Save the Children

  www.savethechildren.org
  www.savethechildren.org
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Save the Children Reviews

55 Reviews
3.7
55 Reviews
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Save the Children President & CEO Carolyn S. Miles
Carolyn S. Miles
18 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good work/life balance if you are working in the developed country (in 4 reviews)

  • nice working environment, laid-back, well-respected organization (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • Leadership is completely lacking, and individuals at a Director or VP level shun decision making (in 4 reviews)

  • Staff turnover in hardship posts are relatively high, so senior management at some field offices are not stable (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

7 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 8 people found this helpful  

    Great Mission - Bad Career Move

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Westport, CT
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westport, CT

    I have been working at Save the Children full-time

    Pros

    A great mission and flexible work schedule. A lot of "Career training" available. If you need a flexible work schedule this is the place - for a while.

    Competitive salary for a non-profit.

    The underlying desire is there among most employees to really make a difference in the lives of children and tends to attract some very smart and interesting people.

    Cons

    Terrible Senior Management, No Career Movement, Participation in "Career Training Programs" ultimately leads to no career movement.

    Many of the Senior management tend to create an unnecessarily competitive environment which lead to a tense working situation. The struggle to be recognized among mid managers lead to an almost impossible environment for teamwork and ultimately very unprofessional behavior.

    To anyone who both wants to make a difference and is also career oriented, Save the Children is a mixed bag. Yes its a great mission. Unfortunately the organization is a career killer and most of the talent realize this after a few years and jump ship to other organizations. Senior management accountability is almost non existent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A lot of very talented employees, on ALL levels, leave due to lack of career movement and a feeling of being taken advantage of. Many resort to staying only for flexible work arrangements.

    As a non-profit you need to deliver on promises to dedicated employees and create REAL opportunities to grow and be challenged or you will continue to have good people jump ship at the first opportunity.

    Show appreciation for talent who are willing to dedicate there lives and careers to the mission and the mission will be a huge success. The cost of losing good employees is much more than the cost of keeping them.

    Suggestion - A real 360 degree evaluation program of senior management in which all employees under them are required to participate in. Senior management should be held publicly accountable to these 360s.

    Neutral Outlook
  2. 7 people found this helpful  

    The select few of upper management are very impressed with themselves

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Associate  in  Westport, CT
    Current Employee - Program Associate in Westport, CT

    I have been working at Save the Children full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    A good mission, important work to be done

    Cons

    Very political and upper management protects their power base at all costs. Maintaining and enlarging their turf takes precedence over the mission or hiring/keeping talented people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look to hire effective people rather ones that help the managers protect their turf.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 6 people found this helpful  

    Mismanagement is endemic, employee development is not a priority, and creative, hardworking individuals are not valued.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Save the Children full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Pay is good for a nonprofit, the reputation (deserved or not) looks good on your resume, and the people who are not in management positions tend to be very bright, friendly, passionate and hardworking.

    Cons

    Leadership is completely lacking, and individuals at a Director or VP level shun decision making. This would be ok if the rest of the organization was allowed to work to its true productivity, but alas, Save the Children managers tend to focus much more on keeping their positions and stifling creative ideas (a culture of "business as usual") than on employee development. It's too bad, because the number of excellent people coming into the organization is phenomenal, and they tend to leave within a year or less. Unless you plan to be field based, this is not a place where you will grow professionally.

    Save the Children needs to figure out a way to work within its mission. It is becoming impossible to see the difference between Save the Children, Mercy Corps and CARE. The concentration on rampant fundraising (especially with US Government money) instead of on what people really want and need (supposedly the backbone of development and humanitarian work) is beyond disheartening. Save the Children will chase any money that is tossed before it.

    Lastly, the finance department is a mess and it makes the working lives of anyone who has to depend at some point on finance for clear policies or guidance very difficult.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not all managers should be managers. Folks who have risen in the ranks, mainly because of years with Save the Children, shouldn't necessarily be supervising people. Management takes skills and a level of caring about people that is lacking from your current managers. Make them advisers or use the "up or out" approach, but the process currently implemented is poisoning the organization.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great intentions bad management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Save the Children

    Pros

    I'm proud to work at Save the Children and for an ogranization that helps to improve the quality of peoples life. Vacation is generous, if you can use it.

    Cons

    If you aren't one of the "in crowd" you won't get anywhere. If you want to settle, it's the place to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to listen to what the employees say. If you want to move forward, you need the support of your employees and can actually learn from them.

    No opinion of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful  

    Ten reasons why NGOs need to be Reformed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Save the Children

    Pros

    Save the Children has wonder advocacy programs in the United States and Aboard. The mid-level staff are wondeful professionals to learn from and obtain a good perspective of Save the Children's mission.

    Cons

    Similar to most NGO's that have been around 75 years + they lack Senior Managment that have the appropirate leadership skills. Upper management and Human Resources prefereance is to avoid conflict, so it is hands off management style that feeds the rudenss among most employees towards each other. I find that the support groups do not really know how to support, they enable the employess primarly upper management that through temper tantrums. Porr management or lack there of is leading to the increasing turn over of the organization.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start managing and stop hiding in your offices. Stop the polictical bickering and learn how to work together. Most importantily be accountable, less reactive and more proactive. The Humanitarin busienss is not a popularity Arena. Leave your egos at the door and make Save the Children a move effective NGO.

    No opinion of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Things Will Not Change until Top Management Changes

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Save the Children full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - build professional relationships with most of the people I work with;
    - flexibility of work schedule [usually] when there are emergencies with family/kids;

    Cons

    - it seems the finance department is a mess, there is a lack of leadership. When you have folks in management roles for 20-30 years, innovation and change go out the window - no, these aren't even allowed at the door. Many new people come in, but they are also the first to leave. Either these "lifers" need to switch to another department for a while or start an exchange program with other NGOs, to get some fresh blood in there, but nothing will change until the senior finance folks change - and sadly, it doesn't look like any of 'em will leave soon. Westport isn't exactly the HUB for NGOs, ya know. Forget it if you are a woman! The top finance folks will use the passive-agressive behaviour technique to force you out. You could have great ideas, but if the senior managers are the ones responsible for the idea: forget it. B-Level managers DO NOT hire A-level staff here. It's more like C-level managers though and they ain't hiring anyone who will outshine or outperform them.
    - Get rid of the conflicts of interest and nepotism. This ain't a family business. Husbands and wives working in the same department - come on. Uncles, cousins, sister-in-laws being hired or brought in from overseas? There are many many qualified Americans who can do the work.. Oh yeah, it makes it hard to have a disagreement with a co-worker if her husband is your boss: can you say conflict of interest????!!! Cut the nepotism and put a conflict of interest policy in place
    - Lack of transparency: people are given promotions or new positions without a new position being advertised. As for hiring, if you are in a clique, don't worry about applying for new positions because you can earn a new position even if you aren't qualified. you just have to be in the "clique."
    - Lack of follow up from HR when one interviews for a position. You usually find out from the Announcment Page when someone has been hired for a position for which you were interviewed. HR needs to get back to candidates BEFORE announcing who has been selected to fill a position.
    - Lack of direction with this whole Save the Children International thing - there has been such a lack of communication from mangement downwards; lack of planning; there are plans in place, but the senior management doesn't want to share with staff - like they feel empowered by holding information. Managers don't work with employees to get them into other positions (probably cause they are looking at protecting their own jobs)
    - Performance Evaluations - they have a quota of how many people can get each rating. So regardless of how highly your supervisor may think of your performance, if the senior managers don't want you to get a high rating, you ain't gonna get it. year after year, my supervisor comes back to apologize that his/her evaluation of me what rejected because the rating was too high.
    - Misuse of funds - when you see photos of children who look like they are starving, don't think all your donations reach them...there are $60,000 + vehicles being purchased for employee use to take their children to/fm the private schools or $4,200/month homes being rented, swimming pools that need to be cleaned; best thing is to designate your contributions to a specific cause

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let the "lifers" those who've been there for 15 years + get some outside world experience or move them to another department.

    Cut the "bring your spouse/cousin/nephew/uncle/son" to work policy. They can come visit, but let one of them stay, not both. It's not good for morale, business.

    Have an open, transparent hiring/promotion practice. HR recruiters need to get back to candidates with solid feedback or honesty in terms of what a supervisor is looking for/why candidate not selected.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Company culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Save the Children

    Pros

    Work / life balance can be achieved depending upon the individual manager/supervisor you report to. Some were quite flexible and supportive while many others were quite against it. This completely surprised me given the core mission of the organizaiton - promoting the care and well being of mothers and children across the globe.

    Cons

    Extremely political and surprisingly cliquey. If you were not a part of the "in crowd" your ideas for improvements were ignored or ridiculed. Also the organization relies heavily - too heavily - on decision-making by consensus. If it's nearly impossible to get 2 people to agree upon a decision/conclusion, imagine the chaos when you need to include 10+. The organization needs to come to terms with the fact that its growth has positioned it to operate more like a for-profit entity and not a collective 'kumbaya' club. IMO

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    see above.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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