Sierra Club

www.sierraclub.org
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Sierra Club Reviews

Updated February 26, 2015
Updated February 26, 2015
55 Reviews
4.0
55 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune
Michael Brune
24 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • I interned here for two semesters and learned so much about grassroots organizing as well as environmental policy (in 3 reviews)

  • chance to live in San Francisco and work for a non-profit (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • Like so many other non-profits, there seemed to be a general chaos (in 4 reviews)

  • Internships are unpaid, but no other cons (in 2 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Internship at Sierra Club

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

    I have been working at Sierra Club

    Pros

    The office culture is wonderful and the work is cooperative. With a softball team, and a variety of other non-office related events, this really is a wonderful place to build a network. People here work really really hard while they are at work, and that is wonderful to keep you motivated an on track, and also helps to build the community atmosphere.

    Cons

    Although they have a focus on career development and brownbag lunches, this part of the intern program could really be flushed out and more targeted. So much work is done remotely via conference calls and google hang outs, it takes a while to get used to this and the lack of personal contact with the people you are working with most directly.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Field Organizer

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

    I worked at Sierra Club full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Amazing non-profit with full focus on achieving tangible results and solutions to save the planet. Great people, great purpose, and *great* execution. Benefits are good.

    Cons

    Organizer turnover is tough to manage, but at the end of the day, either you promote people up the ladder or pay them more.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Organizers are praised with words but not so much with compensation. If they are truly as valuable as you claim, then the pay must be competitive with the other departments as well.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    A wonderful, strong organization of do-gooders...who have little understanding of their own company's infrastructure.

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

    I have been working at Sierra Club full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Working with very passionate people, in an organization that has achieved amazing results for the environment and American public. People here (serving in any position) believe wholeheartedly in the Club's work on promoting clean energy and protecting wild lands. Everyone here is extremely intelligent and hard-working.
    - The past couple of years have dragged our workforce out of the tech Dark Ages. We have made some major strides on updating baseline equipment and systems for all employees; using systems (Google mail, SalesForce) that are much more prevalent in the outside working world. It's not perfect, but it's far adn above where we were in the late 2000s.
    - Excellent health benefits and retirement packages. Heaps of time off benefits. Discounts on cool trips is a fun perk.

    Cons

    - Upper management/Executive level has very little understanding of the importance of support staff (Finance, HR, IT, anyone administrative in other departments, etc). And those upper managers that lead support teams aren't very strong in portraying what their teams do/accomplish to the Executive team and Board, or why operations should factor into Exec decisions.
    - Salary discrepancies can be very wide between departments and regions.
    - Salary discrepancies between departments and regions are
    - This organization runs on a tight-wire social structure. Folks here have learned that whoever screams the loudest gets noticed by management. Many of the employees are grassroots organizers who are used to pushing back on authority as a part of their job -- and they unfairly push just as hard on internal Club teams when given a task/an answer to a question that they don't like. Lots of calling 4 different people on the same team to search for an answer that best suits them.
    - An organization (non-profit no less) of some 600 staff with two labor unions makes no sense anywhere else in the working world. But it does here?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In any non-profit, it's very easy to focus solely on the message/cause around which your organization is built (particularly because of expectations of our donors). But the support staff (Finance, HR, IT, anyone administrative in other departments, etc) are just as important as our fundraisers, lobbyists, and organizers. These are the staff members that do excellent behind-the-scenes work to equip our "in the field" staff with the tools they need to do their job of saving the world.

    I strongly urge Executive to hire a Chief Operating Officer with oversight of the support teams, allowing for those teams to have a strong leader and advocate, and to free up the other Execs to focus on their (obviously preferred) environmental work and fundraising.

    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great, cause great people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Advancement Director in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Associate Advancement Director in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Sierra Club

    Pros

    Very progressive and inclusive, Mgt actually gives a #$@%, good benefits, not great on he 401K match pretty low there but all the other benefits are great. The best part is the people, their dedication and the great work people do. Decent wages for a nonprofit.

    Cons

    weak 401K match.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Internship

    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Political Intern
    Former Employee - Political Intern

    I worked at Sierra Club

    Pros

    Really great nonprofit to work for if you have a passion for environmental issues. I was exposed to a variety of committees within the Sierra Club and also to local government leaders.

    Cons

    I was an unpaid intern in this position so it was great for experience but not a sustainable way to work/live

  7.  

    Political Intern - Great Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Political Intern in Lansing, MI
    Former Employee - Political Intern in Lansing, MI

    I worked at Sierra Club

    Pros

    Given real responsibility
    Worked with me to make sure my learning goals were met
    Flexible
    Learned real world and applicable skills
    Supervisor was great - kept in great contact, always available, genuinely cared that interns were taken care of
    Lots of opportunities to continue involvement and move up in organization

    Cons

    Unpaid, although not a terrible con as most internships are unpaid especially in a non-profit, but we still got $100 Meijer gift cards at the end of our campaigns. Thoughtful touch. So, no, really, no cons.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote Mike Berkowitz - he is an incredible leader and motivator!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Encouraging, stimulating environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Journalist in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Journalist in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Sierra Club

    Pros

    Incredibly dedicated staff who entrusted me with a lot of responsibility from the get-go, giving me the freedom to participate in the mission of the organization in my unique role.

    Cons

    I was quite exhausted much of the time because I was incredibly busy (which I really am not complaining about - it was just quite an adjustment).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider setting goals and expectations from the offset so that it scheduling will not be a surprise

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Great place to work if you're looking for a stable job at an effective organization.

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

    I worked at Sierra Club

    Pros

    - Great benefits
    - Staff union means your job is more secure than at most places
    - Intelligent, interesting, supportive coworkers.
    - The chance to work for an organization that actually wins campaigns and makes a real different.
    - Great resume-booster because of the organization's sterling reputation
    - Lots of training and development opportunities

    Cons

    - Roles can feel a bit limiting after awhile
    - Difficult to advance in some departments
    - Several departments are poorly managed and have had a LOT of turnover recently
    - Salaries slightly lower than other similar organizations

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Encourage more creativity in staff
    - Create more opportunities for advancement
    - More accountability for underperforming senior managers

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    If you want to make a difference, come work for the Sierra Club

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

    I have been working at Sierra Club

    Pros

    Meaningful work where you can really see that you and your team are making a difference. It's great to see your work on the front page of the New York times and to know that you are helping to create a better, safer, fairer more sustainable future. The people at the Club are very passionate and that makes it fun.

    Cons

    Saving the planet is hard work that never ends so it's a very demanding job and there are rarely enough resources to go up against the big fossil fuel companies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep building on the changes put in place by the new ED and the newly re-organized Executive Team. And do what you can to streamline decision-making and push it further down through the organization.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Place to Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Campaign Representative in Harrisburg, PA
    Current Employee - Campaign Representative in Harrisburg, PA

    I have been working at Sierra Club

    Pros

    Union, Good Benefits, Mission driven, lots of great people who will help you without even asking.

    Cons

    Huge bureaucracy and that's not great. Constrained campaign opportunities.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Sierra Club Photos

Club leaders strike a historic agreement in Los Angeles, CA.
Staffers at a Charlotte, NC rally.
Staffers prepare to hit the streets for change.

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