KaBOOM! Reviews | Glassdoor

KaBOOM! Reviews

Updated December 26, 2017
59 reviews

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2.8
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James Siegal
6 Ratings

59 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Seasonality impacts work life balance (in 6 reviews)

  • It's really a shame that salaries are as low as they are, though of course some of that is to be expected in the non-profit world (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "One of the Best"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at KaBOOM! full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    KaBOOM! is a notch above the rest when it comes to non-profits. The mission, the culture, the people, the benefits. This organization has created an amazing place to work.

    Cons

    It's a non-profit, so pay will always lag behind where it could be in the private sector.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing!


  2. "Major improvements since leadership change"

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

    I worked at KaBOOM! full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great mission and community build-model. Unique in services provided. Passionate, intelligent, and hard-working staff. There was a major lack of transparency in the past, but I believe this has improved a great deal since the change in leadership about a year ago. Great bonus program.

    Cons

    As mentioned above, prior to the change in CEO/leadership, there was a lack of transparency and innovation; I believe this has changed for the better over the last year.
    Salaries are not competitive.
    Mission shifted from a focus on community building to a focus on play everywhere. While I support both, the shift in mission/vision was not executed well.

    Advice to Management

    Need to innovate on the traditional model.

  3. "Excellent NPO"

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

    I worked at KaBOOM! full-time

    Pros

    -Excellent staff filled with highly driven individuals that are dedicated to mission
    - Unique office culture
    -Provides great opportunities for career development

    Cons

    - The functionality of certain departments aren't fully flushed out making it difficult for assigned task to align with employee's job description.


  4. "Much, much better"

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

    I have been working at KaBOOM! full-time

    Pros

    Thanks to James, our new(ish) CEO, times at KaBOOM! have never been better. Everyone is so committed and engaged, and there's a renewed sense of energy with the transformation of the Senior Team. Boomers really do work hard and play hard, and it seems that, for the most part, everyone really respects and enjoys working together. Though salaries are lower, our benefits package is amazing and the culture is definitely a huge value add.

    Cons

    It's really a shame that salaries are as low as they are, though of course some of that is to be expected in the non-profit world.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees - we know what we're doing!


  5. "Poor internal operations"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Things I’ve learned while working at KaBOOM!:
    -How to locate the nearest private room to cry, job search, and/or decompress after 90% of interactions with my manager, especially the ones with implied threats
    -How to live on the cheap in one of the most expensive cities in the US, because my paycheck won’t even cover living expenses
    -Purple and orange don’t go together
    -That “can do will do” is just an excuse to push people to their limits with unrealistic expectations and little guidance
    -There is such a thing as too much cereal - see #2

    Sure, KaBOOM! Seems like a fun place to work. From the outside, I really thought it would be great, too. Between the monthly catered lunches and events, cereal bar, travel, fun activities, and a colorful office, it looks like a place you want to be. The culture is really unique, and everyone works hard. A lot of Boomers really want to make a difference in childrens' lives. But all the free food in the world can’t cover up bad internal operations.

    Cons

    Between the huge disconnect between senior staff and everyone else, the constant turnover (while I was there, an average of 2 people per month left!), the low pay, poor work/life balance, and being treated poorly all around, I was worn down before I felt confident in my abilities and job. Moreover, I didn’t receive the training I needed to do my job, yet every little mistake and error was my fault. There is zero ownership of mistakes on a manager’s part; you’re expected to be an expert from day one, no matter how much they say the opposite. No wonder people are leaving even without a job lined up. It seems the cycle is the same: long hours, long days, little training, poor compensation, and no recognition for a job well done. But don’t worry, they’ll let you know when you make even the tiniest of mistakes. Every time.

    I’ve learned a lot while working at KaBOOM!. I’ve gained a set of skills I didn’t know I had and built upon existing skills. But I didn’t get to use any of my past experiences, and I didn’t get the opportunity to work on different projects because my manager didn’t trust me enough to do so. I’d say the most important thing I’ve learned is what I’m not willing to put up with when it comes to coworkers and supervisors. Bullying, demotivation, and insults are never okay and I’m glad I got out before I was fired under the guise of being incompetent.

    Advice to Management

    Why do you think people are leaving left and right? Pay people a living wage, listen to their complaints and suggestions, stop belittling and bullying your staff, and start to care about the individual, not just instant results.


  6. "Data Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Impact Innovation Analyst in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Impact Innovation Analyst in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at KaBOOM! (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You are working for a greater cause to help low-income children have an opportunity to play/exercise. The work/life balance is excellent.

    Cons

    The senior management is not strong. In addition, employees are constantly leaving so it creates chaos and confusion.


  7. "OK Organization"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at KaBOOM! full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits (health care, paid time off, monthly lunches, etc.)
    cool people (great people and really caring individuals)
    Nice office environment (colorful and welcoming)

    Cons

    poor work/life balance (employees are expected to work long hours - 60+/week)
    poor compensation (not enough financial compensation provided)
    transitioning mission (the organizational mission has shifted back and forth over the past few years - very confusing for employees)

    Advice to Management

    There isn't a lot to say regarding management because there has been such significant turnover in the past few years, basically everyone is brand new - the organization will have to wait to see what happens in the coming months.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager, Grassroots Giving in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Manager, Grassroots Giving in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at KaBOOM! full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    KaBOOM! has an incredible culture that helps staff members to feel part-of, and also assists in creating a great community.

    There have been bumps, but the leadership openly and honestly addresses them and works at finding solutions. There is a level of transparency in dealing with challenges that lets me know it is important to the leadership to find solutions.

    The overall benefits package is fantastic, and continues to improve. In the year I've been here they have added parental leave, which I think is incredible. The medical plans are great, and fair or better than most non-profits. I also personally benefit from the pet insurance, which is pulled directly from my paycheck -- which makes things easier.

    We're helping kids! We don't only say it, but we do it. 87 cents of every dollar donated goes towards programming, and that is a big deal compared to many non-profits. It is important to me to work for an organization with integrity, and I have faith in my organization's integrity.

    I'm rarely the smartest person in the room. This hasn't been the case in a lot of jobs. This is important to me, because I want to constantly learn and grow. I work with some of the brightest and most passionate people I've ever met. While sometimes it can take a while to get to a resolution, usually it's not because folks don't want to do the work, it's because they want to find the best way to do it that is going to make the biggest difference moving forward. Whether it is someone who has been here 15 years, or someone who started in the year since I joined the team, I am constantly growing when I stay open-minded to the people around me.

    SNACKS! Who doesn't love snacks? There is free cereal, milk, candy, granola bars, peanut butter and jelly, bread, etc. You don't have to go hungry if you forgot your own snacks or if you forgot your wallet.

    Culture Events -- we work really hard, but we also play often. Having time to play with coworkers makes the relationships stronger, and I am happy this is something KaBOOM! encourages and supports. There are monthly events as part of an ongoing program for the organization, but many staff members put together additional events as well. Not only is there approval for this, but senior staff such as the CEO and CFO will show up to these events. When was the last time your CFO showed up to your desk dressed as Captain America? I can say a few months ago, personally.

    Our senior team is approachable. This doesn't mean they will always agree, or that things will always go in the direction you think they should... but it does mean they will listen to you, and they will respond. There have been several changes as a result of this in the year I've been here.

    Momentum -- the momentum is building in the right direction. With the mission growing to do more than we've done in the past, there was a period where a lot of challenges came along. We now seem to be moving steadily towards accomplishing the work we've always done (world class playgrounds), and simultaneously accomplishing the new work we're also focusing on (playability and play everywhere).

    Cons

    No dedicated sick leave. There is PTO, but people come in sick so they don't use their vacation time. Part of this could be because a lot of new staff members do not have much PTO accrual.

    Not a terrible con, but I think the time-off package could be a little better for 1st year. Other non-profits I've worked for and interviewed for have had stronger time off packages.

    Advice to Management

    Keep being transparent -- it makes a huge difference in trust level for employees.

    It would be helpful to have dedicated sick leave, and to consider adding that in addition to current PTO accrual levels.


  9. "Strategic Communications Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    The people at KaBOOM! really believe in the mission and work toward achieving it every day. The playful work culture and atmosphere sets it apart from other organizations.

    Cons

    There is constant employee turnover, which makes it hard to get to know your co-workers very well. There is not much room for growth.

    Advice to Management

    The intern program should be tailored to the individual needs of each intern instead of an overarching, broad program.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Good experience, low pay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great culture! Involved and passionate employees. Honorable mission. Great benefits and incentives.

    Cons

    Low salaries; overworked and underpaid staff. Senior leadership exhibits favoritism, allowing only select few to really grow in the company.


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