Goodwill of North Georgia is one of the state’s largest non-profits and enjoys near-total brand awareness for their thrift store locations. A large percent of the local population had visited their locations to shop and donate over the years. But thrift store familiarity masked Goodwill’s true purpose: to create employment and career opportunities for North Georgians. We needed to help shoppers and donors feel more connected to this mission to keep them loyal to Goodwill, and to keep putting North Georgians to work.

THE Clarity

Goodwill of North Georgia’s mission is to create employment – and career – opportunities for North Georgians. Their certification programs, business centers, interview training and small business owner support groups help people gain employment and improve their quality of life every day. This work is funded through the proceeds from their thrift stores, so the more they increase sales the more they can increase employment among the local community. As a result, GNG has focused on improving its retail experience through efforts that have shown positive impact despite competitive headwinds like e-thrifting and traditional retailers getting into the donated-goods business. We knew we had to connect the dots for consumers between donating, shopping, and the community impact. We showed them that their passion for fashion, as well as giving back, go hand-in-hand with Goodwill. We established the Cycle of Good—demonstrating how good donations become good purchases, which lead to good jobs—and how supporting their neighbors is as easy as going shopping or dropping off gently used items. We set out to show that all you have to do to make good happen in your local community is to Go #Goodwilling. This positioned the brand as an uplifting retailer and donation center with a more contemporary energy and positive community impact. The brand’s visual identity also received a facelift, incorporating bright and optimistic color palettes that convey optimism and positive change. We also incorporated a graphic motif that highlights the constant cycle of #Goodwilling. We launched the campaign on #GivingTuesday to help underscore Goodwill’s non profit status and to draw attention to the mission behind their thrift stores. The integrated media plan layered promotional windows on top of always-on programmatic and paid social to achieve specific sales and donation goals while building awareness for their mission. New merchandise is making its way onto the sales floor all the time, and highly targeted digital tactics allow us to drive daily foot traffic while decreasing cost per visit over time. Some tactics are designed to remind frequent thrifters to visit us more often, while others are aimed at introducing new shoppers to the treasures they can find at Goodwill. And we leverage social media to engage all types of North Georgians, whether they are moms shopping for Halloween costumes, DIYers hunting for unsung treasures or downsizing-minded donors looking for a good home for their memories.


By leveraging local media relationships, we delivered almost $300k in added value over the duration of the buy. We have driven increases in foot traffic, sales and donations over the duration of the campaign. And we’ve leveraged locational technologies to start to connect ad exposure with foot traffic in stores. As of March 2020 we have directly contributed over 20,000 hours of job training to hardworking North Georgians.

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