Open Society Foundations Reviews | Glassdoor

Open Society Foundations Reviews

Updated January 12, 2017
86 reviews

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3.2
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86 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "A necessary foundation, great opportunity to impact positive change, great resources & benefits"

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

    I have been working at Open Society Foundations full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    OSF has some incredible resources to help support and advance positive social change, human rights, and open societies. It's truly incredible to be able to work here and connect these resources to innovative organizations doing important work to make a better world. Being able to meet these people and organizations and give them support is a real privilege.

    Most of the staff are incredibly passionate, dedicated, and with great insights and experiences.

    The benefits are among the best I've ever experienced - parental leave, health care benefits, vacation time, tuition reimbursement, free lunch (in NY office and stipend in DC office), remote working arrangements, generous professional development. These show an investment in staff.

    Cons

    The organization has been going through important and honestly needed organizational change over the past 3 years. There has been poor communication often about this and at times seems ad hoc. The HR department - while well-intentioned - is pretty bad. They don't respond clearly to staff, don't process grievances in a responsive way, and have muddied up this development period.

    At the same time, there have been a number of staff, especially junior and entry-level staff, who have been incredibly disgruntled by this. Some of the grievances are legitimate. The rest, honestly, appear as a sense of entitlement by people fairly fresh out of university who think they should be in senior positions and treated as such out of the gates. If you look, many don't have previous job experiences in relevant fields for more than 5 years.

    Also, it's important to note for anyone reading these: many of the complaints about racism and problems internally were done by staff who wanted to unionize. They intentionally went on Glass Door to put in bad reviews in order to then use this as an argument against the directors. I know because they asked a number of other staff to do so, myself included. I didn't because honestly, there are problems here - there are problems everywhere - but the lack of job experience by most of the people making complaints and their sense of entitlement drive their unfair criticisms.


  2. "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.


  3. 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.


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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. "Temporary program assistant"

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

    Pros

    Great work environment and co workers with a chance of getting to know the field

    Cons

    Could have been a little more challenging and learning oriented


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Program Specialist"

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, fantastic colleagues, amazing global reach

    Cons

    HR policies and enforcement are nonexistent, no clear promotion process, poor managers throughout the organization


  8. "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


  9. "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.


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Difficult place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Open Society Foundations full-time

    Pros

    1) Benefits - health care, retirement plan, sick and vacation days, opportunities for flexible work schedule
    2) Centrally located office in midtown
    3) Interesting and intellectually stimulating events by colleagues and grantees working around the globe

    Cons

    1) The people- extremely entitled, arrogant, ivy league lawyers disconnected from regular, working class people, often with "white- savior" complexes
    2) Rampant racism - white employees actively campaigning to fire employees of color, leadership disproportionately scrutinizing work of employees of color, micro-aggressions are common, internal silence around racialized domestic and international news, history of funding white-led organizations.
    3) Low staff morale - culture of distrust, fighting within leadership, bad management styles

    Advice to Management

    1) Stop acting like you're changing the world when your own house isn't in order.
    2) Start treating your staff as smart, capable professionals, with rich histories and ideas to contribute.
    3) Do not create unnecessary bureaucratic processes just to make yourself feel like you have more power and control.
    4) Remember, this is not your money that you're giving away. You are a gatekeeper.
    5) This should be a light, intellectually stimulating, easy place to work - do what you have to do to make it such.


  11. Helpful (6)

    "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.



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