Save the Children Reviews | Glassdoor

Save the Children Reviews

Updated April 27, 2017
15 reviews

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Save the Children President & CEO Carolyn Miles
Carolyn Miles
1 Rating

15 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Employee friendly work environment and good team members (in 14 reviews)

  • work life balance is well maintained (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Can be a lot of pressure from senior management to meet targets (in 7 reviews)

  • takes advantage of those lowest on the totem pole (temps /new hires), lots of upper management (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great mission, poor leadership"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Fairfield, CT
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Fairfield, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Save the Children full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Mission of helping kids, truly smart and devoted people, a wonderfully engaged board of trustees and the ability to make real change in the world.

    Cons

    Leadership is stale. The ceo lacks vision and has presided over 5 years of no growth. C-level executives lack managerial courage and cannot make difficult decisions around prioritization. Hopefully a new board chair will start a leadership change.

    Advice to Management

    Time for a change!


  2. "Summer Intern"

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

    Pros

    This internship varies highly from intern to intern. I would recommend it for undergrad students, but maybe not for those in graduate school. Some interns worked a lot and had a great experience, but I was on the opposite end of that spectrum.

    Cons

    I barely got any work and was completely underutilized.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure all supervisors have real work to give their interns. Interns want to feel like they are doing something important, not grunt work that was leftover that no one else wants to do.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "All talk."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Marketing Director in Fairfield, CT
    Current Employee - Assistant Marketing Director in Fairfield, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Save the Children (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice offices. Mission is amazing. Family feel in the office. Structured company meetings. CEO / CFO are great. Good benefits.

    Cons

    No accountability. Constant management and structure changes. Allows for long tenured employees to do anything they want and treat newcomers (and their ideas) terribly.

    Advice to Management

    Make people accountable for their actions.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Chasing donor dollars"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Remote, OR
    Former Employee - Director in Remote, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Save the Children full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You will learn to be independent and a problem solver working for Save the Children. This is because the support systems are so poor - at least for remote employees. Good people who want to make a difference.

    Cons

    Constant reorgs to align with donor dollars. No consistency or dedication to its mission. Poor morale in US programs.

    Advice to Management

    Make and stick to your plan. Don't sell out your values for grant funds.


  6. Helpful (11)

    "Great Mission - Bad Career Move"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westport, CT
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westport, CT
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Save the Children full-time

    Pros

    A great mission and flexible work schedule. A lot of "Career training" available. If you need a flexible work schedule this is the place - for a while.

    Competitive salary for a non-profit.

    The underlying desire is there among most employees to really make a difference in the lives of children and tends to attract some very smart and interesting people.

    Cons

    Terrible Senior Management, No Career Movement, Participation in "Career Training Programs" ultimately leads to no career movement.

    Many of the Senior management tend to create an unnecessarily competitive environment which lead to a tense working situation. The struggle to be recognized among mid managers lead to an almost impossible environment for teamwork and ultimately very unprofessional behavior.

    To anyone who both wants to make a difference and is also career oriented, Save the Children is a mixed bag. Yes its a great mission. Unfortunately the organization is a career killer and most of the talent realize this after a few years and jump ship to other organizations. Senior management accountability is almost non existent.

    Advice to Management

    A lot of very talented employees, on ALL levels, leave due to lack of career movement and a feeling of being taken advantage of. Many resort to staying only for flexible work arrangements.

    As a non-profit you need to deliver on promises to dedicated employees and create REAL opportunities to grow and be challenged or you will continue to have good people jump ship at the first opportunity.

    Show appreciation for talent who are willing to dedicate there lives and careers to the mission and the mission will be a huge success. The cost of losing good employees is much more than the cost of keeping them.

    Suggestion - A real 360 degree evaluation program of senior management in which all employees under them are required to participate in. Senior management should be held publicly accountable to these 360s.


  7. Helpful (8)

    "The select few of upper management are very impressed with themselves"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Associate in Westport, CT
    Current Employee - Program Associate in Westport, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Save the Children full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    A good mission, important work to be done

    Cons

    Very political and upper management protects their power base at all costs. Maintaining and enlarging their turf takes precedence over the mission or hiring/keeping talented people.

    Advice to Management

    Look to hire effective people rather ones that help the managers protect their turf.


  8. Helpful (10)

    "Mismanagement is endemic, employee development is not a priority, and creative, hardworking individuals are not valued."

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

    I have been working at Save the Children full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pay is good for a nonprofit, the reputation (deserved or not) looks good on your resume, and the people who are not in management positions tend to be very bright, friendly, passionate and hardworking.

    Cons

    Leadership is completely lacking, and individuals at a Director or VP level shun decision making. This would be ok if the rest of the organization was allowed to work to its true productivity, but alas, Save the Children managers tend to focus much more on keeping their positions and stifling creative ideas (a culture of "business as usual") than on employee development. It's too bad, because the number of excellent people coming into the organization is phenomenal, and they tend to leave within a year or less. Unless you plan to be field based, this is not a place where you will grow professionally.

    Save the Children needs to figure out a way to work within its mission. It is becoming impossible to see the difference between Save the Children, Mercy Corps and CARE. The concentration on rampant fundraising (especially with US Government money) instead of on what people really want and need (supposedly the backbone of development and humanitarian work) is beyond disheartening. Save the Children will chase any money that is tossed before it.

    Lastly, the finance department is a mess and it makes the working lives of anyone who has to depend at some point on finance for clear policies or guidance very difficult.

    Advice to Management

    Not all managers should be managers. Folks who have risen in the ranks, mainly because of years with Save the Children, shouldn't necessarily be supervising people. Management takes skills and a level of caring about people that is lacking from your current managers. Make them advisers or use the "up or out" approach, but the process currently implemented is poisoning the organization.


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Ten reasons why NGOs need to be Reformed"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Save the Children has wonder advocacy programs in the United States and Aboard. The mid-level staff are wondeful professionals to learn from and obtain a good perspective of Save the Children's mission.

    Cons

    Similar to most NGO's that have been around 75 years + they lack Senior Managment that have the appropirate leadership skills. Upper management and Human Resources prefereance is to avoid conflict, so it is hands off management style that feeds the rudenss among most employees towards each other. I find that the support groups do not really know how to support, they enable the employess primarly upper management that through temper tantrums. Porr management or lack there of is leading to the increasing turn over of the organization.

    Advice to Management

    Start managing and stop hiding in your offices. Stop the polictical bickering and learn how to work together. Most importantily be accountable, less reactive and more proactive. The Humanitarin busienss is not a popularity Arena. Leave your egos at the door and make Save the Children a move effective NGO.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "treat employees poorly"

    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
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Save the Children full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    good mission, some good programs and people

    Cons

    corporate bureaucracy, excessive risk aversion limit effectiveness; leadership and senior management disregard employee well being though they give lip service to it


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Great intentions bad management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I'm proud to work at Save the Children and for an ogranization that helps to improve the quality of peoples life. Vacation is generous, if you can use it.

    Cons

    If you aren't one of the "in crowd" you won't get anywhere. If you want to settle, it's the place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Try to listen to what the employees say. If you want to move forward, you need the support of your employees and can actually learn from them.


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