Grassroots Campaigns

  www.grassrootscampaigns.com
  www.grassrootscampaigns.com

Grassroots Campaigns Reviews

Updated October 20, 2014
Updated October 20, 2014
144 Reviews
2.4
144 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Grassroots Campaigns President Douglas H Phelps
Douglas H Phelps
58 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Opportunity to learn a lot about office management, communication, administration, etc (in 8 reviews)

  • It very hard work and the upper management uses pressure to perform at any expense (in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • The chance for upward mobility is slim unless you start in the middle (Assistant Director or above) (in 12 reviews)

  • Terrible pay, extremely difficult and long hours (in 9 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Difficult but rewarding

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Field Manager in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Field Manager in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Grassroots Campaigns full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great coworkers
    Directors were very motivated and experienced
    You're making a difference
    Base pay is pretty good, and if you're good at your job, you'll do very well
    If you do well enough, you'll get promoted to a leadership position
    Get to explore many different parts of the city you work in
    If working in recruitment, job is very easy and you don't have to canvass, but it's still just as fun.

    Cons

    Canvasser is definitely not a secure job
    Quotas
    Physically tiring, sometimes you run into bad weather and still have to canvass
    It's very sink-or-swim

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Good People, Good Cause, Mediocre Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Field Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Field Manager in New York, NY

    I worked at Grassroots Campaigns full-time

    Pros

    Alot of the employees are really passionate about the causes. You get to meet new people almost daily, have interesting encounters on the street.

    Cons

    Management is pushy. You must work full-time, quota policies aren't very well explained.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on retaining old staff, and make people feel like more than a cog in the fundraising machine.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Perfect environment for passionate employees looking for a temporary position

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Canvasser in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Canvasser in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Grassroots Campaigns full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    If you are in-between things, this is an ideal job to take as it is meant to be a temporary job
    Salary is commission based so you have the power to earn more
    Positive environment, everyday there are meetings in the morning that get you started on the right foot
    9 am - 5 pm, work-life balance is good

    Cons

    Commission based salary means it can be quite stressful if you're not meeting your quota
    Sense of competition among some teammates instead of camaraderie
    You have to canvass unless there's thunder/lightning outside (ex. if it's raining) so the position will be more physically demanding than a desk job

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase overall salary structure by a dollar

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review
  5.  

    Great Local Office, Corporate Overlords Not Very Well Coordinated

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

    I have been working at Grassroots Campaigns full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Be able to sleep well at night knowing you do something great for the world
    Being surrounded by like-minded and awesome people
    Working outside and not being in a stuffy office environment.

    Cons

    Corporate seems unfocused and poorly managed; not enough communication between top-performing offices and upper management to find out what works best.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate more with your offices and change your national model based on feedback.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Gained good experience, but at the expense of my health and my ethics

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

    I worked at Grassroots Campaigns full-time

    Pros

    The skills I learned look great on my resume: project management, recruitment, data analysis, fundraising, outreach, etc. I made some great friends I still keep in touch with years later.

    Cons

    1. I developed an anxiety disorder while working for GCI, partially due to the long hours (80-100 per week), constant stress put on me by my colleagues and superiors, financial uncertainty from lack of proper compensation, and other problems dealing with specific members of canvass leadership. I was met with resistance from my superiors when I asked for leeway in managing my condition.

    2. When I tell potential employers in the public and nonprofit sectors that I worked for GCI, they treat me like a pariah because of the poor reputation GCI has gained.

    3. I feel that I was taken advantage of as an employee simply because I cared too much about the issues I was working on (especially the 2012 elections) and I was willing to overlook my working conditions. Looking back, I'm ashamed that I represented organizations like the ACLU and MoveOn.org who have fought for decades in favor of workers rights, only to let myself be treated like a disposable piece of garbage.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your salaried employees minimally what they're worth. It's unethical to take advantage of young kids, fresh out of college, who need jobs and throw them to a position where they're overworked and underpaid under the guise that they're making a difference.

    Also, it's unethical to ask your employees to write positive reviews about their experiences here in order to bring up the rating of your company on this site. Maybe your rating is so low because your employees are treated so poorly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Tough Learning Experience

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

    I worked at Grassroots Campaigns full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    You get a great deal of experiences running "your own" non-profit, as one of the branch offices of the larger organization. You're part of a larger activist culture and really making an impact.

    Cons

    1. No work life balance, you job is your life and if you don't have a good supporting team working with you, this will not be a pleasant experience.
    2. Little training or communication between offices and the leadership team.
    3. You don't get paid enough to do everything that the job demands.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. More time needs to be spent on training and development for incoming directors. While most directors that are hired have quality experience, there's a very specific model that "works" in this campaigning environment that is not necessarily common knowledge.
    2. Communication and collaboration between offices needs to be facilitated.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Good experience, but can be very difficult depending on luck of the draw

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Canvasser and Team Manager in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Canvasser and Team Manager in Washington, DC

    I worked at Grassroots Campaigns part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    It can be very rewarding if it's a cause you believe in, and it can really improve your confidence in terms of public speaking and self-presentation. They work with you to hone those skills, because they lead directly to you making more money. You can get fit pretty fit walking door to door! If you're good enough, you can be promoted to team manager. There's a lot of camaraderie and team building. It's part of the salesmanship culture that everyone is nice.

    Cons

    It can be really exhausting on hot days, and women can be made uncomfortable as they tell you not to enter houses, but considering how much more money you're likely to make if you accept people's occasional offers of water as they write their checks, it's a *wink wink* situation because you are under a lot of pressure to make your monetary goals. The worst part about it was that certain people, especially black men, had a lot more trouble meeting those goals, not because they were any less capable but because they were much more likely to get doors slammed in their faces than, say, white girls. Thus, they were fired much more often when they could not meet the minimum goals. They make you feel like you're working for a cause, but they're ultimately after the bottom line.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Takes advantage of desperate job seekers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Recruitment Specialist in Pasadena, CA
    Current Employee - Recruitment Specialist in Pasadena, CA

    I have been working at Grassroots Campaigns part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The camaraderie between employees is the only plus. The organizations for which you are fundraising money for have good causes, so it makes the work you do somewhat rewarding.

    Cons

    The company preys on desperate job seekers. It is a very difficult job, canvassing in front of a store and dealing with extremely rude people who cannot stay civil about differing opinions (this is based on the organization you're fundraising for). It is even more difficult to recruit for this position given all that you know about its difficulty.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve the turnover rate by hiring campaign managers with managerial experience and staying conscious of the harassment (verbal and physical) that employees endure when out canvasing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    You're reading these reviews because you're about to accept/start a job here, LISTEN TO ME: Stay away, stay far away.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - National Recruiter in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - National Recruiter in Boston, MA

    I worked at Grassroots Campaigns full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    At the end of my senior year a few months ago, I took this job as an Assistant Canvass Director (AD) in Boston out of sheer fear of being unemployed. Of course, when you're graduating college, being unemployed is pretty much the worse thing you can thinking of happening. It's not. After working here for 2 months, I quit, found a great job, and am only slightly grateful that I can learn from the experience I had of working in bad work environment like Grassroots.

    Just some background info, I was originally hired to be an AD and begin in June 2014, however, without asking me or informing me, the office instead placed in the recruitment department in the Boston office for an unspecified amount of time. Essentially, I was conducting the first round interviews for AD applicants across the entire country. If you had a first round interview this summer, we were the lucky people that got to speak to you. That being said, my review is really about the practices of this company as I quit before I was transferred to be an AD.

    PRO: The ONLY pro that kept me coming back to this job every day were these other people that I worked with in the recruitment department. As Boston is the national office, I worked with and met a lot of the leading recruitment directors of the country, which initially was pretty cool. Some were genuinely nice. However, the majority of the upper management in the company just really don't care about you. As MANY reviewers have already stated before me, you're a laborer to them, regardless of what position you are fulfilling. I knew I was never going to find a mentor here and I knew my "career" would never get started here.

    Now, why is this you ask? Why have so many reviewers universally had such horrible experiences with Grassroots?

    There isn't just one answer, but here's my take. Having worked in the national headquarters in Boston, I was able to learn some info that employees normally would not know. Such as, this company has a 50% TURNOVER RATE.

    Basically that means, they expect that half the people they hire will eventually quit because I'm sure a number of reasons. As another reviewer so astutely pointed out, this company recruits and hires people like crazy, but has absolutely no retention policies. This is a choice they make. At least in the Boston office, they CAN choose to treat their employees better, but they expect you to just accept a bad work environment and their demeaning attitudes. Between 3 to 4 people quit in the 2 months that I worked for Grassroots Campaigns in the Boston office.

    That all being said, the only other pro that I can think about this job—not this company—is that there are people out there that would love doing this job as an AD, which I never go to be. I was definitely not the person to take on this position, but there are others out there, indeed, several people that I interviewed, that I knew would be great for this kind of job. You know if you are that person. If you can't see yourself out on the streets asking people for donations, then you are not this person. Don't start this job. You can find another job.

    Cons

    I've mentioned some cons above, but here are a few more:

    DISORGANIZATION: The disorganization of this company will be apparent to you when you're interviewing with them, which I saw firsthand while I was working with hiring people. Whether they forget that they have a 2nd round interview with you or they don't follow up with you weeks after your interview, it's pretty standard that these offices across the country are very disorganized. There are about 24-5 offices, but what a lot of people don't know is that offices regularly crop up and close because usually they don't have people to run them. Some offices crop up for a campaign and then close after the campaign is over.

    TREATMENT: Like what many have already said, the way that some members of the company treat you is pretty awful. You're fulfilling a means to an end. They expect you to be there 60+ hours, 6 days a week, and just because you've finished early and in any other salaried position would be able to leave, you have to stay and work those remaining hours.

    Bottom line, if you're reading these reviews and it's making you question whether you want to accept or start a job here, that's all this review is meant to do. I would put my email on here and let people get in touch with me because I think it is very important for people to understand what they're getting into when they accept a position here. Like I said, there are people that would love this kind of job where they're talking to people each day, helping train canvassers, and work indirectly with some of these nonprofit organizations. You should know if you're one of these people before you go into this, which I obviously didn't.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Like what many have said and what I have observed, Grassroots Campaigns does not have retention policies for their employees. This most likely explains why so many people quit. Grassroots is hiring to reach a quota each week. It's not about whether this person 2 months down the road will stay with the company, it's if they can in the present time hit their numbers. That's what sets Grassroots apart from any other job you're applying for. Instead of the one position most companies are hiring for, Grassroots has hundreds of AD positions. It's not as meticulous a process as you would expect and the result is a 50% turnover rate that appears to be increasing this year.

    The worst part is, this isn't news to Grassroots. I know they're aware this is an issue, but their solution is to just keep hiring a surplus of people in anticipation for the half that will quit.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Absolutely atrocious they use you like a napkin

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Canvasser in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Canvasser in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at Grassroots Campaigns part-time

    Pros

    It's nice working with open-minded and friendly individuals that share the same values and ethics as you do.

    Cons

    If you don't meet the quota on time considered yourself fired. Knowing that you're practically disposable don't bother working here. Especially if you're looking for a summer or short term job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Apparently the management doesn't seem to keen on getting donations at all. Big or small every penny should count no matter what the quota system is just so ridiculous. You see a lot of people get let go that way and it's rather unfortunate. They just take young activists under their wing only to suck them dry and dispense them towards the nearest trash can when managers no longer see them as "productive".

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

Work at Grassroots Campaigns? Share Your Experiences

Grassroots Campaigns

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.