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39 reviews

Public Outreach Employer Reviews

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A job anyone can do, but not a job for everyone
Canvasser (Former Employee), SeattleFebruary 28, 2014
Pros: noncommission, benefits, decent wage, work experience doesn't matter
Cons: keeping job dependent on performance, gets old hearing, "no" and being treated like dirt regularly, initital eval goes by quick
Almost all starting jobs at Public Outreach are for street fundraisers, otherwise known as canvassers, street yellers, in the UK chuggers i.e. "charity muggers."

Which is sometimes true, but hopefully not.

Public Outreach is a third party fundraising company for a variety of nonprofits, like an agency that makes that makes TV commercial campaigns – more... for charities. Except in this, you're the commercial. And you're outside. And people talk back to you, sometimes rudely.

Because it's working outside, it's a much nicer job to do in LA than the Midwest, but the substance is the same wherever. You have to get people in public to talk to you when their plan is often anything but that, and do it in a way that's not so aggressive or annoying that people actively hate you.

The goal is to fundraise, and unlike most other canvassing companies PO *only* counts monthly donors. The equivalent for other organizations would be "sustainers." Quota is an average of $30 in sustainers per day per week. A $15 monthly gift would be half of what you need for a day (10 percent of a 5-day work week), but a $500 one time gift would be worth nothing.

The pay is hourly, starting at $10 or $11 depending on the market, and there's no bonus for a good day or good week. So essentially, your motivation is just to keep going and talking to people about a charity. You get a $0.50 per hour pay raise when you staff (getting that average) and each time you hit the next overall total, so about every month and a half for full time workers. Top pay is $16 or $17, again, depending on the market.

But most people who try the job and get picked for training won't staff, and most people who staff won't make it beyond about 3 months. People who make it to 3 months typically fall off after 6 months, and after 6 months people go until they burn out after a few years, either as fundraisers or once they've done a management level job for a while (and for management, the job work/life balance rating seems to be 1-star). Those jobs open up fairly regularly because of that burn out, and somewhat less often, because a new office is opened.

Most people won't staff because it's a very negative job, and if you're not an incredibly positive person, being told "Not today" or worse repeatedly for saying "Hello" wears on you. If you meet a nice person and really need a sign up for the day, you may yourself end up pleading with them to do something they're not into just so you can keep your job. That wears on you, too.

And when you do get that sign up at the end of the day, and it actually does process, you still have the pressure of doing it all the next one.

So, on a typical day, street fundraisers meet at the office for a meeting to talk about numbers, or focus on a particular skill or updated information about the charity. Most typically it's just an energizer to get people in the mood to TALK TO PEOPLE all day.

You go out together in a teams to the actual fundraising locations, called 'turf.' In most cities, turf is shared with other canvassing organizations, and there's a rotation so there's not competition between charities and rival consultancies.

There's two paid 15 minute breaks for smokes, coffee, etc., and a lunch in the middle of the day to break the work into quarters.

When you're out there, there are other fundraisers around, your supervisor comes by to check on you, and you're completely awash in people most of the time. But you can sure feel completely alone, too.

The good things, really, are that for young people who are trying to figure out their lives and do something "meaningful," it is better than working retail or bartending or doing other service jobs.

If you've hit rock bottom recently, it's nice when someone actually expects something of you, like supervising a crew of people and doing paperwork. You may still be a screw up, but you can feel like you're not while you work.

And if you're either genuinely passionate about the charitable sector, or as other have said, a manipulative sociopath, you can do this sort of thing for the long haul and get a salaried job, or paid to travel to lots of places and do this gig indefinitely.

But it's not a job for everyone, and for most who can do it, it's sort of a phase while you're sorting other stuff out, looking to get a paycheck, and be able to look at yourself in the mirror for what you have to do to get it. – less
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Not for everyone
Canvasser (Current Employee), Manhattan, NYFebruary 12, 2014
Pros: Decent pay

Cons: Standing long hours, ANY weather condition
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outside all day in all elements
Canvasser (Former Employee), Pasadena, CAFebruary 3, 2014
Long days standing up, being ignored or avoided but when you make a connection its very gratifying.

I learned persistence.

Management was upbeat, but not very good trainers.

Co workers were cool and out going.

Hardest part was being outside when its cold in the morning, having to carry and watch what ever I need for the day.

The best part of the – more... job is that there is a culture of helping people, and each individual really cares. – less
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nice group conversations
Fundraiser (Former Employee), Minneapolis, MNOctober 11, 2013
Pros: pizza on fridays
Cons: weather changing
meet new people learn new thing always in a new enviroment friendly people good cause
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Productive and positive work environment
Fundraising Supervisor (Former Employee), New York, NYAugust 13, 2013
Pros: networking, advanced social skills
Cons: heathcare
While working at PO I was able to meet a wide variety of people both in the office and on the streets canvassing and I absolutely LOVED it! At each office I was able to work out of I left with a sense of famliy with my colleages. There was always something to keep my busy and the satisfaction of knowing that at the end of the day I was able to help – more... others who are in need. Although it was challenging at times to get others to want to get involved with charity, the reward was always well worth the effort. – less
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Fun co-workers and upbeat attitude
Bartender (Former Employee), Boston, MAJune 30, 2013
A great up and coming company with free thought ideas. The company promotes individuality and is always looking to help people. High moral among the employees.
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Awesome
Canvasser (Former Employee), Boston, MAJune 25, 2013
I loved this job, I couldn't stay long due to moving and starting school. The people I worked with were some of the coolest people ever and amazing co-workers. If you like interacting and meeting new people everyday then this job is perfect. I enjoyed it everyday.
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DON'T APPLY TO THIS JOB!!!!!!
Professional Fundraiser (Former Employee), HollywoodMarch 28, 2013
Cons: everything
Terrible place to work for. May seem fun at first but at the end of the day it's all about meeting a quota. The Los Angeles Manangement team is new and unorganized. They are constantly changing their sales pitch that must be memorized word for word. Typical day includes meeting at the office in the morning, being informed where and who you will be fundraising – more... with, going out on the streets and trying to get people to give you their credit card info. Most often people will say no (which they have every right to) and this company expects you to get at least one sponsorship a day! I've seen people be hired and fired within a month because they didn't meet their quota. You are suppose to average $150 a week but if a sponsor that you busted your butt for decides to cancel then it negatively affects your numbers. I've even seen the hiring manager fire an employee at Jack in the Box! This is a very unstable and unprofessional job and would highly recommend that no one apply. DON'T DO IT!!!!! – less
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Disappointment
Weekend Manager/Supervisor (Current Employee), Atlanta, GAJanuary 9, 2013
Pros: meet great people, help out reputable charities
Cons: unexperienced management staff, inconsistent goal setting
While working this job generally brought me financial stability and independence... in the end it is all just a game to some of these people. Do not count on having good numbers being enough to keep you around. This type of work place is susceptible to bosom buddies and close relationships driving the management decisions.
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Rewarding and empowering.
Canvasser/Supervisor (Former Employee), Los Angeles, CANovember 26, 2012
To raise awareness of important social issues, my co-workers and I raised funds for non-profit organizations by speaking face-to-face to the public. It was a very cooperative and friendly work environment because every one of us were very passionate of the causes we were fighting for.

Being one of the supervisors, I was responsible for leading daily – more... morning meetings, maintaining my team's high energy level, and for ensuring the general success of our office.

Running into the occasional radicals who made rude and untrue comments about our represented campaigns was, of course, difficult to get used to. However, more importantly, working at Public Outreach was extremely rewarding, because it has given me the opportunity to spread awareness and provide for needy families. – less
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changing lives
Recruiter, Supervisor, Canvasser, Fundraiser (Current Employee), atlantaOctober 22, 2012
Pros: helping people
Cons: no job security
fundraising for multiple non-profit organizations to benefit impoverished children and disaster relief made me feel like I was making a difference.
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Productive and fun workplace
Supervisor (Former Employee), Atlanta, GAAugust 3, 2012
My typical day started at 10am everyday. Each day we had a meeting where we learn about each organization that we would be working with, such as Red Cross,Save The Children, and Plan these are all non profits that we got sponsored. My co-workers were all energized each morning and ready for the day. The hardest part was stopping random people to get – more... the educated and involved to sponsor one of the non profits we represented that day. The most fun part was meeting and networking with new people and getting a child sponsored in his or her community. – less
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Fun workplace with great incentives!
Canvasser/Team Leader (Former Employee), Atlanta, GAJuly 12, 2012
Pros: free breakfast on tuesday
Cons: job security, transportaion not provided to turf
You start around 11, you have an hour for lunch, you learn great communication skills and work in a friendly environment.
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A amazing experience.
Person to Person (Former Employee), Hollywood, CAJune 22, 2012
Pros: everything
Cons: the different places i had to travel, when it was sometimes extreamly far.
It was an opportunity that I loved, it was street canvassing which is something I'm familar with, I am a people person so it was fun to meet a lot of new people.

The job was about getting children sponsored in many different countries to kind individuals. It helped them go to school, and create clean water projects.

During that job I was able to get – more... 8 children sponsored by some awesome families.

It was a very rewarding experience. – less
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Unique Experiences
Fundraiser (Former Employee), Pasadena, CAMay 30, 2012
Pros: people oriented, humanitarian
Cons: weather hindrances
Working with Public Outreach guaranteed meeting a plethora of excitingly interesting people. It allowed for me to become an active humanitarian; protecting the lives of millions of children across the globe. The hardest part was convincing people to help support children in a 3rd world country that they'll most likely never see against prejudices they'll – more... never experience. However, when done successfully it was also the most rewarding. – less
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Fun, casual environment but lacking stability
Canvasser (Current Employee), Philadelphia, PAMay 28, 2012
As a canvasser, I speak with pedestrians in business and shopping districts of the Philadelphia area in order to raise funds for various contracted charities. It has been a great learning experience, as I have never before had a job that involved the direct use of my skills of persuasion to achieve goals. I have made a great deal of friends and like – more... my employers. What compels me to seek other work opportunities is the daily stress of losing my job if I do not meet a certain quota, as well as the relatively low pay. However, I love talking to people about the charities, and have developed a close relationship with my co-workers. – less
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Fun non-profit; Meet new and exciting people!
Canvasser (Former Employee), Atlanta, GAMay 17, 2012
Typical day at Public Outreach is as follows: Morning briefing, team building exercise, team designation, introduce prospects to the organization, cause, and recruit donors/child sponsors.
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Productive and fun environment to engage and help non-profits fundraise.
Supervisor (Former Employee), Santa Monica, CAMarch 14, 2012
Pros: free lunches, dinners, and events after work!
Cons: long hours, hard working conditions, no job security
One of the few problems with this job was the work/life balance due to leaving late at night every evening. `
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Fun place with great staff
Fundraiser (Former Employee), Vancouver, BCDecember 20, 2013
I learned a lot about public relations and how to interact with different people.
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Great experience
Associate Fund Raiser (Former Employee), Kitchener, ONDecember 11, 2013
Pros: collegues, ethic, opportunities for development
Cons: late working hours, high employee turnover, weather exposure
Fundraising door to door projects with an exciting, diverse and professional team. Public outreach is committed to its goals of honest, respectful and effective service. This is a great place to work to develop skills in the non profit industry, customer relations and networking. Teams are well managed and committed and innovative employees are rewarded – more... well with responsibilities and competitive pay rates. – less

About Public Outreach

We focus on finding the right donors for your organization, who will stay with you for the long term. Our programs are designed – Read more

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