American Friends Service Committee
- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I worked at American Friends Service Committee full-time (more than a year)Pros
The only organization in the country paying organizers to run crucial peace and human rights programs on the ground in communities across the nation.
The program staff were given lots of resources to do our work and lots of trust from management, and the people in the communities we got to work with were amazing.
I learned a lot about being an organizer, with support and encouragement from direct management, as well as learning from other coworkers that have been doing the work even longer. Lots of opportunities for collaboration across issue, i.e. Anti-war and immigrants rights, because of working in the same space.
The pay and benefits were very competitive among similar nonprofits.Cons
The financial cuts and layoffs in 2009 were devastating. Many regions have still not recovered the number of programs and staff that were in place before then. Top management also did not handle the layoffs well, keeping a larger proportion of highly-paid management and admin staff, and therefore having to layoff a larger proportion of direct program staff at the lowest salary levels. Also, after the layoffs, compensation and benefits became much less competitive, forcing even more good organizers with decades of experience to leave.
The regional management was wonderful in my experience, the difficulties were how much was required to go through the central bureaucracy in Philadelphia. The Quaker tradition is to deliberate on decisions and make democratic decisions, but there was not enough infrastructure in place (or possibly intention) to communicate in a reasonable timeline with staff on the ground about what was happening in the process of decision making. They wanted to centralize media work at one point, but then we could never get the time and attention of the central media staff to do the media for our location.Advice to ManagementAdvice
Improve communication pathways to on-the-ground organizers. Trust program staff to know what they are doing, rather than bringing in 3rd party consultants who have little to no experience.
Update technology. It is past time for the organization to have a better grasp of how to use technology to organize across the country, as well as for different parts of the organization to communicate and work together.
Work on the minutiae: it's past time for people to learn better meeting and facilitation skills to make sure every minute of a meeting is useful for the staff. Stop forcing people to spend so much time in meetings that is not actually productive and getting things done.
Reorganize finances to prioritize program staff in the field, and reverse the top heavy financial structure.RecommendsNeutral OutlookNo opinion of CEO
Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
- Application Details
I applied through college or university. The process took a day – interviewed at American Friends Service Committee in June 2010.Interview Details
I sent a cover letter and resume by email. They replied and we set up an interview time via email. At the interview, I waited in the chapel area of the church with other applicants, and was given religious materials to read. In the interview, I talked to two people from the organization (president of the chapter and his assistant), who asked questions about my resume and my life philosophies. They did not give any indication whether they liked me or not, but said they would call.Interview Questions
Reasons for Declining
- Tell me about your life philosophy. Answer Question
The job posting said the position would be traveling to local college campuses, talking about intercultural peace and conflict resolution to political science clubs. However, in the interview, they revealed those discussions would need to showcase their religion as the solution to conflict. I was not comfortable with that.Declined OfferNeutral ExperienceAverage Interview
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