Pew Charitable Trusts

www.pewtrusts.org
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  1. 6 people found this helpful  

    Great causes and colleagues, toxic work environment

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

    I worked at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people at Pew genuinely care about their issues.
    Pew's resources are significant enough to effect change.
    Benefits are good.
    Pay seems very good, but DC cost of living means pay is only average.

    Cons

    Pew employees are extremely rarely rewarded for their work with promotions or raises. There have been cases in which people were denied raises because there was a maximum "quota" for how many people in a department could receive excellent marks on their performance review. There have been cases in which people were denied raises or promotions because of personal vendettas.

    In my experience at Pew, I performed the same work function as other people in my department two pay grades above my own for three years and was denied even a single-level promotion on three occasions over a year and a half.

    In short, Pew HR will try to take advantage of its employees (particularly its junior employees) to the fullest extent the employee will endure. The most common reaction is for people to "quit for a promotion" or merely out of frustration. Pew is not a place to build a career.

    I have kept in touch with many of my colleagues since I left Pew, and most of them have left the organization. The remainder complain bitterly about the culture there.

    Also be warned: Pew management (Rimel, et al) is aware of the "Glassdoor problem." They have attempted to seed this site with positive reviews from those who might benefit from improving Pew's reputation as an employer. Take any positive reviews on this site with a grain of salt. They may be fraudulent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust people to do their jobs. When they do, reward them. When they don't, punish them. But don't micromanage to the point that it is crippling to the important work you do.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Company

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts

    Pros

    Full of very smart people that work hard.

    Cons

    A lot of bureaucracy the tends to move slowly.

  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    More like a fiefdom than a nonprofit

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

    I worked at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The pay and benefits are, as many have noted, excellent. And if you're interested in working in the nonprofit sector, having Pew on your resume is a significant career advantage.

    Cons

    Even with the pros, working here is simply not worth it. Pew's senior management makes arbitrary, top-down decisions with no interest in getting input from the staff. They frequently create projects on a whim and then abandon them. Positions are often eliminated for unknown reasons. Further, these decisions don't seem to be made with much compassion or transparency.

    In fact, if there is any theme that runs throughout Pew, it's secrecy. I was not even allowed to email the senior staff member two levels above me, despite the fact that we were working on a project together---all communication had to go through my supervisor.

    These kinds of attitudes, both on major and minor levels, create a perpetual sense of mistrust. Morale here is bad, the atmosphere oppressive. And creativity is stifled because senior management believe they already hold all the answers. This may sound unfair, but the feeling is of a group of old money elites ruling over a fiefdom. I have had a long career in the nonprofit sector, and it was like nothing I'd ever seen.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are some brilliant and talented people working for you. Listen to them. Trust them. Be open about your decisions. And have some humility.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Challenging

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

    I worked at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Pew really values work life/balance and has a great compensation/benefits package. If you are a coordinator level to upper management level, you have the flexibility of working from home within reason. Management is sensitive and understanding if there are issues in your personal life that affects your work. There are holiday parties, and departmental moments of celebration for employees.

    Cons

    Not a lot of opportunity for advancement in the Philadelphia office. You have to be prepared in to stay in your role for a long time because opportunity for advancement is very slim. You have more chances if you move to the DC office. Atmosphere is very diplomatic, but can translate to seem cold and rigid.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    In flux

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC

    I worked at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Smart people--they will be the best colleagues you will ever have. Great benefits--better than the federal government. The building is kind of extreme--everything is white, a can be a bit like stepping into a spaceship. People prone to headaches, be forewarned!

    Cons

    The organization adopts a change theory as a means to maximize productivity. In other words, don't get comfortable on the programmatic end, because they don't believe in long-lasting projects.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good luck!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 8 people found this helpful  

    Very few advantages to working here

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

    I worked at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Great benefits
    - Good office location
    - Generally working towards good causes (but usually only indirectly -- there is an insane amount of bureaucracy and financial waste behind Pew's successes)

    Cons

    Where to begin. I worked here for six years and, in all honesty, advanced and did well for myself despite being unhappy at times. Unfortunately, advancement is no longer possible there -- there are standing, no-exception policies regarding staff mobility. Why work somewhere that it's impossible to get recognized for your hard work and advance your career?

    The senior management of the organization has created a toxic environment for morale, trust, and staff happiness. Staff are consistently lied to in order to hide senior management's true goals (for example: laying off huge amounts of staff to downsize offices, wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on capricious projects at the whim of the CEO, justifying ridiculous internal policies, etc.). These senior staff care only about their own careers, compensation, or advancement (a quick Google search will reveal that the high-level senior staff are making many hundreds of thousands of dollars at this nonprofit, and nearly a million per year in the case of the CEO, who is the biggest liability to the organization. Their goal is to look out for themselves rather than have any regard for the hundreds of staff members working under them).

    As a result, most staff at Pew are miserable and can't wait to find a new job. It's not uncommon for most staff to openly express their mutual frustration and low morale to each other, even if they don't work closely and have no preexisting rapport.

    Having spent 6 years there, there are two categories of the people who rate Pew highly: the "there for life" crowd that is happy to enjoy slightly above average pay and great benefits, but have no higher career aspirations and are unmotivated enough to seek out more.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The Pew Board needs to wake up to the terrible conditions at the organization: millions of dollars are wasted, staff are miserable, and the CEO and senior management are aware but doing nothing to correct this.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 10 people found this helpful  

    Tough environment; worth it if you can survive it, at least for a while.

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

    I worked at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    You get to work with super smart, talented people. Great opportunity to learn from them. Phenomenal benefits, though I hear that might change soon with all of the recent growth from the past few years. Doggedly non-partisan, though the employees tend to be left-of-center. More money than God. Nice digs. Worth working here for as long as you can stand it, for the experience, the reputation and the exposure to a demanding environment. Lots of great people who are genuinely interested in effecting change for the greater good.

    Cons

    Do. Not. Make. Mistakes. The fear is perceived and real. Lots of big egos, with brains to match. Very high expectations that are not always in line with resources and skills of your team (odd, considering that talent and money abound). The bureaucracy will make you miserable and can get in the way of the work at every level. Lots of emphasis on organisation and efficiency for efficiency's sake, but not applied wisely or well, and--most frustrating of all--management is held to the same useless standards in name only. Can feel oppressive. The CEO is frosty but tries to be folksy, but has done (I think) a commendable and ruthlessly efficient job of steering the organisation through a period of intense growth. No one says you have to like her. She has my respect and was always cordial, respectful and friendly to me.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Where to start? Leadership is so all over the map that there is only one thing I can think of that would apply as a general rule. The fear of retribution is high. I am reluctant to even post this review. Perhaps that's a good place to start. Being ferociously protective of your reputation is one thing. A culture of fear is another.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    A good place to get experience in DC

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

    I worked at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    This job looks great on paper

    Cons

    Not so many cons for this job

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    A lot to like and some stuff that I wish were different

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

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent atmosphere, pay, benefits, very smart people, some senior management that really does listen. You can do a lot here, but you have to be aware of the politics. The work of Pew is really interesting and genuinely focused on a better society.

    Cons

    CEO is way too involved in details - even senior management is frightened of her. Overall though she has led the organization well through a period of tremendous growth. She can be very cold, but she's a CEO - you can't really fault her because she's not warm and cuddly. The dress code is tough - suits/dresses - no business casual at all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It might be time to try a new CEO. Rebecca has been around a long time. Someone new would bring new focus, goals, ideas, attitudes - just new and fresh.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 6 people found this helpful  

    Culture kills, but smart people

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

    I worked at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The pros are the prestige of the organization which will follow you and speak for you even after you have left and the people you will work with will be competent and smart.

    Cons

    The culture is horrible! Others will likely talk about this, but there is a FEAR of doing anything wrong and of allowing newer/less senior employees taking the lead on projects. It is "common" or "normal" to cry while working at Pew because of the stress levels and frustrating bureaucracy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop more opportunites for less senior staff to take ownership of projects.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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