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Open Society Foundations Reviews

Updated December 21, 2017
107 reviews

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3.6
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4 Ratings

107 Employee Reviews

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

  • For most young professionals, it is a career dead end as there are little to no opportunities for advancement within the organization (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    OSF is a great place to work. The negative reviews don’t represent the majority of employees’ experiences here. OSF certainly has it’s challenges, but we are fortunate to have incredible benefits (lunch, transit, health insurance, brown bag lunches, the list goes on...) and work in a diverse community of extremely intelligent, talented and mission-driven people.

    Cons

    There can be limits to growth opportunities. Young professionals who start out in administrative or program specialist positions are told that they’ll have to go out and get field experience if they want to be program officers. But there’s a reason for this - you can’t expect to be given a certain level of authority and responsibility without having the subject matter expertise/experience.


  2. "Great Experience for Program Administrative Specialist"

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

    I have been working at Open Society Foundations full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    If you are looking to get your foot in the door at an organization that focuses on international human rights, this is the place to be! The Program Administrative Specialist position is a great position to be in if you're looking to hone your organizational skills and get an introduction to grant making and the field of your choice (education, women's rights, immigration, etc.). It is a great place to learn and grow under experts in the field. There are plenty of travel, professional development, and networking opportunities to take advantage of. While there are some limitations to cross over to the programmatic side, it is a good place to start your career. If you're interested in working in and Admin role for a few years prior to going to grad school or getting field experience, I think it's a good place to be.

    Cons

    Political challenges, internally and externally, can hinder work and divide resources, making it challenging to accomplish the great work that we are capable of doing

    Advice to Management

    Conflict of interest at the highest levels can complicate strategy for programs

  3. "Talented colleagues and a unique workplace culture"

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

    I worked at Open Society Foundations full-time

    Pros

    My direct team were supportive, fun, open-minded and not afraid to think outside the box. Everyone's voice was heard and valued and we continuously brainstormed new ways to improve and develop our processes. As the team is global, there were also opportunities to travel.
    Open Society Foundations offers plenty of learning opportunities, including lunch time talks from industry professionals, after-work film screenings/events and tuition reimbursement.
    As a whole, OSF employees are talented people who are incredibly passionate about making the world a better place. I really enjoyed working in such a diverse culture and being part of an organization with such a great mission.

    Cons

    Bureaucratic administrative procedures slow down efficiency, which can be frustrating.


  4. "Work in Progress - Stay the Course"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Open Society Foundations full-time

    Pros

    working toward a better tomorrow!!
    excellent colleagues and collaboration
    a foundation that takes risks to address needs

    Cons

    career progression for some roles

    Advice to Management

    staff promotions - build teams that can grow upward


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Open Society Foundations - Positive Experience"

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

    I have been working at Open Society Foundations full-time

    Pros

    The majority of the negative reviews below do not properly reflect the organization. From my experience, Open Society Foundations is truly a fantastic organization to work for. I say this because our work is focused on making the world a better place. The majority of people who work at OSF are passionate, educated, and excited about the areas of focus in which they work. People who work at OSF are true advocates.

    At Open Society Foundations, you have the ability to work for and with some of the most influential people who are handling and supporting a majority of complex topics. You will work with and be supported by experts in a variety of fields from internal operations to programmatic work.

    Everyone in the organization genuinely wants to help you succeed.

    Pros to working at OSF are:
    1. Continued knowledge sharing and thoughtful conversations that engage everyone in the organization. If you like collaboration, this is the place for you.
    2. Benefits Package: It truly is the most competitive packages, I have ever seen.
    3. Perks include: Catered Lunch, Transit Card Benefits, & Internal Networking Opportunities.
    4. Offers work-life balance initiatives (such as working from home)

    Cons

    Like most organizations today, Open Society Foundations is a flat organization. With that said, the organization invests in its people; by providing employees with opportunities to grown in their field.

    Just like all organizations there are different types of management styles, the key to this at Open Society Foundations is learning what is expected from you and working closely with your manager and team to set up expectations from the beginning.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Mixed Bag"

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

    I have been working at Open Society Foundations full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    benefits, some really good people, mission driven. free lunch

    Cons

    bureaucracy, process, not a meritocracy, spends too much money on itself, leadership lacks empathy with employees

    Advice to Management

    take care of your employees, pay attention to career development


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Division Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Open Society Foundations full-time

    Pros

    Great colleagues and mission, great work and benefits

    Cons

    Seniormost management visionless and specializing in doublespeak cloaked in social justice babble

    Advice to Management

    Get real, please.

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Utterly Incompetent leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Advisor in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Advisor in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Extremely hard-working line staff who are eager to learn
    Excellent benefits that encourage professional growth
    Amazing opportunities for collaboration
    Intellectual curiosity abounds

    Cons

    With very few exceptions, the organization's leaders lack the professional experience and organizational intelligence to sustain the foundation. Failing to address this elephant in the room is not just driving talented staff away, it is putting the organization's livelihood in jeopardy. This starts at the very top.

    It's important to note that there are some promising leadership developments with recent high-profile hires. Unfortunately, this is still overshadowed by the organization's failure to remove or reassign incompetent leaders.

    Everyone is afraid to publicly state the obvious: leadership starts at the top. This is philanthropy, so there is no benefits package extravagant enough to compensate for degrading staff and rewarding incompetence.

    Advice to Management

    Break through self-reinforcing management bubbles to get honest feedback on what's working and what isn't. Check in with staff BEFORE the exit interview-- by the time employees leave, they have little incentive to be helpful to the organization. Don't assume that staff are unaware of the intimate details of management discussions. This insults their intelligence and damages your credibility when you mischaracterize events. Stop belittling staff. Recognize other's accomplishments and expertise. If you are secure in yourself, this takes nothing away from you. Lastly, uplift and celebrate what's working-- there are some wonderful pockets of brilliance here that deserve to be recognized.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great benefits, not a lot of room to grow"

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

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

    Pros

    Amazing benefits, decent pay, general thoughtful smart colleagues

    Cons

    For most staff, especially at junior levels there is little to no room for growth. Program officers are required to have 7-10 years of outside experience so there is essentially no way to grow into that.
    Also, OSF is very progressive yet very status quo in its leadership and some of its hiring practices.

    Advice to Management

    Create more paths for meaningful growth


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Great mission, but the people are horrible"

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

    I worked at Open Society Foundations full-time

    Pros

    The free lunch. There is a union which is a novelty for a privately held company. Not sure how well that works for the employees though

    Cons

    Management is terrible. They'll be well aware of a situation, but will wait till the last possible minute to disclose.
    You'll run into people whose egos can not be contained in all of Manhattan.
    High turnover rate. I never understood that until I stopped working there. I was on a contract assignment and was only given a week notice that the position was ending due to budget issues despite the manager knowing this fact for about 2 weeks.

    Save your loyalty; the management will stomp all over it and throw you under the bus.

    Advice to Management

    Check your ego at the door. Recognise the staff members who make you look good and actually do your jobs for you. Educate your staff on policies and changes as soon as you get the info from the higher ups.
    This isn't grade school. Admit that you don't know everything or have all the information.


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