Born Free Foundation Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Born Free Foundation Reviews

Updated 2 October 2018
6 reviews

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2.3
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Robert Adams
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  1. Helpful (4)

    "The charity has been commandeered by a new leadership systematically removing those that are authentic and principled"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    An incredible heritage of saving animal lives. Working diligently to save some of the worlds most vulnerable species. There is incredible experience with the longer serving members of staff. The scientists and specialist staff are very well qualified. Virginia and Will are excellent role models. A household name the PR gets issues noticed. As a member of staff you feel part of something very important. Nice offices. Staff are friendly. An influential charity thanks to Will and Virginia.

    Cons

    Do not be put off working for or supporting Born Free, but do bear in mind all is not as it seems. There is a hard core of mostly junior staff who are extremely dedicated to doing the best they can for animal lives in the field, and making a critical difference, with their conservation and policy work but yet who are navigating very carefully not to incur the displeasure of the CEO or his favourite team heads, or they’ll be out. This danger looms over anyone who isn’t a favourite, regardless of their knowledge, dedication, length of service or value to the work of Born Free. The President, Will, and Virginia and their core staff are thankfully oblivious to what is being done in their name, as they are focused on saving animals right now and are extremely hard working. Despite appearances to the contrary, the new leadership however, have no sense of urgency for the cause, or perceive the need to act now, but bide their time, as they have been able to exploit a situation to their advantage with the Trustee’s unable to rationalize what they've hired with his questionable senior non-enterprising 'corporate' appointee, with the remaining senior staff having no option but to service their needs and nod obligingly. Questioning is pointless, knowledge causes suspicion and is a fast track to the door. If you are passionate about animals then it’s a great place to work, just don’t voice that around the new leadership, as they’ll look quizzically at you. If you make it to interview but aren’t offered the job don’t take it personally. It will be either that you’re too animal loving, too experienced or too old as the leadership favours younger, malleable recruits, whose interests are human-orientated, namely education, special needs or disadvantanged young humans with the appearance of a strategy to help animals. However, their love of human rights won’t extend to you, as a staff member, because if you do displease them in some way, you’ll be ordered out of the building with no explanation as to why, as no due process is followed which would have enabled you to anticipate what incurs their displeasure, your productivity or style, and you will not be given any opportunity to utilise your skills and experience to serve them better. Decisions are knee-jerk and the pattern is for the new leadership to take no responsibility, dismissing employees on a whim, asserting that the staff member was somehow lacking. They’re dumping employees not to save money, but to save face. There are also indiscretions with the new leadership, on charity time, which employees have to turn a blind eye to in order to keep their jobs. The new leadership used a staff survey then massaged the results to look good. Nothing in the closed door sessions made it to the final cut.

    Advice to Management

    Put Virginia and Will back in charge and appoint a genuine leader who deeply cares about animal causes and remove the ineffective new leadership and questionable 'corporate' non-enterprising favourite appointee, as they are seriously harming the Foundation which will sadly become evident in the fullness of time. The Trustees need to notice the brain drain and question the new leadership's decisions very closely as to the true and tangible benefits for the organization and their suitability to face the critical issues of our time, happening now, not hiding behind some distant theoretical strategy that sounds good on paper and hiring and firing employees on a whim to justify keeping their own jobs.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Shocking treatment of staff and charity funds and inexcusable leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Born Free Foundation full-time

    Pros

    A powerful cause and historically, many wonderful talented and committed colleagues.

    Cons

    Leadership has been unsettling post 2016 and the latest CEO is highly concerning. There have been many cases of bullying and pushing out of long term and devoted staff, accusations and proof of at least one affair on record, which was conducted via the charity email to a corporate partner. The organisation has suffered the loss of previous inspiring leaders and trustees appear to make very poor decisions. The trustees and president appear under the control of the new CEO whose agenda is highly questionable. Income is down, staff morale is down. There is a culture of fear and more money is spent paying off employees than helping the cause.
      best have and continue to be fired, and the charity is losing income and reputation.

    Advice to Management

    Take serious heed of your employees wellbeing and the state of the charity's reputation.

  3. "Research Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Not Currently Employed
    Former Intern - Not Currently Employed
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Born Free Foundation as an intern

    Pros

    Work was very interesting and expanded my knowledge. Supervisor was great to work with.

    Cons

    I would have liked it to last longer than the 6 months.

    Advice to Management

    Keep supplying great opportunities like that to people wanting to learn and contribute.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "ineffective and dysfunctional"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Dedicated staff. Great mission. Fantastic Sanctuary.

    Cons

    The organization’s effectiveness is increasingly diminishing under ineffective and dysfunctional management/leadership.

    There is no HR department or qualified HR representative. Concerns about management or inappropriate behavior are either disregarded or met with outright hostility from the CEO. The current CEO seems to have acquired his position in the organization via cronyism leaving staff with little hope of redress or change.

    The current leadership seems satisfied to simply report on, and tag on to, or take credit for, the activities lead by other organizations. As a result, newsletters and fundraising mailers often paint a misleading picture of what work is actually being done and how funds are being spent.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Just ok"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Associate
    Former Employee - Program Associate
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Born Free Foundation full-time

    Pros

    Good mission, small company to get feet wet in meaningful issues.

    Cons

    Upper management lacked trust, pitted other employees against each other, and was very hostile when employees left for other opportunities.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Wastes money and the CEO will hit on you relentlessly"

    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 Born Free Foundation full-time

    Pros

    A good cause
    The people are great

    Cons

    The board members spend gross amounts of money on places like expensive steak houses and having their laundry professionally done. The CEO will flirt with you and hit on you relentlessly (he's also married with a kid). Look at the staff they have on their website. All young, cute girls. This is no coincidence.