Impact Reviews | Glassdoor

Impact Reviews

Updated Sep 23, 2019

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3.0
58%
Recommend to a Friend
100%
Approve of CEO
Impact Director Allison Cairo
Allison Cairo
1 Rating
  1. Helpful (2)

    "Work on important issues & learn organizing skills"

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

    I have been working at Impact full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    We have the opportunity to work on important issues one at a time and really sink our teeth into them. You really get to run your own campaign in your state from recruiting volunteers/interns to work with you to building relationships with local organizations and VIPs.

    Cons

    There are a lot of problems in the world and it can be hard to work on just one at a time. There are also a lot of factors outside of our control - elected officials schedule votes, funders decide which states they want to fund - so we have to be ready to roll with the punches.

    Impact2018-02-09
  2. "good people, terrible organization"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Campaign Organizer 
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Impact full-time

    Pros

    Intensive training where I learned some useful skills, made some good friends

    Cons

    Impact and the TPIN umbrella do not care about the wellbeing, safety, or work-life balance of staff. Training is used to brainwash new campaigners to feel guilty if they're not working. Never understood what the "Sunday Scaries" were until working here. Salary is trash for how much unpaid overtime you'll work. A third of your job is raising money to keep your job, a third is finding more people to work for TPIN, and the last third is the actual campaign work. Additionally, they don't actually care that you learn the ins and outs about the policies you're campaigning for, they only want you to learn the talking points. A

    Impact2019-09-16
  3. "Recent College Grad Trap"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Campaign Organizer 

    I worked at Impact full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Very very few except for flexible work schedule.

    Cons

    Basically paying minimum wage, cult-like work culture, no HR department, terrible management style, awful benefits, the list goes on...

    Impact2019-09-23
  4. Helpful (4)

    "Do not care about employees"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Impact

    Pros

    If you are into cold-calling and leafleting than that's a pro

    Cons

    Little engagement with out of state supervisor about our team's goals. Basically convinced a bunch of recent college graduates to move to a new state on a moment's notice and provided little to no support. Would not waste your time here.

    Continue reading
    Impact2017-08-22
  5. Helpful (6)

    "High Turnover"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Impact full-time

    Pros

    You meet some truly brilliant people. You can to travel to some cool places. You get a lot of experience in a short amount of time, in a very trial by fire kind of way.

    Cons

    A lot of other reviews go into accurate detail about the low pay, turnover, lack of work/life balance, and the cultish nature of The Public Interest Network (which Impact is under the umbrella of). I'm just going to second those. The biggest thing, for me, is that TPIN doesn't value its employees. They hire a ton of entry-level workers, shrug them off as "not a culture fit" when the majority quit because of burnout or the low wages, and refuse to listen to feedback on how to improve retention. Being told "We're so lucky to get paid at all to create social change!" when you're essentially making sub-minimum wage is a slap in the face. One of the most frustrating experiences was how badly TPIN handled it when they thought they had to switch us to hourly wages + overtime because of the new Dept. of Labor rule. Firstly, TPIN came out publicly against the DOL rule, which was highly embarrassing. And then for the implementation, no one would tell us what our hourly rates would be, despite repeated requests, even weeks before the mandated switch. People were terrified that the rate would be so low they wouldn't be able to make rent in a slow month to make up for the mandated overtime during the summer canvass. (That fear turned out to be unfounded, but it's an example of how low morale was at the time.) On the other hand, people living in high minimum wage states stood to gain a lot and were looking at substantial raises --until the injunction happened and TPIN went back to salaried compensation with unpaid overtime immediately. In my view, I think its hypocritical for an organization to want to make social change but refuse to compensate their employees fairly. Not to mention that the low salary is a barrier to entry for anyone without the privilege of family support or a safety net. Impact is supposed to be about training the next generation of social change makers, but almost everyone in my class left before the end of their first year, some as far as away from the non-profit sector as they could get. And that's a shame.

    Continue reading
    Impact2017-08-14
  6. Helpful (10)

    "A wasted opportunity"

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

    I worked at Impact full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    *Important context: Impact is part of the public interest network (TPIN). So if you want a full picture of what working for them is like, make sure to look up US PIRG, Environment America, Fair Share, Fund for the Public Interest, and The Public Interest Network on Glassdoor, and google them as well.* In theory, Impact is a wonderful program, geared towards providing entry-level organizers, mostly right out of college, the skills they need to be effective organizers and advocates on a number of issues. 1. The people. You will most likely make lifelong friends if you work here for a year or two. 2. Most of the issues you work on are important (climate change, big money in politics) 3. More varied responsibility and experience than you will get in many other entry level jobs (lobbying, media, fundraising, writing, research, staff management, etc.) 4. A lot of former staff are able to move on to bigger and better things, either in organizing, electoral politics, or government work. You'll find Impact, TPIN, and PIRG alumni everywhere doing impressive things.

    Cons

    1. Pay: $25-26k is insufficient to cover the cost of living in most locations where they hire staff. TPIN is so committed to keeping the pay of it's staff as low as possible, that in 2015-16 they publicly opposed an Obama administration rule that would have extended overtime pay to tens of millions of Americans, including most of their own employees. They issued a press release condemning the rule, much to the chagrin of hundreds of their employees who were looking forward to either a raise or a cap on their hours. The low pay is a result of ideology, not necessity, as they have tens of millions of dollars in the bank, scattered across dozens of organizations, and routinely make $1-5 million expenditures on everything from super PAC contributions to buying bookstores in Aspen. 2. Turnover: By the end of your first year, 50-70% of your fellow Impact organizers will have quit. This pattern repeats every year for every program in TPIN that hires substantial numbers of entry-level staff. The organization is fine with this, and insists that the problem either lies with millenials, or can be fixed with some slight adjustments to the program. They will tell you that folks who leave because they can’t afford to live on $26,000 a year “just weren’t the right fit”. 3. Senior Management: TPIN is run by one person- Doug Phelps, and people who adhere to his political philosophy lead all of the organizations in the network. Most senior management have never worked anywhere outside of the network. The majority of organizational boards are made up entirely of TPIN staff, who all either report to Phelps directly or report to someone who does. This lack of new blood and outside perspective means that the people in charge, by definition, are the most accepting of the way things are, because they’ve worked in TPIN for decades. This leads to circular, insular thinking, which makes change nearly impossible. 4. Culture & Values: The culture is insular, secretive, and stale. They expect you to work long hours at low pay without any complaint. They expect you to hit ambitious, quantitative goals that are handed down without regard for the context of where you are based or what’s going on in your campaign. They expect you to adhere to their very particular philosophy, which they call either “public interest” or “post-scarcity”. If they get the feeling you care too much about racial or economic justice, or any other framework for explaining societal problems in the US, you will be marked as a “bad cultural fit.” This policing of people’s personal politics is highly ironic, as they spend a lot of time condemning the left and progressives for “political correctness” and being too obsessed with ideological purity. 5. Work/life balance: During the summers, you’ll be expected to work 6-7 days and 70-80 hours each week. You’ll also work fairly long hours during the rest of the year, but that will pale in comparison to the 9 AM-11 PM shifts that you will regularly pull during the summer. This makes things like doing laundry, getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and shopping for groceries extremely difficult, let alone true work-life balance like exercise, relationships outside of work, and time set aside for mental well being. Generally, the organization prefers people who are not interested in work-life balance. 6. Lack of diversity: The organization is 90%+ white. They see nothing wrong with this, and will argue that they’re doing everything they can and it’s just too hard to figure out how to recruit more people of color. Although they insist they’re doing all they can, they are unable to point to any concrete steps they have taken or will take, despite being an organization that insists on concrete goals and strategy from their staff. They will tell you that they “hire the best people,” without a hint of irony, because they’re unaware that’s the excuse that’s always been used to prevent hiring policies to promote diversity. 7. Refusal to change: No matter how many people quit, how many people voice the same concerns, or how much negative press they get, upper management will not accept that there are fundamental flaws in their model. This is because part of getting to the level of upper management entails being fully bought in to the worldview, model, pay and benefits, and policies of the network. It’s unfortunate that an organization that provides a large chunk of the talented people who go on to work in the progressive community mistreats its employees to such a degree, and is incapable of seeing the error of its ways.

    Continue reading
    Impact2017-05-03
  7. Helpful (1)

    "A lot of Responsibility Right Away"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Campaign Organizer 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Impact full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    They give you a lot of responsibility right away, which can be a double-edged sword. But there isn't a lot of typical intern duties. Right away, you can be handling a large team and an entire campaign right out the gate.

    Cons

    There is a lot of work to do and a lot that you are in charge of. This can be frightening and exhausting. Many people that are hired do not make it past the first year.

    Impact2017-03-26
  8. Helpful (4)

    "Not a place I'd ever recommend"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Impact full-time

    Pros

    Meeting cool friends, interesting cities

    Cons

    Not a livable wage, treated like a slave, broken promises, expected to work 60+ hours a week with no overtime, no guidance from senior staff after training

    Continue reading
    Impact2017-04-17
  9. "Campaign Organizer"

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

    I worked at Impact full-time

    Pros

    -Excellent classroom and hands-on training -You're surrounded by people who are ready to work hard in a strategic and meaningful way to make a difference on some of the biggest issues facing our country -The staff are fun and care deeply about making the world a better place -You get handed responsibility quickly and early in your career which is unlike most non-profit jobs after college -Great benefits and opportunities for advancement

    Cons

    -The hours are long, and sometimes it can get exhausting, mostly because learning new skills after college takes both extra time and energy. The work became easier, and I became more efficient in my second year of the program.

    Impact2017-02-28
  10. Helpful (10)

    "Employment Practices Would Be Illegal In Most Countries"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Campaign Organizer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Impact

    Pros

    You'll get a ton of experience while working here. It'll all happen very quickly. While you didn't really learn much during training, you'll have fun with a bunch of likeminded individuals.

    Cons

    It sure is interesting that some of these reviews follow the recruitment guidelines that Impact has. Almost like the positive one's were written by the upper management. They were. They were written by the upper management. You'll spend a fair chunk of time recruiting people to take your job when you finally give in and quit. They make you fundraise from your family. It's degrading, and humiliating. In training you'll be placed four to a hotel room, sharing a bed with a stranger. Luckily most impact recruits are good at cuddling. In the summer you'll work up to 80 hours a week. Every week, including Saturdays. Your paycheck will come out to around $780 every two weeks, in most cities you'll be working in a cheap apartment will take up at least one of those paychecks. I'm personally in debt $500 more than when I started working with Impact. This means that unless your parents support you in some way, the job doesn't make good financial sense. It also means that they recruit almost all white upper middle class kids straight out of college. There is no diversity. The biggest con for me, is what I can only chalk up to the organization being a con. I'm not sure what the end game is. They advertise incremental social change, but I have heard of almost no instances where an impact organizer is in any way responsible for any positive social change. Two years simply isn't enough time to build lasting community relationships. With the constant rollover,, no change can be accomplished. Of the 40 first Impact recruits, only 8 have yet to quit. Every time someone quits because they're overworked, overstressed and treated like dog in general, the organization looks worse. It is harder than it needs to be, because of the way Impact treats it's employees.

    Continue reading
    Impact2016-06-23
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