Compare Defenders of Wildlife vs Share Our Strength BETASee how Share Our Strength vs. Defenders of Wildlife compare on employee ratings, job openings, CEO approval, business outlook and more.
What Employees Say
I worked at Defenders of Wildlife full-time for more than 5 years
I recently retired from Defenders after nearly five years in a mid-level support position. I believe that several recent and highly negative Glassdoor reviews paint an unfair picture of the... organization. The 49 years I’ve spent in the workforce – including more than 30 years with trade and non-profit organizations – prompts me to offer my own observations about the organization and what it is like to work there. People who work for cause-oriented non-profits are motivated at least in part by a desire to do good, rather than do well. I concede that I wasn’t juggling massive student debt when I went to work at Defenders, as did so many of my younger former colleagues, but I always though the “doing good” salary scale – along with the knowledge that my work served a higher purpose (and a quite impressive employee benefits package) -- was good enough. As best I can determine, salary levels at Defenders are competitive with those in other non-profit organizations, but not (alas) with those in trade associations and for-profit employers. I can’t think of a single Defenders employee at any level in the organization (including much-maligned executives) who wouldn’t make a lot more working for ExxonMobil, Boeing or one DC’s many lobbying firms. I was frankly floored to read several highly negative reviews of Defenders posted on Glassdoor hinting at a hostile work environment and callous, uncaring managers. Plenty of the workplaces I’ve endured over the years would fit that description, but Defenders of Wildlife is not one of them. I can state with absolute conviction that the abusive, dismissive, or discriminatory behavior hinted at in a number of Glassdoor postings was simply not tolerated at any level within the organization. In fact, Defenders workplace culture compares favorably with the very best workplaces I have seen in my 49-year work career. Perfect? No, but way above average and making genuine efforts to improve. My own experience was that senior management was open to new approaches and solutions, values and rewarded personal initiative, and encouraged peer-to-peer and inter-disciplinary teamwork. Efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the workforce were ongoing. Work at Defenders is not without drama, something to be expected when bright, articulate, passionate people struggle daily with limited resources on a mission acknowledged to be critical for the planet. The high drama -- like winning an important legislative battle, saving an at-risk habitat from commercial exploitation, developing new technology to advance wildlife science, or matching new donors for important projects – uplifted us all. The low drama -- like grousing about salaries, gossiping about the CEO, and anonymously posting “this place sucks” posts on Glassdoor – saddens me and leaves prospective employees with a misleading picture of what it’s like to work at Defenders.
Please see "Pros" narrative, above.
I have been working at Share Our Strength full-time
I have the best job in the world. Powerful, mission-driven work with the kindest, smartest people I've ever worked with. Every day I feel so lucky to be a part of this phenomenal organization with so... much integrity. It feels amazing to get up in the morning with the goal of helping to end childhood hunger. Leadership team is fantastic. So is the HR team - they really go above and beyond. My manager is wonderful and I love my team. Great work/life balance with flexibility to work remotely as needed. It makes a huge difference in my personal life. We get a whole week off at Christmas, which is also GREAT.
Monetary compensation is disappointing, BUT that's not surprising given we're a DC non-profit that needs to be frugal and make sure the money is getting to kids/sustainable solutions to end childhood... hunger. I appreciate that the organization is so fiscally responsible but would love to see the low pay off-set by even better benefits/perks. Current benefits are generally pretty good but it would mean a lot to see a stronger maternity leave policy with more paid time off than just three months. 6 months maternity leave would be amazing, better align with our organizational values, and be much more competitive/attractive in a tight job market with unemployment at an all-time low. It would also help make up for the low pay. Once you hit the Senior Manager level, it seems to take many years before you get promoted (if at all), which is discouraging. But, again, if the benefits and work/life perks were amazing, it would be a trade-off I'd probably be totally fine making.
Advice to Management
Keep up the great work. You are so inspiring and your kindness/care is really appreciated. As mentioned above, it would be nice if the low pay could be offset by improved benefits like longer... maternity leave, getting every Summer Friday off instead of every other Friday afternoon, longer sabbatical, etc. With all the studies coming out about increased productivity with a 4 day work week, it would also be interesting to see that option piloted. To Leadership and HR: Thank you! It is a privilege to work at Share Our Strength and I'm grateful every day. You're doing a top-notch job and it's much appreciated.