Sierra Club Reviews | Glassdoor

Sierra Club Reviews

Updated May 28, 2017
90 reviews

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3.6
StarStarStarStarStar
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Approve of CEO
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune
Michael Brune
39 Ratings

90 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • My impression was of a workplace that respected and advocated for work/life balance (in 9 reviews)

  • Its fulfilling to work with passionate people, towards worthwhile goals, for an organization with a proven track record of getting things done (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • An organization (non-profit no less) of some 600 staff with two labor unions makes no sense anywhere else in the working world (in 11 reviews)

  • Many of the organization's sharpest employees begin to look elsewhere in their mid-career because there are limited opportunities for upward mobility (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Casual Workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The DC office has a bunch of awesome protest signs everyone, everyone very progressive and cares about the causes. My impression was of a workplace that respected and advocated for work/life balance.

    Cons

    Office has a very open floor plan, so when making phone calls or coworkers having conversations, things could get loud/distracting. Work was sometimes stressful due to caring about the issues/being on a tight schedule to follow Congress.


  2. "Change of Culture"

    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 Sierra Club full-time

    Pros

    Great cause and amazing successes
    Wonderful people to work with -- smart, talented, dedicated
    Opportunity to expand your job

    Cons

    Newer CEO has changed the culture from:
    --flat organization wth everyone feeling on equal ground to more hierarchical
    --no more information sharing re: organization with entire staff to just select few
    --from equality oriented to male-driven
    --from an inclusive, broad-minded organization to a more elite, "pure-focused" organization
    --from focusing on employees' strengths to focusing on trying to fix employees' weaknesses and evaluating them on those.

    Advice to Management

    See Cons

  3. "??"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    People are very passionate about what they stand for

    Cons

    pay is not at high end, but this is an non profit organization.


  4. "Good place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern - Hourly in Oakland, CA
    Former Employee - Intern - Hourly in Oakland, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sierra Club part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    cool co-workers, working for a good cause

    Cons

    High turnover, people get fired when funding runs out, low pay


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Chapter Employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Chapter Coordinator in Harrisburg, PA
    Former Employee - Chapter Coordinator in Harrisburg, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sierra Club full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Summary: I was a chapter employee but was able to work with national and regional employees and still felt very aware and enlightened in all three aspects of the organization.

    National Sierra Club: Pretty good salaries. Generous benefits, very transparent "ladder" to work up. Offers training and opportunities for advancement. The management and board are rooting for all employees to succeed and make themselves available for them to ask questions and seek improvement.

    Chapter Sierra Club (Pennsylvania): Very dedicated board and efficient, mentoring type management.

    Cons

    National: Can't think of any.

    Chapter: Always limited financial resources. It's hard to fund raise at the chapter level. I don't think this is the fault of the chapter, but rather in an environmental awareness "developing" state, donation dollars and resources were stretched thin. That said, they were always very appreciative of all the work I put in and tried to compensate accordingly through benefits.

    Advice to Management

    In attempting to rally with other progressive organizations, I sometimes felt the message of environmental preservation was lost. This was in partnering with unions, occupy wall street, gas truth, etc. I think we sometimes were often working well with passionate people but sometimes lost our middle-ground political appeal and this hurt our effectiveness in the PA legislature as well as with more conservative donors. I think we were seen more and more often as extreme than we were.


  6. "Environmental Law Program Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    lots of substantive work given to legal interns

    Cons

    lots of attorneys, sometimes too busy to give feedback


  7. "Great company, good cause"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Berkeley, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sierra Club full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great friendly people, good cause, receptive to change, feel good about what org is doing

    Cons

    lower non profit pay, sometimes a lot of red tape because of large size

  8. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Sierra Club full-time

    Pros

    People are mission driven, work-life balance is excellent, and the organization is a real player on environmental issues.

    Cons

    It's a fairly large NGO which means it has its own bureaucratic tendencies.


  9. "Venerable Org needs 21st Century Update"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Organizing Representative
    Current Employee - Organizing Representative
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sierra Club full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Its fulfilling to work with passionate people, towards worthwhile goals, for an organization with a proven track record of getting things done. Generally you have a lot of autonomy and must be self-motivating, which provides good flexibility in your day-to-day work. The staff is unionized and has good health insurance benefits, bereavement & maternity/paternity leave, and flexible time off.

    Cons

    The Sierra Club is an old organization, with many burdens of an aging and complicated bureaucratic structure. Field office and local Chapter relationships are unnecessarily separate and strained. Because of the expectation of self-governance, there is very little effective oversight for staff and volunteer leaders. Lazy and ineffective employees can remain in their positions for years, to the detriment of the the organization and staff moral. There are duplicate capacity structures, and silos of information that create division and confusion.

    Advice to Management

    Restructure the Sierra Club chain of command. Combine all Field and Chapter staff and offices. Simplify bureaucratic processes and gut the fat. Hold Chapter staff and volunteer leadership accountable to the same standards as national staff, with official national presence and oversight on Chapter executive committees.


  10. "Law Program is great!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    Pros

    Very supportive for interns and give projects with good amount of responsibility. Location in SF was great, but not sure how the new Oakland office is

    Cons

    had only one email that we shared between all the legal interns. this made it more difficult to interact with staff because each intern had to sort through the others' mail.

    Advice to Management

    set up specific emails for each intern, or at least assign a unique email to each intern. keep doing the great work you're doing!


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