Audubon Society

  www.audubon.org
  www.audubon.org

Audubon Society Reviews

Updated December 13, 2014
Updated December 13, 2014
17 Reviews
1.9
17 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
David Yarnold
12 Ratings

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Masochists only please...

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

    I worked at Audubon Society full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    I worked with great co-workers: dedicated, in many cases talented, and driven by the mission.
    There was a formerly good work/life balance, but increasingly there's a demand to be on call for the birds 24/7
    As is often the case in decentralized orgs, it was better working in field offices rather than at HQ

    Cons

    As others have noted, it often seems the new leadership team has minimal interest in conservation. They are however, sadists, seriously. Other comments corroborate that. Horrible people, who really shouldn't be leading others.
    Morale has suffered as a result, esp. in the moribund HQ
    Lots of energy expended on political intrigue and mind games.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Given the deservedly horrible reviews of the current CEO on Glassdoor (14% approval?), I'm surprised the Board hasn't fired him yet. 990 revenues don't seem to have increased.

    Doesn't Recommend
  2.  

    Good Mission, Poor Management

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

    I worked at Audubon Society

    Pros

    Interesting work with good people, work you can feel good about

    Cons

    The organization has lost its focus on its conservation mission, and is now more about just fundraising. Administration pays itself too much

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember what the mission of this organization is

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Heartless, soulless monster of a NY headquarters

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

    I worked at Audubon Society full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Physical space has lots of natural light ... and as someone else said, there's A/C! (Although that's not really a pro because it's always cranked up too high (conservation organization?) and their solution was to distribute blankets to everyone. PS, the reason it's too high is because when the president knocked down a couple walls to make himself a bigger office, he created a corner space that's flooded with sunlight. So in order for him to be comfortable, everyone else has to freeze. Oh sorry, was this supposed to be the "Pros" section?)

    Cons

    Where to begin ... when the old president was forced out and the search committee was asked on an all-staff call what they were looking for in the next leader, the answer was one word: fundraising. They didn't care about conservation knowledge or passion, leadership, humanity, anything like that. Just dollar signs. While, they successfully hired Mr. Yarnold who has no knowledge or passion for conservation, no leadership, no humanity ... but unfortunately he's also a pretty terrible fundraiser.

    The obvious misallocation of money is stunning. In a year where they laid off dozens of employees (seeming to take great joy in spreading it out and keeping everyone in constant fear of perpetual layoffs), they had their first ever Gala .... at the Plaza hotel, where Mr. Yarnold was photographed leering amidst bikini-clad women painted as birds. AND they posted the photo to facebook, where the comments were deservedly shocked and disgusted. How oblivious can you be? But I guess they don't care about the sweet grandmothers in Idaho who don't want their $20 to go to a party at the Plaza; they care about the millionaire they might be able to seduce to the cause with a bird-lady lapdance at the Plaza.

    They changed the annual merit system to rob from the poor and give to the rich The merit increases used to be 3%, but they changed it to 1.5% to create a "bonus pool." Well, I talk to people and I don't know anyone making under 50k who ever got a bonus. So the essentially pooled all the bonuses of everyone making peanuts in order to give fat bonuses to the already fat cats. (Seriously - check out the 990. How many employees do you need making skywards of 200k?)

    Oh god, and the consultants. Every project necessitates a consultant who comes in, creates some Apple IIGS flow charts, and disappears into the night with a fat pay check and absolutely no impact.

    The HR department is by far the most incompetent bunch of useless sycophantic idiots you could ever hope to have the displeasure to work with. They've drunk the company kool-aid which forbids you from having any intelligence, common sense, or human decency. Even when you ask them questions that are clearly within their scope of work, their first response will always be "don't know" or "can't help." It's often easier to give up then to force them to do their job - exactly their strategy so they can sit all day taking their personal phone calls and shoe shopping online. Maybe they're not awful people (maybe), but they sure are awful employees.

    There are a few good eggs, intelligent, hard-working, and caring individuals ... none of them on the executive team. I just can't imagine why they're still there. IF YOU'RE READING THIS AND YOU WORK AT AUDUBON AND YOU STILL HAVE A SOUL, GET OUT! Maybe you've been in the abusive relationship so long, you can't see your way out. And sure, there are probably worse places to work out there. (Exxon?) But there are also workplaces where people smile and talk to each other in the hallways! Where people disdain politics and mind-games! Where the salaries are more evenly distributed! Where layoffs are not constantly held over your head! Where they have milk for the coffee and tea! I know it might sound like heaven if you're used to Audubon, but I promise these utopias exist. Save yourself!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cupcake parties can't fix the evil you've wrought. Choose generosity over evil. Bring back the 3% base merit increases. And stop making people take 3 vacation days when the office is closed the Christmas-New Year's week. Half your employees don't even bother to log any of their vacation time, and yet you penalize the honest ones further by forcing them to use vacation days for days they couldn't work if they wanted to? WTH is that about?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Unhappy Place to Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Office Support Specialist in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Office Support Specialist in New York, NY

    I have been working at Audubon Society full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very dedicated and talented field staff in spite of NYHQ. Strong policy team and good science crew.

    Cons

    The working environment has been pretty miserable for the few past years. The CEO is a bully, ruling by fear and intimidation. Constant firings and threats of them keep everyone on edge. If you’re not in the small ring of his yes-men, he has little use for you. Forget about constructive feedback. He’s unable to inspire because he knows so little about nature and cares even less. In fact, he makes fun of it and board members who are passionate about it. Unlike conservation leaders with true stature like John Fitzpatrick from the Cornell Lab and former Audubon science director Frank Gill—who, I remember reading a decade ago, reported that half the birds were in trouble from climate change— newcomer to the cause can’t give a good reason why people should give a hoot about birds. No tagline, still? You gotta be kidding. There are constant financial pressures because intelligent big-time donors see through him. Headquarters has an almost lily white staff, in NYC no less. In my three years I never felt particularly comfortable as LBGT. So much for diversity. The CEO’s first hire, the COO, is a former bean-counter from Time Inc. and current H.R. nightmare. She prides herself on professing no interest in nature, fires off nasty lemails on Sunday nights, pressures veteran staffers to move on, chews out reports in front of colleagues and hassles them on their vacations, talks out of one side of her mouth, and barks on the phone at field staff. “Let me repeat myself” is her favorite expression. With him and her, almost everything is personal. Can so many below be wrong? If you’re considering a move to Audubon, think twice.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    National Audubon Society - Not a software development shop

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

    I worked at Audubon Society full-time

    Pros

    Decent location, Hours are flexible

    Cons

    I was told that I do not need to have things in writing

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    If you want to be overwhelmed and underpaid...

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

    I have been working at Audubon Society full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, volunteers and some staff members are really great people.

    Cons

    More Managers than non-management, very poor communication, managers push their work off on others, work is piled on - even manual labor and cleaning, duties totally un-related to the position you were hired for, very low pay for the work load.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This is the most disappointing job I have ever taken. I was so excited for this "opportunity" when I got the job, but only feel taken advantage of, underpaid, overwhelmed and under appreciated. People are shocked when I tell them some of the things outside my job description that I have had to do. I wish I would have read these reviews before and have learned the turn-over rate is sky high.

    My advice to Management:

    Show that your employees are appreciated for their hard work (specifically hourly employees). There is a very distinct feel that hourly employees do not matter or are "second class", including not being involved in group exercises. Take some responsibility and do your job instead of pushing it off on subordinates and then submitting it with your name on it..these are just a few changes that might stop the revolving door. A little gratitude and hope for growth go a long way.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Senior management is overpaid, under-whelming, with little conservation knowledge or commitment

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

    I worked at Audubon Society full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Concerned, kind staff at local level, working hard to introduce birds and nature to people. Flexible enough to amend to ever-changing directions from senior management.

    Cons

    The Audubon CEO is a major ganef and pretender in today's conservation industry. The CEO barely raises a fraction of his enormous annual salary, he is repulsive to sophisticated donors who quickly ascertain his weak depth of knowledge and little personal commitment to the cause. He is, after all, a newspaper salesman from San Jose. The CEO inspires fear from all who work for him. The entire organization has had all enthusiasm sucked from its veins. He commands instead of asks; he blames others for problems instead of fixing the problem; he drives employees but offers little direction or coaching. He talks of the "global scale" of Audubon, but can't show any real results saving bird species or habitats that Audubon is directly responsible for. He is slow at the helm: look at Cornell's E.D. John Fitzpatrick timely and excellent NY Times essay on the extinction of passenger pigeon. Thanks to its CEO, Audubon is irrelevant, immaterial, inapposite, inapplicable, inconsequential, insignificant and unimportant now.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the CEO and his useless band of senior sycophants. Audubon's current management is contemptuous of every conservation battle they never had to fight. The current leadership cannot hold a match to the achievements of preceding managers. They should spend less time with women Cirque du Soleil dancers whose nude bodies were painted as birds, and more time with practitioners of habitat protection at local, community and regional levels.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Not a good place to work

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

    I have been working at Audubon Society full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Many committed and dedicated staff

    Cons

    The org. can be very bureacratic, the leadership is poor, many managers are inept, there are major office politics, lack of commucation between departments and offices plus the pay is really low even for an NGO.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer management/leadership training to your supervisors, recognize and reward your valuable employees, start promoting within and improve the HR department - they are supposed to provide assistance, advice and support to employees as well as managers and not act as the company police

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    fly in other direction

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

    I have been working at Audubon Society full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    rewarding to help save birds

    Cons

    management plays mind-games, employees overloaded for little pay, stressful

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Struggling Against Irrelevance at the Cost of Its Soul

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Fundraiser in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Fundraiser in New York, NY

    I worked at Audubon Society full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Dedicated lower- and mid-level employees

    Cons

    A corrupt, thoroughly unpleasant place to work

    By far the worst job I've ever had—and that includes my teenage stint as an ice cream scooper at Baskin Robbins. Audubon is trying so desperately (and unsuccessfully) to position itself as a currently relevant environmental group that it resorts to some really unsavoury practices. For instance, this elitist, lily-white group tries to act like its inclusive by putting a few pics of black kids on its website and hiring a token person here or there....

    I was asked to lie to major donors on a regular basis, when it came to accomplishments, in order to hit them up for yet more money! Upper management plays fast and loose with the facts in this and other regards—facts, schmacts. Huge discrepancy between the way Audubon's 2,768 VPs (OK, only 50 or so) are treated, and the low status afforded lower workers paid by the hour—and at poverty wages at that. Subjected to haranguing from upper management—was yelled at on numerous occasions by supervisor, in clear hearing of others, who was held in both fear and utter contempt by others. Stress seems to emanate from the very top.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bow out gracefully. You're obsolete.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

Work at Audubon Society? Share Your Experiences

Audubon Society

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.