BRADENTON – Over the past 20 years, Goodwill Manasota has not only created thousands of jobs in its local region, but it has also helped increase revenues by the millions at other Goodwills around the globe.
Goodwill Manasota, based in Sarasota, Florida, has developed an award winning business model that has been replicated all over the world. The powerhouse non-profit organization will take it one step further in 2014, when it opens a 29,000-square-foot international training center to provide its Mission Development Services (MDS) program. Formalized in 2001, the MDS program teaches other Goodwill organizations how to refine and expand their enterprises, creating jobs and mission opportunities through improved business operations.
“We identify and partner with Goodwills around the country that are challenged or have territories that are being underserved, and teach them how to streamline their operations,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “We train them on acquiring and retaining donors, managing staff and employees, and we provide them with expertise on managing real estate,” he said.
At a Goodwill in Northern Arizona, headquartered in Flagstaff, that assistance made a multi-million dollar difference between 2003-2012, and saved that Goodwill from disaster. “The organization was barely able to keep its doors open, drifting towards bankruptcy,” recalls David Hirsch, CEO of the once struggling Goodwill Industries of Northern Arizona. “It didn’t have the donations to justify its stores, and it wasn’t properly handling the donations it did receive. It was losing community support and board members as a result, slowly sinking into oblivion,” Hirsch said.
This crisis led concerned board members to reach out to the highly successful Goodwill Manasota for advice.
Goodwill Industries of Northern Arizona was then operating six retail centers without a single dedicated donation center. Its annual revenue was just under $1.6 million. It was losing over $30,000 each month. Goodwill Manasota worked with the Flagstaff team to develop a strategic plan and to provide operational guidance.
“When the Goodwill Manasota team arrived, one of the first things they did was recommend closing one store. They got the board to see that they really needed to make tough decisions if we were to survive. They also recruited and retained me as the new CEO,” said Hirsch.
For several months, the MDS team, led by current Goodwill Manasota CEO Bob Rosinsky, provided training to staff and management on how to efficiently move donations from the back room to the sales floor. Sales soon began to increase by double digits. “As donor service improved, so did donations,” said Hirsch.
Fast-forward ten years, and Goodwill Industries of Northern Arizona currently operates six retail stores, nine donation centers and five Job Connection centers. Annual revenues exceeded $5 million in 2012. It opened a 13,000-square-foot store in Bullhead City in 2008, three hours away from Flagstaff. A new headquarters and Goodwill Good Neighbor Center was opened in 2012. The Goodwill of Northern Arizona plans on opening another Good Neighbor Center in Lake Havasu in 2014, and also plans to open four more donation centers.
“The growth and development activities continue to be a major part of our relationship with Goodwill Manasota today,” explains Hirsch.
Goodwill Manasota has had similar success stories in 11 territories across the United States including: Lafayette, LA; Tucson, AZ; Memphis, TN; Reno, Nevada; Austin, TX; Flagstaff, AZ; Houston, TX; Tallahassee, FL; Mobile, AL; and Washington, DC. Internationally, Goodwill Manasota has assisted several countries with technical assistance and it maintains partnerships in Alberta, Niagara, London, Montreal, Toronto and Sarnia, Canada.
Goodwill Manasota also partners with others to develop part or all of a territory, using its own capital for development. The MDS program currently works in territories in Marinette, WI and Northern Mississippi for this purpose. It assists local staff to build out the territory and works with that staff to oversee the day-to-day operations. “The goal of this strategy is to develop the territory and eventually turn a mature operation back to the partner Goodwill. The MDS partnerships create business-to-business relationships that ultimately benefit both organizations,” said Bob Rosinsky.
When Goodwill Manasota assumed control of the Northern Mississippi territory in 2008, it had annual revenues of approximately $1.6 million, employed 30 people and was serving about 78,000 donors from its two retail locations. Annual revenues exceeded $12.7 million in 2012, 250 people were employed and 225,000 donors were assisted from 17 retail stores.
The international training center in Bradenton, Florida is expected to open in the summer of 2014. It will be part of a new $13-million, 65,000-square-foot corporate campus. The expansion effort will create more than 30 local jobs in a 36,000-square-foot retail operation. The new site will consolidate staff to enhance the productivity required to provide professional services, employment counseling and training for additional students.
Goodwill Manasota currently operates 33 donation centers and 18 retail stores in Florida’s Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Hardee Counties. It employs over 750 people, nearly 100 of which are severely disabled. This year, it helped place more than 500 people into jobs and helped to provide more $30 million in wages.
About Goodwill Manasota:
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. For more than 110 years, Goodwill has provided opportunities through such programs as Donated Goods Employment Services, Job Connection, American Veterans & their Families Initiative, JobsPlus, Supported JobsPlus, GoodwillWorks, Mission Development Services, White Glove Services, Good Neighbor Program and Ambassadors Program. Goodwill continues to assist people with disabilities and barriers to opportunity by changing lives through the power of work. Goodwill Manasota is legally organized under the laws of the United States and the State of Florida. We are accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota in essence belongs to this community, and is NOT owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit EXPERIENCEGOODWILL.ORG.