NationBuilder Organizer Reviews | Glassdoor

NationBuilder Organizer Reviews

Updated 8 Feb 2019

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2.2
19%
Recommend to a Friend
0%
Approve of CEO
NationBuilder CEO Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam
1 Ratings
  1. Helpful (4)

    "NationBuilder Changed My Life"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Organizer in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect when I started at NationBuilder. I’d never worked at a startup — or even a business — and I’d never been to Los Angeles. When I got there, I was welcomed with open arms (literally hugged by a co-founder) and became a part of a tight-knit community within the company’s “Organizing” (i.e., sales/support) team. A few people have said that it’s a demanding job, and it is.... Like at any startup company, you’ll be asked to work hard and get results. But the flip side of that is that the work can be really rewarding, the team is very supportive of one another, and you’ll learn a lot of skills (both specific to the product and other “soft skills”) that’ll serve you well later in life. One of the biggest “pros” is that — while it’s growing quickly — the company is still rather small and “flat.” You’ll have the chance to know everyone on the team, and your feedback can directly influence the direction of the product. The company provides excellent training, and because they’re so focused on results your success or failure is largely in your hands: do well, and you’ll be recognized; have an idea, and it’ll get heard. And when you ultimately leave the company (because who works at one business forever, these days?), your experiences there will have left you well positioned to transition into the political or nonprofit sectors. You’ll have a deep understanding of the challenges facing political and nonprofit organizations because you will have worked with dozens (if not hundreds) of them, and — in my experience — experience as a NationBuilder Organizer carries a lot of weight in that market.

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    Cons

    NationBuilder is a startup, and working at a startup — any startup — can be a draining experience. Physically, you’ll work long hours in front of a computer screen, which — after a while — wears on you. The company tries to mitigate it (ex: there’s a “quiet room” where you’re welcome to take a nap, work on a couch, etc.), but it’s still a lot of time at a computer. But that’s how it goes at a tech startup. It’s what... you sign up for. The Organizer job is also geared towards young, single people — which isn’t necessarily bad, but is something to be aware of. The starting salary was in the mid $50,000, which suits a single person with a roommate very well. Lots of employees live in Downtown Los Angeles, walk to work, and love it. But at that salary, a working mother or father will find it difficult to find an affordable, safe, large apartment close to the office and will therefore have a long commute. I traveled an hour each way to the office, which meant less time with my children than I’d have liked.

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    Advice to Management

    Working in a mostly “flat” organization (few layers of bureaucracy) can be fantastic, but it does have costs. One of those is that it removes one of the obvious ways to reward great employees — promotion — which runs the risk of losing great people as the company grows over time. If I had any advice, then, it would be to continue to invest in standout employees over time. I mentioned above that working at... NationBuilder can be a great way to set yourself up for a great role in the political or nonprofit sectors, and the company ought to be thinking hard about how to ensure that it’s best folks stay at the company for the long haul — because I strongly believe that NationBuilder is a company that’ll be around for the long haul.

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    NationBuilder2014-10-12
  2. Helpful (3)

    "Like HBOs Sillicon Valley.. but the worst of it"

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

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

    Pros

    Free food, free housing for a bit, good product

    Cons

    Back stabbing culture and weird paranoid CEO. They uproot promising professionals, move them to LA, then fire more than half after promising them multi year contracts and vested options. The CEO let’s people go, but instead of being a man and firing them in person, he watches from afar and let’s his HRminions do the dirty work. This place has literally ruined people’s careers.

    Advice to Management

    Fire CEO and stop yes man culture. We aren’t drones

    NationBuilder2019-02-09
  3. Helpful (11)

    "A strange experience that allowed me to know what to avoid in looking for a new workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Organizer in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Cool ideas, great potential, nice office

    Cons

    Scary turnover, scary customer churn, cult-ish behavior about the product and company leadership, and constant fear of "who's on the chopping block"

    NationBuilder2017-01-31
  4. Helpful (6)

    "Great ideas/values; could improve execution"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Organizer in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at NationBuilder for more than a year

    Pros

    Free food, flexible hours, casual dress, great people, fast-paced work environment, and lots of opportunities to take on new responsibility and try something different, great mission

    Cons

    Difficult to know where you stand and how your performance is being evaluated, very few people have a path for growth in the company, CEO tries to create a culture of transparency but is often out of touch with the day-to-day realities, great deal of office politics even though management seems to be convinced that it doesn't exist

    Advice to Management

    Listen directly to employees. A lot of people are unhappy, and their issues are not being brought to the surface through traditional channels. The company will keep bleeding people until the culture changes

    NationBuilder2015-10-16
  5. Helpful (17)

    "No job security, lack of direction and mismanagement from leadership"

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

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

    Pros

    Very cool product! The company has a new office in LA and there's a great snack room and coffee maker.

    Cons

    Leadership has no management experience and the employees suffer because of this. During the course of time I was there I saw the management hire employees, move them across the country, get them into leases in expensive LA apartments, and not warm them that that they had an additional interview and could be fired after their 3 week training. There are a lot of people who quit jobs, moved to LA and signed leases,... only to be fired by the CEO after 3 weeks. This is insane and if felt almost dirty working there and seeing this going on. While I was there company moved into a massive new office in a higher end building and likely spent millions on renovating it, just to fire at least 50 people in one day a few weeks after moving because of financials reasons. Now the new office sits at least 75% empty. That's just one example of the type of mismanagement that goes on (on a smaller level) everyday. The mismanagement, along with the cult-like mandatory staff retreats, would make any creepy, third-world dictator from the 70's proud. My advice would be to avoid the company. It's only a few years old and there are already more ex-employees than current employees. They also seems to fire people without regard for their performance so there is really no way to feel secure in your job.

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    Advice to Management

    Calm down the use of vague buzz words like "leadership" and "community" in place of a real strategy. Develop a thoughtful, practical short and mid-term strategy that revolves around the actual product. Become more transparent in your business practices. Show some loyalty to your top performing employees.

    NationBuilder2015-08-29
  6. Helpful (6)

    "Organizer (account manager+sales)"

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

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

    Pros

    I had the opportunity to work with incredibly amazing people who come from a wide variety of different backgrounds. The work schedule was such that I was occasionally able to work from home, and there was no real limit to paid vacation (as long as a supervisor approved). I appreciated the lack of hierarchical structure at the office - it was easy for me to chat w/ certain members of senior level management and I... forged friendship and positive working relationships with people from many different teams.

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    Cons

    The company philosophy is supposedly focused on providing "tools for leaders" and yet there is an almost complete and utter lack of true leadership inside the company. As an employee, I was almost never made to feel that my work was appreciated, and for approximately 9-10 months I received little to zero feedback from my direct manager. The atmosphere is tainted with fear and distrust, especially in the wake of... significant layoffs that happened in April 2015. Employees can be made to feel like they are being set up to be fired, and the general consensus is that the company has failed time and time again to map out a professional growth path for employees. In my opinion, the CEO has a seemingly self-destructive case of Founder's Syndrome.

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    Advice to Management

    A company that lacks transparency cannot be successful in the long run

    NationBuilder2015-05-24
  7. Helpful (8)

    "Organizer"

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

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

    Pros

    Seemed like a great environment to work in. Big kitchen. Smiling and nice employees. Hiring process was long but interviews were fun.

    Cons

    After a 5+ week process, I was officially hired with a signed offer letter. 3 days before I was supposed to start, I received a call saying that my position had been eliminated due to lay offs. Looking at the other posts here, I guess it was better than being fired after a week or two. Not much better, considering that I all I have to show for it is 5 weeks wasted and a brand new job search.

    Advice to Management

    What you are doing is shameful. Obviously you guys are having serious issues with hiring and turn over, and taking hopeful employees along for the ride is bordering on illegal.

    NationBuilder2015-04-17
  8. Helpful (5)

    "Huge upside but has serious organizational challenges"

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

    I worked at NationBuilder full-time

    Pros

    A great platform and mission. If it's not already, NationBuilder has the potential to be synonymous with leadership and positive social change. Amazing and smart people are drawn to the company. Organizers from around the world have come to NationBuilder who have done everything from manage political campaigns to start their own non-profit. It's a great network from which to learn and challenge yourself.... Management does listen and is open to taking feedback from anyone. You'll learn a lot. Especially for people coming in as organizers there are tons of opportunities to grow your professional network, learn some basic coding, etc. that can be very useful for professional growth.

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    Cons

    Mission driven almost to a fault. A focus on storytelling and organizing philosophy often persists to the detriment of product and business development. A lot of other reviews have touched on this, but I'll just say that there's often a serious disconnect with the average employee and with what is considered a leadership priority. Hiring and retainment has been a tough nut to crack. Too many organizers aren't... prepared for what the job really entails. It's unclear if it's the job that's too tough or if the right candidates are just hard to find. Promotion and career paths aren't very clear.

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    Advice to Management

    Really invest in employees who have shown a dedication to the company. Offer more opportunities for people to step up beyond what's in the job description. Biggest pain point to fix in my opinion is communication across teams and with leadership. Too often there was confusion and dissent/gossip within the team mostly due to unclear communication and with what was considered surprise decision making.

    NationBuilder2015-01-27
  9. Helpful (9)

    "False sense of security"

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

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

    Pros

    Decent pay for new hires and good benefits. Friendly atmosphere, welcoming attitude to all different types of people. Typing more words because this has a twenty word minimum for this section, wish I could say more.

    Cons

    Huge vacuum of leadership, inconsistent feedback on performance, deceiving messaging on atmosphere. They appear to be a new and friendly innovative start-up, but seem to have had major growing pains since reaching over 100 employees. The onboarding process for new employees is more like a 3-4 week trial, you can get fired before you even make your first attempt at a sale simply because the CEO did not like your... demo or if you fail a test. Everything leading up to that point is all positive feedback, which is very misleading if they are planning on firing you. If you are hired and are from out of town, they will pay for your housing for up to two weeks but may fire you after three or four. So do not sign any long term leases if you are a new hire, they still seem to be hiring 6-8 people at once and only keeping 1-2 of them after a month.

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    Advice to Management

    They know what they are doing wrong, the question is if they are decent enough people to fix it. According to other reviews, they may not. Don't act like good people when you are uprooting people from their homes to leave them high and dry after a month.

    NationBuilder2015-01-28
  10. Helpful (15)

    "Beware"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Organizer in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at NationBuilder

    Pros

    Office culture seems great, people are nice to your face, lots of perks typical to a start-up, lots of promises when you start.

    Cons

    Beware!! They have moved multiple people across the country to sign housing leases and financially fully depend on (and plan for) a position with them, only to fire the whole training class and give a demotion to those who keep a job there, even after excelling during the rigorous (regularly 10 and 12 hour days) month- long training. They fire people without hesitation or even a reason, and not just the new hires,... so don't get too comfortable. Training was very thorough, however, they don't tell you in the interview process that there's a chance you potentially won't have a job more than a month. Seems to be some challenges with it growing as fast as it is and having the management to oversee what's happening. When I looked at Glassdoor a couple months ago, it didn't have the most recent beaming reviews, so I presume the most recent ones are rigged, but I can't be sure.

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    NationBuilder2015-01-07
Found 12 reviews