Goodwill Gets An A+ In Social Math

  • 1 jacket = 11 minutes of career counseling
  • 1 working computer = 8.1 hours of on-the-job training

No, social math such as this won’t be found on the SATs, but you can find the answers to several social-impact conversions by using Goodwill’s (Cone client) Donation Impact Calculator. The online tool is part of Goodwill’s Donate Movement and is designed to help users better understand the positive effects of their good deeds by calculating the real-world impact donations have on people within local communities. The movement, which launched this week, “aims to increase conscious donating by raising consumer awareness of the power their donated goods can have in strengthening their communities.”

Goodwill, which appeared as a leading nonprofit in the The Cone Nonprofit Power Brand 100, has put several success factors into play with the new campaign. Here are a few best practices the campaign demonstrates, which others can look to for inspiration:

Demonstrate Tangible Impact: By using social math, the Donation Impact Calculator makes it easy for donors to understand the social impact of their donations. The site also keeps a running tally of how many pounds of usable goods Goodwill has diverted from landfills for the year (note: at the time of this post, the tally was at nearly 1 billion pounds).

Align with Meaningful Partners: Levi Strauss & Co. launched “A Care Tag for Our Planet” in partnership with Goodwill, which includes messaging on product care tags encouraging people to wash their clothes in cold water, line dry and donate to Goodwill. In addition, Goodwill partnered with Lorie Marrero, best-selling author of The Clutter Diet: The Skinny on Organizing Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life, to show people that cleaning out their closets and donating is one way to live simply, live green and have community impact.

Provide A Visual Cue: Goodwill drew inspiration from the iconic recycle triangle-and-arrows symbol in creating its “D” for Donate logo. Soon to appear on everyday products, it serves as a universal reminder to “recycle” through responsible donation, helping provide opportunities for others while diverting usable items from landfills.

Activate Consumers: Goodwill is encouraging donors to flaunt badges of honor for their good deeds by providing Donate flair for Facebook, Twitter and personal blogs – showing their networks that they support donating responsibly and making an impact on the community and the environment.

Issue a Rallying Cry: The campaign issued The Donate Challenge, encouraging people to visit the site, use the calculator and learn more about how to donate with purpose. The effort looks to educate and inspire people and shift their perceptions about the effects their contributions can have within local communities and on the environment.

Goodwill is already a household name for many Americans. Through its creative use of online tools and strategic partnerships, the nonprofit is sure to help re-energize support for donating and ensure it will stay a household name for generations to come.

This week, Cone is pleased to announce the formal launch of its Nonprofit Marketing discipline, with services designed to help nonprofit organizations strengthen their brands and raise funds. This is Cone’s fifth discipline; the agency also helps organizations build trusted brands through the execution of Cause Branding, Brand Marketing, Corporate Responsibility and Crisis Prevention and Management. For more information, visit


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