Fund for the Public Interest Reviews | Glassdoor

Fund for the Public Interest Reviews

Updated November 9, 2018
380 reviews

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2.5
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Ed Johnson
144 Ratings

380 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "You will be given lots of responsibility and the chance to make a real difference" (in 19 reviews)

  • "Working for a good cause, surrounded by others who are passionate about the environment" (in 29 reviews)

Cons
  • "Walking from door to door for 5 hours into the night is rough on your body and spirit" (in 24 reviews)

  • "The long hours in the hot New York sun" (in 47 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "No better way to improve grassroots organizing and communication skills"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Canvass Director
    Former Employee - Assistant Canvass Director
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Fund for the Public Interest full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Learn an immense amount of skills, make friends and connections across the country, make tangible impact on real world issues, build resume with nonprofit experience, canvassers and field managers who canvass well can earn quite good money

    Cons

    Depending on position the hours can be quite intense and being rejected over and over can be disheartening. This job is not for everyone, but if it’s a good fit and you give your all it is definitely worth it.

    Advice to Management

    Emphasize to directors and other campaign staff that staying healthy and taking care of yourself is more important than hitting goals. People who don’t sleep or eat well don’t make as much social change.


  2. "really good money, but at a cost"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Full Time Canvasser in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Full Time Canvasser in Oakland, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Fund for the Public Interest full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    If you are a college student doing this for the summer it is a perfect job. If you remember the rap and do what they tell you to do you can make serious money. Potentially one of the best paying jobs for low skill workers. You see a difference in the community and the people you talk to after a while. Calpirg and envi california have made monumental changes to our societal climate, and have been significant influencers of legislation.

    Cons

    everything is corporate. you walk 5-7 miles a day. Hours for full time canvassers are 2pm to 10pm, but sometimes i didnt get out until midnight. some days you get dont get a single donation. you never have job security, I was one of the biggest earners my summer yet i was let go for not meeting quota 2 weeks in a row. I had only missed the quota by less than $100 both weeks, yet I was still let go. They rush you in the beginning to sign the agreement that you understand how the payroll and firing policy works, but its very complicated and they never repeat it again. you have to do your own research to make sure you understand. the stress of everything weighs on you and can get difficult

    Advice to Management

    Make employment and payment information clearer before the interview process. have more options for people who don't meet quota. maybe let overflow happen from week to week. I was fired for not meeting quota, but if you added up all the money I had made in my three months against the amount of money i was expected to make I was above quota.

  3. "Field Manager"

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

    I have been working at Fund for the Public Interest part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent training, wonderful work environment. Fighting for a worthy cause.

    Cons

    Sometimes the public can be mean, also the weather can make things difficult.


  4. "Canvasser"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Canvasser in Carrboro, NC
    Former Employee - Canvasser in Carrboro, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Fund for the Public Interest part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Working for a good cause, surrounded by others who are passionate about the environment. The team is very supportive of employee growth and development and you work your way up the ranks quickly if you stick with it.

    Cons

    It's a hard job. Walking from door to door for 5 hours into the night is rough on your body and spirit. Raising funds is difficult and it can be disenchanting when you get 2 donations for five hours of hard work.


  5. "Fun summer job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Canvasser, FM, Director
    Former Employee - Canvasser, FM, Director
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Fund for the Public Interest full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fun summer job - learned about organizing and got to work on environmental issues. You talk to interesting people, get to be outside most of the day, and raise money for a good cause. I canvassed and was a Field Manager in college, then directed for a few summers.

    Cons

    You might not like it if you don't want to fundraise or be outside. And while a lot of people say no, you do get really cool people involved. A lot of my friends had higher paying office jobs, but I thought this was a cool alternative.


  6. "Campaign Director ..dont do it!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Campaign Director
    Former Employee - Campaign Director
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Fund for the Public Interest full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    not much, some leadership and low level door-to-door fundraising experience, I guess.

    Cons

    pay is below minimum wage for 60 hour work weeks 6 days a week, mostly canvassing neighborhoods and desperately texting/calling/emailing to try and recruit new hires that quit after a week or so. They are sketchy about job details/benefits, don't tell if you don't raise enough for your weekly quota canvassing that you could potentially lose your job. very repetitive dull grunt work, weird cultish vibes to keep up morale. Not a lot of communication with higher-ups, no one to give future references. Relocated to CA, upon arrival was told my office was actually in Denver for training, delayed start date by almost 2 weeks, showed up my first day and no one in the office knew I was coming or had been hired. Directors would sometimes sleep in the office because they were always in-between housing or couldn't afford accommodations. Make you do roleplays everyday saying the same 5 lines over and over again.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Canvass Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Canvass Director in Chapel Hill, NC
    Former Employee - Canvass Director in Chapel Hill, NC
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Fund for the Public Interest full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Good co-workers
    - Working on important issues (ostensibly)
    - Lots of responsibility (easy to sell the experience to your next employer)
    - Helps you get very comfortable with rejection

    Cons

    I'm a very hard worker (graduated from a top 10 university with a good GPA while working 20 hours/wk), and thought that the glassdoor reviews were an overstatement of the job. They really were not an overstatement - I made it through 6 months as a canvas director, and I would never do it again. I may have found it worth it if the fundraising wasn't all so suspect. We would change focus issues for canvassing at the drop of a hat if one wasn't raising money well - seems weird if the campaigns were actually what money was being used for, but that was not the case. Most of the funds went (eventually) to superpacs to elect Democratic candidates, something I generally support, but found to be pretty disingenuous based on what we were instructed to tell people at the door about how nonpartisan we were. Learning that pushed it over the edge for me, and made me feel that the whole thing was too much effort for an organization that felt sketchy.

    Advice to Management

    Transparency to your full-time, salaried staff (at the least). I gave virtually all of my time to this job (including Saturday's), which was positive in a sense because the salary is so low that I had little money to spend, but felt like I had no idea what my efforts were truly yielding. They totally abuse recent grads' desire to do something positive after graduation, and I wish they would treat their employees like human beings.

  8. "Overall good experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Field Manager in Bethlehem, PA
    Former Employee - Field Manager in Bethlehem, PA
    Recommends

    I worked at Fund for the Public Interest full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Compensation based pay means one can distinguish themself and earn more
    Great company events
    Feel like you're making a difference

    Cons

    Long Hours
    Pay is on the lower end


  9. "Disgraceful organization with disgraceful, unfair policies"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Phone Canvasser in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Phone Canvasser in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Fund for the Public Interest part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Who said there's any pros?

    Cons

    Quotas are absolutely ridiculous. You're expected to raise about $200-$350 or so per night, and that number goes up higher with each person you talk to. You can be fired in 1 week if you don't fundraise enough but then they will hire someone to replace you who likely wont last as long as you. Stuck in the basement of an old building with no windows and out-of-date computers. Job is based on luck.

    Advice to Management

    Shut this crap hole down.


  10. "Great for building skills, not careers"

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

    I worked at Fund for the Public Interest full-time

    Pros

    The Fund is a great place for young people or people with little work experience to build a ton of professional skills, like public speaking, fundraising, managerial experience (if you're a field manager), and community organizing. If you view the job as volunteer experience or an internship sort-of-thing, it can be very rewarding. Plus, the office culture is super friendly and inclusive. If you're a great canvasser, like I was, your commission is your best source of income, but its a rarity to find people who are consistently making more than their quotas.

    Cons

    I would not recommend the position to anyone looking for a long-term career. The pay for salaried employees is absolutely abysmal, not a living wage whatsoever. I briefly worked as a recruiter for the Fund and people laughed in my face when I told them the salary ranges, especially considering that campaign work is 80 hour weeks most of the time. You are essentially not allowed to take vacation and the benefits are pretty pathetic. Very quick burnout rates.


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