USA for Unhcr Reviews

Updated September 14, 2014
Updated September 14, 2014
23 Reviews
2.5
23 Reviews
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Greg Wangerin
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    My experience with USA for UNHCR has been a memorable one!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Face-to-Face Fundraiser in Miami, FL
    Former Employee - Face-to-Face Fundraiser in Miami, FL

    I worked at USA for Unhcr full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    - Company Values
    - Flexibility
    - Teamwork

    Cons

    - Greater pay for team leaders
    - Lack of motivation from corporate management
    - No time for new members to learn on the field
    - Too many donors required in a week from team leader as he/she are required to train the new hires as well.
    - Lack of understanding of the demographics, location, and culture barriers in the field to have the same expectations for every employee to meet a certain amount donors compare to other teams without the obstacles listed above.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Challenging work environment, good team atmosphere

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

    I worked at USA for Unhcr part-time

    Pros

    You're serving a good cause, and the people that you work with are friendly, energetic, amazing people. Canvassing is challenging work, but the people you meet on your team and in the street often make the job very rewarding. The salary is hourly with additional commission, based on your performance. As a part-time job or a job between positions, canvassing presents a good opportunity to work on your public speaking skills.

    Cons

    The quotas to sign up donors makes your day to day very stressful. It's very difficult to see space for professional growth when you're stressing out about whether you will have a job the next week.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to support staff through training opportunities

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Worked full time for less than one year

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Face-to-Face Fundraiser in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Face-to-Face Fundraiser in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at USA for Unhcr full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    You get to work with like minded people who are driven and passionate about making a difference.
    Flexible hours IF you choose to do part-time, otherwise the schedule changes weekly.

    Cons

    Personally I did not agree with the policy on having to meet weekly quotas. Every week each person needs to have had a certain number of donations, if you don't meet those numbers in the first week or so you get fired. IT is tough.
    Full time employees can expect to work either Saturday or Sunday, you HAVE to work at least one weekend day.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Total Scam

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - F2F Fundraiser in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - F2F Fundraiser in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at USA for Unhcr full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Awesome team support, great cause

    Cons

    Dishonest management, zero job security, poor leadership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Restructure the management level and change fundraising approaches. Your employees are valuable and if you invest in them, your turnover rate will drop.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Wonderful cause, but poor management and not enough of the donor's dollar goes to the cause

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

    I worked at USA for Unhcr full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Got to meet a lot of wonderful people, engage/interact with the community, great cause

    Cons

    The DC management works in a black box with no transparency and accountability. When questioned about how much of the donor's dollar actually goes to the cause, they do not answer. However, it isn't hard to look up USA for UNHCR on Charity Navigator.
    ...last year, Charity Navigator listed that ~61% of the donor's dollar went to the cause. Now, ~47% of the donor's dollar goes to the cause. With frontline staff being paid minimum wage and experiences clawbacks [wages arbitrarily taken out of their paychecks] where is the money going?

    The DC management promotes a high turnover environment while protecting their own positions which means there is no room for growth for the employee. If an employee stays with the agency for a month or more, they will quickly see that a mis-management of funds and resources is the norm: 5 offices, management staff with high salaries, excessive staff travel to other cities. A huge problem is that DC's fundraising management team worked together prior to being with USA for UNHCR. They do not have the experience or desire to improve, nor do they have the insight or ability to invest in employees other than themselves.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the current DC fundraising management, and hire individuals with actual business and humanitarian experiences.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Face-to-Face Fundraiser in Miami, FL
    Former Employee - Face-to-Face Fundraiser in Miami, FL

    I worked at USA for Unhcr full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    UNHCR is a respectful organization – it sounds and looks good in the resume. Besides the impression, this organization has nothing valuable to offer.

    Cons

    USA for UNHCR is a shame for the High Commissioner for Refugees. It is non – profit branch that is interested exclusively in money. Helping people as a highest cause is a joke that upper management is using for gaining more personal profit. Shame on you! You are a disgrace for this world; using people in a huge problem to gain money is simply a sin.

    I’ve been hired to work as a fundraiser in the USA for UNHCR Miami, FL. I was honored and extremely excited to work for such respectful organization. As being fully politically aware, I was thinking that helping those in need is the most gracious job I could find. But…
    Fundraiser in this organization is sent to a street to literally beg for money for straight 8 hours. You are standing at the corner asking each person if she/he is aware of the ongoing conflict that is happening in one part of the world. Long story short, fundraiser is a professional beggar.
    I’ve seen a lot of people on Glassdoor who are writing reviews saying that you are working with intelligent and educated people. Call me snobbish, but the girl that was my team leader (?!) was spitting on the street while waiting for the next “victim”, she didn’t know where Syria is and was lacking of personal hygiene. You are begging for money for Syrian refugees and you don’t know in which part of the world that country is, let alone what are the political problems there.
    This organization doesn’t need smart or good people, they just need numbers. And numbers are made by those who are not aware of the world surrounding them.
    You are not allowed to accept any cash offered by a lot of people. Your job is to convince strangers at the street to give you their credit card numbers and that’s not all. You need to convince them to become "sustainer" which mean that they are obligated to give you $15 monthly minimum for one year?!
    Random question to upper management: Would you be willing to give $15 every month for Syrian refugees?

    And the amount of $15 is chosen because that is the only way for you to get the bonus. Each employee in this organization is obsessed with bonuses, because the hourly rate is $8.25.
    Also, you are obligated to have at least 8 "sustainers" per week. And if you don’t hit your goal for 2 weeks in a row you are out of this organization.

    Each person in this organization only talks about hitting the goal or bonus. They don’t care about anything else then their paycheck. Morally, people working in this organization are on the lowest level and I’m disgusted with this fact.
    Fundraisers are trained every day what lines they should say. Not to mention that those lines are complete lies and they are said only to convince a person to give you the money. Every morning, the person in charge called “city coordinator” is teaching you lies you should say at the street (e.g if a person you are convincing to give you money says that she/he doesn’t have money, you should say that you already spoke with somebody who had the same problem but when “they saw how awesome we are, they agreed to give us money”).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I don’t have an advice for upper management because I don’t want to spend any more time on this scam. You are a disgrace for everyone who wants to help and I will never give a dime to organization like yours.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Great Place to Work

    • 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 USA for Unhcr

    Pros

    Compelling cause
    Huge opportunities for growth
    Very Good people
    International opportunities for advancement

    Cons

    Sometime hard to explain the work of UNHCR to the American public

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do even more great work to integrate the teams
    Let more staff travel to see the work we do with refugees first hand

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    A lot a canvassing, which isn't fun, but pay and benefits are good.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at USA for Unhcr full-time

    Pros

    Fun team to work with, supportive and have sense of humor. The pay is better than what most fundraising organizations give and the new management at the DC office was particularly caring of employees.

    Cons

    Fundraising in harsh conditions such as staying outside in freezing cold and scorching heat for 6 hours a day (except for a lunch and other shorter breaks). Strict quotas, the main thing employees complained about was lack of job security, the stress motivated people to always be looking for other jobs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maybe make it more commission based, instead of tight quotas, to prevent losses and too much stress for employees. Worrying about losing team leader position or the job entirely makes it hard to be upbeat and positive while fundraising.

  10.  

    Your hard work pays off, I PROMISE

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - FACE to FACE FUNDRAISER in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - FACE to FACE FUNDRAISER in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at USA for Unhcr part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I have been a fundraiser for the San Diego office for just about a year now. I would like to first start off by saying that I am a firm believer in the mission, goals, and ability of this organization. If I didn't feel this way, I would never have stayed on as long as I have. There are plenty of other canvassing jobs that I could take, but the truth of the matter is that if I am going to fundraise for an organization, this is the one I pick. Once you understand the ins and outs of not just USA for UNHCR, but also UNHCR in general, every other canvass job pails in comparison.

    I have met some of my very best friends in San Diego through this job. I'm not kidding! To be successful, you have to be an outgoing and energetic person. With that being said, this job is just not made for a lot of people. For those out there complaining about the high turn over rate, there is a simple answer. Everyone will say "yes" to job requirements when they are interviewing for the job. It is made very explicit in the interview process what this job actually entails, so those that are complaining about it should probably have listened more intently in the interview. I agree with the review from a Los Angeles staff member when I say that our staff members work hard and play together. Even on our days off, you can find some, if not all, staff members hanging out, grabbing dinner/drinks together, or just enjoying each others company.

    The city coordinator of San Diego is probably the most wonderful woman I have ever encountered in my years of work and study. She is very loving and caring to every single person that comes into the office. She does not have a negative bone in her body, she will motivate you until you are almost sick of it, and never gives up on anyone. I will say that there were some issue in the past maybe six months or so with another city coordinator, but as of the holidays, that person has been let go from the organization. I couldn't be more happy about this since the negative energy and poor work ethic he demonstrated took a serious toll on the office moral. Since his departure, this office has been nothing but productive, bringing on and training a great group of motivated and hard-working individuals to keep the office performing well.

    I look at it as a plus that the job entails standing for a few hours at a time. There is my daily exercise right there!

    Yes, the job does have specific weekly goals that need to be met, but the best part is that my entire paycheck depends on my personal work ethic. A bonus is given depending on the signup amount so the better I am at the job, the better my paycheck looks.

    Without a doubt, the best part of this job is the experiences that have come from talking to dozens of individuals every day. Being that San Diego houses the largest population of refugees in the country, I've encountered people from literally all parts of the globe. The stories of the horrors of their lives and how an organization like (or many times the actual organization) UNHCR have done for their families are what keep me motivated throughout the day.

    I have been able to travel to 4 of the 5 offices around the US because of this organization. I love to travel so that's a MAJOR plus for me. Working with the fundraisers and TLs in the other offices is super motivating because it allows you to learn different techniques, tactics, and ways to approach the job.

    Cons

    Yes, this is a fundraising job. With that comes weekly goals that need to be met. In all honesty, these are not difficult goals to meet. Those that don't make the cut claim that the numbers are impossible to meet, but it's really just because those individuals didn't have the knowledge, work ethic, or the personal drive to make it work. If I can do it, anyone can, just depends on how much you are willing to put yourself out there.

    Rejection is a natural part of this job as well. If you are not comfortable with that, don't apply. It's really hard to get told "no" and get looked at like you are personally offending the people walking past you. But at a certain point, each fundraiser has to realize that the rejection isn't personal and some people truthfully don't care at all about what you are doing. In that case, you need to just simply move onto the next person, cause trust me, people that do care enough to help are out there.

    Lets also keep in mind that this is a relatively young organization and that with any organization there are kinks that need to be worked out. I have personally seen the organization's staff working out those kinks so I have every faith USA for UNHCR will become a household name in the face to face fundraising world very soon.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue the faith in those staff members that have been around for a while. Making it known to the new guys that the national staff is there to support them, as well as our individual office staff, is clutch in securing lasting fundraisers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    They is so much pressure to meet target for donations

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

    I worked at USA for Unhcr part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The people around I met were fun.

    Cons

    Working in inclement weather for 8 hours and the turn over rate is so high

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase incentive for your fundraiser as it a hard job.

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