Points of Light Foundation Reviews | Glassdoor

Points of Light Foundation Reviews

Updated June 30, 2017
37 reviews

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Natalye Paquin
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37 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Stick to the Mission"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Vice President in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Senior Vice President in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Points of Light Foundation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Points of Light has the best mission in the world: To Inspire, Equip, and Mobilize people to change the world. You can see from other reviews that right now the organization is undergoing a transition that has taken a big toll on the staff -- both current and former. But that mission -- not the benefits, not the pay -- is what keeps much of the staff. And it's a privilege and an honor to get to work on that mission in service to others.

    If you can believe in that mission and find a way inside of the organization to stick to it, then you won't need an alarm clock to go to work every day. You'll wake up eager to go, and think it's a privilege to get to work here -- with talented people who are trying to do real, honest-to-god good.

    Cons

    The problem is that the workplace *constantly* throws things at you that are not in-line with that mission, most especially this transition that the organization is in to find a new CEO. There's always some fire somewhere that needs to be put out. Some of the fundamentals inside of the organization (data, accounting, the way that people communicate, etc) are profoundly broken and the most senior management is often too busy dealing with a crisis to focus on the fundamentals. The board of directors has conducted a lengthy search for a new CEO to lead the organization and has not been able to come up with someone.

    If you can come here and stick to the mission and stay focused on it, then it's a compelling place to work. Just don't get drawn into the rest of the organization's drama. In other words: if you get sucked in to wondering who the next CEO is, or wondering why the current CEO is there, or wondering why it's taking so long to get a new CEO, or what programs that new CEO might keep or might shut down, or why the current CEO hasn't shut down any programs, or why somebody on the other side of the building is doing that thing that fails, time and time again, then you're not inspiring, equipping, or mobilizing people who want to change the world.

    Some people can do this, and as you can see from the reviews some people cannot. It's not judgment, it's just really hard to do, especially over time.

    Advice to Management

    1. When you're evaluating whether to do something, ask yourself: "Can we be the best at this?" And if the answer is no, then stop doing it. Employees don't want to do mediocre work, and you're just taking away oxygen from other do-gooders who could be the best at it.

    2. The Board of Points of Light is over 20 people. In any room of 20 people , someone is going to disagree or have a wrong-headed opinion or just be having a bad day. Stop letting the board water down the mission: go to board meetings with solid proposals and solid plans and win their support for your goals. Stop asking the board *if* you can do something, because out of 20 people, someone will say no. Instead ask the board how they can help you do something, because out of 20 people, 1 might help.

    3. The first-line of people to inspire, equip and mobile are your employees. If you can't radiate that mission through them, you can't radiate it out. I know you have a lot of work to do today, but make some decisions for your employees and how they work together. Fix your accounting system, Fix salesforce, fix the IT infrastructure of the place, make it so your offices can communicate better. I know you're waiting for the new CEO, but if the car's engine is broken, who cares who is driving it? People with the best mission in the world deserve the best tools to do it, and a great culture to do it in. Oh, and Get *rid* of phone based conference calls, and mandate that internally people communicate via video first, and give them the tools to do it.

    4. Say your mission. Full-throated. Over and over again. Don't apologize for it. Say it. SAY. IT. It's the most powerful thing you have, and it warrants repeating in every meeting, in every encounter, in the grocery store pickup line, when you go out on Chick-Fil-A runs, and it needs to be said more, unapologetically, in every all-staff meeting.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Points of Light: The transition to better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Points of Light Foundation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    My overall experience of POL was a good one that allowed me grow into the career that I've always wanted. With that, I forged most of my own opportunities rather than was given. If you are self driven and willing to put in some work and open to learning a lot about yourself, this place is for you. -- This is my honest review of POL and my time.

    To echo every other comment,Staff that has now gone and even those that remain from a couple of years now have worked to create bonds even through the silos.

    The mission is inspiring enough to attract mission driven employees.

    The culture used to be inviting from all levels of staff (2 years ago)

    The flexibility of this job is perfect but almost to a fault which allows for some leadership to become either lazy or inconsiderate of things that need to get done.

    Chance to really inspire change.

    Cons

    I was with POL for a little over 3 years and enjoyed a solid amount of success in my own right, but so much of those success was all on my own without any support. I became my own manager and began to manage up because my "supervisor" became uninspired but refused to leave due to the flexibility and comfort.

    As great as the flexibility is, it cripples a lot of progress from management and other team members.

    Growth, financially and career wise, is not offered or attainable. Unfortunately, this leads to extreme burnout from Coordinators who are underpaid and overworked. I was given great opportunities that I made for myself but most of my friends were not as fortunate.

    Have not been very successful in achieving the mission because no true strategic plan has been enacted since the former Chief Strategist left 1 year and half ago.

    Advice to Management

    My advice is to listen and invest in your coordinators and lower managers. Provide the opportunities for others to make a difference without burning people out.

    Mainly, I would say trust the staff you've hired to be the voice for the organization and the voice that can tell you when things are not good.

    Lastly, I think diversity in management would go a long way in both race and sex. Allow others to see themselves in a higher position so that you can attract new people of different backgrounds.

    Keep getting better at being transparent and honest with your people.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Trying to be something it once was..."

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

    I worked at Points of Light Foundation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The dedication of the staff to the mission of this organization is incredible. There were some of the most talented and hardworking employees working day to day to promote service and volunteerism in the community. If someone is a go-getter and can work without direction (while keeping one's head down), there is a lot of opportunity for self-growth and development.

    The pay and work-life balance is good for a nonprofit.

    Cons

    Points of Light is representing itself as something more than what it is--take a look at its About Us section on its webpage. The staff photo is 3 years old -- the majority of those staff have either left or been let go, with no replacements. On a single day in November 2016 more than 20% of the workforce was given notice their jobs were being "realigned" and they had 2 weeks left to transition their work to others. There was talk that the CEO had given her notice to leave in January yet she remains to this day.

    Each year brings a new strategic approach with no guidance on how to implement or where the direction of the organization is really going. The plan is full of buzzwords that sound great but have no definition.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees and share with them what is going on.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Don't do it."

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

    I have been working at Points of Light Foundation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits, remote days, decent salary for nonprofit sector.

    Cons

    No clear direction, extremely top heavy, lack transparency, funding drives the direction of the organization at the moment, revolving door of talent (SO many people left and continue to leave).


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Working on it"

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

    I have been working at Points of Light Foundation full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits, time off, ability to do a great amount of good for the world. Can sometimes work from home. There are people both in management and not who are working to improve morale and make changes post layoffs. Warm and welcoming coworkers.

    Cons

    There are definitely some ongoing issues with transparency. Too many executives for such a small group. There's a lot of uncertainty.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to open up about budget issues, direction, and make sure that those who ended up with four jobs after layoffs have a clear direction and clear priorities. Support the folks who are trying to improve things. Check in with your people. In a nonprofit people don't want to complain, they just want to focus on the mission. So allow them the space to suggest improvements and changes. There are a lot of wonderfully smart people here, so empower them to do the good they want to do.


  6. Helpful (6)

    "A NIGHTMARE!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Director in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Points of Light Foundation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The staff is fantastic! So many bright and hard-working people.
    Unfortunately, everybody is looking for jobs at the moment. It's a pity that the management team is too busy on their own bubble to pay attention to the rest of the organization.

    Cons

    - There is absolutely no transparency with employees or external stakeholders
    - The CEO announced that she will leave but there is no timeframe and she is still negatively influencing the organization
    - The management team is building a culture of fear. There are 12 C-level employees in an organization with less than 100 employees.

    Advice to Management

    The organization needs a turnaround support. The board needs to step up and find a new CEO, the situation is out of control and the board seems not to care at all.


  7. Helpful (7)

    "Toxic"

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

    I worked at Points of Light Foundation full-time

    Pros

    Good salaries for nonprofit world. OK benefits. Mostly really good people. Good intentions (perhaps too many).

    Cons

    Sadly, it feels like POL is in death spiral. The place already felt like a dysfunctional morgue BEFORE massive layoffs. The turnover rate there is astronomical for many reasons: No collaboration, no communication, no direction, staff have little-to-no voice, senior management is literally never seen or heard from by anyone outside their immediate clique. Trying to do too many things with too few leaders and a lack of real strategy makes it feel like it's much less than the sum of its parts.

    Advice to Management

    For the sake of the mission, hopefully a new CEO can turn things around, focus the work a little, build better cohesion and more effectively utilize people's strengths and knowledge base (or bother to learn them in the first place.)

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Run and Run Fast"

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

    I have been working at Points of Light Foundation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The staff, the staff, the staff- friendships are made here forever, contacts are great. Mission is meaningful, some of the best people you would wish to work with are in this organization- but they are leaving quickly!

    Cons

    Horrible work life balance- CEO is still there and no one seems to care except for staff about what is happening to the organization. Is the Board asleep?

    Advice to Management

    You know what to do- you are just not doing it!!!


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Marketing and Communications Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Marketing and Communications Intern in West Hartford, CT
    Former Employee - Marketing and Communications Intern in West Hartford, CT

    I worked at Points of Light Foundation (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great team that's passionate about the impact that volunteering can have on communities around the country.

    Cons

    Limited hands on volunteer work as an intern.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "CEO is promoting all her friends before she leaves"

    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

    I worked at Points of Light Foundation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The "worker bees" are great, passionate people who try to do the right thing but continuous roadblocks across the organization makes it impossible to get work done.

    Cons

    Retaliation is the norm at Points of Light. Speak up and consider yourself out or put in the corner. The "inner circle" could care less about staff, doesn't even bother with the simplest "hello".

    Advice to Management

    The board needs to step in and fix this hot mess.


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