety, which only shows the hard drive’s overall health and the duration it has been in use. This means we do not look at anyone’s personal data, ever.
Phase III: Once a hard drive’s viability has been determined, GoodBytes technicians perform a rigorous, three-pass Department-of-Defense-standard data-wiping process on all drives prior to reuse in other equipment. We use professionally licensed commercial software to accomplish this, as we take this process and your personal information seriously.
Phase IV: GoodBytes techs select random hard drives from every wiping session and verify there is no retrievable data on them. The Dell Reconnect program sends an independent auditor annually to verify that the data on the hard drives has been erased, that no personal data remains, and that our process conforms to and even exceeds their rigorous standards for data security. GoodBytes has passed this audit in every instance since we started our partnership with Dell Reconnect.
We have suspended the donation pickup service indefinitely. If your company is hosting a donation drive, or your neighborhood is hosting a community garage sale, contact our retail operations team to see if your event qualifies for donation pickup.
Shopping/Retail Store Questions
Yes, our retail locations are open. We carefully consider the health of our employees, program participants, customers, donors and the community in general. We take the spread of the novel coronavirus seriously, and we want to do our part to prevent the spread of the virus at every one of our locations. Learn more about the safety precautions we’re enforcing in our stores.
Job Programs & Services
We believe that everyone has the right to work, and we work to empower individuals to realize their maximum potential through the power of work. Sometimes, disabilities and other disadvantages make it difficult for people to find meaningful employment. Our goal is to break down these barriers and help all people get the training, certifications, and experience they need.
In the case of residential computer equipment, Dell Computers handles all of our computer and electronics recycling as part of our partnership with the Dell Reconnect program. All materials stay in the United States, where they are completely dismantled and refined back into new material without being shipped overseas. So, while we’re encouraging industry in the United States, we’re also ensuring that our trash doesn’t pollute another country’s water supply.
We send non-computer materials — whether paper, plastic or metal — go to a variety of vendors, but ultimately to mills where they are shredded, sorted and then refined into pure materials for reuse. For the majority of these materials, we use local Omaha recycling companies. They have recycling certifications as well as a robust chain of custody system so they can audit the flow of matter from customers, recyclers and manufacturers.
We have multiple textile recycling partners for fiber material, which they shred for new fiber products (e.g., paper, cardboard). They also handle LDPE (plastic bags) which they reprocess into new LDPE products.
Occasionally Goodwill Omaha does change vendors based on price, but integrity is important to us, so we always check certifications before partnering with a new vendor.
Through our partnership with Dell Reconnect, Goodwill Omaha accepts any brand of used computer equipment in any condition. We also accept just about anything that can be connected to a computer. Whether it’s computers, monitors, wires, batteries, cardboard, paper, or plastic, we find a way to keep it out of landfills.
Donors are responsible for removing all personal data prior to donation, although our techs do make every effort to remove any sensitive information that may be on donated devices.
When generous people like you donate gently used items to Goodwill Omaha, we do sell those items in our stores. But the money generated from those sales doesn’t go directly to our bottom line—we use that money to fund job training programs & placement services right here in our community. With the money we make from retail sales, we’re able to help thousands of neighbors earn a living, discover independence, and succeed in life. Learn more about our impact.
No, this is not accurate. There are several variations of an article, email, or social media post that encourage you to “think before you donate” and claims that Goodwill’s supposed CEO, “Mark Curran,” makes millions of dollars each year.
The president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International is Steven C. Preston. He reports to a volunteer board of directors that ensures the organization operates with the highest ethics. Goodwill Omaha’s president and CEO is Tobi Mathouser. Tobi is a member of Vistage® Worldwide and a trustee of the Business Ethics Alliance®, which promotes an environment where the discussion and practice of ethics are encouraged and expected in our community.
Learn more about our commitment to financial transparency here.
Absolutely! Some of our core values include integrity, respect, and dignity, which sum up how we treat our team. We believe in financial transparency as well as supporting fair and livable wages for all employees. In 2019, the average hourly wage of Goodwill program participants who found jobs was $12.69.