Clean Water Action

  www.cleanwateraction.org
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Clean Water Action Reviews

Updated Jul 23, 2014
Clean Water Action – Pittsburgh – “Election phone banking”

All Employees Current Employees Only

3.6 38 reviews

78% Approve of the CEO

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Robert Wendelgass

(9 ratings)

59% of employees recommend this company to a friend
38 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    Do meaningful work in a great environment for the environment

    Field Manager (Former Employee) Ann Arbor, MI

    ProsI honestly had the best year of my life at CWA. Every campaign that we ran was a substantial move to protect people's health and the environment. My conversations and their resulting letters and contributions from all across southeastern Michigan had tangible results. We asked our members to support Gina McCarthy, and she is now the head of the EPA. I was working in December when the eighth out of eight of Michigan's oldest, most hopeless coal plants lost their fight for expansion. You sleep well at night when you know the work you do improves lives and safeguards the planet.

    I also met amazing friends. Because people can be themselves and the leadership rose from the bottom and continues to work the same job while handling additional responsibilities, the environment was friendly and everyone has a shared sense of success. We have fun after work. The proverbial getting a drink with coworkers isn't just to fill the hours- it's actually where you want to be at the end of the day. On top of that, the opportunity to work outside without doing manual labor is a real treat. You feel healthier, you become more in tune with the seasons and weather, and you learn to appreciate the outdoors.

    While at Clean Water Action, I also got to see a lot of Michigan and it's people. I'm from Indiana, and didn't have a lot of friends when I moved to Ann Arbor after college. CWA gave me the opportunity to talk to around 10,000 people from all different backgrounds, from tattooed veterans waxing their fishing boats to the hardest-hit Detroit pensioners to the creme of the corporate world. I've seen more of Michigan in a year than I did in Indiana where I grew up or Ohio where I went to college.

    I was able to explore other areas of the United States, as well. I was able to work for three weeks in Austin with Texas Campaign for the Environment on producer take-back programs for toxic electronics and with Citizen's Campaign for the Environment in White Plains, New York for the Child Safe Products Act, keeping toxic chemicals out of kids' products. I've met dedicated activists from all across the United States and in addition to the friends that I met outside my office and who came to train at my own, I went to two conferences and had an amazing time at both.

    Finally, Clean Water Action encouraged me to think about the world, my impact on it, and what it takes to see results. I can express what is important to me to the public. I can connect with people in a way that gets me what I need to accomplish my goals. I was in no way a competent leader going in. I learned to keep a professional attitude, and to take responsibility for the success or failure of a movement. I know how to train people to be successful. After being a field manager for six months, I know how leadership is essential to everyone's success.

    Give it a shot, you might be surprised how much fun you have, the people you meet, and how well you sleep at night.

    ConsBe prepared to take responsibility. What you choose to do with your time, and how you choose to communicate with a community is the difference between doing your job and not.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHi, Em. Keep it up.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Felt like a missed opportunity

    Field Canvasser (Current Employee) Baltimore, MD

    ProsCWA tries to create a positive work environment, and offers a lot of opportunities for advancement within the organization.

    ConsThere are a lot of problems with this job. The first main one is bad hours. it is often hard to maintain a work-life balance with this job. The second is an often frustrating work environment. Every canvasser knows the agony of coming back without having met the night's "quota". Field managers keep it positive but chastise you if you do not immediately and unconditionally accept responsibility for not fundraising enough that night. Also the crowded van rides with annoying coworkers to and from the canvassing area often soured my mood. Pay can be quite high if you fundraise a lot but most canvassers make average wages.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDrop the cutesy cultural bits such as icebreakers in the van and weird social rules. people in the organization know what i mean. we are not children and the organization is doing a good thing to ensure a positive workspace but it has gone too far.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Complete Scam

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Ann Arbor, MI

    ProsIt sounds like you are helping out a good cause but it's really just a front.

    ConsFirst of all I was told I was being interviewed for a marketing position, instead for my "interview" I was dropped off in a bad neighborhood, ALONE to canvass.

    Unless you love door to door sales, on your own, in bad neighborhoods where everyone hates you, this isn't the job for you. They lie about how much money you will make, how you are helping to save the world, it's all just a pyramid scam.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe honest. Tell people up front that it is door to door solicitation and you only get paid commission.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Most supportive and fun workplace ever

    Mercury Recycling Coordinator (Current Employee) Providence, RI

    ProsEveryone in the organization truly wants to see you succeed and celebrates achievements. Pay is reasonable for a non-profit and the chance to make the planet a better place to live is an incalculable benefit. Company looks to promote from within. Great basic training for politically-minded activists.

    ConsCanvassing can be physically challenging and you must be able to deal with rejection from strangers without taking it personally.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep looking for ways to engage lower-level workers to keep them involved and motivated.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great way to learn valuable grassroots organizing skills and work with fun people!

    Phone Canvasser (Current Employee) Oakland, CA

    ProsClean Water action is really effective at what they do with grassroots organizing and environmental advocacy. They get it done on a very very small budget. A great example of a very accessible organization that puts people over profits every time and encourages as much in public advocacy. If you are political, driven, and bent on making the world a better place this will be a great place for you to start your career!

    ConsCanvassing and fundraising is really really important and necessary work. If you are a person who has difficulty connecting the dots about the need to raise money (unbeholden to corporate interests) to do political work, it could be difficult for you to maintain the motivation to be consistently successful in a canvassing job.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPut more emphasis on recruiting and developing people of color in the organization.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Valuable Life Skills

    Field Canvasser (Current Employee) Denver, CO

    ProsThe work atmosphere is the best park about working for Clean Water Action. The people that work here enjoy their job! Yeah, everyone that works here cares about the environment, but its more than that. For example a year ago I was sick for a week with pneumonia and the crew bought a get well cake for me, had everyone sign a card for me, and I got texts from everyone in the office wishing me well. A lot of my best friends I have I made while working for Clean Water Action. The campaigns they work on are fun and engaging, and the staff do a very good job of educating people on the issues. As a canvasser, manager and Assistant Canvass Director the skills I learned here I will carry with me me my whole life.

    ConsCanvassing on oil and gas development in Colorado can be a challenge. The issue is very polarized and its not uncommon to have oil and gas employees become very agitated. Be ready for a fight!

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep doing what you're doing, its working.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Get paid for the equivalent of a Masters Degree in life skills and political organizing.

    Field Canvass Director (Former Employee)

    ProsClean Water Action has a lot to offer including but not limited to: the greatest people to work with in the country, a brilliant training program, consistent fair pay + benefits, and the opportunity to work on and win campaigns that will keep our country healthy and safe. This organization doesn't just fit folks into a machine like a cog, but they invest in people and help develop them grow to become leaders.

    ConsThe field jobs are not for everyone, and you must be self motivated. It is perfect for people who like to challenge themselves and who are open to growing core communication and interpersonal skills. All advancements are based on merit, so if you want to be a leader, its all up to you, and they will train you very well to do it.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe canvass supervisors are the best in the business. They empower new directors and coach them through the trials of running a field operation with ease.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Good starting position for someone with little experience or education.

    Field Canvasser (Former Employee) Pittsburgh, PA

    ProsFlexible work time, great for students.

    Conslittle support and pay, lack of management structure.

    Advice to Senior Managementwork with new employee to get better result.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Skills for a lifetime!

    Canvasser (Current Employee) Ann Arbor, MI

    ProsI've worked with Clean Water Action for about a year now. The skills I've developed will undoubtedly be carried with me for my entire life.

    There is a great sense of fulfillment as you are able to see and experience the progress you make with influencing legislation.

    The office atmosphere is extremely positive and laid back.

    Opportunities to travel across the country to work on various environmental and social issues.

    Constant learning- weekly briefings on local issues.

    Benefits and vacation time.

    ConsAfternoon hours- great for students!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Not for the faint of heart.

    Phone Canvasser (Current Employee) Pittsburgh, PA

    ProsI find it very difficult to find the pros. I think the folks in the office are very hard workers. The idea of the organization and its work is honorable. However, it does not transfer into reality. They try to make it a positive environment to the expense of reality. If you've had a bad night, you're supposed to put on a fake face.

    ConsIt's not for everyone. You need exceptional communication skills and even then it takes forever to make any money. The leadership and long term employees get the best 'leads.' I worked on the phones. They advertised benefits 'if qualified' but by that they mean if you get enough hours. It's really tough to get a full time position let alone get ahead. All manual calling. You make 100 calls and only 10 will answer. Few will give.

    Didn't work in the field canvass but if it's this demanding on the phones, the field has to be intense. They go out in the coldest and hottest weather until 10PM, its clearly unsafe.

    As you can imagine, turnover is exceptionally high. I did ok but it was really a revolving door.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake some concern for the safety of the field canvass.
    Treat all employees equally.
    Provide canvass operations better facilities and supplies.
    Provide some motivational incentives for the staff and offices.
    Get your finances in order. Everyone talks about it.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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