NationBuilder Reviews | Glassdoor

NationBuilder Reviews

Updated April 14, 2017
42 reviews

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3.1
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NationBuilder Founder and CEO Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam
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42 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Its Complicated"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at NationBuilder full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great team,
    Focus on greater impact of work

    Cons

    Resembles a religion more than a company in terms of culture


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Tough mentally, physically, and emotionally"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at NationBuilder full-time

    Pros

    Great staff
    Snacks
    Flexible work schedule
    Nice office environment

    Cons

    Sitting in circle for hours, often, to talk about deep feelings with coworkers
    Unstable environment
    Poor work/life balance - CEO admits doesn't "believe" in that concept

    Advice to Management

    Be honest
    Double-down on the product - it could be great
    Don't fire the people who doubt or speak up - try listening to their concerns

  3. Helpful (6)

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

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

    I worked at NationBuilder full-time (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"


  4. "Design"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Designer in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends

    I worked at NationBuilder full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people, great mission, in it for the right reasons

    Cons

    Grew too quickly and it hurt the culture

    Advice to Management

    Do more retrospectives to keep teams healthy


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Best place to learn and develop skills"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Community Strategist in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Community Strategist in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at NationBuilder (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The software NationBuilder provides is about developing community, and that plays significantly into the way the business is run. NationBuilder styles itself a deliberately developmental organization (DDO), which means that you're encouraged and pushed to constantly be working to improve yourself personally and professionally. There's an incredible level of support from coworkers and management, and I've found that the people I work with here have become some of my closest friends.

    NationBuilder is also very mission oriented. There's an incredible dedication to working with everyone, to providing tools for everyone, even when that's not the popular thing to do.

    I work really hard here, and there can be frustrations and long days, but I leave feeling like I left everything on the field more often than feeling plain tired.

    You have to be willing to learn, to grow as a person, and to develop really cohesive and open partnerships with your team.

    One of my favorite policies is that anyone can make their case and move to any other open position in the company if they have the necessary skills, so you could start out on the Customer Support team, build your coding skills through the DDO personal development system, and then transfer to Professional Services or Engineering when you've mastered what you need to know. There's upward mobility in your part of the company, but also the opportunity to try new things and work on projects you may never have gotten the change to otherwise.

    Cons

    There are limited opportunities in other cities right now - a few positions here and there, but for the most part you're looking to relocate to Los Angeles long term if you want to work here, at least for the time being.

    Because so much of the focus is on cohesion with the company culture, mission, and values, the hiring process can be a little rocky.

    Advice to Management

    Don't be afraid to step in more often and set the course. I'm a huge fan of our system of distributed decision making - where teams can set objectives and plan for how to accomplish them - but it can be helpful sometimes to have someone take the input from the team and boil it down to more singular and focused imperatives for the team as a whole.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Sales"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    I am new to NationBuilder (1 month in) and have worked for many tech and SaaS companies previously. NationBuilder really stands out as a very special company.

    There is a real community atmosphere here...people really care about each other and support each other. On my first day, my entire team blocked off several hours and we all went into a conference room. Everyone told me their personal stories about who they were and how they came to work here. I honestly learned more about my peers in that couple of hours than I did in the 5 years I spent at my previous company. It felt really special that they would spend the time and also that they would open up to me. The entire team then took me to a nice lunch and nobody looked at their cell phones. Let me say that again...NOBODY looked at their cell phones. Everyone was interested in having good conversation and getting to know me. In addition to that investment, the company also invested a lot of resources into training me. I had 2.5 weeks of training that were extremely helpful and made me feel fully ready to dive in (the 2.5 weeks of training was actually fully packed...not just a couple of sessions a day like I'm used to during most onboarding experiences).

    The strength of the team and community here was even stronger when I had a health issue come up. I missed a couple of days of work and was overwhelmed at how many people reached out and offered to help and check up on me. I'm new here and don't have long-standing relationships...but it was very clear that they embraced me as part of the team and also as a member of this community.

    Some of the above comes from the many special and amazing people that the company has hired and retained. The company itself is also behind this as one of the key foundations is creating strong teams and culture. The company is a DDO (Deliberately Developmental Organization) which means there is a lot of focus and time put into helping people overcome their challenges, learn, grow, and ultimately achieve what they are meant to.

    Another special thing about the company is the mission. Most companies have a mission that is created by their marketing team and really just aligns to making a ridiculous amount of money. The mission at NationBuilder is real and very meaningful...it's about helping people become leaders and be effective as leaders. This is something that really resonates and the team here is really fired up about making a positive difference in the world. It's actually much more powerful than a mission tied to simply making a profit.

    Some other things: The Los Angeles Headquarters is an amazing location and facility. Really cool large space, lots of fun (ping pong, other games, fun activities), great food (the company provides lots of amazing food), and is a space that I really enjoy spending time in. The company spends a lot of time and money on bringing the team together and creating a fun culture. We are doing a global 3 days summit this week, and are then doing a NationBuilder Olympics (fun packed day full of games, activities, food/drink, etc.). Another thing to mention is that the company prides itself on promoting from within. A number of the VPs and Directors here started in more entry level jobs and have had a great career path internally.

    In addition to all of that...there is HUGE opportunity here. The team has built a great product and there are literally thousands of customers that use it. Although that's good progress....I feel much bigger opportunity all around me. This is an amazing environment to learn, grow, feel success, and have fun along the way....all while doing something really important and that is very meaningful.

    I'm typically very cautious about bringing my close friends and colleagues into a new company....but it's clear that this place is real and very special. I have already referred 2 people and plan to do more!

    Cons

    Nothing yet...it's been an incredibly positive experience.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "High growth edge"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Director in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Sales Director in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    I've worked at NationBuilder for nearly 3 years. I have been actively recruited for several great opportunities, and I've turned all of them down because I'm deeply fearful that I'd be leaving an extremely unique company that keeps me on my growth edge.

    People here are encouraged to lead - I don't have to ask permission to try something bold. I'm just held accountable to results.

    There's no toxic/gossipy water cooler talk, because the company creates actual forums for staff to empty - to share concerns, challenge leadership, and voice dissatisfaction. Concerns are part of any work environment. What's extremely uncommon is a culture that prizes transparency, and that rewards people for challenging status quo.

    I'm challenged in all the right ways at NationBuilder. I deeply respect my team, and the teams around me. I'm never the smartest person in the room, even when I think I am.

    When things don't work, we pivot, sharply, until they do. Bad decisions or under-performing strategies get killed, and eventually we always find a way to win.

    Staff are trusted/treated like adults. Generous vacation (i.e., no official limit). Need to work from home for a couple days? No problem. In a previous gig I remember not wanting to waste one of my sick days when I had a cold. At NationBuilder there's no concept of limited 'sick days.' If you're sick, and you show up sniffling, you're sent home. (People don't fake sick here to avoid work - they just take a day when they need it).

    Cons

    The snack selection is lacking in protein.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Real community at this tech company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director of Politics and Advocacy in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Director of Politics and Advocacy in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Real focus on people, growing, the process of becoming a fuller human. Interesting customers, great product. Great values.

    Cons

    Typical growing pains of tech start-up


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Terrible Management"

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

    Pros

    There are free snacks in the break room.

    Cons

    Sales team salary and benefits seem fairly good, but when you consider the time investment of always working, you're probably making less per hour than a entry-level union job as janitor or grocery store clerk. The management horrifyingly awful, from a cultish belief that the product will literally change everything about the world and that everyone needs it, to hiring and firing people without regards to performance, to denigrating people for no reason, to "trainings" that teach nothing. I had nightmares about working here long after I was fired.

    Advice to Management

    Fire yourselves. Someone else said it first but it bares repeating.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Great ideas/values; could improve execution"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Organizer in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Organizer in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at NationBuilder (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


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