KaBOOM! "non profit" Reviews | Glassdoor

KaBOOM! Employee Reviews about "non profit"

Updated Apr 16, 2019

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3.4
66%
Recommend to a Friend
81%
Approve of CEO
KaBOOM! Chief Executive Officer James Siegal  (no image)
James Siegal
18 Ratings
Pros
  • "Fellow employees are generally competent and hard-working(in 8 reviews)

  • "Great mission and community build-model(in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • "The 990, which is publicly available on the website as required for a non-profit, must list all employees making more than 100,000(in 9 reviews)

  • "work/life balance varies widely based on manager/team(in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "non profit"

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  1. Helpful (4)

    "One of the Best"

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

    I have been working at KaBOOM! full-time for 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!

    KaBOOM!2017-12-26
  2. Helpful (6)

    "Inequity Abounds and the Mission is Faltered"

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

    I worked at KaBOOM! full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Smart, mostly well-meaning, and interesting colleagues. Good benefits for a non-profit. Strong identity. Fun workplace. Good work-life balance, though very dependent on the manager and team.

    Cons

    Salary inequality is a big issue at KaBOOM!, particularly being that the organization is trying to rebrand itself as one that works for and cares about racial equity. The 990, which is publicly available on the website as required for a non-profit, must list all employees making more than 100,000. All members of the senior team make well above $100,000, the majority making over $200,000, and 3 white men making over... $300,000. Meanwhile, project managers and outreach staff are facing evictions and eating meals solely consisted of the peanut butter and jelly and cereal the organization provides because they can’t afford anything else. Staff has long been calling for a more equitable pay model and those calls are met with superficial solutions to pacify. One senior team member made $244,000, while no one on her team, even those more senior were making anything even close to being proximate. This same person wrecked havoc on the organization, causing complete turnover of her team and in others across the organization, including some of the best and brightest; and was rightly accused of racial prejudice and bias. The senior team was well aware of the issues, as well as experiencing them theirselves and failed to take action for several months, allowing her destructive behavior to continue for a year before she was let go. Additionally, the organization seems to care more about profit margins than their mission, but only those most senior see the benefits of that margin. They have a tendency to burn people out, some teams working 60-80 hours weekly. KaBOOM! and it’s mission have so much potential, but can’t seem to stop getting in their own way. If you’re looking to make a real impact in marginalized communities, KaBOOM! likely isn’t a good place for you. If you’re looking for managers who are passionate about the mission, can build a compelling, achievable strategy, while supporting your professional growth and development, with the exception of a few, KaBOOM! may not be the place for you. The organization has its charms, but they do little to surmount the entrenched issues.

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    Advice to Management

    Treat people better. Focus on how to best achieve the mission and stand by that. Focus on deep as opposed to superficial community building. Focus on building a value based culture.

    KaBOOM!2019-04-16
  3. Helpful (2)

    "Few opportunities for development"

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

    I worked at KaBOOM! full-time

    Pros

    -Fellow employees are generally competent and hard-working -Working for a "good cause" -Flexible work arrangements are possible (depending on your supervisor)

    Cons

    -Salaries are pretty low, and not doled out equitably. After working there for multiple years, my salary was lower than the new hires. This is in part because all of this info is secret, part because annual "salary adjustments" are insubstantial, and in part because the management is selective about who they comb for upward growth. -The leader of my team provided few opportunities for professional development (e....g. 'stretch' tasks, collaboration, formal and informal training). I took it upon myself to seek out these opportunities, but given the culture and management style of the organization, it proved difficult. I think the leader of my team would prefer not to rock the boat, even if it means atrophying her team. -Funding partners have significant influence over the work we do. This is probably true for most non-profits, but especially at KaBOOM!. Most of our money comes from these partners (e.g. Target, CarMax, Keurig Dr Pepper) so you can be sure our talking points will match theirs, and our initiatives will fit in line with their profit-maximizing interests.

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    Advice to Management

    What would KaBOOM! look like if every employee was empowered to realize their full potential?

    KaBOOM!2018-09-04
  4. Helpful (2)

    "Much, much better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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.

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    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!

    KaBOOM!2017-06-08
  5. Helpful (5)

    "Manager"

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

    I have been working at KaBOOM! full-time for 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).

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    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.

    KaBOOM!2016-04-15
  6. Helpful (2)

    "Love my job, love KaBOOM!"

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

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

    Pros

    We just finished a day of service to celebrate the holidays. All KaBOOM team members went to DC Foodbank and served others. We already serve others every day, we are a non profit! I love that I work somewhere that puts others first and is also puts its employees first.

    Cons

    Some changes happening so feeling a little anxious. But a good team.

    Advice to Management

    keep doing what you are doing.

    KaBOOM!2015-12-09
  7. Helpful (4)

    "KaBOOM! DC's Office"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at KaBOOM!

    Pros

    KaBOOM! is a wonderful non-profit organization with a noble mission. The employees are highly educated, capable and enthusiastic about what they do. Wonderful bunch of people and passionate leadership.

    Cons

    The only significant issue at KaBOOM! is that the direction of the organization seems to shift often leaving those having to carry out the objectives a little lost. That may attribute to the high turnover rate. Not very much room for advancement, but a great place to learn.

    KaBOOM!2015-10-13
  8. Helpful (8)

    "Where to start?"

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

    I have been working at KaBOOM! for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great benefits, really smart, genuine people, salary growth is great if you are at the Senior Manager level or above. There are a few amazing senior leaders/managers who've great to learn from. There are some people who are doing really amazing work that the organization is really excited about, but the trust given to those people is not extended across the full staff. Name is well known and we'll respected. Mission... is a great space of need with great potential for innovation.

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    Cons

    I agree with many of the others - serious case of founder's disease compounded with micro management of the senior team and frenzied or non existent management for those on the Outreach and Grants team makes for an extremely stressful work environment where people are largely unhappy. The management and communication of the strategy is poor - why hire so many smart, talented people if you can't trust them to execute... and contribute? The implementation of the strategy is misguided and elitist, which can make it hard to connect with the work, let alone to convince others. There is no clear tactical direction with some of the directors having zero expertise in the field and no clue of how to execute, let alone manage others to do so. The ever increasing focus upon staffing and resources on social media and digital engagement as a means of achieving impact is ridiculous, as well as demoralizing for people who want to work at a non-profit, not a media agency. I will say some of the issues of KaBOOM! Have to do with unrealistic expectations and unproductive criticism... The organization does have an abundance of entry level positions - yes, when you are fresh out of college and you work in the nonprofit sector and it's your first job, you will get paid little and work lots. That's how it goes. It gets better, you have to earn your stripes. Don't like it, don't live in city like DC where the cost of living is unmanageable for someone not making a substantial salary. You can live out your DC dreams in a few years after you have some experience under your belt and can demand more money. The organization can sometimes hire for these entry level positions out of a pool of candidates that is overqualified and will naturally get frustrated easily. When there are so many talented, smart type As in one organization, there seems to be this drive for everyone to contribute to everything, while at the same time a sense of competition that causes some to seek individual praise/credit as opposed to collaborating with others to reach the best outcome - so many bottlenecks to delivering on the work. The CEO is definitely brash, and characterizations of him as a bully are not off base, however, in my experience, if you engage with him and debate/rebuttal instead of backing down, you can make traction. All of that being said - the senior team needs to get out of the way and let people co-create the strategy and execute without constant interference. If there are directors/managers who don't deliver despite seniority, let them go to make room for advancement for others, define goals that are realistic and easily communicated.

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    Advice to Management

    Stated above, but the senior team must get out of their own way if they expect to ever improve morale. The answer to solving this is not more culture - and the suggesstion alone is patronizing. People want to do great work - let them! Stop working on projects and start executing a strategy if real change is to ever be sustained. Though dominated by women, there is a culture of seemingly sexist and dismissive... behavior by some of the males on staff, if this behavior is accepted from the leadership, it is easily perpetuated by others. Seek feedback authentically and incorporate what you hear. Immediately address the culture of fear/lack of freedom to express disagreement and present alternatives.

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    KaBOOM!2015-06-10
  9. Helpful (4)

    "Hard Working, But Rewarding Organization"

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

    I worked at KaBOOM! full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    This organization possesses some of the hardest-working, talented and passionate people you’ll find in the non-profit industry as well as a truly inspiring (and often neglected) mission. Among other initiatives, the organization is best known for spearheading the volunteer construction of approximately 200 playgrounds across North America every year. No matter your role in the organization, you contribute to the... fact that, in any given year, the organization is responsible for building playgrounds that serve tens of thousands of children – that’s pretty compelling. My experience from a salary standpoint was quite positive as it increased by more than 40 percent during my tenure (approximately five years). I received a raise every year I worked at KaBOOM! – even during the economic downtown. In fact, in 2008 or 2009 (I can’t remember which year), the senior staff froze their salaries so that the rest of the staff could receive raises. I suspect that some employees received more compensation and others less over the years, but I viewed it as a reward for hard work (consistently 50+ hours per week and substantially more on occasion). Vacation time is accumulated fairly quickly and though there are incredibly busy times during the year, there are also slower times and it’s not uncommon for people to take two straight weeks of vacation to travel abroad, etc. Depending on your position, you may have the opportunity to work closely with key decision makers at a host of Fortune 500 companies, which enables you to grow your network of contacts/colleagues. I’m unsure of the current status, but during my tenure, the organization was extremely flexible toward a wide variety of working arrangements (working from home, allowing people to work from remote offices across the country when forced to relocate, etc.). The culture of the organization is infectious, even if you tend to be a bit reserved as I am. If/when you’re able to view one of the playground builds, you’re able to see first-hand how the culture tremendously affects the volunteers and organizations that benefit from those playgrounds.

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    Cons

    No organization is perfect and KaBOOM! certainly isn't an exception. As others have mentioned, in order to succeed at KaBOOM!, you must work hard – there are really very few exceptions. You are expected to work as long as necessary to perform your job functions – some people can accomplish that in 40 hours per week, but most work 50+ and some are more than 60+ on a regular basis. Staff turnover is a consistent issue... and, in my view, is a driven by two key factors: burnout and employees brought on board who don’t fit the overall culture particularly well. Though I was rewarded with substantial salary increases, the possibility for position advancement was limited in my department. It’s admirable and born out of a desire to be on the cutting edge, but the organization tends to shift priorities on a regular basis (both conceptually and procedurally), which can have a negative effect on staff and morale (also a contributing factor to staff turnover).

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    Advice to Management

    Keep on keepin’ on (and, maybe, give some programs/initiatives a bit longer before pulling the plug!).

    KaBOOM!2015-03-31
  10. Helpful (14)

    "If Dante had ever worked at KaBOOM! "Inferno" would have 10 circles instead of 9"

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

    I have been working at KaBOOM!

    Pros

    It's been said many times, but bears repeating, the people who work here are wonderful. Other pluses are the (earlier) mission, the kids, the staff camaraderie and friendships (I am looking forward to joining the "I Survived KaBOOM!" support group on Meetup).

    Cons

    Somehow the powers that be at KaBOOM! think the honor and privilege of being abused here is some kind of resume building gift they generously bestow on their brow beaten staff. Not making this up. This attitude that working for KaBOOM! is a rare and special privilege for which you should be grateful is nothing new, but now that attitude has extended to our partners. Danger, danger. Hard work, long hours... without a fat paycheck go with the territory in the non-profit realm. People here are, in general, more or less okay with working for a cause they love instead of just working for more money. I don't see that as what's most upsetting people here. It's the long hours and low pay *WITH* the disrespect, the long hours and low pay *WITH* the micromanagement, the long hours and low pay *WITH* the constant criticism. I think people would be less upset about the low pay and salt mine hours if they weren't being treated with such a lack of trust in their ability to do their job well.

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    Advice to Management

    I have to believe that at least some of you see this is not the way to treat people or run an organization. The Senior Team needs to snap put of their Stockholm Syndrome.

    KaBOOM!2015-04-24
Found 13 reviews