Open Society Foundations

www.opensocietyfoundations.org
Engaged Employer

Open Society Foundations Reviews

Updated June 10, 2015
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15 Employee Reviews

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  1. Intern

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

    I worked at Open Society Foundations

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Amazing work environment, free lunch, great resources, fun peers, trips!

    Cons

    very fast paced, small LGBT inter-office programming, lots of sitting, partial burnout rate

    Advice to Management

    more of an emphasis on transition


  2. Helpful (1)

    Program Coordinator

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

    I have been working at Open Society Foundations full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Excellent benefits. Very intellectually stimulating environment with a strong culture of learning. Many opportunities to engage with global human rights advocates.

    Cons

    Almost no institutional support for internal advancement. It is a very hierarchical (and becoming bureaucratic) organization. Engagement between senior management and program staff is political at best. Although the vacation package is excellent, OSF does not support a culture of self-care, and burn out rate is high.

    Advice to Management

    Engage more with program staff, rather than program directors, to strengthen (internally) the values that OSF works to promote externally, such as transparency, accountability, and empowerment.


  3. Helpful (3)

    OSF- mixed bag

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Officer in Brooklyn, NY
    Current Employee - Program Officer in Brooklyn, NY

    I have been working at Open Society Foundations full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Fantastic colleagues, shared social issues justice values. Very good benefits package. Ability to support marginalized groups and radical social justice movements.

    Cons

    Has become increasingly bureaucratic-- staff are saddled with onerous administrative and internal strategy processes that impact negatively on ability to get money to grantees quickly, and prevent staff to staying effectively engaged in the field. Also very hierarchical-- staff have little autonomy, ability to challenge processes and decisions made by senior management limited. Very difficult to get promoted for staff working at all levels (Program Officers infrequently promoted to Senior PO). Admin team often have advanced degrees and work experience in the field and are underutilized and often not considered for more senior positions even when they have worked at OSF for years. Huge pay inequality issues-- admin salary too low for NY, program directors and senior management salary ranges compared to lowest paid staff mirror corporate pay parity issues not befitting a social justice organization.


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  5. Excellent benefits but not intellectually stimulating

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Program Officer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Program Officer in New York, NY

    I have been working at Open Society Foundations full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    5 months parental leave, free lunch, relatively high salary, excellent people on the team

    Cons

    Boring and ineffective systems make me feel apathetic, I think my IQ dropped couple of points since I started at OSF.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out a way to engage program staff at their programmatic capacity instead of burying them with administrative tasks.


  6. Helpful (2)

    Strong values

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

    I worked at Open Society Foundations

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    And excellent organization working on issues often neglected by other advocacy organizations and philanthropies. Very strong values; smart, motivated and creative colleagues; many opportunities to learn about new topics and issues; excellent benefits.

    Cons

    Changing priorities and management strategies made for an somewhat unstable environment. Management are hired for their technical skills and not their management capability (which may or may not be a bad thing, in the end).


  7. Helpful (2)

    good, but could have been better

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

    I worked at Open Society Foundations full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    -great benefits -intelligent and committed colleagues -good work/life balance (generally true junior staff positions)

    Cons

    -poor management, poor but changing human resources support, extremely limited opportunities for growth and development

    Advice to Management

    While OSF has started to pay more attention to professional development, it still has a ways to go. Most significantly, the organization has many times turned a blind eye to terrible, controlling or simply incompetent managers. There is desperate need to bring in managers who know how to MANAGE, instead of just being experts in a particular content area, which is often the case.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Hostile work environment, no accountability

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

    I worked at Open Society Foundations full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, free lunch, good compensation compared to other similar organizations, and intelligent and passionate junior colleagues.

    Cons

    Working at OSF was like working at a private sector agency masquerading as a non-profit, human rights organization. The managers on my team, who had little or no prior management experience, treated the assistants and coordinators abhorrently, verbally intimidated them, and subjected them to a toxic, gossip-driven work environment. Settling personal scores and dealing with insecurities got in the way of actually making grants or designing programs. There was no responsibility taken or effort on the part of HR or more senior staff to step in when the work environment became hostile.

    Advice to Management

    It is hard to know where to begin, since these observations suggest that the issues outlined are so ingrained into the office culture that it will be difficult to change them. Hire managers who have strong experience effectively managing staff and not just making grants or pushing papers at OSF. Train and mentor managers to communicate well with their staff and encourage good work, beyond the three-day management training that the Learning and Development Team offers. Hold HR responsible for mediating conflicts and empower junior staff. Stop sweeping serious management and morale issues under the rug.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Great Place

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

    I worked at Open Society Foundations

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    There are lots of smart people trying to change the world. The benefits are amazing and the willingness to take risks is definitely there.

    Cons

    It was hard to move up or around in the organization. It wasn't like I was being held back or anything, but there were definitely constraints.

    Advice to Management

    Think of your people as being more like consulting resources - they don't just perform a function to keep the machine lumbering along - they're your greatest resource (besides money)


  10. Helpful (4)

    Toxic work environment

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

    I worked at Open Society Foundations

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Great Human Resources benefits, lunch

    Cons

    I was so unhappy at OSF, I left just months before being vested in a good retirement plan. I had never before been so poorly treated by management, performing far below level after being relegated to administrative tasks. The issue was extreme micromanagement, and it took a toll. The atmosphere in US Programs is cut-throat and I didn't feel I could trust my superiors. Some are known to get in the way of promotions and professional development opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Check your ambition and remember it is about the grantees, not your individual careers, follow through on opportunities for employee professional development, don't let internal politics inhibit the ability of mid- and associate level staff to do their job, control managerial infighting and abuse of subordinates.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Great platform to grow and expand

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

    I worked at Open Society Foundations full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    - good compensation for senior level staff - good work being done - great colleagues

    Cons

    - hard work/life balance - expectations sometimes unmanageable - need more professional development - no clear growth structure



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