The Fund for the Public Interest

  www.fundforthepublicinterest.org
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The Fund for the Public Interest Reviews

Updated August 14, 2014
Updated August 14, 2014
90 Reviews

2.0
90 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Ed Johnson
27 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You're fundraising for good causes (in 8 reviews)

  • They give you a lot of responsibility for an entry level position (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Requires going door to door in neighborhoods (alone) and asking for money for campaigns (in 6 reviews)

  • Absolutely no work-life balance (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Lots of hours, but can bevery fun

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Door to Door Canvasser  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Door to Door Canvasser in Seattle, WA

    Pros

    If you are passionate about the issue you are pushing, this can be very rewarding work. The office environment is also very cool, but as a canvasser you don't spend much time there. Everyone I met is great. There's a concerted effort by the bosses to bring the team together through lunches together and post-work socials. There's ample opportunity to advance in the work place. When you're on a roll/ get good at canvassing you can make a lot of money. It can be fun. Also, it is enjoyable to talk to people that really appreciate your work.

    Cons

    At least 50 hour workweeks, so you'll be expected to work a lot. You'll work late too. Until 10pm at the least, so the hours can it difficult to have a social life. Door-to-door is not for everyone, so you'll see many people leave the office. You can have bad days and those can crush you during your 5-hour shift. I feel the commission-based, money-incentivized fund-raising cheats the non-profit spirit a little. It makes sense though, because most people will not do this laborous job for free, or minimum wage without incentives.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    It's a decent summer job that teaches you about human nature and allows you to do something beneficial for the planet.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Field Manager  in  New Haven, CT
    Former Employee - Field Manager in New Haven, CT

    Pros

    The community of passionate people makes for a good working environment.

    Cons

    Canvassers are very poorly trained. Many are sent out without even a basic understanding of the issues and past legislation. Directors are paid miserably for long hours. There is a high turnover for low level staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do a better job of informing the public of where their money is going. Train low level staff much more thoroughly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Intern Experience

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great time, was an intern for grad school.

    Cons

    Somewhat boring but the canvassers always were fun to talk to

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  5.  

    Not for Everyone

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Canvasser  in  Montclair, NJ
    Former Employee - Canvasser in Montclair, NJ

    Pros

    The job is fairly straight forward. Everyone there seems to be cheerful. It is all for

    Cons

    The work hours are horrendous. Very high turnover. You don't really know what you are campaigning for. They give you a speech you have to memorize called a "rap". I am not even sure the managers fully understand what they are campaigning for. everyone just recites the "rap"

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Good experience, good people, good causes

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

    Pros

    There are tons of advancement opportunities if you're picked out as a promising or up-and-coming candidate for more leadership. The culture of offices is great, with a good mixture of fun and professionalism. You can also become a leader in a number of ways, and the time full-time staff put into developing employees helps everyone feel more fulfillment and ownership in their work. The campaigns are also cool, and if you're good with fundraising or sales, this job will only help you improve. Training is great, and is ongoing, beyond simply the first week or so, with continuing education and training being a large focus of the organization, as a method of quickly developing future leaders. The work-life balance is a bit of a double-edged sword, with the positive part being that, if you choose, you have the opportunity to have a great social life with co-workers off the clock. Lastly, THIS IS NOT JUST COMMISSION-BASED. You will make a base hourly wage, regardless of your fundraising skill, for all paid time in the office.

    Cons

    On the other side of the coin, the culture of most offices is such that employees, especially full-time year-round staff are implicitly expected to make themselves available for off-the-clock social engagements, which is typically a lot of fun but can be a bit unsustainable for people who feel the need for more time for themselves. It's a mixed bag on the social side, but there really aren't many other major issues. The only thing many people sometimes desire is more of a political presence in offices, as well as the ability for canvassers to be involved with the campaign beyond fundraising.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cater approaches to training and staff development more toward individual employees' personalities and motivations rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach. And as almost every single review of the Fund says, there needs to be a way to lessen the workload for upper-level employees in each office to improve the retention rate.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great opportunity for growth, but not an easy job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Canvass Director  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Canvass Director in Boston, MA

    Pros

    Lots of responsibility
    Great opportunity to build skills in development and sales
    Meet amazing people/friends
    work on important issues and make a difference!

    Cons

    Very long hours make other life difficult or impossible
    Pay is poor
    Work can be emotionally and physically demanding

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider higher pay, shorter hours or a mandatory long vacation?

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Awful, shady organization seeking to pressure people for any amount of money.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Telemarketer  in  Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Telemarketer in Boston, MA

    Pros

    Was on telephones just reading a script. Job itself is mindless.

    Cons

    Dumb, egotistical management who lies to employees and will terminate you without ANY REASON or EXPLANATION. Avoid this company AT ALL COSTS.

    My last day experience:

    Management: (on a Sunday shift) "You're doing good, I'm impressed with what you've done so far. I'm looking forward to seeing you finish your training Monday and Tuesday."
    *2 hours later, ripped away from my desk in the middle of shift*
    Management: I'm sorry, it looks like you're not a fit for the company.
    Me: Any reasoning?
    Management: No, you're just unfit.
    Me: But what makes me unfit.
    Management: I don't have to explain, it's just not going to work here.
    Me: But you just said you were impressed and wanted me to come back to finish training.
    Management: Sorry, it's this kind of attitude that I find unfit.

    ...what?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go find a better job than lying to people, leading employees on and terminating them even when quotas are met during training week.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Torturous Experience

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    - Being around friendly, like-minded canvassers.
    - Sales experience.
    - Noble causes.

    Cons

    - Bad labor practices with physical demands (standing for hours, many times under the sun)
    - Sales in all it entails.
    - Self-righteous leading with poor tactics and oftentimes poor understanding of causes.
    - Agree with most other reviewers on the negatives outweighing positives.

  10.  

    This is a great opportunity to learn SALES and FUNDRAISING.

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

    Pros

    You can make a difference in a wide array of liberal causes, and you can inform people on the street about issues that they are not aware of. You can develop useful skills in sales and non-profit management. You can also make a lot of amazing friends with people who share your values. You have opportunities to advance in the company, and you have something nice to put on your resume.

    Cons

    The pay grade is borderline poverty, especially when you factor in housing and transportation in cities that aren't exactly cheap. The hours and work itself are less than comfortable. It is a non-profit. Also, the work is basically fundraising on the street corner, so if that isn't what you are looking for...

    Then, you also have to consider that you aren't actually working for the company you are fundraising for. You might be fundraising for the Human Rights Campaign, but the company you are working for is contracting with HRC. They have quotas. You have quotas. Your job isn't to convince people to support gay rights, or to inform people about the environmental dangers of fracking. Your job is to find people that already are on your side, and give them just enough information to demonstrate that you need their money. In the end, it is all about the $$$. And, in the end, you are still struggling to pay rent.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    It is not worth working here.

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

    Pros

    The canvassers you work with are all really nice.

    Cons

    The Fund is an extremely shady organization. Right of the bat, as I started working there, I would ask questions about where the money goes and they would straight up say not to worry about it because its better to leave people with less information. What kind of nonprofit says that? Where does the money really go? Furthermore, they campaign for specific causes such as Environment Illinois campaigning to close loopholes in the Clean Water Act. However, sustainers will continue to donate to the organization despite that campaign ending. This means that their money can be used for other causes they were not told about or don't even support.
         Although some people say its a great way to educate people, canvassers are focused only on quotas and making money. They don't really care about educating people or having them sign the petitions. They only work on perfecting ways to get more money. An example of this, is that they have a written out response to someone that says they want to go home and research this on these issues on their own. Some organizations would see this as a positive since it gets people to inquire about the issue but The Fund sees this as a missed opportunity for money. This obsession over quotas is apparent by the first question they ask when you get back to the office, "how much did you make?". It really is sad seeing great causes being pushed back by this sort of mentality.
        Also, even though they have set hours, they often call you in early and keep you late. You would think that this means you would get a bigger paycheck. But you are gravely mistaken. They pay you for set time if they even pay you for that. Make sure to keep careful track of everything you earn. Don't let them fool you about the commission you get for how much donations you collect. You only get commission if you make over a certain quota..Even then, might not even get it if someone chooses to cancel their monthly subscription. You also supposedly get compensated for travel but I still haven't seen any such check.
        This job has a huge turnover rate. They interview so many people every week but they let nearly everyone go for not making quotas. Not many people make it past a few weeks. This is partially due to the bad conditions as well as a lot of people being fired. You can see that not many workers are satisfied enough to stick around since the Fund is always recruiting but never really increasing in number. You end up standing outside on corners begging people for money. It doesn't feel like a satisfying job at all since you feel like you are tricking people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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