Hawaii Community Foundation Reviews | Glassdoor

Hawaii Community Foundation Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Program Assistant"

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    Current Employee - Program Assistant in Honolulu, HI
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in Honolulu, HI
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Hawaii Community Foundation full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The goal of the company is great. They truly care about the community and how to make an impact.

    Cons

    No room to move up. Encouraged to leave and come back to the company in order to be promoted.


  2. "Like any job - there is good and bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Officer
    Former Employee - Program Officer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Hawaii Community Foundation full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    As others have stated, the pay is decent and benefits are good. You also learn a LOT about Hawaii's nonprofit sector and have a chance to learn about the role of a funder in facilitating change. For me, the foundation also helped me learn a lot about myself, and how to truly believe in yourself in the face of adversity.

    Cons

    I will be honest and say that this was probably the worst job I have ever had. Not the hardest, but the worst. It was a toxic, negative environment and there were no second chances and no room for second guessing. If you are not a confident and self-assured person, the foundation is not the place for you. There is no mentoring, and you need to be ready to be thrown into the deep end of the pool. To be fair, I think a certain kind of person can succeed here, but you need to know what you are getting into and know that it is not a good environment for most.

    Advice to Management

    To be honest, I don't know what advice I'd give. If you listen carefully in the interview, management is pretty upfront about what to expect. If anything, maybe the one piece of advice I'd give is to have a layer of "managers" who can provide mentoring, supervision, and direct oversight to staff -- this would be in addition to the layer of Directors and VPs who focus more on strategy and broader vision. The true investment in people and mentoring is a key piece that appears to be missing.

  3. "Officer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Officer in Honolulu, HI
    Former Employee - Officer in Honolulu, HI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Hawaii Community Foundation full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I learned quite a bit about Hawaii's nonprofit sector in this job. Management does seem to want to improve the culture with bonuses for exceptional projects/performance. Pay is decent.

    Cons

    The benefits aren't worth the judgemental atmosphere (the excuse is having "high standards.") Leaders throw wrenches in projects at the last minute leaving staff scrambling and making it easy to blame them. I've seen VPs shamed in front of their teams. Not much accountability for the "favorites," while the "others" can never be good enough.

    Advice to Management

    Try to create a culture that gives incentive for staff to build each other up in every day encounters. Make it an organizational value that everyone should develop, encourage and support team members laterally. Try holding the "favorites" accountable. (instead of promoting them. If they are already doing shoddy work, they will probably be shoddy managers) it will do wonders for morale.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Hawaii Non-Profits benefit greatly but staff are under appreciated"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative in Honolulu, HI
    Former Employee - Administrative in Honolulu, HI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Hawaii Community Foundation full-time

    Pros

    If you want to learn about the work that Hawaii Non-Profits due, you hear and see it first hand while working at Hawaii Community Foundation.
    Hawaii Community Foundation rewards those non-profits that are high performing.

    Cons

    This company certainly has it's favorite employees, while other employees hard work goes unnoticed. Executive management are extremely out of touch with the daily goings on. If you are not in the "in" group, you never know what is happening in the organization. There salary/merit/bonus program only benefits the "in" group. Once hired, there is no training program, you are expected to hit the ground running. The recently imposed supervisory training program misses the mark in learning "how to supervise". Instead it focused on a project. HCF looks like a great place to work from the outside, but once in, it doesn't take long to realize that the ship is falling apart and when you talk to other employees, everyone says the same thing. It's just not a happy fun place to work any more.

    Advice to Management

    My advice to Management would be take care of your employees, reward them, because without hardworking employees, your organization is nothing.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "A tough job, but it made me stronger"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Officer in Honolulu, HI
    Former Employee - Program Officer in Honolulu, HI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Hawaii Community Foundation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Working at the foundation taught me a lot about myself, and made me a overall stronger, wiser person. It also made me realize what types of things I wanted to do for a career, and what things I didn't.

    Cons

    There was a lot of confusion on direction. I often was unsure what the expectations were, and really I think a lot of other people felt like this too. In the end, this confusion and lack of clarity made me realize that the foundation was not a good fit for me.

    Advice to Management

    More professional mentoring and emphasis on development for program officers would be helpful. Also, more clarify during the interview process and being clear with job seekers about what you expect and what the job is really like vs. telling people what you think they want to hear.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Think carefully before accepting a job here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Program Assistant in Honolulu, HI
    Former Employee - Senior Program Assistant in Honolulu, HI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Hawaii Community Foundation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - GREAT pay and benefits
    - SMART people
    - HCF is well respected in the community
    - Most of the people there are nice, decent, and are there because they care

    Cons

    HCF is not for everyone. Here are the main cons:

    - No real structure or fixed guidelines (everything is flexible or "it depends")
    - A very clear hierarchy of leadership (CEO, COO, VP, Director, Sr. P.O., P.O. etc.)
    - Because things are fluid, everything is subject to change... sometimes even daily
    - "Sink or swim" mentality, no mentoring, and no second chances
    - A few key individuals have very toxic personalities
    - 360 reviews (passive aggressive people love this)
    - It's questionable whether HCF is truly acting as a "community foundation"

    You need to be a very strong person who is not afraid to voice your opinion (in a respectful way), is ok with taking criticism (both personal and professional), has a strong sense of self-confidence, able to work independently but follow orders from the top-down, and willing to be ok with not being the one calling the shots (you won't be). The most important is having the strong self-confidence and being open to criticism. If you're not ok with this -- HCF is not the place for you. The weak don't survive.

    Advice to Management

    Practice what you preached. If the actual culture was even remotely similar to the one that is often described it would not be a bad place to work.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "A great mission, but a challenging place to work."

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Hawaii Community Foundation full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    HCF is full of highly intelligent and driven staff with a wide breadth of both professional and life experience. The pay and benefits are great (definitely not typical "nonprofit" pay), and the foundation has a large number of administrative and support staff armed with the newest technology/equipment. HCF exposes you to people and projects you may not otherwise encounter in any other workplace, and you will definitely learn a lot and make many professional connections. Although staff would often say they were "busy," I found the workload to be reasonable and manageable. In addition, if you work at the main office in downtown Honolulu, the building is beautiful and located in a historic part of town surrounded by numerous food options.

    Cons

    Despite all of the "pros," there was a culture at the foundation which I found to be very toxic. I'll describe the "cons" in past tense, because it's possible some things may have changed since I worked there. When I was there, gossiping among the admin staff was rampant, and the higher-ups in management often put down and publicly criticized staff (even other managers). There was often very little clear direction for major projects, and what little direction provided seemed to often change on a whim. In addition, certain departments had extremely high turnover and many employees seemed to last less than a year (I saw 7 staff in my department alone leave when I was there). There is also a very clear hierarchy within the foundation, and even managers and directors have very little authority and absolutely no autonomy. All of these things together created a work environment that I found both frustrating, and demoralizing. For me personally, the "cons" far outweighed the "pros" of continuing to work here despite the great pay and benefits. It's hard to truly describe what the culture was like, and my review may sound like HCF is an awesome place to work, but it really was one of the most difficult and bizarre jobs I have encountered so far in my adult career. I really think words can't truly do justice to describe all the "cons."

    Advice to Management

    My advice would be to truly listen to staff and to accept constructive feedback. Be willing to accept that you may also be part of the problem. I heard that there had been many efforts to survey staff and "transform" the culture, but that these were not successful because many long-time staff had given up on anything being done with the feedback they provided. In addition, I often heard that when someone fails that the fault was not with HCF, but was with the employee because "HCF is a very hard place to work, and not everyone can succeed here." Based on my short experience there, I think that unless management really takes the time to listen and then takes what they hear to heart that nothing will ever really change. Yes, you can have high expectations, but you should not continue to sustain/support a work environment that is impossible to succeed in.