Goodwill of the Heartland

brand awareness

Social good organization meets really good social (media).


With one of the most recognizable names in the non-profit community, and coverage of 17 stores within Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, Goodwill of the Heartland had a vast network of dedicated shoppers and donors to tap. Seeing the growing importance of having a connected brand presence on social media, Goodwill of the Heartland reached out for help in 2013.

key challenges

Goodwill of the Heartland is one of the hardest-working non-profits you’ll meet, with a small marketing department handling all internal and external communication and tons of ongoing projects. Social media was part of the mix, but needed some ownership.

Their Creative Services Lead had developed a beautiful, cohesive brand platform to unite the store, but needed a plan for bringing it to life on social media platforms.

Finally, they had trouble juggling all of the goals they needed to support. You probably know Goodwill the retail brand. Did you know that 40% of Goodwill of the Heartland’s revenue comes from other business ventures? Did you know that Goodwill helps veterans find jobs through the Homeless Veterans Reentry Program? Over 150,000 hours of job training have been given to individuals who face barriers of finding and keeping a job. Key parts of their story weren’t being told.

Sculpt jumped at the chance to work with an organization promoting social good in our own backyard.

brand goals

We rallied around several marketing goals:

  • Grow the social audience and community
  • Drive donations during key campaigns
  • Recruit job seekers
  • Expand the audience reach, especially with younger thrifters
  • Showcase the Goodwill experience
  • Cross-promote programs like the Career Centers in Moline and Muscatine, Youth Corp, and Goodwill Reboot
  • Integrate with retail marketing efforts

our approach

Our approach for Goodwill of the Heartland's social media strategy was influenced by the demographic we were most trying to reach. While the overarching brand story of Goodwill of the Heartland flowed through all platforms, there were nuances to each channel strategy.


Facebook was more retail-focused, and allowed us to amplify content by leveraging geographic, demographic and interest-based targeting. We also used Facebook to highlight the compelling stories of Goodwill shoppers and employees.


Twitter served as a platform to monitor branded and non-branded conversations and a place to interact one-on-one with younger fans and customers. The voice of the Twitter account was more youthful and playful.


Instagram was a place to experiment with visual content and thrifting community hashtags. We implemented a gallery feed, which doubled our monthly engagements in short order.


We maintained a presence for Goodwill of the Heartland on Pinterest, which now has 500 followers, by carefully, curating pins from other thrifters.


Keeping the brand goals that were important to Goodwill Industries and the regional goals of Goodwill of the Heartland in mind, we were able to come up with campaigns that spoke to a younger demographic of thrifters, highlighted the diverse mission of the organization, and drove action at key times. Here is a snapshot of some of our campaigns.

We helped to launch the new Marion location and encouraged consumers to share their experience socially with the implementation of Snapchat Geofilters. We used a healthy dose of geo-targeted Facebook content to bring attention to the launches of stores in Keokuk, IA and Geneseo, IL, growing the audience simultaneously.


During the month of July, we educated consumers on how the Americans with Disabilities Act was helping Goodwill employees through visual storytelling.

We highlighted photos of community Goodwill finds in our campaign called Gettin’ Thrifty and repackaged them to meet the brand’s theme.


Week after week, we helped garner consistently high levels of engagement in our “Guess What I Found” contests. The community loved guessing what the photoshopped item was for a chance at a Goodwill gift card, and the team loved seeing the “Look What I Found” brand message come to life.

our impact

Today, Goodwill of the Heartland has a thriving social media fan-base that takes action when they need it. When fake news about the brand spreads, Goodwill of the Heartland’s fans come to the rescue. Conversations around mental health and support for people who have barriers to getting and keeping jobs have been sparked, and they continue in the comments after our content is posted. We’ve helped generate more awareness about special projects that the Goodwill of the Heartland is involved in, and increase confidence in the Goodwill brand and mission.

our results

Over our 3-year engagement, we helped Goodwill of the Heartland Facebook fan base leap from 1,194 to 7,989. We also took their monthly average engagements from 109 in late 2013 to 11,663 by 2016. On Twitter we were able to drive what was an average 54 impressions per month in 2013 to 11,317 per month in 2016. We also grew their Instagram account from the ground-up. We frequently exceeded attendance, growth, and contest goals with our campaigns.

“Sculpt has transformed our social media community impact. Throughout our relationship, they’ve brought innovation, creativity and a standard of excellence second to none.”

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