International Fund For Animal Welfare Reviews | Glassdoor

International Fund For Animal Welfare Reviews

Updated Feb 15, 2020

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2.5
30%
Recommend to a Friend
28%
Approve of CEO
International Fund For Animal Welfare President & CEO Azzedine Downes (no image)
Azzedine Downes
38 Ratings
Pros
  • "Meaningful partnerships with other great NGOs around the world(in 10 reviews)

  • "IFAW does incredible work around the globe rescuing and protecting animals and they should be more widely known for this(in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "IFAW routinely faces redundancies and cut backs in approved programmatic plans(in 18 reviews)

  • "Today we suffer as a top-heavy organization that owns little of its own project work for animals across the globe(in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (2)

    "Exciting Place to work"

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

    I have been working at International Fund For Animal Welfare full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The people who come to Ifaw are really dedicated and are driven to protect animals around the world. The work is incredibly challenging and expectations are very high. I think expectations must be high because the problems Ifaw tackles are complicated and politically complex. Salaries are competitive and benefits are very supportive of all employees.

    Cons

    Everyone complains about too many emails and too many meetings. Probably many companies suffer those same problems.

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    International Fund For Animal Welfare2020-01-04
  2. Helpful (10)

    "The opposite of "thriving", no thanks for the tagline."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at International Fund For Animal Welfare full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Amazing colleagues who are passionate about the cause every day. Great benefits and decent salary for a nonprofit. Meaningful partnerships with other great NGOs around the world.

    Cons

    Seems silly to repeat the previous reviews, but IFAW's demise is truly due to (a) poor leadership at the top, and very much related, (b) the hiring of inexperienced and irresponsible brand consultants. I'm embarrassed to have witnessed this organization putting all its faith and dollars into the hands of two (and a half) young wannabe hotshots from NYC, who had no experience nor concern for the nonprofit world. They only served to hire even more expensive agencies to support their remit, they traveled the world at no spared expense, and they brought all of their buddies along for the ride. IFAW gained little more than a new logo and a battered and bruised communications team. Today we suffer as a top-heavy organization that owns little of its own project work for animals across the globe. Our leaders are nice people with no desire or understanding of how to stand out, make decisions, and act for themselves.

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    International Fund For Animal Welfare2020-02-05
  3. Helpful (3)

    "Great concept, poor execution"

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

    I worked at International Fund For Animal Welfare full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Friendly support staff Flexible schedule Full benefits Adequate compensation The HR and IT staff are top-notch

    Cons

    Overall lack of organizational communication Poorly managed General lack of awareness of employees

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    International Fund For Animal Welfare2020-02-15
  4. Helpful (7)

    "Inconsistent leadership and poor follow-through"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Officer in Yarmouth, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at International Fund For Animal Welfare full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    IFAW has some great projects that significantly help wildlife and the people who live with them, especially in Africa and India. The Marine Mammal Rescue program is a leading science- and practice-based project that has improved marine mammal rescue around the world. The concept that individual animal lives matter in conservation is extremely valuable as a strategic guide and program driver. The caliber and commitment of employees who work in lower-level supporting roles is excellent. IFAW's DISRUPT trainings have sensitized customs, trade and environmental officials in many countries and have improved knowledge and enforcement in some countries. IFAW's long involvement in the proceedings of the International Whaling Commission, CITES and national-level lobbying for more effective animal welfare and conservation measures has been expensive, hard to measure but significant for animals.

    Cons

    IFAW's culture and 'matrix' management structure mitigates against organizational effectiveness and carrying out strategic priorities over years and consistently through the efforts of each office. Top managers are too often divorced from and uninvolved with the basic activities of the rank and file. For many years, IFAW's breadth of work has outstripped its ability to carry out that work successfully. Top leadership appears to be too often driven by a need for the acceptance, attention and applause of government officials and NGO peers, to the detriment of the fundamental work of protecting animals and their habitats. The development department's institutional inertia -- and fear of failure -- have probably contributed to IFAW's inability to diversify fundraising and donor bases.

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    International Fund For Animal Welfare2020-01-16
  5. Helpful (9)

    "Change Needed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Current Employee - Manager 
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at International Fund For Animal Welfare full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    IFAW's staff commitment to protecting wildlife is extraordinary. Responsive programmes. Supportive offices and departments.

    Cons

    Leadership creates a toxic environment of fear and intimidation. Staff suffer from stress and burnout due to an ever changing, unstable environment, and fear of retaliation if they voice opinions that differ from the CEO. CEO's lack of direction, favouritism and self importance has led to an ineffective buildup and wastefulness. Decisions are made without consideration of long term impact, priorities change based on the CEO's interests. IFAW routinely faces redundancies and cut backs in approved programmatic plans. Firings occur with no remorse or leadership reflection. The CEO is ineffectual, absent and rarely seen as a contributor to IFAW's mission.

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    International Fund For Animal Welfare2020-01-25
  6. Helpful (15)

    "From Bad to Worse, No End in Sight"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at International Fund For Animal Welfare full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The people actually doing the work are mission driven, dedicated and talented.

    Cons

    The CEO sent an email last Sunday night saying there will be layoffs over the next 3 weeks to better align budgets with programs. Since then, they have laid off 2-3 people a day in an excruciatingly drawn out process. Don't you think people have downloaded donor lists, email lists and the like? They have. People's lives are ruined, one person quit because they couldn't handle the stress of this layoff process and the CEO is posting selfies on Instagram... completely unattached and unaffected. All of this after they hired Something or Other (two consultants without any comparable prior experience... look them up) to restructure and rebrand the organization. They spent an obscene amount of money traveling around to IFAW offices and project sites, never sharing back the institutional knowledge they gained. Worse still, never once did Kelvin, Kevin or Azzedine check in with the Comms department (of which the consultants were made Co-VP's) to ask how it was going.

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    International Fund For Animal Welfare2020-02-05
  7. Helpful (17)

    "Inappropriate amount of donor dollars spent on ineffectual rebrand"

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

    I have been working at International Fund For Animal Welfare full-time

    Pros

    The mission and the programs.

    Cons

    Executive management hired a NYC based consultant agency to rebrand the organization. Instead, the consultant agency spent (estimated between hundreds of thousands to millions of) donor dollars in attempt to rebrand the organization and restructure multiple departments, with no prior experience of the same caliber. There was no measurable ROI on any of the expensive projects, as a result of their uninformed spending. With the lack of experience demonstrated by the NYC agency and the deceasing donor support, any level employee can quickly surmise that IFAW (and the remaining donor base) will never see the return on investment. This setback will be a major disadvantage for any new employee to walk into.

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    International Fund For Animal Welfare2019-09-24
  8. Helpful (3)

    "Great colleagues, strong mission"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at International Fund For Animal Welfare full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The work is meaningful, coworkers are good people, opportunity to take on more responsibilities in most positions

    Cons

    Work/life balance sometimes feels unmanageable, collaboration/communication across departments will hopefully improve as time goes on

    International Fund For Animal Welfare2019-03-16
  9. Helpful (34)

    "Sinking Ship Seeking Rescue"

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

    I worked at International Fund For Animal Welfare full-time

    Pros

    I wanted to write this review as a former employee as a note of caution to potential future employees and donors. I believe it would be a waste of my time and energy to share how I feel that the Board of Directors could improve this organisation as I believe their lack of meaningful involvement and potential conflicts of interest are part of its major problems. It is discussed within the circles of IFAW, people past and present, that a board member had the organisation hire a relative or decades-long family friend to do IFAW's Communications work--decimating an entire department of loyal, proven, and experienced staff. This Comms group is based in New York and has no conservation experience or other experience in general. Perhaps they will do a stellar job (ask to see their budget/payments) creating a new direction for the organisation but they could have done that solely as outside contractors and there was no need to dispose of the existing department and hire multiple people in New York City when IFAW's 2 offices in the US are mostly empty and had the resources to put such a new plan in place. IFAW has many dedicated and capable employees in its ranks. The problem is with the top tier of the organization which thinks it knows everything and tolerates no alternate voices and opinions. IFAW has several noble programs aimed at improving the condition of animals around the globe. I am saddened that the leadership cares more about lining their pockets and keeping their egos inflated than it does about the animals that their underlings go to work each day to save and protect.

    Cons

    FOR POTENTIAL FUTURE EMPLOYEES: Please know that you may be fired at the drop of a hat even if your performance is outstanding. Even if you had just been awarded employee of the year. You may even be escorted out of the building as humane endings are reserved for animals, not staff. My personal advice is that if you want to take an IFAW job to build your resume and get a start on your career, fine, if you can work quietly and obediently within a very political place. I certainly would not comprise my financial standing by extending myself to take a job at IFAW. I definitely would not move to Cape Cod for a job here as should you be in the next wave of layoffs (and they go through many) you could find yourself without a job (in an obsolete non-profit market) even if you just started there months prior, made little money, and were doing a great job--we have all seen it happen. FOR POTENTIAL DONORS: Please look at staff salaries compared to IFAW outcomes. Ask to get your hands on the figures for the top 10% or maybe even top 20% of wage earners there. As an interesting exercise, ask for the travel history/spending of those same people, some of whom travel with family members, and ask yourself if you are funding a conservation organisation or an elite travel club. Again, some in this crowd do extremely impressive work but this exercise may prove enlightening and may make you second guess your decision to contribute.

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    International Fund For Animal Welfare2018-01-31
  10. Helpful (8)

    "I gave a positive review and ..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I have been working at International Fund For Animal Welfare full-time

    Pros

    I'm not a Sr Mgr. and wasn't asked by Exec to add a review (as another reviewer accused). I just thought it was necessary to give a different and honest review of my experience with IFAW and to counter what I saw as some unfair, and frankly, hurtful accusations. I've worked here a long time and have seen many changes, and it's always been and still is a great place to work. There have been some changes recently, but change is necessary to growth and I'm excited to see how those changes improve the org going forward.

    Cons

    Unhappy staff members who try to pull everyone else down.

    International Fund For Animal Welfare2017-11-09

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