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1 person found this helpful  

Great cause but a Dinosaur Non-Profit stuck in the past

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

I worked at American Cancer Society full-time

Pros

The fundamental cause of fighting for a worthy cause is there and most employees share that drive and passion. Salaries are insanely high (but also a con) and benefits are great. Professionalism tends to be a high commitment. Many quality colleagues.

Cons

Like most non-profits, ACS retains underperforming employees way too long, disrupting the mission and vision of the organization and wreaking havoc on office environments and the reputation of the organization to others in the community. While salaries are great, they're over-inflated when these funds could go to vital patient services and greater reach in local communities. There tends to be a "front" that ACS is doing all these great things in local communities, when the reality is there's very little real going on. Other local, grassroot cancer service organizations are leaps and bounds ahead of ACS when it comes to serving local cancer survivors and those struggling with the disease. Finally, the technology structure of CRM, income management, and event tracking is archaic, bloated, and in need of desperate updating and streamlining. The organization could increase efficiency and cost effectiveness greatly by updating old ways of capturing and managing data.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Listen to your employees who are in touch the most with their communities and local offices...It will decrease turnover and boost efficiency and organizational effectiveness. Build programs to connect more integrally with cancer survivors and patients in local communities. Stop retaining underperforming employees, trim bloated salaries from the very top on down, and be willing to be the "change champions" you claim to be by streamlining technology and outdated data systems by bringing them into the 21st Century.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

Other Reviews for American Cancer Society

  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Big disconnect with field staff and tons of politics when it comes to advancement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Manager in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at American Cancer Society full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    -Incredible Mission, respected brand, wonderful volunteers

    Cons

    -tenured staff not appreciated or well utilized
    -offers of taking on greater responsibility rebuffed
    -losing connection to heart and soul of organization

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    At the state level, leaders are very busy looking out for themselves and not for the good of the organization. If you're not a current "pet" in the eyes of leadership, you have no opportunity to advance. it's time to clean house or you will be losing many more valuable staff members.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    Ignoring employee turnover is damaging reputation

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Manager, Relay for Life
    Current Employee - Senior Manager, Relay for Life

    I have been working at American Cancer Society full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The ACS name is reputable and respected.
    Employees are generally collaborative and helpful.
    Great volunteer base.
    Feeling like you are making a difference and fighting for a worthy cause.

    Cons

    Pay is very low compared to other major non-profits.
    Mid-level management is mostly unsupervised, upper-level management has NO IDEA what is going on in the field.
    Bureaucracy is out of control.
    Staff are told not to go to their colleagues for help, only superiors.
    Very high turnover rate (two full staff turnovers in less than two years) is ignored by management, saying "the job isn't for everyone."
    Turnover rate is damaging ACS' credibility to the volunteers.
    Volunteers are treated like solid gold; staff is treated like an expendable commodity.
    Staff are told to flex their time and find a balance, yet flex requests are frequently denied. Most staff work 50-70+ hour weeks on a regular basis with no incentives or rewards. In fact, without being thanked. It's just "the nature of the job."
    Staff are taught (and berated over) numerous management techniques to make volunteers feel happy and appreciated, yet none of those tactics are employed internally-has lead to very low morale.
    ACS is truly ALL about the numbers internally. Staff is even told to make sure and cover that up when interacting with volunteers.
    Middle management takes credit for staff success, but blames and punishes them for any failure.
    Many management staff are no performing their job duties and spend large amounts of time covering up their shortcomings.
    Senior management is truly attempting to repair the problem, but seems to be afraid to clean house and remove some of the mid-level management that is causing or perpetuating the problems.
    NO budget for staff to cultivate events - very unusual at such a large non-profit.
    Programs and budgets are being cut from some of the most profitable areas in the organization.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to employees - especially field staff - when they tell you why they have left.
    Re-evaluate middle management - from the inside you will see that many of them are simply no longer doing their jobs.

    Take to heart that the high turnover rate is damaging the Society's reputation and credibility with the volunteers and constituents. Volunteer's number one complaint is that they have a new staff partner every year. It's time to stop blaming the field staff. Either your managers are consistently hiring the wrong people and should be replaced, or they are consistently mis-managing staff and running off talented, qualified, passionate employees. Either way, it's time to look in the mirror.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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