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Fund For The Public Interest - Review in Staff category from Brooklyn, New York

I've been dealing with their fund raising people for several years. Usually they stand in teams of two or more at New York City locations soliciting donations. They can be pushy. The most recent encounter I had was kind of negative. When it came out in conversation that I'm unemployed at the moment, the young man proceeded to try to get money from me anyway. In a large city like New York, we encounter these people on an almost daily basis. Even someone who donates something ends up being irritated by someone asking for money the next day. Sometimes later the same day. We are not ATM machines.
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Review
#838361 Review #838361 is a subjective opinion of poster.

Fund For The Public Interest - Review in Staff category from Weehawken Township, New Jersey

My experience with the Fund has been with the fundraisers they have stationed in pairs or more throughout NYC. They can be very aggressive. In conversation with a young man I encountered just yesterday I revealed that I am currently unemployed but he proceeded to try to get money from me anyway. A big part of the problem we have with these folks in New York is that we're approached by them just about every day! Even if someone donates money, they're being asked again the next day. Sometimes even later the same day! We are not ATM machines!
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Review
#837685 Review #837685 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Reason of review
Poor customer service

Fund For The Public Interest in San Diego, California - Misleading and Manipulative

1.0
Details
I recently quit from this organization after my third day. I was hired for a position that didn't really exist. They recruited at my school and were extremely misleading about what I would be doing. Everything about these organizations is calculated, manipulative, and scripted. On my first day I was told to make calls to people who had responded to our ads, telling them we thought they were good candidates even though I was instructed not to actually review their application because there was not enough time. They tell you that you will be raising awareness and fundraising, only you never get told what they money is actually going toward, you don't get to participate in what is said or done. They basically treat you as a mouth piece for their own profit. The hypocrisy is almost laughable if not for the fact that I turned down other employment opportunities after having been mislead that this would be a great opportunity to do good and grow my skill-set. Avoid this organization at all costs.
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Review
#670764 Review #670764 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Cons
  • How they lied to me and wasted my time
Reason of review
Bad quality

Fund For The Public Interest in Portland, Oregon - Cutthroat, unethical company.

This company is cutthroat and brutal. They use you like toilet paper and the bare second you miss quota, they dump you like used toilet paper. Don't waste your time working for these 'people'. They expect you to pressure poor people to give money they don't have and if you don't do it, they fire you! I worked for the fund as a phone fundraiser for about a month. For the first 2 weeks, I was working on projects with high yes-factor. For the second 2 weeks, I was cold calling (which I was told that they don't do when I got hired) We called after 9PM on Sundays. We were pushed to pressure people into donating more and more money whether or not they actually were ABLE to give. During this time, I was low on quota for 2 weeks. Not by much, but that didn't matter. I was fired. Now I'm scrambling for a way to keep the roof over my single parent family's heads and support my kids.
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Review
#604792 Review #604792 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Reason of review
Poor customer service
Tags
  • Unethical Employer

Beware of working for Fund for the Public Interest

Fund for the Public Interest, Public Interest Research Group, Grassroots Campaign Initiative, they go by several names and often times advertise on websites like craigslist under the non-profit jobs section. By and large, they promise unemployed and young college students "jobs for good causes" but what they do not tell people is the 70-80 work weeks, high turnover amongst staff, 7 day work weeks, missed paychecks, bounced paychecks, misleading advertising, and engaging in union busting amongst their staff. These groups have been a major problem and pain in the butt where I live in Sacramento and I would like craigslist to take down their ads. They hire people to do "canvassing" and that is going door to door asking people for money. Sometimes Grassroots pays their workers, sometimes they don't. Major problems with workers trying to take their paychecks to the bank and the checks would bounce. The average work length of an average worker who lasts with The Fund ranges anywhere from one to three days. There hasn't been anything good said about these organizations. If anyone has had any experiences with them please share.
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29 comments
Anonymous
#1348053

I work for the fund @ environment new york. It's been exactly 2 weeks and at least 3 people get fired or quit each day.

The director at the office (Jasper) (he's the worst) seems to fire black men and uglier women first, the office is mostly pretty white people. If he doesn't like people he sends them to the worst locations until they miss quota.

We only get 400 a week in pay, we hardly get reimbursed for travel (sometimes we have to pay upwards of 30 dollars to go to Westchester multiple times a week), and on my first day, people who weren't conventionally attractive or didnt know someone here was sent home. If I'm not fired today, I'm quitting.

Anonymous
#1013458

I got hired out of college to be a "director." Over the sumer I moved to the location of the office, and got an apartment. Even though I knew the pay was terrible (I was salaried at minimum wage), I was excited to be working for a non-profit and felt that working for minimum wage was a way in which I was contributing to the causes.

For my first two weeks I was required to work 80 hours/week (9AM-midnight M-F, 9-noon on weekends).

Even though I was enthusiastic and willing to work overtime, I found the 80 hour work weeks unsustainable -- I literally did not have enough time to eat and sleep, let alone exercise or do anything else.

Feeling like a total failure, I met with my supervisor and apologetically told her that unfortunately I didn't feel I could work more than 70 hours/week. Her response: "That's not an option."

I should also mention that I was one of the top fundraisers for the two weeks that I worked there.

Anonymous
#953134

At my location the hours (for a canvasser) are just 40 per week but paychecks are being missed and we are being regularly sent out in sub zero weather. Turnover is insane because of the unreasonable quota.

Anonymous
#853025

This has changed, I have worked there since May, and have people here who have worked for over three years. They just put in a max hours per week at 24. I haven't had any problems with checks at all.

Anonymous
#828135

They are the worst place to work for I can't believe it's even legal in America! I got fired the first day after raising one hudred dollars and now after going on the internet i found out that this is a regular thing!

They suck! Anything I can do to be a part of protestring them imin!

Email at queen43.dn@gmail.com thanks! Deb!

Anonymous
#824428

I worked for them for a day. They gave me an impossible quota to make on my first day.I made them money but was under quota and they fired me my first day. They refused to pay me for those 8 hours I worked *** them.

Anonymous
#823791

This was basically what happened to me at the NYC office also. I know this is for CA, but I want everyone to be aware.

The Fund was/is hiring, and they sound like drones. The "wrap" has be memorized, word for word. No exceptions. That's it.

You either know it or you don't. Deviate a single bit and they let you go.

The directors are highly dismissive to say the least, and filing complaints to anyone higher up in the organization gets you no where. I'd say avoid them. If anything, find a cause and research other ways to work with it, because canvassing isn't the way to go.

The fact that a well-known org like HRC paired up with them is unfortunate.

I'm sure people will argue that my experience was my fault or something. Fine, I don't argue some of it was me.

But if you're going to treat EVERY SINGLE prospective hire like this, they're going to burn through potential candidates. Not just the ones in it for the cash, but the ones who really, truly want to make a difference and help "further the cause."

Anonymous
#797035

Well they posted at my school under JobsforGoodCauses.org, the contact was a Sandy @ 415-362-3640 and the number just rings?

Anonymous
#748856

Thank you all for these postings. I got the job to work as an director, really they told me I could work almost anywhere, but because of the pay and the long hours I decided to do some research and I am glad I did.

I decided not to take the job because of my own experience and unreasonable labor. I already do canvassing and it is wrong of them not to give their employees overtime and fire them so quickly. If this is truly a social and environmental progressive grassroots organization they need to realize what the term labor laws mean.

It is unethical and unreasonable to overwork recent college students. If they truly believe in what they are preaching then they shouldn't try and burn out the upcoming generations of truly passionate individuals who want to make a difference!

Anonymous
#686029

I got a job as a director but turned it down because the commute would have been literally impossible. They wanted me to work in Philadelphia from 11:00 am to 10:30 pm.

If I didn't make the canvassing quota within three days I would be fired, so there was no way I was putting a deposit on an apartment. I had relatives I could stay with, but the last train leaves Philadelphia at 10:45, and I had no way of knowing that I would be able to get from wherever I was canvassing to the station by that time. I emailed them a week ago to tell them I wasn't able to take the job, and they still haven't responded.

I wouldn't suggest anyone take this job unless they were really desperate. The hours are insane, and mostly outside, I imagine you get yelled at alot, and even if you don't get fired the pay is actually less than minimum wage.

Anonymous
#674483

I spent two entire summers working for the Fund in Iowa, and so I can verify that the claims of being let go are true. I was NEVER screwed over - just like any company (non-profit or not), in order to be successful there is a bottom line and if you aren't making quota, they can't afford to keep you on.

There are always risks involved with taking a job where you have a fundraising quota, and everything that is needed to know should have been laid out your very first day. You have to be a very specific type of person to be successful with this job (high-energy, well-spoken, not easily discouraged). You are asking strangers for money and 85% of the time you will be turned down. However, if you happen to be good at it then you will make a LOT of money (my paychecks averaged $15/hour).

One of the summers I worked as a director and usually averaged about 80 hours a week. The staffers for the Fund are pretty much constantly stretched thin because the number of young, enthusiastic, and educated people who are willing to put a greater cause in front of their own personal gain are few and far between.

This is a job only for those who truly "give a ***" about progressive (often liberal-leaning, but there tends to be a LOT of bi-partisan support) causes.

Pansies need not apply (if you felt your time was wasted, imagine how the people trying to hire you felt. They were working much harder and longer than you were).

Anonymous
#872885
@K8

I had a similar experience, this job is NOT to pansies, so all you complaining about long tough hours should go back to the retirement home you live in. I loved the coworkers I worked with, similarly passionate and smart. I was promoted two weeks after I worked there and I had and am still having an amazing experience.

The Fund makes real changes and differences in the world and I still love working for them.

Hancock
#872974
@Sarah

No one here is whining because of the long hours of work. If you bothered to read the thread, which you didn't, the Fund is an exploitative, greedy enterprise which forces its idealistic college staffers to work 70-80 workweeks.

And how can you love the coworkers you work with when the average career of your colleagues is three days? After that, they get fired for not producing $200 per day standing on a sidewalk asking passersby for money. And the Fund doesn't make changes and differences. They run a bait-and-switch in their advertisements, putting a popular cause such fighting childhood obesity but as soon as an unexpected applicant applies to the ad and shows up to the job interview (which lasts 2-3 minutes) it has nothing to do with childhood obesity but raising money for Greenpeace or the ACLU.

My advice to you: Quit that seedy organization and find yourself a real job.

Anonymous
#992739
@Hancock

The fund helps a number of prominent organizations with their campaigns; Greenpeace and the ACLU are not among them. No one's forcing you to work there.

I can speak for myself when I say I had a great experience at the fund, doing work that mattered, meeting great people and sustaining a healthy paycheck by putting in real effort. Do some research before bashing the Fund and brush up on your people skills if you're planning to work there; you clearly need to.

Hancock
#992749
@Sarah

To Anonymous in El Cajon,

If you bothered to read up on your research you would know from the of articles on the internet and the print press that the Fund has a working relationship with both Greenpeace and the ACLU and they've been doing so for decades. And you didn't have a great experience there; in fact, you quit after a few days because you couldn't raise $200 in a single day standing on a street corner bugging passersby for money.

That is not called a job, it is panhandling. And I notice you use term "had a great experience." Past tense. You are not telling the truth. Someone here was either fired or forced to quit.

Because the paychecks you received were routinely sent late and when it arrived and you tried to cash the check in the bank, the check bounced due to insufficient funds in the bank. Brush up on your truth telling skills next you offer a rebuttal, okay?

Hancock
#993175
@Sarah

I would like to make further comments to "Anonymous in El Cajon" No one is forcing anyone to work for the Fund BUT it does become a sleazy operation when they're advertising in craigslist "Jobs for Good Causes! Get paid $1,200 per month to help prevent Obesity!!" to idealistic college students in desperate need of money during this Economic Recession.

It gets even worse when a worker takes their paycheck to the bank and the check bounces because of insufficient funds.

So you worked an 80 hour a week shift for nothing. The argument you just put forward is very much a false one.

Anonymous
#664591

I showed up this very day for my "observation day" as they called it. It's essentially a training day like any other job.

They told me to arrive 45 minutes early to fill tax information. What they didn't tell me was that first 45 minutes was actually an unpayed period where they tested us out. Each one of us was given a spiel to memorize beforehand, but at the testing thing, they gave us a slightly modified one to test our ability to memorize something within 5 minutes. If it wasn't word for word, we were let go on the spot.

I was let go because my morales objected to their business practices and I called them out on it. The fresh out of college "supervisors" were at a loss for words when I told them that what they were doing obstructed the rights of us, the workers. They told me to leave with the pretense of "You're not the right fit." which to me equates to one of the biggest insults I've received from a professional employer. These guys are *** I wouldn't be surprised if the interview means nothing and everyone who is interviewed gets "hired".

They wasted my day and a section of my memory with their spiel I learned. Don't apply for a job with The Fund for The Public Interest. Regardless of what good work they might do, which I think is probably inconsequential anyway, they are run by the worst people you could imagine.

Politicians, and as we all know, Politicians shouldn't be working any jobs. Period.

Anonymous
#647204

I worked at the Fund and I was good at it too. I was promoted to a field manager in the first 2 weeks.

But I absolutely hated it. The people were great but it was terrible! I've also had my pay withheld from me because "there was too many people in the office" and "it was a hassle to find the checks right now." So I was forced to come back another time to pick it up. Also they claimed my schedule was from 11:30am to 10:00pm but I would never get out of the office before midnight.

And they would make us come in 2 hours early 3/5 days to have pointless "meetings" which basically consisted of us doing a bunch of *** the supervisors didn't have time to get to. But I don't blame the supervisors, it's not their fault they were spread so thin. Oh yeah, Also they claim to be a "non partisan" group when in fact many of their wraps/pitches directly call out members of the conservative party. I'm very liberal, but I couldn't stand how they would sit there and say "oh were non-partisan" when clearly they weren't.

There was a lot of lying. They never told anyone the whole truth. So I had to quit.

And now I'm happy. :)

Anonymous
#615362

I wouldn't consider my time canvassing for the fund a terrible experience. Their recruiters do exactly what the entire job is based upon which is to deliver a great sales pitch. I've read countless reviews of how terrible working for them was for certain people. Personally I think you have to cut through the *** the funds recruiters will try to feed you and approach it as an extremely temporary position. I worked for my three day trial period and could not make the required $250 quota any of the days. This can be frustrating because sometimes you come very close and sometimes you raise more than those who have been there longer however you will still be let go no questions asked.

In my experience these are the pros and cons of this position

(Note:Street Canvassing Only)

Pro: The experience you gain from this job is completely up to you. Some people say it makes them better at approaching strangers. Not sure if that's a plus in my opinion but anything that makes you more confident is usually good.

***: You will most certainly be treated as though you do not exist by 99% of the people who pass you by. Not always good for personal morale. But in my experience it can thicken your skin and toughen you up a bit.

Pro: You will receive a paycheck for days worked. I have seen a ton of reviews claiming otherwise. I feel so bad for those people if they truly were stiffed but I received a check for $162.78 and a check for $15.00 public transit compensation after my termination.

Pro: They'll hire any warm body. If you have three days to kill and you're looking to make money they will hire you.

***: If you get sucked into thinking this will be a long-term gig you're most likely screwed. Unless you're an amazing salesman or just plain lucky to stop the right people day in and day out you're gonna get let go.

Well that's my experience. I was out of work and knew exactly what I was getting into and while it was short lived I did get a pay check for three days of standing around annoying people.Which is totally what you do. You're not educating anyone and you're not an activist... activists have passion. Not "raps". You annoy people asking for money. Oh that reminds me: You're gonna have to be passionate about any cause that comes your way. Or at least pretend to be. Good luck future annoying clipboard people.

Anonymous
#590095

I think you guys are being severely unfair. Wisefish may have had a bad encounter with them yes, and maybe perhaps sometimes the fund does make mistakes but it doesnt intentionally screw over college students...

i work for the sacramento branch right now. i thoroughly enjoy it, and i appreciate it. i have never had a problem with my paycheck. Ive never had a problem with hostility.

Brandon was transfered himself, because he wanted to be. There are certain people of...minimal power in that office now that are...agitating to say the least, but wholehardedly i have seen many college students that needed money so they would not have to be evicted from their living situations come in and make their life better. A Permanent carreer? no.

A temporary job for people in rough spots. it's by far one of the best ive ever experienced.

Hancock
#572985

Let Wisefish's story be a cautionary tale to all prospective applicants who want to apply for work at The Fund. She had to uproot her life and her fiance's stable job of 10 years and move 100 miles to work for an unscrupulous and unethical organization.

Always research any company that you are about to work for. Know about their reputation in advance. A simple google search of the name of the company plus the word "review" can save you a lot of heartache and pain.

The ripoff report is also an excellent source of reference when it comes to knowing about the way a company or a non-profit operates. And remember, just because a non-profit organization seems socially beneficial on paper with its dedication to "social justice" causes doesn't necessarily mean it treats its workers with any level respect and dignity in actual practice.

Anonymous
#563519

Thanks to everyone that has taken the time to inform the public about The Fund and others like them. Your posts have saved me time and money.

I was considering calling TF for an interview.

Thanks again and keep the information coming.

Anonymous
#563246

I worked for three days and quit in the sac office. Allyson and a few other employees were very nice and I got along great.

However, Brandon and a few others were rude and hostile towards me. After quitting, in july, my paycheck was supposed to be sent to me within 7-10 days.... It is now November and I still haven't received it.

It's amazing to me that after the countless calls and voicemails I have left, I have only been called back twice..... And still no check.

Hancock
#555966

This is a recent notification to people about The Fund: now there is an organization called Work for Progress that is claiming to "Help Re-Elect President Obama" in the non-profit section of craigslist. This organization is associated with The Fund for the Public Interest.

I urge anyone who reads this on craigslist to report it for spam immediately. Just another money making scheme preying on idealistic college students.

Anonymous
#539442

I can't believe my eyes reading all of this. I was hired back in December to be a campus organizer.

At the end of July, on 3 weeks notice, I moved my life, my belongings, and my future husband 500 miles away from home. I was told that I could not remain in my home state because there was no funding and no organizers in that state. Well, 900 most annoying conference calls on the planet later, I realize that I have been lied to. There are many, many organizers there.

I was also told that I would be placed in a location for a year, and then, when that year is up, I could request to stay where i was at or gamble for someplace new. So, in the 3 weeks I had, somewhere between packing and planning a wedding, we signed a year long lease. This house was a true blessing- it was an affordable house in a neighborhood of young couples like us, that let us keep our dog, and most importantly, the landlords took a HUGE risk on my fiancé and I. They generally only rent to faculty & staff of the school and they never rent to folks they haven't met in person.

Well, the first time I would have a chance to meet them in person was the day I moved in and if either my fiancé or I were faculty or staff members at an accredited university, I wouldn't be posting this. Needless to say we were so grateful. Don't you know, just 4 days after I signed the lease while in training I was informed that they did not have definitive funding to pay my salary past the Fall semester and I more likely than not would be relocated. I am currently waiting on my paycheck which is 4 days late from pay day- last pay day was 5 days late.

I have been waiting on all my materials (ya know, everything and anything I could need to actually do anything) for 5 weeks now, I also am still waiting on my health insurance and student loan forms. I was sent to a campus with less than 17,000 students- including the graduate school- and told to register 5,000 new voters & get another 15,000 get out the vote pledges...yeah....okay, I'll get right on that. It is clear they did no research. They also didn't do any ground work before dumping me in some Appalachian college in the middle of nowhere.

I had no administrative permission, no approval from the legal council- they did not even know what I was doing or who we were. I am encouraged to break federal, state, and local laws as well as procedural safeguards the university set in place, despite my continued protests. The salary is lower than promised and the hours are insanely long. I'm considered exempt salary personell but, unless they're lying through their teeth (very possible) to the Feds there is no way in *** I made the exemption qualifications.

They're just doing everything possible to have some work 80 hours a week for 40 hours pay and avoid overtime. Absolutely everything about this job is terrible except it's most basic purpose, but I think they would find a way to corrupt even that. I wish I could tell them to go pound sound & then put them on blast for misleading & exploiting recent college graduates desperate for a job. They monopolize on the naiveity of young people towards labor laws and basic human decency.

Unfortunately I am not naive, and while I was mislead I will not be mislead. I am just in a dilemma because of my lease and the complete and total lack of jobs in the area I am at. I just tore my fiancé from his job of 10 years to come down here and kick start my career, he has yet to find a job in this abyss, we are dependent on PIRGs unreliable and measly income to barely survive as we do. We would pack it all up & run like the wind back home to our families and the jobs we had, but like I stated above, I signed a year lease at the counsel of those in power at US PIRG.

I have absolutely NO idea what we are going to do, we will be husband and wife in less than a month, this is no way to start off one's married life. I have absolutely no clue how we are going to wake up from this nightmare nor wake up from this utter living ***...but I just had to share my story in hopes of preventing someone else for living the nightmare you cannot wake up from. Don't be jaded, I think PIRG is in the running for the worst, most disorganized, most deceptive, most corrupt non-profit/interest group/501(c)4 political organization in the country. Not all groups that promote civic engagement, volunteerism, political participation, and/or the greater good are this terrible.

In fact, I think other entities not unlike the PIRGs could try and out-suck the Public Interest Network and they still wouldn't even come close.

Warning to my fellow man: if PIRG comes a knocking on the door masked as opportunity, RUN. Run as fast as you can, as hard as you can, as far away as you can.

Anonymous
#532825

I think I know who the Anonymous writer is here cause I just got "let go" myself yesterday too. Don't worry, bro, i wont name ya on here.

but i do feel ya. my numbers were good too! but they told me i was late everyday. not true!

we start getting paid at 5:15 and they asked if i could be 15min for some free training tips. i told em i get off my regular job at 4:45 10miles away so i would be a couple min late past 5:00 everyday and the manager chick said that would be fine - but if its not even paid, then how am i late for being early? and if it was such a big deal that i was late, how come nobody said anything until 9:15 on the 5th day? no warning?

these guys are straight scam artists. i wish i woulda made them zero dollars instead of busting my hump for these cheats

Hancock
#532801

I am pissed at this organization for their unethical and unscrupulous behavior. I am a college graduate hoping to find part time work doing political canvassing and found out from reading articles from Greg Bloom in In These Times and Ben Ehrenreich from LA Weekly that The Fund is not all what they seem. Nothing but horror stories when it comes to working for the Fund.

Anonymous
#532760

Near the end of election season, they post for call center jobs, but you need to pass their 5 day "training period". I made more pledges than most of the long-timers there, but on the 5th day, i got canned cause I supposedly "lied" to a caller which i plainly did NOT - no previous verbal or written warnings AND i wasn't trained to NOT say certain things even if they're true.

After 5 days, they have to give ya a pay increase and bonuses - so worked me right to the end of the 5 days cuz i was bringing them in good money and then cuz they just wanted cheap labor, they made up that BS excuse to get rid of me. Funny fact - i supposedly did this horrible deed of LYING on aug 22 that got me let go... why is the print date of my check aug 21? Also - that call was made at 5:30.

If it was such a big deal not to say that stuff, how come i wasnt told about it til 9:15? 6 other people started same time as me - all got let go for *** reasons. They dont WANT new workers - they just need temporary workers - so they get cheap labor and the hope that u may get a permanent job with them so you strive to get more pledges and then they thank and kick ya out the door on the 5th day. Also - they told me to not put callers on the do not call list who request it cuz it looks bad for their numbers if they get too many nos.

So we end up *** off HELLA people illegally.

For a group whose stated intent is to "make the truth be known" to their callers, they certainly dont do a good job of making it be known to innocent hard working individuals who just made them thousands of dollars. SCAM!

Anonymous
#658432
@Anonymous

I have an job interview here in Chicago IL. Are all the jobs like this?

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Review
#317059 Review #317059 is a subjective opinion of poster.

Contact Fund For The Public Interest Customer Service

Mailing Address:
Fund For The Public Interest
294 Washington St Suite 500
Boston, MA 02108
Phone:
(617) 292-4805
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