Goodman Community Center | Living Wage Initiative

Living Wage Initiative

In July 2023, Goodman announced an internal minimum wage of $20/hour. That was Step 1 on our path to more equitable pay for our staff.

Support the Initiative

“It’s time to take care of the people who take care of our community.”

Why spearhead a Living Wage Initiative?

To put it simply: It’s the right thing to do.


Goodman’s professional and caring staff provide essential services for our community and their work is critically important. They keep our entire enterprise humming and serve more than 35,000 people annually through our programs for children and teens, food pantry and meal services, a fitness center and exercise classes, and programming for older adults.

Providing a living wage for our staff is also essential to fully realize our organizational vision for a community that’s thriving because everyone has the resources they need to be successful.

We recognize that we are pioneering a paradigm shift in nonprofit worker compensation by moving our base wage to $20/hour. And we believe it’s the only way to sustain the critical mission and work of our 70-year-old community center in today’s economy.

How we’ll get there…

Living Wage fundraising goal
To sustain 5 years of the initiative, we need to raise $2.8 million dollars. We're 3/4 of the way there and need the community's help to raise the remaining funds!

To implement and sustain the Living Wage Initiative, Goodman aims to raise $2.784 million within five years. This amount will cover cost of the first five years of the initiative.

To date we have raised $2.057 million (74%) which covers the first three years of the costs listed above. Ultimately, the Living Wage Initiative gives Goodman time to shift and prioritize our critical human resources in the organizational budget more effectively over the long term.

Steps we've taken so far:

Increase Goodman’s base pay from $15 to $20/hour.
It’s a simple step with a big financial impact – both on our staff and on our budget. Raising the internal minimum wage isn’t as simple as bumping everyone up to $20/hour. In order to address the compression in wage bands, we also modified the wages of staff who were already making at least $20/hour.

Improve overall staff access to our 403(b) retirement savings plan.
How do you get staff buy-in to retirement savings? Make opt-in automatic. As part of the Living Wage Initiative, all staff start earning retirement savings of 1% of their annual income on Day 1 of employment. The theory: If staff see how quickly the savings accumulate, they’ll be inspired to contribute their own funds as well. For staff who do contribute their own funds to the plan, Goodman matches their contribution up to an additional 4%.

Provide financial literacy education for staff during paid work hours.
In a partnership with Summit Credit Union, Goodman is offering a series of financial literacy classes that are open to all staff during paid work hours. The goal here is to arm staff with the education they need to best leverage their income.

We need your help!

It'll take the full support of the broader community to raise the remaining $727,000. Help us cross the finish line!

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Measuring the impact

We officially instituted our new minimum wage of $20/hour in July 2023, and we’re already realizing the critical improvements we anticipated, including:

  • Stabilized staffing in critical direct service and frontline positions and improved staff retention rates.
  • Increased utilization of 403(b) retirement savings plan.
  • Improved staff job satisfaction with less staff burnout.
  • Increased awareness for, and recruitment of, funders who understand the importance of paying a living wage to recruit and retain essential nonprofit workers.

    “Goodman’s Living Wage Initiative has made a huge difference in recruiting and operations for the Program Kitchen. We can find strong candidates much more quickly, and the people we have working in the kitchen seem happier and less stressed. I strongly believe that the higher wages have led to a higher quality of food being provided to our community members from our kitchen.”

    For more information about the Living Wage Initiative contact:

    Dani Luckett

    Chief Development Officer
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