Pew Charitable Trusts Reviews | Glassdoor

Pew Charitable Trusts Reviews

Updated July 30, 2017
191 reviews

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Pros
  • This is a place that values work/life balance (in 33 reviews)

  • Smart people and great benefits (in 36 reviews)

Cons
  • Mental abuse by senior management (in 16 reviews)

  • The IT system is awful people seem incredibly nervous about trivial things, the culture of fear stinks the air in the building (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Have NOT experienced the negativity in these reviews; take them with a hefty grain of salt"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I get that most people are only inclined to write a review when they've had a negative experience, but after having worked at Pew for some time, I have to say—I don't see it. At all.

    Granted, perhaps other departments (and employees) are different, but I have ONLY encountered good people who encourage and enable me to do good work. I genuinely enjoy coming to work each morning.

    The Pros are countless, and include an extremely generous 401k that's practically unheard of, great healthcare, and vacation + personal time off. More importantly, the culture is vastly different in that you are NOT stuck working overtime hours—and managers and colleagues frequently check to make sure you're not staying late. To that end, there is also a very good balance of work delegation.

    Cons

    Again, I'm sure each department has its own Pros and Cons, so be sure to ask the HR team about your concerns. But as far as Cons go, it's the same as any large organization—there will always be one or two project managers who just aren't as well-organized and/or capable as others, and you might find yourself having to compensate for their shortcomings. But there's excellent solidarity within the core team, and they're very quick to ensure that you don't have to go above and beyond when it isn't necessary.

    Advice to Management

    Continue doing what you're doing—it works; but do try to identify and reach those who clearly aren't having as great an experience before they get to the point of bitterly giving up and writing negative reviews that reflect the organization as a whole.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Big egos and bullying"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Intelligent people working for positive results. Good benefits and fun holiday party.
    Great location and nice conference rooms with lovely art.

    Cons

    If you don't have a masters or PhD good luck. You are frowned upon if you are not an educated elitist.

    Some of the behavior I witnessed while I was employed with Pew was repulsive. One colleague was known for being misogynistic - however, HR has done nothing about it because he comes with a lot of connections to funders. Another colleague, a woman, was so disparaging to one of her direct reports that it caused me great concern. I went to HR but felt my words fell of dear ears that allow for this type of behavior. It seems others have observed similar situations based on comments. How tragic for a nonprofit.

    Advice to Management

    Get a mirror. Look at what's happening closely.

  3. Helpful (9)

    "Portlandia isn't the only place young people go to retire"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -High salary for this sector and excellent benefits, particularly 401k matching, wellness plan
    -Smart, fun colleagues
    -Good work-life balance -- no one cares that much, and no one stays that late
    -Slow pace
    -Close to lots of art galleries

    Cons

    I have worked at similar organizations, and Pew has been my worst experience, aside from the Pros noted above. Here are my top cons:
    -High-performing, passionate, creative individuals are hired with little opportunity or expectation that those competencies will be used -- skill atrophy
    -Lack of challenging work
    -Bureaucratic, highly-structured processes limit movement and creativity
    -The organizational ideal of transparency and unvarnished truth is not seen in practice
    -Despite labyrinth of rules, those who exercise influence are able to circumvent

    Advice to Management

    Stop trying to hire the "best". Instead, look for yes-men and bureaucrats, and you will improve your ratings on Glassdoor!


  4. Helpful (11)

    "Good benefits, back stabbers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart, talented people, good pay and benefits, good location and nice building.

    Cons

    You have no friends or allies at Pew. Your #1 job here is to cover your butt, and the easiest way to do this is to blame someone else. People are almost preprogrammed to undercut colleagues. It's a cold place.

    Advice to Management

    Support your employees. You're trying but it's not working. Departments are Balkanized and have antagonistic relationships with each other and staff in middle management and below are caught in a damned-if-you-do/damned-if-you-don't situation.


  5. Helpful (7)

    "If you're in Sr. Management its a great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Manager in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Good work/life balance
    GREAT co-workers doing GREAT work

    Cons

    zero flexibility on most everything
    they've convinced themselves that they offer career growth, but nothing could be further from the truth
    two sets of rules: one for Senior Leadership, one for everybody else

    Advice to Management

    if you want to fix your retention problem or your reputation on here, change as an organization rather than expecting everyone else to be more compliant and appreciative.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Snr. Associate"

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

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    -Free but not so great health insurance.
    -Nice building.
    -Vacation time off.

    Cons

    -Micromanagement.
    -Culture of fear.
    -You will not move up.
    -I got promoted and my salary went up 2%. A new person got hire for the same job and make $10K more. After consulting HR for a pay scale, got told (quote) "unfortunately, a new hire will a better offer, that's how the system is setup".
    -High turnover. So bad that we had 3 different SVP's in less than than 3 years. This company hire at least 25 employees per month but, at the same time, around 20 employees leave every month.
    -HR department do more damage to the employee than help.
    -Minorities only occupy lower level positions. I only know of 3 managers that can be part of a minority. No higher than that.
    -Non profit ? Really? Someone should look in to that.

    Advice to Management

    Start changing your values at the top. Continue with a new HR department and listen your employees.


  7. Helpful (8)

    "Officer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Officer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Officer in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Still somewhat good benefits (but being cut year by year). Smart colleagues. Good core of staff who have been undermined and devalued who help put things in perspective for the many who are new to Pew.

    Cons

    If you actually speak truth to power (power within this organization), you are shunned. HR allows bullying and discrimination. Where is legal?

    Advice to Management

    Senior Management and the lackluster next tier are the problem. Bring in a true consultant to straighten this place out.

  8. Helpful (14)

    "Work to make a difference; too bad senior management doesn't provide needed support"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Officer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Officer in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Pew has contributed to many great projects and has a good reputation for using science-based arguments to convince legislators to make much needed changes to legislation.

    Cons

    However, as a company, it is a complete nightmare. If you don't want to deal with extreme bureaucracy, a senior managment who is out of touch with reality and doesn't provide the necessary support and recognition to the staff actually carrying out the work, an HR department which hasn't yet figured out that employee retention should be one of their main objectives, a president who hasn't yet learned to delegate and who everybody is afraid of upsetting, as well as rampant office politics and where the majority of your time will be spent covering your butt, as nobody wants to take responsibility and take the tough decisions so that the work can continue, an operational and procurement unit which is probably one of the biggest obstacles you'll face (it really isn't normal for a basic contract to take 3 months to get approved because over 20 people need to be involved in the review process), then Pew is probably not the "NGO" (it's really a foundation with a lot of money and picture bank/ law firm/ financial institution to get an idea of the uptight atmosphere) for you.

    Advice to Management

    Re-think your HR process. It cost money to hire good people, but even more money to replace them. Senior Management should work on their project coordination and provide the necessary support and recognition to those people actually doing the work.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "It's all about who you know!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate
    Former Employee - Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Pew Charitable Trusts full-time

    Pros

    The company has great benefits. Not much else to say in the pro section.

    Cons

    This company only acknowledges people that kiss up to management. You can work hard, be proactive, and manage yourself but that won't get you acknowledged.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your staff when they bring up what makes a workplace feel toxic.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Great place with great people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Associate in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pew Charitable Trusts (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great training and organization of the Trusts overall, really excellent work, a non-profit run like a business with lots of talented people

    Cons

    Low-pay for entry level positions, job titles don't match up with salary bands across company


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