Oxfam America Reviews

Updated August 16, 2015
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Raymond Offenheiser
15 Ratings

24 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great place to work and learn!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Intern in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Oxfam America (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Lot's of opportunity to take on more responsibility and meet people working in other departments -The people at Oxfam respect their interns and value the work they do. This is HUGE because many places do not do this, even in the NGO world.

    Cons

    - I didn't have any bad expierences while at Oxfam


  2. Helpful (1)

    Good people, great execution, but meh leadership and living up to values

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Oxfam America full-time

    Pros

    Oxfam America is one of the standard bearer of nonprofits - the mission is great, the campaigns are great, and it's wonderful to work with motivated citizens around the world. Some of the personalities at Oxfam were some of the most vibrant and engaging that I've encountered in any workplace, and after leaving, I miss many of them dearly. The office is in a great location and has fantastic views of Boston and the Boston Harbor. For a nonprofit, the benefits are strong for the field, but not necessarily competitive with for-profits. The one exception to that is sick time/personal time/comp time/vacation time .... all totaled, I usually had about 35 days I could take off a year, which is well .... European? Pay is also slightly stronger than other non-profits. Having the protection of a union is also great, although, depending on leadership (both union and not) and issues, union-non-union ties can introduce an awkward tension into the workplace.

    Cons

    Most of the satisfaction seems to be dependent upon the department you are in. Some departments are great and have wonderful leaders, others seem to be checked out and more focused on traveling to Spain every other month. The CEO, while passionate, seems pretty much checked out when it comes to the staff - which wouldn't be a problem if other senior management/the board were involved with staff. Altogether, management (even at the lowest manager level) seem to be more concerned with reinforcing the divide between management & staff rather than building strong teams. If you are in a senior/mid-level position of your career and are content with that, Oxfam is a decent place .... also, if you are just at the beginning of your career, the same! However, if you are looking for career advancement, your only real option is to leave Oxfam, gain experience elsewhere, and come back to a new position - it's happened a lot. Senior management seems to be aware of that issue but doesn't seem to care enough to address it. For instance, while managers will routinely get promoted to new managerial titles with little change in duties, it's hard to move up if you're not a manager even if you're taking on an immense amount of new work and showing progress. A staffwide survey showed a lot of slippage in a number of

    Advice to Management

    I think most of the advice can be found in the cons - create pathways for promotion, some senior management should retire or shuffle up their job responsibilities, some department heads need a reality check, but all the pieces for success are there. Just play to your strengths and actually address the weaknesses (fairness in promotions, etc.) and you'll be a great place to work. Unless that happens, the slippage in moral will just continue.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Oxfam America sets the standard among international development NGOs

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Oxfam America has amazing people and one of the most sophisticated and nuanced approaches in the field. If you're looking to work with smart, dedicated people in an environment that allows for a healthy work/life balance, this is the place.

    Cons

    Very few, and no deal-breakers. When I was there, HR was generally considered a weak point, particularly at the senior levels. This was due more to cultural fit rather than competency, however.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Excellent Experience With Passionate People

    Former Employee - Intern in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Intern in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    People who work at Oxfam America are smart very passionate about international development- they're also doing a lot of innovative work, especially on public-private partnerships. Got to work on a lot of great projects that really felt like they were not only having an impact, but changing the dialogue about what was possible in development. Office in Boston is wonderful.

    Cons

    None that I can think of. It's really a great organization. There's not a lot of turnover, which I think is a sign of how wonderful Oxfam is that it can retain people of such a high standard.


  6. Work colleagues are very passionate about international affairs and development issues.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Work environment is nice, passionate colleagues, international network

    Cons

    limited funds, time constraints, the organization can be very positional on issues, administrative burden can be high

    Advice to Management

    Get more involved in practice partnerships, strengthen oxfam network connections, retain and reward key talent.


  7. Great organization

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

    I have been working at Oxfam America full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Super staff, mission, and vision. I love the team and sense of camaraderie. The work environment is fantastic and the salary/benefits are very good.

    Cons

    The constant change across the global confederation is wearing out the staff. While Oxfam America is well run, it is in danger of being dragged down by its European colleagues.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more attention to staff, particularly the President who is basically non-existent most of the time.


  8. A valuable volunteer experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Active organization that organizes effective social justice campaigns

    Cons

    There are no cons I could think of


  9. Rewarding work, great colleagues

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Programs in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Programs in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Oxfam America full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Meaningful work, good benefits, motivated co-workers, professional but relaxed environment.

    Cons

    Has a bureaucratic side to its culture that can be frustrating. Depending on department, there can be a lack of opportunity for advancement, because there is relatively low turnover (which in part reflects the positives about working here).

    Advice to Management

    Upper management can be insular, aloof from the rest of the organization.


  10. Helpful (3)

    Outstanding organization

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Oxfam America full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    This is a truly high-impact organization staffed by incredibly talented, self-motivated professionals who are "in it" for the right reasons.

    Cons

    We're stretched too thin, yet continue to take on new programs and campaigns. Compensation in my division is slightly-below that of my peers in similar organizations. Work-life balance is a real challenge. There are few opportunities for advancement within the agency.

    Advice to Management

    Staff up or reduce work load. We're at risk of becoming less effective in established program areas because we're taking on too much. Take a hard look at compensation. If anything can be done to make it easier to support a family while in non-management, we should do it.


  11. Great Employer and Good Colleagues

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

    I worked at Oxfam America full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Working on causes that really have a deep and lasting impact on the lives of thousands around the world, in a collegiate environment, surrounded by very smart and creative thinkers. Also had one of the best recruitment processes I have experienced, offers excellent benefits and cares about their staff.

    Cons

    Picking one issue to focus on and sometimes it is hard to feel the full impact of your contribution to this global consortium

    Advice to Management

    Always good to remember that management is an ongoing professional skill, the workforce and its demographics are always changing and evolving so managers should also be learning and evolving through continued training and refreshers as well. Sometimes for management to be truly effective is equally important to know how to manage people well and to maximize their potential as it is to be an expert on the issues- this is an area for improvement.



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