FilterLos Angeles, CA Area
I worked at Russ Reid full-time (More than 3 years)
The few decent people left at the agency.
There is no future in the fundraising world for a full-service agency, especially one located in LA where overhead is so high.
The coming years will be marked by a constant decline in revenue and reduction of staff until it eventually dies. Success will be measured by the amount of ground lost rather than the ground gained. At this point it's a matter of limiting the hemorrhaging.
Working there is increasingly stressful as teams get smaller and smaller. And job security is non-existent
The future is bleak for RR and its peers. Giving behaviors are changing. Clients results are down in traditional channels, which results in more and more turnover year-over-year.
Avoid at all costs, as this will be a joyless place to work until it inevitably goes under. Plus it's led by incredibly deceitful people, who embody untrustworthiness.
I worked at Russ Reid full-time (More than a year)
Worked with some great people. Everyone except management and above were nice to work with.
Depending on your supervisor and department, you could be stuck working long hours and there is no overtime pay here if you have to work on the weekends or holidays. Half day Fridays in the summertime are not really a perk either. The agency makes you work an extra hour Monday through Thursday so you can leave by 1:30pm on Friday. "Summer hours" are the same hours as any other work week. You don't work less in the summertime, the hours are just shifted around and added to the other 4 work days. Very misleading.
Not a lot of growth opportunity at this agency unless you're part of the club or you have a great supervisor and they take it upon themselves to mentor their employees. Russ Reid doesn't believe in any form of mentorship so if you're young and talented, but your supervisor doesn't want to mentor you or help you grow, then you're out of luck. Your best plan is to stay for 1-2 years max, learn what you can and leave for a better job. Don't get comfortable as many longtime employees do. This place is a dead end and if you stay 5+ years, you're only going to acquire obsolete "skills" that will not translate well outside of Russ Reid. Aside from no growth, there is a huge disconnect between the employees that do most of the work and those that supervise. A lot of supervisors and management just sit in meetings all day and rake in a six figure salary, while coordinators run around getting everything done and make pennies. Behind the scenes, Russ Reid treats their employees terribly. They see every employee as disposable, but they'll keep repeating the same bs about how much they value everyone. Complaints about management are ignored or employees receive responses along the lines of "oh that's just how he/she is." The agency should take the complaint of any misconduct seriously instead of brushing it off just because that manager has been with the agency for decades.
Advice to Management
Get a clue and stop being so lazy and out of touch. CEO: I'm not sure what you're really doing, but good leadership starts from the top. Get more involved and set an example for all the other lazy managers.
I worked at Russ Reid as a contractor (More than a year)
Casual work environment.
Most of the non-VPs are very nice and great to work with.
Summer Fridays are nice but would be better if you could just take the entire day.
I was on a contract so I was done with the place at the end of it.
Open-Office floor plan blows. Work area is LOUD and personal work space is smaller than university library cubbies. WTF?
Management is WAY out of touch and many of them are RUDE.
Pay is terrible and the benefits do not make up for it.
There is no way to move up here.
Advice to Management
#1 there should be WAY less of you ... seriously wtf do all of you do?
#2 Pay for parking for people coming to interview. I should have taken it as a HUGE red flag that you do not.
#3 You work for non profits ... act like it.
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I have been working at Russ Reid full-time (More than 3 years)
Working with nonprofits who want to change the world. There are also pockets of great people you'll meet and make lasting friendships with.
For an agency that services nonprofits, Russ Reid is dysfunctional, heartless and unethical. Steer clear of this shady, horribly managed agency that specializes in a dying medium. Russ Reid is old school and way behind on latest trends. This agency just can't seem to catch up. Ever. Russ Reid innovates at a snail's pace because the same geriatric higher ups are still calling all the same geriatric shots. Don't let their whole spiel of "50+ years experience in nonprofits" fool you. They may have 50+ years, but they have nothing to show for all those years. It's such a circus here and every SVP, VP and SP wants to be the ring leader, but none of them know what they're doing or have the slightest idea how to lead.
The higher ups are a clique of very insecure and complacent slackers who just don't care and are waiting it out for retirement. Major inappropriate behavior from supervisors are ignored when brought to the attention of HR or management. As a result, we've seen coworkers left to struggle and suffer under bad conditions created by their bosses. Employees are also too afraid to speak up because those who have were quickly laid off. Those that keep quiet can keep their jobs...for now, but they are taken advantage of in the worst way then kicked to the curb when their time is up.
We are also seeing upper management leave for several offsite or closed door meetings to discuss the status of the agency. After these meetings, management come back and lie to their employees about there not being any massive layoffs anytime soon. However, when these massive layoffs do happen, they are handled horribly and unprofessionally by management and HR.
Since the right people are not in the right roles, there is a ton of insecurity, paranoia and backstabbing especially within the higher up clans. Russ Reid used to be about helping nonprofits, but the only thing that matters now is the bottom line. The agency doesn't care about their employees and this place is incredibly cheap. If they find out you have another talent, they'll exploit that and fudge it so you end up doing your normal tasks plus another job without compensating you. They follow this up by promising to invest time and money to grow their employees. Only the select "favorites" will ever get the growth they want.
Advice to Management
Really consider cleaning house now within your dozens and dozens of SVPs, VPs, Executives etc. (It seems like everyone and their mother's cousin is an SVP or a VP at Russ Reid.) Stop laying off employees that actually do the work just so you can keep your own cushy jobs. Trying to create efficiency also applies to upper management. You'll be amazed at how much better the agency will run when you hire the right people for upper management as well. If the higher ups are calling all the shots, but they're all idiots, then you're attempts at efficiency are pointless until you clean house.
Think about providing adequate training for ALL employees, not just the select "favorites". Don't just throw your employees into a position without support and then stand by like idiots as you watch them drown then get rid of them once you've burned them out.
Helping the homeless find food and shelter during the holidays.
Too many politics. Many people that work there are related or referred. Poor training. I had my Employee Orientation after 2 months.
Advice to Management
No checks and balances on job performance. More supervisor training and evaluation by subordinate is (when under fire) needed. Unprofessional treatment of co-workers provide a stressful and hostile environment.
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