Clean Water Action
3.5 of 5 30 reviews
www.cleanwateraction.org Washington, DC 500 to 999 Employees

Clean Water Action Reviews

Updated Apr 1, 2014

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3.5 30 reviews

                             

75% Approve of the CEO

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Robert Wendelgass

(4 ratings)

56% of employees recommend this company to a friend
30 Employee Reviews
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Skills for a lifetime!

Canvasser (Current Employee)
Ann Arbor, MI

I have been working at Clean Water Action full-time for more than a year

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

I have been working at Clean Water Action part-time for more than a year

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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Good place to gain experience

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Clean Water Action full-time

ProsClean Water Action boasts dedicated staff and a pleasant culture. They put a lot of energy into training and developing staff.

ConsYou may have to move cities to advance within the organization, but with cities all over the country that might not be such a bad thing.

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Highly-transferrable skill set gained as a canvasser!

Field Canvasser (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I worked at Clean Water Action full-time for less than a year

Pros- Great hours
- Benefits after you've worked there for a while
- Potential to earn bonuses
- See the Bay Area, never a dull moment!
- Great Incentives
- Learn great communication skills

Cons- High employee turnover
- Lots of rejection
- No part-time volunteer work
- Other canvassers come and go often
- pay is low

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Canvasser

Canvasser (Former Employee)
Ann Arbor, MI

I worked at Clean Water Action full-time for less than a year

ProsOpportunity to make a lot of money

ConsGoing door to door is very difficult, especially in the middle of summer.

Advice to Senior ManagementMeeting for two hours before going out canvassing is very unnecessary in most cases.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Annoying at times, but good for experience

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Clean Water Action

ProsI worked as a Field Canvasser:

Staff is very nice, they actually do want you to succeed.
Good benefits in the long run.
Fairly flexible about sick days and benefits.

All in all, I can't say my overall experience was THAT bad, I didn't like my job, and in the end that's why I let it go by the wayside, however if you're a high school or college kid with no experience like I was, it was a good opportunity to get some experience. Everyone was fairly nice and casual (not too casual), and the work atmosphere was nice.

ConsQuotas being really hard to meet if you happen to be in the wrong neighborhood
Being forced to work in inclement weather.

What really sucked was the actual work, people are really rude which of course management can't really control, and you're on the chopping block rather quickly if you don't make quota, which isn't actually fair if you happen to be stuck in a blue collar, working class neighborhood, or a poor one where people can't really give donations.

Being forced to work in EXTREME cold and snow is also rather dangerous, and so is going all over ice.

The job also has a very high turn over rate because of these things so you likely won't stick with the people you are working with (besides senior management) for long.

Advice to Senior ManagementChange quotas to be specific towards areas instead of general to be more fair to those who canvass

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Deceptive and unfair

Community Organizer (Former Employee)
Ann Arbor, MI

I worked at Clean Water Action full-time for less than a year

ProsMy first few days felt great. Everyone was very friendly, came from a wide variety of backgrounds. Field managers were helpful and supportive. And then...

ConsI was only allowed to work two days out in the field after 1.5 days training. When I failed to make quota on either of those days, one of which was in a neighborhood where my trainer also failed to make quota, I was unceremoniously given the axe. No warning, no second chances.
Also, I was told when I set up the interview that I would make $400 a week. They didn't tell me it was based on commission and quotas until I had started and left my other job.

Advice to Senior ManagementTwo days is not long enough to tell if someone is going to make it in a job like this. As an experienced salesman, I know that there are good days and bad days. If you don't give someone a fair chance, you'll never know how good they can be.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Creepy and Cultish

Canvnasser (Former Employee)
Montclair, NJ

I worked at Clean Water Action part-time for less than a year

ProsGot to meet different kinds of people from town to town
Saw a lot of my state that I wouldn't normally see
Learned better how to deal with the public in a professional way
Met lots of nice dogs and cats
Independent work, was able to self supervise and set my own pace
Working for a cause I believe in

ConsUncomfortable work environment, very cliquey with the illusion of accepting everyone
Found my coworkers to be very fake
Little to no job security, high turnover rate
Coworkers were very cheerful until challenged and then would suddenly become negative and confused
Was sent home because of extreme heat with no prior notice (I lived an hour away)
Description of pay at interview was misleading (was told $90/day base with bonuses based on exceeding expectations, was not told that the $90/day was based on making the quota and your pay for the day was half of what you brought in)
Weird rules for being in the van ("we try to keep it super positive in the 'burb!")
Field managers were intimidating and borderline rude
Field managers embarrassed you by forcing you to recite your "rap" in the van en route to destination in front of everyone, and then critiqued you in front of everyone....very inappropriate
The whole thing kind of ran like a cult....if you refused to be indoctrinated or did not fall directly in line with what they believed in (anyone who stated outright their agreement with our Republican governor was publicly ostracized) you did not "fit in"
Weird hours made it impossible to have a life outside of work (leave for work at 12, get home at 11-12, go right to bed only to wake up and do it again) without one or two days off a week which was frowned upon

Advice to Senior ManagementGive people more than a week to make $180/day...sometimes learning and opening up takes longer than a week.
Be honest about the obviously commission based pay
Relax the van rules
Do not put people on the spot in front of coworkers who are obviously more experienced and give them an open forum to criticize!! This is inappropriate!

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great place to work for progressive-minded people

Field Canvasser (Current Employee)
Oakland, CA

I have been working at Clean Water Action full-time for less than a year

ProsLots of upward mobility, they only hire from within. Great training, and everyone on staff is super friendly. I loved my time there as a summer job. CWA is one of the best canvassing groups to work for--fair pay, good hours, they don't grind you to the bone.

ConsIt's definitely not for everyone, there is some negativity towards canvassing by people who feel slighted because they did not make it on staff through training. It's hard to measure who is going to be good at canvassing or not, there is not an "ideal" resume you can look at and say they will be a great canvasser. Field managers have to try out a large range of applicants and give them a shot to see if they are a good fit.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Good Intentions, Financially on the edge

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Clean Water Action

ProsWell meaning and trying hard to live up to its mission.

ConsRun by a small clique not open to new ideas or new comers. Funding is always on the edge, putting the organization in a constant precarious position.

Advice to Senior ManagementNeed to welcome fresh ideas and approaches.

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

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