PLATINUM2024

MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries

Changing lives through the power of work

aka MERS Goodwill   |   SAINT LOUIS, MO   |  mersgoodwill.org

Mission

Changing lives through the power of work.

Ruling year info

1938

President/CEO

Mr. Mark Arens

Main address

1727 LOCUST

SAINT LOUIS, MO 63103 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

43-0652657

NTEE code info

Vocational Rehabilitation (includes Job Training and Employment for Disabled and Elderly) (J30)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Thrift Shops (P29)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our MISSION is: Changing lives through the power of work. Our VISION is a community where: Each individual has the opportunity to learn, work, and achieve their greatest potential. Annually we serve more than 10,000 people at more than 45 locations across Missouri and southwestern Illinois. Each year MERS Missouri Goodwill Industries (MMGI) serves thousands of clients with one or more diagnosed disabilities, including Developmental Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Traumatic Brain Injury, and others. Through our Workforce Development and Temporary Assistance programs, we have also grown to serve tens of thousands of clients with predominantly socioeconomic barriers, such as generational poverty, teenage pregnancy, and involvement with the criminal justice system.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Employment Services

Adult High Schools (Goodwill Excel Centers)
Community Employment Services Supported Employment Supported Living Organizational (Sheltered) Employment Project Grow (Deaf Services) Careers in Transition (CIT) WIA Adult and Displaced Worker Program WIA Youth Program Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) Contract Services Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP) GED Assistance At-Risk Youth programs Domestic Violence Program Brain Injury Program

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Economically disadvantaged people
At-risk youth
Unemployed people

Comprised of our stores, e-commerce solutions, recycling operations, and related functions, our Donated Goods Division is dedicated to supported the mission of MERS Goodwill. Concerning workforce development and employment services, we provide unique occupational skills training, work experience, and employment opportunities for our clients and others within the community. MERS Goodwill is also one of the region's largest recyclers, keeping an estimated 28,874 tons of donated materials out of landfills.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

GII 1918

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants who gain employment

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Employment Services

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Placements have declined due to the effects of COVID-19.

Average wage of clients served (in dollars)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Employment Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients satisfied with employment training services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Employment Services

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number displayed is the percentage of clients surveyed who were satisfied with their services.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our current strategic plan has five main goals:

GOAL I: Develop and maintain mission-related programs and services that meet the needs and preferences of our consumers and the changing demands of employers.

GOAL II: Manage agency finances so operations are efficient for current services, stable for future growth, and flexible for new opportunities to meet the needs of our consumers, partners, and funders.

GOAL III: Recruit, develop, and retain a team that is excited about the agency's mission and strives to exceed customer expectations.

GOAL IV: Increase community awareness of the mission of the organization, its capabilities, and its accomplishments.

GOAL V: Develop and implement a plan that optimizes the efficiencies and effectiveness of our existing stores and continues the growth of our donated goods division.

Since 1918 our goal has been to assist clients in our Employment, Training, & various Support services to identify, prepare for, & maintain not just jobs, but living wage careers, the foundation upon which self-sufficiency is built. MMGI's divisions include our Employment & Training Services, the Contracts Division (majority staffed by employees with diagnosed disabilities), & our Donated Goods Division.

Through our Employment & Training Services, MMGI endeavors to help each person who comes to us, regardless of his or her barrier to employment. We help laid-off workers retrain in new skills to pursue a second career. We help struggling single parents to access the supports they need to participate in the world of work for the first time, by reducing worries about daycare, transportation, or paying for the uniform their new job requires. We help at-risk youth to get off the streets & reengage with high school or a GED course, taking the next step towards college, a career, or both. We help consumers with disabilities experience the pride that only comes with receiving their first paycheck & the opportunity to contribute to their own well-being. MMGI helps our clients earn the opportunity to rise above entrenched poverty & attain social & financial independence.

Dedicated to supporting the mission of MMGI, our Donated Goods Division is comprised of our 43 Retail stores, e-commerce solutions, recycling operations, & related functions. One of the original mission-based social enterprise concepts, proceeds from our thrift retail efforts go towards supporting the other mission-based services of our agency. These operations also offer workforce development & employment services directly by providing unique occupational skills training, work experience, & employment opportunities for our clients & others within the community.

Though often not considered as an environmentally-focused organization, MMGI is also one of the region's largest recyclers. We responsibly process 1.4 million individual donations of clothing, household items, & other materials for sale via our retail operations annually. Those gently used items go on to a second or third life after our shoppers purchase them.

Finally, MMGI Donated Goods Division offers its shoppers low-cost options for many household essentials. Aside from offering job seekers affordable interview & work attire, our stores offer a variety of goods at affordable prices that allow first-time renters & homeowners an economical way to furnish their new living spaces, or allow individuals & families affected by disaster to start the replacement process & regain a sense of normalcy.

Our other major social enterprise is our Contracts Division, MGI Services. The majority of our Contracts employees have one or more diagnosed disabilities. MGI Services contracts with federal, state, & private entities to provide janitorial, mail room, snow removal, & other services.

Despite the significant growth in the number of clients we serve and the breadth and depth of services we offer, our core program model has remained consistent for years. Our program model and its activities were rigorously defined by the state and federal legislation that established the vast majority of funding for our services several years, sometimes decades, ago. Over time MMGI has worked diligently with state and federal program officers to incrementally adapt and change our programs as much as possible to take into account new research on best practices and outside opportunities for improvement.

Therefore, our program model has evolved after nearly a century of success to provide the highest quality of service to our clients available within the parameters established by the states of Missouri and Illinois, the federal government, and other long-term private and public funders, such as the United Way. With some modifications and customization depending on the target population for a particular program, our Employment Services model moves each individual client through the following discrete services: 1) Evaluation, 2) Counseling, 3) Training and Education, 4) Job Development and Placement, 5) Retention, and 6) Career Laddering. This model or some variation functions as the foundation for almost all of our services.

Concerning our Donated Goods Division, the agency has successfully operated retail stores since 1918 in the St. Louis area. As the local autonomous affiliate of Goodwill Industries International, we are also able to draw from a vast catalog of national best practice models for managing and operating our stores. As the largest nonprofit donated goods operation in the region, we are able to take advantage of economies of scale unavailable to other organizations. We are also in an expansion phase currently, while our competitors have either ceased growing or are actually downsizing. In support of our mission, our Donated Goods Division staff work very cooperatively with our Employment Services staff to ensure clients receive quality, effective services in a seamless manner.

With regards to our Contracts Division, in 1982 Missouri Goodwill Industries (MGI) developed its Janitorial training program for people with disabilities. After starting the program, Goodwill was awarded multiple federal contracts through the JWOD (JAVITS-Wagner-O'Day) program, now called AbilityOne, which required incorporation under MGI Services. In an effort to expand the opportunities for our employees, the Contracts Division was developed over the years to build on these initial efforts to identify available federal and commercial contracts. More recently, MMGI Industries and MGI Services have strengthened our training program and expanded our services offered to the public to include mailroom and snow removal activities.

As an agency, MMGI provides stable employment to over 2,200 people. In addition, in 2020:

We helped over 2,460 people with a variety of barriers to employment, to obtain employment. The average hourly wage for consumers in our Employment Services was $10.99, well above the minimum hourly wage in Missouri ($9.45).

We operated 4 Goodwill Excel Centers, offering the opportunity for over 900 individuals 21 years and older to earn a regular high school degree in Missouri for the first time, graduating 224 students at an average hourly wage of $14.21.

There is a regional benefit to those individuals who are working as a result of our services. It impacts the economy of the region since their wages allow them to purchase goods, which in return fuels the regional economy. Income taxes, and other taxes paid, support government services. As we help people find good jobs, there is the added benefit of reduced reliance on government programs for income. But above all, they are able to earn a salary that allows them more freedom to make choices about what they want in life. And that is priceless.

There are other ways that MMGI benefits our region. Our stores offer a wide range of goods at low prices for shoppers looking to save money. We also are a convenient place to drop off goods that can be resold in our stores or recycled. In 2018, we diverted more than 38,000 tons of donations from landfills through our retail program.

MMGI is proud of the benefits, economic and social, we bring to our territory.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback

Financials

MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries

Board of directors
as of 02/12/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. George Philips

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/12/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/31/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.