U.S. PIRG Reviews

Updated Dec 18, 2020

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2.5
31%
Recommend to a Friend
34%
Approve of CEO
U.S. PIRG Executive Director Andre Delattre (no image)
Andre Delattre
19 Ratings
Pros
  • "Good, hands-on experience canvassing and fundraising(in 7 reviews)

  • "Great people who all want to change the world and sometimes bond over working conditions(in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "As an entry level staff member, you become the expert on your campaign issue - but you don't have any power to make decisions about it(in 10 reviews)

  • "They expect you to work long hours at low pay without any complaint(in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
  1. "good first internship"

    5.0
    Former Employee - Intern 

    I worked at U.S. PIRG part-time

    Pros

    great exposure and work experience

    Cons

    try to get more paid staff

  2. "Campaign associates work for a good cause but not a livable wage"

    3.0
    Former Employee - Grassroots Organizer in Washington, DC

    I worked at U.S. PIRG full-time

    Pros

    Great causes, interesting fun coworkers, welcoming intro into world of organizing

    Cons

    Very low salary for campaign associates, misleading advertising of salary as 28-35k, when it's actually $9.75/hr in the contract. Expected to work 50 hr/wk, overtime is paid time and a half.


  3. "So, so many problems - heed the advice in these reviews"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Campaign Associate 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at U.S. PIRG full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    *I worked during virtual/remote times, so things might be different in-person, but I had many of the same experiences as others who wrote reviews before before virtual-only times.* -You'll be working for a huge organization with many resources - if you work for PIRG, you work for Environment America, The Public Interest Network, and a bunch of other organizations that are connected in a convoluted way - but it means there is a lot of broad expertise involved. If you do end up wanting to stay, there are a lot of different career opportunities within the network. -Easy to get a job here with no experience as long as you have a good GPA and passion -For me, this was a good way to get experience and a foot in the door to work in community organizing -People are passionate and there are a lot of young people to meet who often share your values -It helped give me an idea of the organization and people I don't want to work with - There are training opportunities in the form of classroom training (which are somewhat useful) and also you receive training throughout the job as you are exposed to many new things -You learn how to recruit and interview other people after working there for only a few weeks

    Cons

    TIP: I didn't believe these reviews when I read them the first time because I thought I was "tougher" than those people before me who wrote negative reviews and could get past the "cons". I wasn't and I couldn't. Unfortunately, these reviews are right - this organization is a WILD RIDE and you won't get any respect once you are hired. Instead, they will treat you as disposable and expect you to leave after a year (which you probably will). Just think: do I really want to work for an organization where most people leave after only a year or less?? 1. They say it's 28K+, but it's not, it's MINIMUM WAGE ($9.75 per hour) unless you live in a state where the minimum wage is higher. For people coming in without a parental safety net, they're kinda screwed. This is entirely unethical and deceitful - it also helps funnel a narrow type of individual to stay at the organization (people who already have money). Do the math: it's not right. They will also ask you to pay for large org purchases and the reimbursement process takes months if not longer. I was out hundreds of dollars for months. It makes sense that the wages are small, but they should tell people the truth, otherwise they'll feel blindsided. 2. Lack of Diversity and Narrow Perspective: So white. I asked about diversity in recruitment, and they asked me "what the benefit of having a more diverse staff would be?" and explained how that "wouldn't help our organization." In general, this organization speaks a lot about how they shouldn't message campaigns around inequality or race or specific interest groups. The argument for this is that they're fighting for policy that "helps everyone" and, even if some groups are disproportionately affected by issues, if we messaged around just those groups, we wouldn't be fighting for "everyone." Sound familiar? Yup, that's the "All Lives Matter" logic. Disorganized and too big- I usually only had a vague idea of what's going on. Everything is constantly shifting, and the organization is so big that you have no idea what it does. There are so many campaigns happening that no one with decision power in the organization is an expert on any of the issues they work on. It doesn't make sense. As an entry level staff member, you become the expert on your campaign issue - but you don't have any power to make decisions about it. Instead you have to go through a long, arduous process for approval of the tiniest change to your campaign or taking the smallest action - and you have to write long proposals explaining the complexities of your issue to people who don't understand the issue but are in charge of approving your change. Inefficiency: My team was so inefficient. We got almost nothing done because everything associates did had to go through approval processes through people that were too busy to look at it. As a result, a lot of the work I did (and was paid to do) went nowhere except the bottom of my google drive - what a waste of money! I would have been far more satisfied with this job, despite the other problems, if I had felt like any of the work I was doing was actually doing something good. But again, my work sat in my own drive most of the time, which left me feeling disrespected, undervalued, and unmotivated to produce anything else. Lack of training for staff directors: Many mid-level employees directing new staff and interns have no experience managing or leading others. As a result, many entry-level staff have poor experiences and disorganized teams.

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  4. "Good Experience, Stressful Job"

    3.0
    Former Employee - Field Manager in Washington, DC

    I worked at U.S. PIRG full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Good, hands-on experience canvassing and fundraising

    Cons

    Long, hard days in any weather

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  5. "Don't stay long"

    1.0
    Former Employee - Campus Organizer and Fellowship Program 
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at U.S. PIRG full-time

    Pros

    Great training, crash course in organizing

    Cons

    literal crash course. don't stay there long, it'll hurt you in the long run

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  6. "Fellow"

    3.0
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I have been working at U.S. PIRG full-time

    Pros

    Young, positive work environment, engaging

    Cons

    Very low salaries offered, long interview process

  7. "Do your research before accepting"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Fellow in Washington, DC
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at U.S. PIRG full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great experience. You're given important, hands-on work right away. Opportunity to make contacts in the industry. Because of high turnover you may be given a lot of responsibility, and there are usually great promotions available for staff who complete the two year fellowship. The summer canvass is a useful experience, but you are pushed into the deep end without enough preparation. Great people who all want to change the world and sometimes bond over working conditions.

    Cons

    A lot. They don't negotiate salaries and if you suggest that you need better benefits or work conditions, they'll tell you that you're not a good fit for the organization. Demand loyalty. They do not claim to be progressive, even though almost all allies are, and do not regard equity, diversity, social issues, or your labor rights as important considerations internally or for campaign strategy. Some progressive organizations raise an eyebrow at former PIRG employees and what it might say about your ideology. Look up PIRG's response to the DOL overtime rule in 2016, stifling labor activity at related organizations like the Fund for the Public Interest, and the blogs about working there.

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  8. "Sucked"

    1.0
    Former Employee - Organizer 

    I worked at U.S. PIRG full-time

    Pros

    Honestly, it was none. Management was highly disorganized.

    Cons

    Everything. Pay was not good, not worth the job.

  9. Helpful (1)

    "Call this what it is: a gym membership that pays you back if you're lucky"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Canvasser 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at U.S. PIRG full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Your calves and glutes will get a good workout. The causes you promote are great, and you get to hang around like-minded people. When you inevitably quit because of the ridiculous quota standards, you can bond with them over how bad the job was.

    Cons

    Hoo boy. You'll be walking door-to-door in record heat (or severe storms) and knocking on stranger's doors & interrupting their dinner, for 8 hours a day --- going well into 9pm. After getting doors slammed in your face or being yelled at by more conservative-minded people, occasionally someone will pity you enough to give you donation money. Immediately after being hired, and with very little preparation besides reciting a script for two hours, you're expected to hit a quota of around $150 in a day your first week of working there, and if you don't hit it, you're gone. (Even if you do hit it, you are expected to keep that up your entire period of employment.) Field managers do not care about outside factors that may affect your performance; if you're in a low-income neighborhood and raised jack squat, you didn't put on the puppy-dog eyes enough, and if it's storming hard, you wait it out on somebody's porch and pray that they don't draw a gun or a dog on you (the latter happened to me once, which was the kiss of death for my time here). Field managers will even go so far as to send you out to sparsely populated territories (i was sent to a small town where each house was literally five minutes apart, AND there was a town hall meeting for an hour while I was there) while they literally drive house to house in the better territories with all the good leads they saved for themselves. This deceptive behavior is not uncommon in most public interest groups. Clean Water Action, Environment America, FPI, and similar reviews will tell you the same stuff; and you often wonder how much of the money raised actually goes to whatever cause you're fighting for. Now, you are given a base pay if you don't make quota; unfortunately, it's still chump change, and you're still thrown out on your rear if you don't raise more quickly. It's not hard to see why this job is a revolving door or why the entire staff is college age or younger --- they're more easily exploitable (and can run around more), which is a shame because as I mentioned before the causes really are important and need funding. Everything about this resembles a pyramid scheme, right down to the exploitation of college-age people, the amount of time spent on your pitch and attitude versus learning whatever it is you're "marketing", the long hours, and the nature of the work itself. (There was even a $100 cash bonus if you referred someone else to the job.) There's only slightly less trickery and slightly more transparency about it. If you want experience in a grassroots campaign, this isn't it; you are too busy worrying about your own skin to really give thought to the benefits of the campaign itself.

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  10. "good job"

    5.0
    Former Employee - Fellow 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at U.S. PIRG full-time

    Pros

    really interesting work, people who are passionate about their job

    Cons

    really poor pay and awful hours

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