American Cancer Society Reviews

Updated April 23, 2015
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3.1
529 Reviews
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American Cancer Society CEO John R. Seffrin
John R. Seffrin
273 Ratings

Pros
  • ACS offers really good hours which gives you the ability to have true work/life balance (in 34 reviews)

  • Each day you feel like you are making a difference in the lives of others (in 32 reviews)

Cons
  • We work when the volunteers can help us, so work life balance can be difficult (in 54 reviews)

  • No work life balance and low pay for amount of work/hours required to work (in 19 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Recruiter

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Recruiter: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in Hauppauge, NY
    Former Employee - Recruiter: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in Hauppauge, NY

    I worked at American Cancer Society (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The salary was the only good thing

    Cons

    I was offered my job back for Making strides against breast cancer and the rug was pulled under my feet at the last minute no reasonable explanation

    Advice to Management

    Get your communication together

  2. Helpful (2)

    Hope our new CEO can fix a huge mess

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

    I have been working at American Cancer Society

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people who want to make a difference.

    Cons

    High turnover and constant reorganization. Our "transformation" has dragged on over 2 years and is still not not complete. Many employees felt they have not been treated fairly during the process and morale is low. While most employees had to reapply for positions, upper management at the corporate center retained their positions, despite the fact that there were numerous examples of poor leadership and bad financial decisions.

    Advice to Management

    Take a hard look at decisions that were made during the transformation. The organization drastically changed its structure without a strategic plan in place. Without a clear vision for the future, we will continue to lose good employees and volunteers.

  3. Helpful (1)

    Used fear tactics and intimidation to try to reach unrealistic fundraising goals.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pinellas Park, FL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pinellas Park, FL

    I worked at American Cancer Society full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The cause, of course. Also, the American Cancer Society is very selective about cause marketing, which I respect, unlike other nonprofits where you can buy pink chips and "a portion of the proceeds will go to support finding a cure for breast cancer," etc. The benefits are also generous. Working with volunteers can be rewarding, and they can also be a con when they do not get what they want.

    Cons

    No work-life balance. Unrealistic fundraising goals. Terrible management. Illegal hiring practices (discrimination(. Revolving door. The directors fired very competent, dedicated staff for not reaching unrealistic goals to try to save their jobs. Going to Human Resources was never an option, since they would just share the information with the directors.

    Advice to Management

    Fear is not a motivator. Staff often work with ACS because they believe in the cause. Believe in your staff, and they will work tirelessly for you.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Run away... far, far away....

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

    I worked at American Cancer Society as a contractor

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    They have a pretty sophisticated IT department and they spend a whole lot of money on infrastructure.

    Cons

    I lasted three days as a contractor. Apparently they frown on smoking. Not that I would know this because it never came up in either of my interviews (one in person and one of the phone) nor did it come up when I showed up on my first day and filled the paperwork for my badge and the parking form. Nobody said you can't smoke on the property but I figured probably not a good idea. So I parked across the street because you can never get parking around their building in Austin. Some security camera caught me smoking (I've been chewing the gum for about 2 months - trying to quite - sometimes I slip and but I get back track). there was no discussion - no "did you not know that this was forbidden" - no talking about it at all. I got email stating the contract was cancelled. And I later found out why - some camera they had access to on the complex recorded me smoking a cigarette. Now - you can say what you like about smoking but it's totally not cool to fire someone for doing something they never knew was prohibited. It was never, ever explicitly stated or implied in any way.

    Luckily I hadn't gotten around to turning down other offers that I had and I was out of work two days. It's not the smoking policy that bothers me - its the total lack of effective communication about expectations. You can be fired on a whim. It's capricious. And the pay sucks. Way below market.

    Don't even think about working for these people. It's not worth it.

    Advice to Management

    Your contractors don't have ESP. If something is prohibited what's wrong with admitting it up front?

  6. Helpful (2)

    Horrible Treatment of Employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Community Relationship Manager in Reno, NV
    Former Employee - Community Relationship Manager in Reno, NV

    I worked at American Cancer Society

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Pay is good for entry level event management.

    Cons

    Management is not transparent. No opportunities for growth. While it is not stated that it is required to work overtime it is implied. Employees work significant amount of hours. Treatment of employees is poor. Employees that are not liked or that have any medical conditions are forced to resign or fired...specifically in RENO NV. Employees are pressured into writing good reviews of upper management when any discrimination issues are brought to the attention of any VP's.

    Advice to Management

    Clean sweep upper management!

  7. Helpful (3)

    Selfish company, only care about their own pockets

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lansing, MI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lansing, MI

    I worked at American Cancer Society

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I honestly cannot think of any. You might get lucky and meet some great fellow co-workers (I did), which makes the time go by faster. Other than that, no pros.

    Cons

    One of the worst most selfish companies I have ever worked for. In an entire 8 hour day, we were allowed only 30 minutes of break time. Period. That whole 30 minutes was supposed to include lunch, break, and even going to the restroom (yes, we had to punch out just to go to the restroom). At every other job I've worked at, we were given 30 minutes for lunch (unpaid), plus two 15 minute breaks (paid). This, to me, is very reasonable. And on top of that, we were still permitted to use the restroom whenever we needed to, without it counting against us. But at ACS, we were allowed only 30 minutes (unpaid, of course) for ALL of that! And because it also takes time to log out and back into your desk, a 30 minute break could easily be whittled down to 25 minutes or less. I felt like a slave, literally chained to my desk for 7.5 hours.

    Training was also laughable. We got two days of very minimal training, and were then thrown out on the floor and expected to know everything already. We would get pulled into team meetings and yelled at for "missing" things that were never taught to us in the first place! There is a HUGE miscommunication between management here. There was a very high turnover rate for this very reason.

    I would NOT recommend working for this company unless you have no other option.

    Advice to Management

    How do you expect employee productivity and morale to be high when you treat them like slaves? Thirty minutes of break time (that also includes going to the restroom) in an 8 hour day is just absurd, and no one should have to bring that to your attention for you to know that it's wrong. You wouldn't be okay with it if you were restricted in that way. Why would you think it is okay to treat employees that way?

    Furthermore, you cannot expect people to know things that haven't been taught to them. You wouldn't have to train and re-train new employees every week if you would just train them right the first time!! How about a full job training rather than 2 days?? If people are consistently screwing up on the same issues, common sense should tell you that it's a problem with your TRAINING and not with the employees themselves.

  8. Helpful (8)

    Sinking Ship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Georgia in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Georgia in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at American Cancer Society

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great location, good benefits. Flexible hours.

    Cons

    Horrible leadership at the top. President retiring, CEO leaving (but not before firing integral department leaders). Worked here for 3+ years without any pay increase whatsoever. Rarely saw or communicated with management. Most managers are technicians and not leaders.

    Advice to Management

    Talk to your people! Get some leadership training. Focus on ways to increase revenue rather than cutting jobs. You are losing valuable experience for chump change.

  9. Helpful (4)

    They run this place like a cult. Worst place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at American Cancer Society full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    I don't have any pros for this place.

    Cons

    Don't speak up and voice your opinion or they'll find a way to get rid of you. The powers that be only like yes men. If you have a brain or an opinion, this is not the place for you. Also the worst case of workplace bullying I've experienced in my professional career. So glad I'm gone from that cesspool. And talk about an enormous amount of wasteful spending. Somebody needs to go and check their books.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to listen to your employees sometimes. Acknowledge when your people are doing a job instead of waiting on somebody to have a bad day and kick them when they're down.

  10. Helpful (2)

    Good cause, bad business

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Specialist, Relay for Life
    Current Employee - Specialist, Relay for Life

    I have been working at American Cancer Society full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great cause, lots of PTO, the volunteers are amazing, good benefits package.

    Cons

    Unrealistic expectations of Relay for Life Specialists. Lots of nights and weekends with little to no compensation relative to work.

    Management is incompetent, ineffective, and consistently maintains "we've always done it this way" mentality. It's not uncommon to see subordinates who are more educated than their Senior Manager (ie. managers with no degree after high school, no management experience whatsoever).

    Numerous useless meetings and "team building" events cutting into one's time to complete job effectively.

    Almost no upward mobility or chance of promotion. If "promoted" there's often little or no pay raise. Good employees are overlooked for outside talent, leading to HIGH turnover.

    Consistent lack of professionalism in the work place by management.

    Advice to Management

    Whatever you do DO NOT work here. You will regret it and quit, as have half the people in my office since I started within the last 6 months.

  11. Helpful (7)

    Too much disconnect between those making the decisions and those making the money

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Community Relations
    Former Employee - Community Relations

    I worked at American Cancer Society full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible with schedule
    Inspiring mission
    Meeting/working with great volunteers

    Cons

    Work-life balance
    Unrealistic fundraising expectations/quotas
    Clique-ish management
    Disconnect between upper leadership and those in the field

    Advice to Management

    Take some time to understand how your fundraisers and volunteers operate. Implementing policies solely based on saving money is not always a good move. Trust your employees and volunteers to make good decisions as well-not everything has to be a corporation-wide policy.

    Transformation was very difficult to go through, without knowing what direction the company was going and trying to explain (or hide) that from volunteers. Having to reapply for your own job was a humiliating process.

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