Save the Children Reviews

Updated July 4, 2015
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Save the Children President & CEO Carolyn S. Miles
Carolyn S. Miles
31 Ratings

Pros
  • Good work/life balance if you are working in the developed country (in 4 reviews)

  • nice working environment, laid-back, well-respected organization (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Leadership is completely lacking, and individuals at a Director or VP level shun decision making (in 4 reviews)

  • Staff turnover in hardship posts are relatively high, so senior management at some field offices are not stable (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

69 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (9)

    Hypocrisy, abuse abound at Save the Children

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

    I have been working at Save the Children

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The mission of Save the Children is to provide lasting and positive change for children. There is no argument that this is a worthy cause. Many, many children and families' lives have been changed for the better due to the amazingly good work of the staff of STC. The commitment and passion shown for those in need is amazing.

    Cons

    STC manages today as it did 35 years ago. Rather than a decision making process based on truth, facts and ROI's, decisions are based on political connections, tenure within the organization and how much money will it raise. Abusive, hostile treatment of employees is commonplace. Discrimintory practices are ignored, even when raised to Sr. Management. Fiscal responsibility is shallow at best. The HR department in Westport, CT is incompetent, and in need of an audit. There are violations of USAID requirements as well as EEO requirements. For an organization that employs more than 6,000 and has been around for 75 years, I was shocked by what I found.

    Advice to Management

    Sr. Management needs to take a hard look at itself. Several members of the Sr. Management team should be replaced by professionals who know how to run a business and who understand that a non-profit can be run like a for-profit and still achieve it's mission. The disconnect between their public image, the mission and their internal behavior will be your undoing.


  2. Helpful (6)

    Save yourself the aggravation

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

    I worked at Save the Children (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    'intelligent co-workers who are for the most part friendly

    Cons

    -poor top management decision-making, constant changing of strategy -too many unproductive meetings -very political, its who you know rather than your job performance -low pay which is the norm but some make good salaries here for many years and do not produce while others have -heavy workload which is never questioned -some have 'work from home' privileges but others do not making it very unfair -questionable account practices and use of 'preferred' vendor's who overcharged but is it overlooked because theyhave an 'in' with someone in top management


  3. Helpful (5)

    Save Yourself the Trouble

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

    I worked at Save the Children full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Wanting to be a part of something that helps children worldwide is a good thing and there are some people who work here that truly do have that calling. Unfortunately, I did not get a sense that all donor dollars where used to benefit children.

    Cons

    Constant layoffs and reorganizations; everyone feels stressed out about what might happen next; constant problems with computer systems that never seem to get fixed; unrealistic business objectives and goals that are constantly changing; poor upper management leadership/decisions; too many high paid managers who would be considered totally incompetent in the for-profit world yet are kept on the payroll for years; endless hours of unproductive meetings; very political environment - its who you know rather than your job performance; a few do most of the work at very little pay; some can job hop/work from home while others cannot; they make a big deal out of their performance review process but don't back it up with any training or advancement options-its really meaningless paperwork.


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  5. Great mission, terrible management!

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

    I worked at Save the Children full-time

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

    Pros

    Most employees are there to support the mission and are very nice people to work with.

    Cons

    - Little to no upward movement for most people - People are not put into positions according to their skill sets and experience, but on a popularity or seniority basis - HR works for management and doesn't listen to employees - So anxious to fill some upper management positions, HR/VPs don't properly vet candidates

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees when they tell you there is a problem. Don't wait and let 1-3 individuals decimate and entire department.


  6. Helpful (4)

    It's nightmarish.

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

    I worked at Save the Children

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great cause, excellent benefits. Among the past and current employees there are some very nice and talented people. The water view from CT office is superb, maybe a little ostentatious for a charity organization.

    Cons

    The competition is cutting throat just like in other business, but office politics and resentment are way above average. Some managers are rude and abusive. Job training is almost non existing. The environment in certain department is toxic, lots of back stabbing, not much support. The pressure/experience can be traumatizing.

    Advice to Management

    Remember that charity starts at home. The environment/culture needs to be improved, otherwise it will be hard to retain the talents, and worse, the survival of the organization can be in jeopardy.


  7. Response to applications

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

    I worked at Save the Children

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Some very dedicated people, particularly national staff in country.

    Cons

    None, never, one of the worst. If one applies through the website the automated response does not even confirm the specific job applied for. It's a basic, impersonal, screw you response. They do not follow-up at all.


  8. Helpful (4)

    Focus on fundraising, not focused on people, including people with families.

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

    I have been working at Save the Children full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Externally has a good brand and partners view Save the Children positively. There has been high turnover at the Washington/Westport level for the last 5+ years. Only some senior level people remain.

    Cons

    Questionable practices swept under the rug/avoided despite so-called internal audit efforts; also one highly corrupt staff from the field was promoted to home office position, despite warnings from colleagues.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on accountability, accountability, accountability, in conjunction the implementation of good programs for children, not just fundraising to help maintain bloated salaries at senior level.


  9. Helpful (7)

    Ten reasons why NGOs need to be Reformed

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

    I have been working at Save the Children

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Save the Children has wonder advocacy programs in the United States and Aboard. The mid-level staff are wondeful professionals to learn from and obtain a good perspective of Save the Children's mission.

    Cons

    Similar to most NGO's that have been around 75 years + they lack Senior Managment that have the appropirate leadership skills. Upper management and Human Resources prefereance is to avoid conflict, so it is hands off management style that feeds the rudenss among most employees towards each other. I find that the support groups do not really know how to support, they enable the employess primarly upper management that through temper tantrums. Porr management or lack there of is leading to the increasing turn over of the organization.

    Advice to Management

    Start managing and stop hiding in your offices. Stop the polictical bickering and learn how to work together. Most importantily be accountable, less reactive and more proactive. The Humanitarin busienss is not a popularity Arena. Leave your egos at the door and make Save the Children a move effective NGO.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Great intentions bad management

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

    I have been working at Save the Children

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I'm proud to work at Save the Children and for an ogranization that helps to improve the quality of peoples life. Vacation is generous, if you can use it.

    Cons

    If you aren't one of the "in crowd" you won't get anywhere. If you want to settle, it's the place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Try to listen to what the employees say. If you want to move forward, you need the support of your employees and can actually learn from them.


  11. Helpful (8)

    Mismanagement is endemic, employee development is not a priority, and creative, hardworking individuals are not valued.

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

    I have been working at Save the Children full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Pay is good for a nonprofit, the reputation (deserved or not) looks good on your resume, and the people who are not in management positions tend to be very bright, friendly, passionate and hardworking.

    Cons

    Leadership is completely lacking, and individuals at a Director or VP level shun decision making. This would be ok if the rest of the organization was allowed to work to its true productivity, but alas, Save the Children managers tend to focus much more on keeping their positions and stifling creative ideas (a culture of "business as usual") than on employee development. It's too bad, because the number of excellent people coming into the organization is phenomenal, and they tend to leave within a year or less. Unless you plan to be field based, this is not a place where you will grow professionally. Save the Children needs to figure out a way to work within its mission. It is becoming impossible to see the difference between Save the Children, Mercy Corps and CARE. The concentration on rampant fundraising (especially with US Government money) instead of on what people really want and need (supposedly the backbone of development and humanitarian work) is beyond disheartening. Save the Children will chase any money that is tossed before it. Lastly, the finance department is a mess and it makes the working lives of anyone who has to depend at some point on finance for clear policies or guidance very difficult.

    Advice to Management

    Not all managers should be managers. Folks who have risen in the ranks, mainly because of years with Save the Children, shouldn't necessarily be supervising people. Management takes skills and a level of caring about people that is lacking from your current managers. Make them advisers or use the "up or out" approach, but the process currently implemented is poisoning the organization.



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