Grassroots Campaigns

www.grassrootscampaigns.com

Grassroots Campaigns Reviews

Updated January 25, 2015
Updated January 25, 2015
156 Reviews
2.4
156 Reviews
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Grassroots Campaigns President Douglas H Phelps
Douglas H Phelps
60 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

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  1.  

    Directing a Grassroots office is hard work but I gained a lot of experience fast.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Canvass Director in Amherst, MA
    Former Employee - Canvass Director in Amherst, MA

    I worked at Grassroots Campaigns full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    A pro that can't be understated is the experience you gain working at Grassroots. I started as an Assistant Director right out of school and immediately was able to take on a lot of responsibility. After a week and a half of canvassing I began training new canvassers. From there I learned recruitment and started conducting interviews and giving presentations about the work (called group raps in the canvassing world). After working as an AD for about 6 months, our director was called to open a new office and I was made director. With the experience of the first six months I felt very prepared to take ownership of the office.

    The high goals that are set are another pro of this position. Euphoria spread throughout the office the day we reached our goal of $100,000 dollars raised.

    Another huge pro of the position is meeting politically like minded people dedicated to change. The longer you stay at Grassroots the more characters you will meet and the closer you will get with the people you started with. When I was an assistant director, my director became my best friend and work spouse very quickly due to the fact that we were both committed to the same mission and spending so much time working towards it every day.

    Student loan assistance checks are definitely a perk.

    Cons

    The con of working here is the long hours, during peak season (the couple of weeks when offices are expected to raise a large chunk of their goals) I was working 80-100 hours per week, Monday-Friday. However, when I took the job, I didn't know anyone in Amherst and the long hours at Grassroots helped me meet my closest friends, including my work spouse.

    I don't recommended this for people who don't want to spend time outside, as even the director position is required to canvass 3 days out of the week.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Good job if you're confident and articulate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Canvasser in New Orleans, LA
    Former Employee - Canvasser in New Orleans, LA

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

    Pros

    The people you work with are smart, interesting people who come from all kinds of backgrounds and areas of the country. There's the added benefit of knowing that you're making a difference for an issue you care about instead of being stuck in a job refilling someone's drink at a restaurant. It's also an opportunity to learn how to talk to complete strangers about anything and to sell an issue to them.

    My directors were very flexible with my schedule. I told them from the outset that I needed the weekends to travel home, and they worked with me to make that happen. They also understood that most people working as canvassers don't plan on doing it for the rest of their lives. My bosses frequently asked about my career plans, and when I told them that I needed to step away to study for a state bar exam, they were totally cool about it.

    The toughest part about the job is also one of the things I liked, namely that it's your performance that determines how much of an impact you have in the office. While it's tough knowing that your job depends on you consistently doing well, it's a good way to maintain accountability.

    The hours were pretty standard. I usually worked about eight hours a day. I got home around 6:00 or 6:30, which is a little late for me, but that's counterbalanced by the fact that you don't have to come in until later in the morning.

    Cons

    Sometimes the weather can be a little rough. I worked during the winter months in New Orleans (which is nothing compared to a lot of other places, I know), and it was a little chilly sometimes. Still, working outside is ultimately a big plus for me.

    This job is for people who are not afraid to talk to strangers on the streets. You will be ignored by most people you try to talk to; a few will be rude; most of those who do stop, won't contribute. So if you have thin skin or are socially anxious, this isn't the job for you.

    You are expected to perform consistently. Meeting the weekly quota is not hard to do if you focus on getting good at it, but it does take some effort. Even if you're a solid canvasser, the week will still be a little stressful until you know that you've raised enough to meet quota. Though no one ever lost their job because of not meeting quota while I was there, you can get put on what's known as 'review' if you don't meet quota for the week. If you get put on review, you have one week to make quota or you're let go. The obvious downside to this is a lack of job security.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figuring out exactly how the bonus system works can be a little tricky, and I honestly never quite got my head around it. Still, I found that if I focused on meeting quota, then the nuts and bolts weren't a big deal.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Not bad

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

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

    Pros

    In terms of canvassing jobs, this one is pretty low key. The quota, from what I remember, is pretty obtainable.

    Cons

    Dishonest canvassers can bust the curve, and make it impossible for you to achieve bonus pay.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    not recommend

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

    I have been working at Grassroots Campaigns

    Pros

    quick interview, they will tell you if you got the offer or not right after the interview

    Cons

    low pay, everyone should begin to work as a canvasser

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Great for the desperate

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

    I worked at Grassroots Campaigns

    Pros

    Will employ anyone, helps with people skills, interesting

    Cons

    Takes advantage of employees, both entry-level and otherwise. Bad pay. Lack of job security.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your employees better

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    High pressure

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

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

    Pros

    You have the opportunity to fundraise and increase membership for good progressive causes and organizations while working with a lot of passionate people interested in social justice.

    Cons

    Street canvassing can be tough when strangers yell at you or are rude due to the organization you are supporting. There is a lot of turnover due to burnout and/or difficulty meeting quotas.

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

    Don't be fooled

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

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

    Pros

    Honestly, your fellow co-workers are great people. Everyone believes in the same causes and you all struggle together to meet quotas and deal with incompetent and bid headed managers. The causes are great as well.

    Cons

    The management style is terrible, they expect you to work at least 12 hours a day, you have meet a certain quota or else you'll get yelled at and berated in front of everyone. You only get one day off a week, student loan repayment is more like a slave contract than it is actual aid. If you're looking for a summer job this works, if you're looking for a career look the other way. This place is terrible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire yourselves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Deceptive

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Canvasser in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Canvasser in Denver, CO

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

    Pros

    They stand for good causes, and do have some nice people working at the local level. That's about it.

    Cons

    You're basically standing outside in all sorts of weather for hours at a time to try and get people to be monthly contributors to various organizations they represent. The pay is pretty low, and the hours are long and tiring. You don't get much of a work-life balance with this organization, either. In addition, they have a quota system, where if you do not make a certain amount of money on any given day, you're cut without question. The ability to move up in the company is directly associated with how much you're getting from signing up monthly contributors (at the Denver office it's at least $150 a day) - kind of difficult to do considering how people simply do not have money these days. There's a pre-written script you have to go off of, as well - in my case, it was Planned Parenthood, and it addressed very little in regards to the full scope of services Planned Parenthood offered. It was limited to focusing on abortion rights, and that was it - kind of hard to sell anyone on donating to Planned Parenthood when so many people are simply not educated at all on anything else Planned Parenthood offers up. The training is inadequate at best, too - you are given this pre-written script and have to memorize it word for word, sentence for sentence, and paragraph by paragraph, with no room for deviation at all. Simply put, not a fun job at all, and on top of it, they're not above lying to you about what the job entails.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not mislead anyone with what the job entails, or even the job description itself (in this case it's canvassing). Do not lie about the potential to move up, either - lay it out on the table as to how exactly you move up in the company, and don't leave anyone with false hope. Have your street campaigns focus on more than just one area, instead of using a pre-written script, offer better compensation, don't be so strict with the daily quota system, and vastly improve on the training you offer. More importantly, adhere to the same values as the very organizations you represent, and don't leave employees out in the cold. Organizations like the UAW, ACLU and MoveOn have fought for years to improve the daily lives of workers. Do the same for your own people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Summer job becomes giant nightmare

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

    I worked at Grassroots Campaigns

    Pros

    Some of the higher-ups really care about the causes and what they are accomplishing at Grassroots. The partnerships that existed at the time (with Planned Parenthood, for example) were very strong.
    You learn how to be very convincing and have some weird, cool experiences.
    Most of the people that work here are college students or really young, and are interesting, motivated people.

    Cons

    The techniques they teach people for getting donations from people on the street is horrible, there is little transparency or disclosure in the hiring process and the job is really stressful.
    Everyone hates the people with clipboards in the street and Grassroots does not make this job any easier or enjoyable, and there are no resources for employees.
    Care more about fundraising totals than employees.
    I got verbally harassed by passerby's often and very harshly and the directors couldn't offer any help other than to deal with it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change your training systems and at least increase the transparency in the hiring process.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Long hours, little success, less money

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

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

    Pros

    I was able to go to a GCI office for 10 days and then go to their national training for 10 days before I was placed into an office with the roll of director.

    Cons

    I had never done canvassing before so I figured I'd give it a shot and started out as an Assistant Director. This was the first salaried job I'd ever had so consistent money was quite appealing. However, they do not pay their salaried directors and assistant directors what their time is worth, specifically when you're expected to work at least 65 hours and only 1 day off per week. Work-life balance does not exist and the work itself is miserable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't operate in cities that canvassing doesn't work well in.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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