Center for Effective Philanthropy Reviews | Glassdoor

Center for Effective Philanthropy Reviews

Updated Aug 27, 2018

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Found 19 reviews

4.6
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89%
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87%
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Center for Effective Philanthropy CEO Phil Buchanan
Phil Buchanan
16 Ratings
  1. "Great Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Center for Effective Philanthropy full-time

    Pros

    Amazing culture. Very supportive, and even if they are not technically the experts, they have the know-how to grow your career.

    Cons

    It's not a tech company, so it's not as fancy in terms of perks as other places.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing!

    Center for Effective Philanthropy2018-08-28
  2. Helpful (1)

    "Meaningful Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Manager in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Center for Effective Philanthropy full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    CEP has an important, niche mission working with funders to strengthen their work and the way they work with various constituents. The organization is well managed, open to input from all staff, and transparent about major decisions. The leadership cares about staff and have been responsive to requests for more flexible work options and improving benefits packages. They have a strong organizational culture and... hire staff who are smart, kind, and great contributors. There are advancement opportunities on most teams, though there are some limits given the organization's size.

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    Cons

    For the Services team, the work comes in waves that make some seasons very busy and others relatively quiet. Staff do their best to manage this well. It can take a while to master the different facets of the CEP’s tools and their ways of reporting. CEP's primary assessment work is standardized (for good reason) and light touch compared to traditional consulting work. The limited contact with clients can feel... limiting at times and may constrain CEP's impact.

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    Advice to Management

    You do a fantastic job leading CEP. Keep listening to staff and client ideas for improvements and exploring ways to have a greater impact on the funders you advise.

    Center for Effective Philanthropy2018-04-24
  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Center for Effective Philanthropy full-time

    Pros

    Great culture, room for growth and learning, flexible work culture

    Cons

    Not too many cons. If you're in the SF office it's smaller with fewer senior staff to look to for mentorship etc. You can feel a little separated from the rest of CEP in Cambridge

    Center for Effective Philanthropy2018-04-13
  4. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing colleagues, inspiring work, high integrity research"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Center for Effective Philanthropy part-time

    Pros

    This organization taught me what it means to truly foster a healthy and positive company culture. From a work-life balance perspective they have flexible work arrangements, a Mother's Room, and fun social programming internally for staff. They also have amazing benefits (such as maternity leave and sabbatical for tenured staff), professional development (internal and external), mentoring, and radical transparency ... from the company's leadership. They truly believe in investing in the individual and one's professional growth opportunities. The staff is tight-knit and they are excellent at expressing gratitude, communicating clearly and supporting each other. If you are offered a job at this company - you should absolutely, without a doubt, take it.

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    Cons

    Fantastic place to work - no cons.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on doing what you're doing ;)

    Center for Effective Philanthropy2018-01-16
  5. Helpful (5)

    "eh"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Center for Effective Philanthropy full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    good mission and (at times) good snacks

    Cons

    reactionary culture, hugely hierarchical. Myopic

    Center for Effective Philanthropy2017-06-19
  6. Helpful (1)

    "You won't want to leave"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Center for Effective Philanthropy

    Pros

    This place is honestly the first place that I've worked at that I felt like it cared about me as a person. They want me to grow as an employee but also as a person. I didn't know places like this existed. They provide an excellent professional development stipend, great health insurance, flexible hours, WFH options, and I can leave at the drop of a hat if anything ever came up with my health or the health of a... family member. CEP asks us what we think of how CEP is doing in anonymous surveys. I do not know many other places that do anything like that. What I also love about this place is everyone, and I mean everyone, wants to do a great job. We all take so much pride in our work, and it is a joy to work in that sort of environment.

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    Cons

    Sometimes I think there's some resistance to trying new things, but I think that's because CEP is such a data-driven organization and only wants to take few risks.

    Center for Effective Philanthropy2016-06-08

    Center for Effective Philanthropy Response

    July 19, 2016Director of Human Capital

    Thanks so much for this comment! It's great to hear that your experience has been such a positive one. I totally agree that everyone, to a person, cares about doing a great job and that it's inspiring to be surrounded by people with that kind of commitment. I think we need to push ourselves to experiment and try new approaches more and I appreciate your comment about that! We need to get the balance right between being data-driven on the one hand while also being open to smart experiments from which we can learn and improve! The two can co-exist and I agree with what I think you are saying, which is that we can do better on this. Thank you, again! Phil Buchanan, President, CEP

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  7. Helpful (2)

    "Outstanding employer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Manager in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Center for Effective Philanthropy full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Smart, dedicated, brilliant colleagues who bring the best of themselves to the organization and care deeply about doing excellent work for CEP, for one another, for their clients, and for the field. Extraordinary commitment to transparency and openness to feedback. The leadership is truly committed to the belief that a good idea can come from anywhere, and even when I raised dissenting views, I always felt my... opinions were deeply valued. I can't overstate how radical the appetite for feedback is at CEP, and how earnestly CEP's leaders work to respond to it. Incredibly humane, responsible employer. There is a true acknowledgment that people's lives are wider than just their work. Compensation and benefits are excellent, managers do everything in their power to make sure their employees get the support they need, and, in both word and deed, the president, Phil Buchanan, exemplifies a commitment to listening to staff and responding to their concerns. In particular, I think the organization is unusually strong at recognizing and responding to employees' differing strengths and offering professional development opportunities. If you're good at something and you like doing it, you will get more opportunities to do it.

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    Cons

    The workload is cyclical, so crunch periods come up occasionally. I sometimes felt while working there that we didn't always adequately plan for these crunches, although I think resource allocation definitely improved in the course of my time there, and on the whole I think it's managed reasonably well. It could sometimes be difficult to figure out how to get traction for new ideas. Although CEP welcomes... experimentation much more than many other organizations, sometimes I encountered reluctance to try new things or approach problems in different ways. That said, this is such an area of strength relative to other organizations that I feel hesitant to even describe it as a con.

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    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing! Thank you for creating an environment of excellence, collegiality, and mutual respect. Continue to embrace new ideas, and don't be afraid to experiment, both with concrete processes and technical approaches, and with differing priorities or philosophies. Be willing to challenge articles of faith and interrogate why CEP does things the way it does.

    Center for Effective Philanthropy2016-04-25

    Center for Effective Philanthropy Response

    April 26, 2016Director of Human Capital

    Thank you so much for this beautiful testimonial. I very much appreciate you taking the time to share your reflections on your experience. I think you're right on in terms of areas to continue to work on: better avoidance of "crunches," and ensuring that great ideas don't get lost in the shuffle. Phil Buchanan

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  8. "CEP does good work well"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Research Analyst in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Center for Effective Philanthropy full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I enjoy working at CEP not only because it does good work for the sector, but because it strives to do good work well. CEP cares for its staff. In addition to providing competitive salaries and benefits, the organization promotes a culture of humanity and compassion. This culture is why I feel privileged to be working at CEP. It's also the reason why I would recommend CEP to my friends. When I’ve needed... flexibility due to personal reasons, I’ve found staff to be very accommodating. Phil leads with integrity and a lot of heart. His leadership sets the tone for the rest of the organization. My manager is a highly effective leader. She is willing to help me grow professionally and personally -- and I know that she would be willing to do so even at a cost to herself. I think you can tell a lot about an organization and about a leader when things don’t go as planned. I’ve witnessed many times when Phil and other CEP staff took the high road and responded to tough situations with professionalism and grace.

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    Cons

    Truly, the only thing I think CEP could do better is in anticipating resourcing needs. Senior leadership has indicated that they have already been thinking about and working on this.

    Advice to Management

    Leading a growing organization can be difficult, but your leadership is valued and appreciated -- thank you!

    Center for Effective Philanthropy2016-04-22

    Center for Effective Philanthropy Response

    April 25, 2016Director of Human Capital

    Thanks so much for adding your comment and for your work at CEP! Thanks also for the kind words about me, personally, and about your manager. The culture of "humanity and compassion" is something each person at CEP contributes to -- and I am sure you do so each day. I could not agree more with your "con." We have work to do, as you no doubt have heard me say in staff meetings, to plan better in order to reduce resource crunches. We also need to say no or "not now" more, which we do but perhaps not as much as we should. Finally, we're working to do a better job anticipating hiring needs further out. Thanks, again, for commenting. Phil Buchanan, President, CEP

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  9. "Great place to start your career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Research Analyst in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Center for Effective Philanthropy full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I worked at CEP straight out of college until I went to graduate school. I have so many good things to say about my time there, it's hard to know where to start. The culture is ideal in many ways; they are very committed to transparency, to analytical and ethical rigor, to recognizing staff for doing good work, to training employees and making sure they are set up to succeed. The president is really passionate about... building a culture that gets good work done while making sure employees feel empowered. People work hard and push each other to do their best. I learned so much, both hard and soft skills, through working at CEP. Everything from becoming good with data to learning how to present complex ideas to a non-quantitative audience to how to manage a client project. Needless to say, these are skills that are highly valued in many contexts and I am grateful to have gained a solid foundation of professional skills during my time there. I always felt that my manager and her manager, as well as the president, actually cared about my experience at CEP and my development as a professional. The work is interesting and there are opportunities to work on a range of different things within CEP's specialty niche in philanthropy. Also, very competitive pay and benefits.

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    Cons

    Not many cons. The work can be somewhat repetitive, as the main products that my team produced were standard assessment tools. But there was enough variation to keep me interested and this was not why I left (I went to graduate school in a field I was intending to get into since college).

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing. Don't get complacent about setting a great culture or about maintaining a strong system of internal feedback.

    Center for Effective Philanthropy2016-04-22

    Center for Effective Philanthropy Response

    April 25, 2016Director of Human Capital

    Thanks so much for this great feedback. Your description of our culture as you experienced it is very much consistent with the culture we aspire to have -- so it is great to see that was your experience. Grateful that you took the time to comment. Phil Buchanan, President, CEP

  10. "Fantastic place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Research Analyst 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Center for Effective Philanthropy full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    CEP is the best place I've ever worked, hands down. The staff is fantastic and everyone is super smart. People care deeply about the work they do and each other. I had -- and still have-- very strong mentors at CEP. The work is challenging (in a good way) and interesting. The commitment to high-quality deliverables and rigorous methodology really resonated with me personally. As someone who was early on in my career..., I had an incredible amount of autonomy in my work -- way more so than I've had at other organizations. This made such a difference in my day-to-day experience because management really trusted and empowered me to do a good job, rather than micromanaged. In addition, the work experience I got at CEP (some of which would have been above my pay-grade at other organizations) has been incredibly valuable as I've moved on. Leadership is very transparent and regularly solicits staff input on organizational decisions. Generous pay and benefits package that reaffirms CEP's commitment to its staff.

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    Cons

    It's hard to leave!! Aside from that, sometimes the impact you have can feel very meta-- you're helping foundations get better at helping nonprofits to make an impact. I found meaning in working with the same foundations on multiple engagements, developing relationships with them, and seeing them improve over time.

    Advice to Management

    Just keep doing the great work that you are doing! CEP's commitment to hiring and empowering great staff is key to its strong impact on the field.

    Center for Effective Philanthropy2016-04-15

    Center for Effective Philanthropy Response

    April 21, 2016Director of Human Capital

    I just want to thank you for sharing your CEP experience here. What you describe is exactly what we aspire to be as an employer: empowering, supportive, offering meaningful and challenging work and opportunities. I am so happy that was your experience ... and grateful. Phil Buchanan, President, CEP

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Found 19 reviews