Open Society Foundations Reviews | Glassdoor

Open Society Foundations Reviews

Updated May 20, 2017
95 reviews

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3.1
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3 Ratings

95 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Also free lunch every day and a metro card provided each month (in 22 reviews)

  • Great benefits, young and vibrant staff (in 16 reviews)

Cons
  • Better the senior management team (in 10 reviews)

  • Little room for advancement within the organization (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great Intern Experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY
    Recommends

    Pros

    eager young professionals who are encouraging and helpful. Good exposure to the field and dedicated to the work that they do. Also great (free!) coffee machine and (Free!) lunch every day in the cafeteria!

    Cons

    Sometimes a bit too quiet of an atmosphere. Many people seem like they are there just there for a few years and then plan to move on.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great benefits, poor management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Officer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Program Officer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Open Society Foundations full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits like paid leave, assistance with tuition, health care, flexible hours etc

    Cons

    This is a place where you will not be allowed to grow, especially if you are a person of color. Many in management have been in their positions for long and are not held accountable for racist, homophobic and other discriminatory behaviors against more junior employees.

    Advice to Management

    Replace your managers with more diverse, young and in tune people who can really bring the values and mission of organization to fruition. If that cannot be done, at the very least fire managers who have racist and homophobic complainta against them. And please oblige managers to get trained!! They currently are not forced to do any type of training, yet they are in charge of a diverse array of employees.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great mission, but"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Officer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Program Officer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Open Society Foundations full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    OSF remains unique among foundations for its fearless approach in taking on highly controversial issues that other donors would shy away from. You are sure to be sorrounded by diverse group of highly intelligent, passionate and driven employees

    Cons

    With the recent change in leadership OSF has become very top heavy with lots of management. Little room for advancement for junior and middle-level staff.

    Advice to Management

    Create systems to retain and advance talented and passionate junior and middle level staff.


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  5. "OSF"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends

    I worked at Open Society Foundations full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Ability to work with people who want to make a difference. They have great benefits, great office and perks.

    Cons

    Great benefits sometimes make it hard to leave. Many people have the entitled attitude, which sometimes made it difficult to get things done since if someone was not 'happy' with your answer they would go 'above' you to complain to get things done their way.


  6. "Good organisation"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Officer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Program Officer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Ethos of the organisation, colleagues, benefits

    Cons

    Some directors need training to support staff


  7. "Progressive Organization"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in New York, NY

    Pros

    Great benefits, young and vibrant staff

    Cons

    Unionized, focusing on process instead of depth

    Advice to Management

    Need to exude vitality and inspiration.


  8. Helpful (8)

    "Good benefits, smart colleagues, but bad staff morale"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Specialist in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Program Specialist in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Super smart colleagues and some of the best benefits around. Free lunch and coffee.

    Cons

    Management can be disengaged and/or not interested in addressing serious staff morale and HR concerns. Relationship between managers can be heavily political. Also, individual work accountability can lean heavily on the qualitative rather than quantitative results.

    Advice to Management

    Needs a better and more engaged HR department. Management needs to build and maintain trust with staff on all levels.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Overall ok, some issues to be addressed"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Officer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Program Officer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Open Society Foundations full-time

    Pros

    Relatively good benefits, excellent parental leave policy (compared to other companies in the US), flexible employer, amazing mission and possibilities to make change. People who work there are all passionate, committed, and super smart. Good systems in place to support employees in substantial work. Recent changes mostly positive even though somewhat poorly executed.

    Cons

    No way to address grievances, complaints against supervisors who have no management or leadership skills are not addressed, strongly favoring those in senior management. Huge pay gap between directors and other senior employees (program officers, managers, deputy directors). HR generally perceived by employees as not effective. No infertility coverage for ART. Leadership not very diverse though definitely more so than most companies I've seen.


  10. Helpful (9)

    "Dominated by politics of personalities and a growing bureaucracy."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - "enhanced" PO in New York, NY
    Current Employee - "enhanced" PO in New York, NY

    I have been working at Open Society Foundations full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The pros are plenty and range from the incredible staff members and the invaluable experience they bring, to some of the bold and effective work done through a diverse and truly global network of grantees and partners, the flexibility within grant making and mandates, and last but not least the benefits' package and exposure staff members gain from working for OSF.

    Cons

    Despite the plenty pros, they are being increasingly overshadowed by the unintentional yet growing bureaucracy, the marginalization of some staff members, the waves of departing colleagues, the incompetence yet high influence of old timers and some new senior management members, the lack of well trained managers, the inconsistency among programs, the dysfunctional and often disempowered HR department, the huge salary gaps and income injustice, the disproportionate impact of some new processes on staff of particular ethnic and gender identities, the overall declining morale within the working environment, and the common culture of distrust and favoritism.

    Advice to Management

    For the most part, the new processes make a lot of sense on paper and are needed within the foundation. However, rolling out those processes before building a well-trainer tier of managers has led to more inconsistency within the foundation, further marginalization of some staff members, and has centralized power in many cases when the processes were meant to decentralize it. A system of accountability is highly needed. When particular departments have unusually high rotation levels and mass departures there should be a system to address that. Having a cap on how long a director can lead a given program would perhaps help break some of the rigid structures of incompetence and mediocracy. The same requirements of credibility, relevance, field experience, and thematic/regional expertise that we now expect from specialists and officers should be applied to directors.


  11. Helpful (5)

    "Good and bad..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Program Associate in New York, NY
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Open Society Foundations (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, pretty good coworkers for the most part, down times of work can be very flexible and chill, potential to push your analytical thinking, good learning and travel/experience opportunities

    Cons

    Inefficient processes, under-trained managers, repetitive work (linked to inefficiency), lack of transparency from top down, inconsistent culture depending on what department or program you work in, poor compensation plan -- might pay alright at the start, but few people seem to ever get raises here, even if they've been here for 5 years...


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