Pew Charitable Trusts

  www.pewtrusts.org
  www.pewtrusts.org
There are newer employer reviews for Pew Charitable Trusts

8 people found this helpful  

More corporate than not-for-profit

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Project Director in Washington, DC
Current Employee - Project Director in Washington, DC

I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts

Pros

PCT tries very hard to run itself like a business, as opposed to a nonprofit, and one can learn many practices more associated with private firms, like a disciplined approach to investment and brand risk management. PCT is very well funded relative to peers, and once a project goes through the long and grinding approval process, funds flow. Provided an expense is justified and consistent with the goals of the project and the mission of PCT, one is very likely to be able to spend freely on research and advocacy tools on a scale that is unmatched. It is a very female-friendly work environment.

Cons

The CEO has and wields an extraordinary amount of power. She requires her approval on a vast amount of PCT business, and this slows the pace of work and is extremely expensive (though a hidden cost). When decisions are made at the top they often appear arbitrary and capricious; things that were OK for one group, project, or person are not OK for another, and explanations are rarely offered. Reorganizations are ubiquitous. Strict dress code (what is a sweater set?). She approves all promotions (even internal hires from one position to another that constitute a promotion) and they will not be considered until someone has been there for two years or maybe three years…except in those cases when she grants them for someone who hasn’t been there two (or three) years. Big Brother could learn something about brand management from PCT; it is very likely the CEO will read this post, for example. Fear of failure dominates the desire for success as the chief motivator (I am fearful right now, for example). Trust is absent. Taken together, it is difficult to say that senior management put the employees in a position to actually succeed, although everyone is well positioned to appear as if they succeeded.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Train your people. Trust your people.

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

86 Other Employee Reviews for Pew Charitable Trusts (View Most Recent)

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  1. 14 people found this helpful  

    Great until the shine wears off

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts

    Pros

    Pew does have a lot of benefits. As listed in several reviews, the package is amazing. Great 401k match, really excellent medical and good options for dependants too. Time off is generous too (for Americans anyways).

    The people are very smart; there are no slouchers or idiots. If someone gets in and can't do the job, they get cut loose pretty fast.

    The work itself has a lot of influence, so you do feel like you're a part of something that can and does affect change. People seem to respect you more (or at least value your network more) when you say you're at Pew.

    Work/Life balance is very good. They will often allow you to negotiate for earlier or later hours to accomodate your kid's school or other responsibilities.

    Cons

    Where do I begin... It's like I said in the title, you have to wait until the "shine' wears off. The shine is a pun on the DC office, which has white floors, white walls, white desks, and glass everything else! It's polished, clean and don't even think about making a scuff mark. We have rules about how many plants you can have, what height they can be, how many pictures can be on which walls, etc. This level of control extends to everything here, from the dress code (no open-toed shoes for instance) to the level of review on documents.

    The approval process is incredibly frusterating. Even Tweets have to be looked at by several pairs of eyes before they can be posted. Don't ever even hope to have a quick turn-around on something. "Fast" at Pew is over a month. At any point your work can be sent for a re-write, from your project director to your unit's Deputy Director, to the Managing Director to Government Affairs, then Legal then Communications then a different group of Communications to finally the Executive Office. The CEO has absolute authority and can kill a report or order major changes at her whim. She has an incredible control over everything that goes out the door, and if she thinks something is "controversial," you can expect that it will not survive her gaze.

    This level of distrust has a significant trickle-down effect. Almost everyone at Pew feels that they aren't good enough. The culture has a unique way of making you question yourself, making you doubt your professional worth. It takes a while to get to this point though, so you don't really notice it until after a year or two. As a part of this culture, staff promotions are hard to come by. No matter what you do or how much you do, it's often comes to be viewed as part of your role, even if it is above your pay grade.

    It's also very political here. "Who likes you?" is just about the most important question. Promotions are pretty much only given to those that are in their department head's buddy circle. This place can get pretty clique-y.

    Assistants are often treated the worst, and management doesn't realize it. They are often loaned out to other groups without being asked. They are also asked to do pretty mindless tasks. No, they don't get coffee, but they do print things and put them on people's desks (even though the person has equal access to the printer.) If an assistant has a good manager, then he or she will be given substantive work and allowed to grow their skills. Unfortunately, there aren't near enough good managers to go around.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give staff more respect, particularily the Junior staff (assistants and associates.) Create CLEAR paths to promotion (not time limits). Right now Pew is bleeding talent because of the lack of forward mobility. Be more open with staff. Just because something isn't "need to know" doesn't mean that it's not "deserve to know."

    No opinion of CEO
  2. 8 people found this helpful  

    Morale is Down

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Philadelphia, PA

    I worked at Pew Charitable Trusts

    Pros

    Pew hires smart, hardworking people. The vacation/sick/401k package is very good.

    Cons

    Morale in Philadelphia is low because the CEO has been moving the office piecemeal to DC for the past few years. Employees across several departments are being told that their positions are being eliminated or that their jobs are moving to the shiny new DC office. Decisions are all made behind closed doors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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