Rockefeller Foundation Reviews | Glassdoor

Rockefeller Foundation Reviews

Updated April 11, 2017
20 reviews

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3.6
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Dr. Judith Rodin
9 Ratings

20 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    "Current Employee"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Project Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - IT Project Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Rockefeller Foundation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great atmosphere, incredible people, and very mission oriented. The foundation provides great benefits and opportunities to network with some of the leading experts in several fields

    Cons

    limited opportunity for career growth, few openings throughout the year and many times the opportunity to work across interdisciplinary teams are limited.

    Advice to Management

    Continue soliciting feedback from employees and embrace changes that many nimble and smaller start-ups embrace such as telecommuting.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Could be great"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The most amazing people I have ever worked with. Passionate, kind, thoughtful and truly do care about working to help the worlds poor and vulnerable.

    Cons

    There is far to much focus on getting the foundation and it's president in the spotlight. Extremely heavy focus on communications at the expense of doing work that could be truly beneficial. A flat organization without a lot of room to grow/advance. Promotions are given randomly and don't seem to follow any tenure or other guidelines. You have to be given a chance to own a piece of work that top management is interested in and if you do that and shine at it, your chances of growth are much higher.

    Advice to Management

    Start focusing on work that isn't flashy or dynamic or at a tipping point. Work on things for longer than 5-7 years. Take some time away from the spotlight.


  3. "Good place for the right person"

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

    I have been working at Rockefeller Foundation full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Pleasant work environment, great benefits, smart people, interesting work

    Cons

    Constantly changing strategy and programs. If you are hyper flexible and willing to work on anything that comes your way, it may not feel so bad.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    "think twice"

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

    I worked at Rockefeller Foundation full-time

    Pros

    Working at a foundation gives you a terrific vantage point and the ability to connect with a range of talented problem-solvers.
    Opportunity to work on important societal issues.
    Salaries are competitive.
    Opportunity to work and travel internationally.
    smart colleagues

    Cons

    RF very centralized, organized around the president. Decisions are driven by her preferences and whims rather than by data or evidence.
    Staff generally demoralized by lack of autonomy and support. Not a creative place.

    Advice to Management

    The key to good programming, to having an impact, is listening to people and working closely with them, not developing programs based on the foundation's big idea and desire for credit. Much of the program's been tried before in other contexts. Learn from that. And learn how to manage people so you bring out the best in them, not reduce them to yes men and women.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Mission-driven organization with amazing history and fabulous colleagues"

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

    I have been working at Rockefeller Foundation full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Super smart, passionate, committed people. An enduring mission with an entrepreneurial approach to philanthropy. Great springboard for next step in careers, as many of my past colleagues have moved on to amazing and far more senior roles at other organizations. Exceptional benefits, and strong compensation program.

    Cons

    Meeting and e-mail heavy work culture, due in part to global nature of our work and also just long-standing culture. Opportunities for career advancement internally can be limited.

    Advice to Management

    It can be hard for people outside the Foundation to understand our strategy, so more work clarifying would be helpful.


  7. Helpful (7)

    "Inspiring organization tackling pressing global issues"

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

    Pros

    - Quickly gain exposure to a range of different issue areas, geographies, and intervention models - Opportunity to partner with some of the foremost thinkers and practitioners in the sector - Deep organizational commitment to impact, innovation, and embracing new ways of working - Impressive, skilled, and supportive colleagues who are deeply passionate about the work - Opportunities to travel to regional offices and work with grantees in the field - Good comp and benefits for the social sector

    Cons

    - Work across the Foundation's offices and with partners around the world so should be comfortable with nontraditional hours - Flat organization, promotion cycle slower than in private sector; title may not always be reflective of depth / breadth of responsibilities


  8. Helpful (6)

    "A very bad time for a once great organization"

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

    I have been working at Rockefeller Foundation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -Good pay and benefits
    -Still a smallish core of very qualified staff
    -Some very good and highly skilled grantees
    -A legacy of very impressive past work

    Cons

    -Very top down, hierarchical management structure with very limited scope for decision making or initiative outside of a very small circle of senior leaders. Even senior managers have very little scope to take initiative.
    -Internal debate is actively discouraged.
    -Any informal contact between the staff and board members appears to be forbidden.
    -Not a meritocracy. While some well qualified staff get promoted or recognized, a significant number of poorly qualified staff are also promoted.
    -Very strong focus on communications, at the expense of an effort to undertake thoughtful programming.
    -Increasing reliance on generalist management consultants, both as staff and grantees.
    -Very heavy focus on internal process, often as a substitute for deeper knowledge of specific topics.
    -Consistently high turnover.

    Advice to Management

    -Empower your staff
    -Enable constructive debate
    -Think about your legacy


  9. Helpful (4)

    "My experience was good but the organization has changed."

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Rockefeller Foundation full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    It was a great opportunity to work with intelligent hard working individuals on a wide range of problems.

    Cons

    long hours and lots of soliciting from grant seekers.

    Advice to Management

    RF used to be a great place to work but feedback on the RF today is largely negative.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "An excellent place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Rockefeller Foundation full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The work the Foundation does is excellent and really motivating. The benefits offered are great. The work environment is beautiful. There is a real sense they value their employees.

    Cons

    There is not a great deal of mobility but it is being addressed by the organization.


  11. Helpful (6)

    "Great institution frought with poor leadership and management"

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

    I have been working at Rockefeller Foundation full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    You get to engage with intellegent, very dedicated colleagues working to solve some of the world's most pressing problems. It's an intellectually stimulating environment. Great benefits package.

    Cons

    Decisionmaking is completely centralized, and often opaque and sometimes shows questionable judgement. Even very senior staff have little control over basic resources. Staff morale is quite low due to a lack of career progression opportunities and an operating model that results in frequent thematic shifts.

    Advice to Management

    Empower staff more to make decisions. Consider the value of retaining staff and create meaningful career profession opportunities.


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