American Friends Service Committee

  www.afsc.org
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American Friends Service Committee Reviews

Updated April 2, 2014
Updated April 2, 2014
4 Reviews

3.5
4 Reviews

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Shan Cretin
1 Rating

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    The work is inspiring and fulfilling, but the downsides of a large bureaucratic structure

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Director  in  Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Program Director in Portland, OR

    I worked at American Friends Service Committee full-time for 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Large organization with many opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Analyst  in  Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Philadelphia, PA

    I worked at American Friends Service Committee full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Can move around and create responsibility

    Cons

    Need to be proactive if your managers are not helping out

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Positive, great work community!

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Friends Service Committee

    Pros

    My experience at AFSC was positive in that I worked with a very supportive team that immediately welcomed me. In a junior position, I nevertheless felt I was given the space to voice opinions and concerns regarding team projects to others at any level- did not seem very hierarchal. Within this atmosphere, I was able to be quite productive.

    Also, their commitment to working towards long-term sustainability of projects is admirable.

    Cons

    Sometimes it seems like decision-making processes can seem quite slow. Additionally, there seemed to be many major staffing changes in a short period of time while I was there. I do not know if that was indicative of typical organizational behavior.

    Recommends
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Not what it seems

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Programs  in  Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Programs in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at American Friends Service Committee full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great Benefits, great location, long term history of peace and justice work, great reputation of work inthe 1950's and 60's.

    Cons

    Dysfuntional work environment, identiity crisis for the past 15 years.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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