Skip to Main Content



Thanks to generous people in the community, Goodwill receives thousands of donations each year. We inspect items for quality and safety before they make it to store shelves. Our priority is to recycle items we cannot sell. Clothing and many other items are sorted and recycled if they do not meet quality standards or if they do not sell after a period on our store shelves. A very small percentage of items donated do not meet recycling guidelines and go to the landfill at a cost to Goodwill. Goodwill partners with Shift2 to responsibly recycle computers at no charge to donors.

After being on the floor for a time, items like clothing, books, furniture, and household goods are pulled for our Good Neighbor program. Through our partnerships with schools, churches, other local nonprofits, care managers, and social workers, Good Neighbor redistributes these items to community members in need of some help.

Goodwill stores are stocked based on incoming donations. Household items and furniture that meet our quality standards are placed in the stores to be sold. Currently, clothing items are the most abundant donation we receive.

Goodwill stores exist to provide funding for mission programming. Donors expect us to maximize the value of their donation. We have found that selling jewelry online provides the most value for these donations, as well as other items we select to sell online. We hope you agree that those who benefit from our job training programs and community services deserve the best services we can provide.

Yes, the items we receive in donations are free to Goodwill. Generous people in the community donate their used items because they believe in the mission programming and good work we do. In addition to funding mission programming, Goodwill employs people to operate our stores. We also pay for the typical expenses of operating the agency such as employee benefits, utility bills, rent, insurance and other expenses. Shoppers often find name brand merchandise and quality items at fair prices. Our prices have changed very little in the past decade.

Most donations stay at your local Goodwill location. During winter months when community members donate less often, some donations are sold in other stores in our territory to give customers like you a store that is full of items to choose from. This process allows us to provide a consistent shopping experience year-round for our customers.

Nope! Goodwill is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We have a local CEO, Jennifer Lake, and a local volunteer board of directors. Goodwill is not owned by any individual or company. Goodwill complies with IRS non-profit standards and files an IRS Form 990 annually. Independent organizations such as Guidestar, Better Business Bureau, Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Navigator can provide important information on charities. We love to share information about our mission and the work we do. Ask us questions, or request a visit or tour anytime. We promise, you’ll be glad you did!

Our website provides a handy donation value guide. When you make a donation, our donation attendant will give you a receipt for your taxes. You and your tax advisor determine the value of your donation following income tax guidelines. Goodwill is prohibited from placing a value on your contribution.

We encourage our employees to shop at Goodwill! However, to prevent any dishonesty, employees cannot shop at stores when they have been in the back room where items are placed before they are priced to go on the floor.

No, in fact the people who work for Goodwill, whether it be in an office or store, are paid employees. All our employees make AT LEAST NYS minimum wage. Goodwill of the Finger Lakes employs over 600 people throughout our region. If you are interested in working for Goodwill visit our job openings and apply online.

We have a family-friendly culture that offers a team atmosphere. We have a mission of helping others achieve self-sufficiency through education and employment, and have the opportunity to positively impact others on a daily basis. We practice our core values of compassion, achievement, potential, integrity and dignity and have a sense of pride with those we work with. We have fun, too!

For items that cannot be sold or recycled, Goodwill has to pay for disposal. This means less funding for Goodwill’s job training programs and mission services.

Giving to Goodwill is an investment in the future of our community. Goodwill helps people with the greatest need within our community become self-sufficient, tax-paying citizens who contribute to the support of their families (some of these people may now or one day be someone you know personally). And Goodwill gives a second life to items that would otherwise end up in landfills.

We want everyone shopping in our stores to feel safe and welcome. If you did not have a positive experience, let us know why at 1-888-859-1606, or

Of course! Reach out to our Community Engagement Coordinator, Swellar Zhuo, at (585) 642-6456 or

We welcome interviews, and look forward to connecting with you! Please reach out to Jennifer Boutte, our VP of Community Engagement, at (585) 697-5780 or