Pew Charitable Trusts

  www.pewtrusts.org
  www.pewtrusts.org
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Pew Charitable Trusts Reviews

Updated September 22, 2014
Updated September 22, 2014
80 Reviews
2.6
80 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Pew Charitable Trusts President and CEO Rebecca W. Rimel
Rebecca W. Rimel
59 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great work-life balance but I did see a lot of slackers, slacking and getting away with it (in 10 reviews)

  • Pew offers their name, great benefits and really smart people (in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • CEO is way too involved in details - even senior management is frightened of her (in 9 reviews)

  • Top managers are afraid to make decisions or to take a risk (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 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 for 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
  2. 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 for 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
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    rewarding personally and professionally

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

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Terrific people working on great issues. If you care about the environment or state policy there is nowhere better - tremendous resources devoted to solving real problems.

    Cons

    Honestly, the only thing I agree with other reviewers on is that reports do go through a thorough clearance and fact checking process before they are released. But that seems quite normal to me.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reading these reviews it appears internal communications needs improvement! I can only surmise that younger employees don't understand the careful data analysis that our field demands. I'm personally impressed that the CEO updates us quarterly on management decisions, and she certainly seems nice to me. Perhaps employees don't understand what working in a large organization is like.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 11 people found this helpful  

    Oppressive, joyless and stifling management. Missed potential.

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I have awesome peers, the place is filled with smart and talented people, the goals are lofty
    and meaningful, Pew has the resources to do 'good'. Money is not a constraining factor to get things done. Good facilities. Good benefits. Has some brand value in the US.

    Cons

    Where to start? I feel like I could write a book on the poisonous and toxic culture that permeates this organization.

    1. Management takes decisions on a whim or personal preferences despite a veneer of strategic engagement and strategy. A project can be successful, but if it is perceived as too risky, it will suddenly and with no warning, be disbanded.
    2. Pew hires exceptional people but treats them all like high school kids. No one is respected for their abilities or knowledge or previous achievements.
    3. Pew is so afraid of tarnishing its external reputation - yet treats staff so badly. Word of mouth reputation doesn't seem to be something that HR or the CEO cares about. People get fired arbitrarily or squeezed out if their opinion or approach is threatening.
    4. Senior staff bring in staff from their previous jobs. You may say - ok that's normal - but one director has brought in at least 8 people from her previous institution but that has not been questioned.
    5. Staff turnover is so high that people cannot keep up with it.
    6. People are expected to campaign but then told they can't communicate strategically (it's not the Pew style) nor can they get a contract through the system to employ people to get on with the job while Pew bureaucracy fights among itself for months.
    7. You can't write a 200 word piece for the website without 10 people editing it- usually adding more and more mistakes along the way
    8. People are just plain miserable and talking about how to 'get out'. Such a shame as it could be a great place to work.
    9. HR are at time indifferent, sometimes downright cruel.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be kind to staff, treat them like people not servants. Stop micro managing and let clever people do the job they were employed to do. Get a new CEO.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great non-profit where you can make a difference

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

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I've worked at Pew for about two years and think it is a great organization. The people are professional, nice and very intelligent. The organization supports fantastic projects around the world and I have personally been able to make a difference by contributing to a research team. The benefits are great, including getting off early on Fridays in summer, generous 401K, and good work-life balance.

    Cons

    If you want to work in a non-profit that feels like a grassroots organization in terms of casual dress and attitudes, then Pew isn't the place for you. Pew is a non-profit that prides itself on humility, good data and respect.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Human Resources could do a better job in the way they communicate to job seekers and employees but overall, senior management is excellent and focused on making things better every day for staff.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 9 people found this helpful  

    fear-based culture

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

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    commitment to high standards, talented staff, and a level of resources that make Pew's advocacy presence felt in a number of circles.

    Cons

    What's most prevalent in the culture is the fear of making mistakes. This puts a chill in innovation and creativity. Compounding this problem is a lack of growth potential for employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 16 people found this helpful  

    You will regret coming here

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

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good benefits and an ok resume builder......but it won't be long before you realize those things aren't worth what you give up in self esteem and self confidence from working here.

    Cons

    The "More Disfunctional than Congress" review is dead on! Pew prides itself in hiring talented people, only to mismanage them in such a way that destroys their confidence and their ability to make independent decisions. If you are a rising star in your profession, (which you would be if Pew tries to recruit you), than do....not.....come....here, because you will be damaged. There is no opportunity for growth. There is no attention paid to one's professional development. There's not even an opportunity to right a two-sentence email without five or more people editing it before it goes out....And this applies no matter how high up you are. If you come here, you will soon feel what everyone here feels: a burning desire to leave and fear or concern that you cannot go. The people here, from senior managers to admins, range between miserable/depressed to mean/angry. And it all stems from the CEO who has absolutely no concern for her staff at any level. In fact, I was told that she wants people to feel insecure and afraid....That's intentional. And the board either doesn't care or is oblivious to the org's deep-seeded and alarming dysfunction.

    If you come here after reading the reviews on this site, you only have yourself to blame. Choose carefully.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 12 people found this helpful  

    Managers do not trust their employees to do their jobs.

    • 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 for more than a year

    Pros

    For now, the current health benefits are great, though it has been announced that they are changing that. Based on how much they cut disability and maternity leave recently, it would seem that health insurance is also going to get slashed.

    Cons

    Almost all of the reviews here are completely accurate, and I agree with what they say. The review titled "More toxic than congress" is so true, and frankly there is nothing that I could add to that. The biggest problem is that managers do not trust their staff to do their job and as a result micromanage everything, and every little document that gets churned out, even an internal document only meant for you and your teammates working on a project or campaign together is subjected to several layers of review. If a document needs to go to the CEO for review, forget about it. 10 people will need to review it and mark it up before it ever gets to the CEO, and it's likely to take 2 weeks just to get her approval.
    On top of all this, don't plan to have a family life. Sure, there are a few little groups within departments who are family friendly, but for the most part, they are NOT. Do not expect to get time off to be home with your sick child or to attend an event at their school. There are no flex hours for parents. If you are one of the lucky few who is not expected to put in overtime on a daily basis, you come in at 9, you leave at 5:30, and that is that. No questions asked.
    Pew hires all kinds of experts supposedly for their counsel and their suggestions, but that is not what happens. You do what you are told, and you think what you are told to think.
    On top of all this, there is NO room for advancement. Pew will hire someone from the outside before ever considering one of their employees for a job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust your employees to do their jobs, and give them clear and direct guidance!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 9 people found this helpful  

    The shine wears off quickly...

    • 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 for more than a year

    Pros

    The caliber of people that work at Pew is amazing. I have never worked with such intelligent, passionate individuals.

    Cons

    There is little to no growth opportunity. You have to be there for three years now before they will even consider promoting you, even if you have done an excellent job and deserve to be promoted. Also, Pew prefers to bring in new hires instead of promotions, so there is an extremely high turnover rate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote your employees with in. They were hired because they were smart, talented and could get the job done. Why "stop-gap" them once they are in the door?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 13 people found this helpful  

    Challenging place to work, but worth it.

    • 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 for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I'll add my voice to that of others: great benefits. And incredibly smart people who have the opportunity to work on fascinating issues, usually in a very direct and goal-oriented way. If you work there, at almost any level, you're bound to learn a lot

    Cons

    It's not for everyone. Like large institutions, it is very bureaucratic. It's hard for individuals to have autonomy. And there's a fair amount of angst (some employees call it fear) about getting it right and not making any mistakes. I don't know that all of these things are necessarily bad--depends on how you decide to handle them. Regarding all the criticism of the CEO, I'll just say this: on a personal level, she has always been gracious to me, even though I'm sure she has never known who I was. I do believe the institution is losing the personal touch that it once had. For me, the pros outweighed the cons. Until they didn't.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not sure how you can inject the warmth and family feel that I heard so much about into such a large place. There is a lot of fear and concern over making mistakes--I've seen first-hand how it paralyzed employees. That's something worth considering, I think. All in all, it's a good place to work if you're committed to working hard and learning from the things that challenge you, and leaving when you can no longer do that.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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