Compassion International Reviews

Updated August 20, 2015
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3.2
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Jimmy Mellado
20 Ratings

Pros
  • Releasing Children from poverty is a good cause for which I enjoyed contributing to the growth of the organization (in 7 reviews)

  • Great mission and purpose to aspire to (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • The organization is management heavy with many managers only having one - three direct reports and Directors with on average 5 - 20 reports (in 3 reviews)

  • They don't like to hear bad news (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

63 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    Great mission, environment, results (not for the faint of heart)

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mid-career Professional in Colorado Springs, CO
    Current Employee - Mid-career Professional in Colorado Springs, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Compassion International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name: It's the real deal! (See the Wydick study on child sponsorship: "large and statistically significant impacts from child sponsorship on years of completed schooling, primary, secondary, and tertiary school completion, and on the probability and quality of adult employment.") High confidence in the CEO, Santiago "Jimmy" Mellado: Just what the doctor ordered for a rapidly maturing organization. Remarkable balance of leadership experience, ministry pedigree and Harvard MBA. He is discerning and prayerful. He has a clear picture of what's working and what's broken. He has a plan for where we're going. He seeks wise counsel. He is a relentless communicator of vision and priorities. The job of a lifetime: God has prepared you for your whole life to work here. It is exciting to see that unfold. Being able to navigate the complexity of a rapidly changing global organization has huge challenges and great rewards. You can see what you're made of. Time flies by and there is never a dull moment. Great for those who enjoy variety and thrive on change. The ability to serve God and integrate your faith on-the-job: prayer, worship, faith sharing rarely happen elsewhere at work. God will stretch you in unexpected ways. Talented, capable, committed, kind, generous co-workers from around the world: Colleagues have deep and wide experience from all walks of life. Cultural diversity you won't find in most other environments. Care for employees: pleasant and friendly environment, full suite of benefits, fair compensation for a ministry, onsite gym, yummy cafeteria, flexible hours (except for shift work), tuition assistance and educational reimbursement, pension. People matter.

    Cons

    As a job seeker, know your personality and what energizes and drains you at work. Ask hard questions when interviewing. Know what you need to be happy and effective. Be discerning and honest about the right fit for you. Buyer beware: this culture is not for everyone. Focusing exclusively on the mission or an idealized notion of Christian fellowship will disappoint you. If you are called by God to do the work, then hang in there. It takes time to navigate a complex culture, establish your track record and build relationships. Don't lose heart in the first 12 to 18 months. You will hit your stride, but it takes time. The need to mature quickly as an organization causes growing pains. The organization's learning curve is steep to implement standards and practices you might take for granted if you come from a corporate environment. The CEO is aware of what needs to change (and how quickly). He and the executive team are diligently implementing changes. Cooperation and communication between organizational units takes effort. Work feels like it's harder than it needs to be at times. That being said, cross-functional communication and collaboration show significant improvement in the last 18 months. "Do not despise the day of small beginnings." Patiently and persistently focus on vertical influence. Intentional consulting, quick wins and established track records are rewarded. There are high expectations for employees in a Christian workplace. Staff is passionate and has strong opinions. Some can personalize things that are not personal. The importance of building and maintaining relationships is critical to success. It can be exhausting. Unrealistic expectations for collaboration and input (and if it is given, that it will be incorporated). This can slow things down. At times, staff confuse input with decision making authority. People get frustrated with the pace and feel like they don't have autonomy in their roles. It's a work in progress. Senior leadership continues to communicate who has authority and accountability as well as to clarify roles and responsibilities. Uneven management: Some gems, some frogs. Some senior leaders have come up through the ranks of the organization and are accustomed to hands-on involvement. At times, this can be maddening input on finer points miles away from the C-level. Another work in progress. Compassion is working on increasing US-based diversity, especially in leadership; limited opportunities for women in leadership. Your faith will be tested. God will prune and refine you. You have to be willing to die to yourself (ego, pride, personal ambitions). Satan does not like releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name. You will be sifted like wheat. Work/life balance can be a challenge when you're trying to save the world. Know your limits and keep your boundaries.

    Advice to Management

    Keep striving for unity. When the executive team lacks unity, the rest of us know it. Continue to balance the heart of a ministry with the acumen needed for a complex global organization. Be willing to let go. (Exodus 18: Jethro Advises Moses) Beware being so "on mission" that you lose sight of what motivates and engages staff. Know the condition of your flock. Prioritize the time it takes to manage the space between the executive suite and the worker bees.


  2. Great Place to Work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Colorado Springs, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Colorado Springs, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Compassion International full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    There is a lot to do, and a lot to get done. Probably not as fast paced as some places, but you will definitely stay busy. Which is a plus for most people. The mission is great. You always know the work your doing is helping kids around the world get a hand up.

    Cons

    Some times it seems that things are slow to change. There seems to be a couple of reasons for this. One, people seem to be afraid to make decisions for fear of stepping on someones toes. They want to reach a consensus, when sometimes someone just needs to make a decision and be done with it.

    Advice to Management

    Standardize service across the service organizations. Embrace industry best practices. You might have to spend some money to gain efficiency, but it will pay off in the long run.


  3. Helpful (4)

    Great Organization and Impact, Trying to Hard to look like the Big Business in the Corporate Office

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great Focus and Programmatic Impact, Commitment to National Leadership and Organizational Development, Committed to Christ and the Church, Top Quality Employees in all Countries, Flexible Working Conditions. I love the work of Compassion International and just sponsored another child. The impact of their work is unparalleled and well worth the investment.

    Cons

    Can be fascinated with the "Big Business/Corporate" way of doing things and image, and can loose its ministry values in a way that alienates its international staff and personal calling to ministry. It also spends millions on corporate consulting and growing the home office while field offices are forced to grow without appropriate budget increases. The senior leadership staff have increased their own benefit packages and perks, while laying off lower staff and restricting budget growth in the field. The gap between front line workers and top management continues to grow, paralleling corporate business trends.

    Advice to Management

    Stop pursing the image of corporate America, make visible sacrifices in the executive offices to empower the field work, treat your staff and former staff with the respect and dignity the Bible calls for and not just tools to be leveraged and risks to be mitigated.


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  5. Helpful (9)

    Leadership needs to wake up

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Colorado Springs, CO
    Current Employee - Director in Colorado Springs, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Compassion International full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    As with most employees, easy to engage in the mission. It's wonderful to be able to tie my personal beliefs with my paid work.

    Cons

    Above is how Compassion keeps their employees, combined with very high non profit salaries and the Cadillac of benefits. BUT why should employees be paid so well when these salaries and benefits come out of donors pockets? The bigger problem, though, is leadership including the CEO and VP levels, are HORRIBLE! Their jobs are not based on knowledge. With some, it's the only job they've ever had and they have no idea how to run a business. With one particular VP specifically, who came in a few short years ago, he has NO experience in his field - as a VP! But when your brother is the CEO's best friend, I guess getting a VP gig with no experience and the inability to read, you're still qualified to collect the check. It's very sad, and a LOT of people are getting hurt. And it begs to be asked: with the layoff of over 50 people a few months ago, why is the entire (large) recruiting department still intact? Could it be because those that were laid off were just the dead weight since that number of positions have now been refilled? And how does Compassion not get sued by the people they fire outright? By paying them crazy large sums of money so that they don't sue. And those dollars also come out of donor pockets. Lack of integrity - the organization is ruled by it. I keep hanging in there hoping that the CEO will improve things. But when he's part of the bigger problem, it's hard to keep hope alive. It's hard to leave, though, when it will involve giving up a 10% pension, above average pay as a director, and benefits that no other company can touch. A double edged sword - great for me as an employee - but do our Compassion donors know how their money is spent??? How much else could actually be put towards programs that actually help children???

    Advice to Management

    the Board of Directors needs to get involved. The organization is in a very bad place, and needs your guidance. DIG IN! LOOK AT ALL THE SURVEYS THAT ARE BEING GIVEN TO EMPLOYEES, BUT FROM WHICH EMPLOYEES NEVER SEE RESULTS. HELP!!!!


  6. Helpful (5)

    Director

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Colorado Springs, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Colorado Springs, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Compassion International full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great mission. Compassion as a whole is making a difference for the better in lives of children around the world.

    Cons

    Below average salaries. Internal politics that are out of control. Slow to discipline problem employees, especially if they are "popular." Some long time executive level staff haven't kept up with growth of the organization.

    Advice to Management

    Clean house. Find people to lead who are truly invested in the mission of "releasing children frompo earth in Jesus name" and not looking for their own edification.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Great Workplace

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technology and Presentation Technician in Colorado Springs, CO
    Current Employee - Technology and Presentation Technician in Colorado Springs, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Compassion International full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The culture is like none other! The people are great and there is a real sense of community among co-workers.

    Cons

    You have to realize that even working in a Christian environment, not everyone is perfect. We all sin and have issues.


  8. Helpful (7)

    You will NEVER be a leader at Compassion

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Compassion International full-time

    Pros

    Great mission. Good benefits. Nice building. Good people.

    Cons

    I've never worked somewhere where the employees distrust leadership as much as they do here. And I came from the secular world to get here! Us day to day workers were sitting on the edge of our seats, hoping the new CEO would clean up the leadership team. Instead he gave them even more power. And you could feel the morale drop. It's at an all-time low. They sit on their golden thrones, untouchable, handing down decisions from on high. There's no chance of unseating one of these higher-ups. They are set in stone. You may manage people at Compassion but you will never be a leader.

    Advice to Management

    Don't be afraid of fresh ideas. Don't be afraid to take some risks. Try something new. Talk to your people. Leave your cushy offices once in awhile and find out just why so many people are unhappy here. There's a reason we don't trust you. Poor leadership and fund mismanagement led to 50 people losing their jobs. Quit lying to us and tell the truth about the cuts. Nobody's buying the exchange rate excuse. This mission is so important but you're letting internal politics and good o boys destroy it.


  9. Helpful (8)

    Wondering when...

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Compassion International full-time

    Pros

    We care deeply about Compassion

    Cons

    Please Please...Answer the question below

    Advice to Management

    Wondering when the Leadership Team will finally lead by example in this...GET members that I admire seek openness and transparency. Yet...the Big Secret remains. Staff cannot participate in the Willow Creek Summit. An incredible staff development opportunity, one where last year, get 500 employees participated at Satellite locations...yet this year.."no...go at your own cost...must take personal time off to do it." This event that has been so beneficial...that was facilitated by our own President...suddenly, the entire organization is expected to say...OK...so the event, that we actively participated in for the last 12 years...and has been so encouraging and helpful to staff...is now off limits. Someone...Jimmy, The GET, The Board needs to provide an explanation. I don't want to accuse...please understand that. Leadership has no right to ask for trust of the staff if they are not willing to be open and honest with us.


  10. Helpful (4)

    A courageously adaptive organization that grows children (and employees too).

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Compassion International full-time

    Pros

    Compassion's work in releasing children from poverty of body, mind, soul and spirit is world class. Children, through local churches in Africa, Asia and Latin America, are indeed introduced to Who and what they need--in Christ--for a transformed life. Similarly, employees have a chance to grow in body, mind, soul and spirit, while working as part of this great mission. The environment not only allows for--it encourages--growth.

    Cons

    This is not a "con" but rather a comment on how many have experienced change as difficult, even though it is needed, and Compassion's leadership is embracing change boldly: As you'll read in some of the reviews, here, change can be hard for people. Especially people who have been around for awhile and were hired during different times. That said, the changes that Compassion is making are appropriate and timely--in the face of budget challenges the organization is not only adapting but seizing the opportunity to define priorities more clearly and increase the organization's focus on those priorities. For those who joined the organization when, perhaps, those priorities were less clear or less needed, these changes provide an opportunity either to adapt or to find a next place of service. Meanwhile, the children in poverty are benefiting all the more as Compassion's leadership increases focus, sets priorities, and acts with courage.

    Advice to Management

    Keep to the course of listening to God and responding in courage, even when that requires saying and doing hard things. Meanwhile, keep tender--reach out to those for whom change is difficult and acknowledge their loss, even as you call them to take new ground which has wonderful gains for the children served, and the organization.


  11. Helpful (9)

    Used to be a great place to work, now it's just average.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in Colorado Springs, CO
    Former Employee - Analyst in Colorado Springs, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Compassion International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Compelling mission, nice office, probably more good managers than not.

    Cons

    Too many layers in the structure. Managers with a few direct reports, reporting to senior managers with one direct report, reporting to a director, senior director, vice president, senior vice president. People assigned to the special project but trying to manage their "regular" job and not doing that very well. Management out of touch with the worker bees. I remember when former president Wess Stafford knew everyone's name.

    Advice to Management

    Take a good look at who is actually doing the work. These people have good ideas. Invest as much $ and effort into your people as you invest in outside consultants, Gallup, etc.



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