Macmillan Cancer Support Reviews

Updated Jul 30, 2021

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Found 287 of over 313 reviews

3.1
47%
Recommend to a Friend
57%
Approve of CEO
Macmillan Cancer Support CEO Lynda Thomas
Lynda Thomas
180 Ratings
Pros
  • "Friendly & Welcoming Team, Flexible working, Good range of benefits(in 33 reviews)

  • "Work-life balance is exceptional, the best I've had(in 16 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "structures in work as with any large charity(in 39 reviews)

  • "Poorly thought out decisions are being made by senior management(in 29 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
    1. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Fabulous place to work

      Mar 11, 2021 - Events Manager 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Working hours are flexible and reasonable. People are extremely special to work with

      Cons

      Progression is slow/slightly limited as well as salary reviews

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    2. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 10 years

      Good place to work but with standard obstacles of any org this size

      Jul 20, 2021 - Officer in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Passionate, creative and talented people work here; Supportive with mental health, wellbeing and flexible working; Give a voice to employees through various different channels; Leadership team are open and accessible.

      Cons

      Not much space for progression (depending on your team); Quality of middle management inconsistent and inefficient in some cases; Confusing structures and processes in some parts of the org; Many teams under resourced. Nothing that is unique to an organisation of this size.

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    3. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Simply awful

      Jul 30, 2021 - Fundraising 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Some people aren't contemptible. I can't think of any of them at leadership level though, where the standard is abysmal.

      Cons

      I've thought long and hard about writing this, as my time at Macmillan was harder than I've ever had at work. To be clear, this is not to do with the work, it's to do with the "personalities", the working culture, the attitude, the lack of structure, the lack of planning, the unrealism of Macmillan's role, the lack of understanding of the NHS and the fundraising practices that are inadequate. I've read some reviews on here about how Macmillan looked after it's staff during lockdowns. This was not my experience in any shape or form. When the first lockdown kicked in, my partner and I needed to balance work and looking after our kid. While my partner's employer were understanding and flexible, my manager at Macmillan told me in no uncertain terms I was expected to continue to work the same hours. Someone in my team (single parent, 3 young kids) was told their salary would be cut if they didn't work. Hearing Macmillan claim that it has looked after staff through the pandemic is laughable. The organisation has no direction. It's official position is that it looks after people living with and affected by cancer. However, central office doesn't talk to these people, rather, it makes assumptions about what people want or need based on out of date research, inadequate information and prejudice (given that the vast majority of the organisation, especially those in decision-making positions, is white and middle or upper-middle class). The distance between what Macmillan claims to stand for and do for people affected by cancer, and what it actually does, is stark. The organisation has no idea whatsoever how to work with the NHS. It's almost like working with the NHS is a dirty thing to do, and the amount of money that is piddled away on barely-thought-out initiatives, policies, fundraising is galling, as is the amount that is spent on consultants (including to do things that there are people in Macmillan who could be doing it and are instead sat there twiddling their thumbs). Then there are the senior staff. I have no doubt my manager was a particularly bad example (bullying, consciously and unconsciously biased, clueless, insecure and massively out of their depth), but there were so many others I dealt with who were woefully inadequate at their role. The strategy failed miserably (with no comeuppance for those involved - actually promotions dished out) leading to many, many millions of donors money wasted, due to the inadequacy of those leading it and their unwillingness/inability to recognise that others may have been in a position to help them. Which brings me on to my biggest gripe. The organisation simply does not work together. No part of the organisation knows what another part is doing, leading to duplication, waste and missed opportunities. It also contributes to a culture where people don't talk to each other or trust each other. Any attempts to build links across the organisation were stamped down on, as "this is done at senior levels" - which was grossly inadequate (if it did happen, it didn't then filter down). I have no doubt that some Macmillan staff - and particularly those actually working with patients etc - are good (though the quality is more variable than Macmillan will ever admit to). But there are so many in head office who are simply not worth their salaries, who do not understand what they could and should be doing, and are actively (if not intentionally) driving the charity into the ground. Don't touch this place with a bargepole. It is by a distance the worst time of my working life - and I am far from alone in this experience.

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    4. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Brilliant place to work

      Jul 28, 2021 - Fundraising Manager in Hertford, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Flexible, Passionate, Worthy, Considerate, Developmental

      Cons

      Admin, Hours, Workload, Benefits, Size

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    5. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Great place to work!

      Jul 19, 2021 - Head of Department in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      A fantastic commitment to diversity and inclusion Purpose driven and focusing on those in need

      Cons

      Some processes are not focused on the employee Siloed nature of some areas

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    6. 4.0
      Former Employee

      Support environment but as with all big charities there's a lot of red tape

      Jul 1, 2021 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Supportive team, good pay and benefits, nice people

      Cons

      Emotionally challenging work, long-timers lack perspective because been there so long

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    7. 5.0
      Current Employee

      a charity that does a lot of good work for its beneficiaries

      Jul 5, 2021 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      it is a great cause to work for

      Cons

      salary is not as good as in the private sector which is to be expected anyway

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    8. 2.0
      Current Employee

      Lost its way - don't trust the overall rating which has been boosted by one line fake reviews

      Jun 25, 2021 - Current Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Huge players in the charity sector Large workforce who are dedicated to the cause Efforts have been made to work life balance, but some managers drag their relentless work pattern into other peoples lives Support line services should be looked at as the backbone to the charity, but focus is always put on fundraising team There is so much potential, but so many obstacles in the way

      Cons

      Fundraising events lack imagination, they jump on trends 2 years late. Other charities have engaging fundraisers, while we pump out event after event hoping something will go viral with the most mundane activity. When the fundraising team say jump, the entire charity say how high, we move everything for them because they are the experts in raising the funds. But there have been so many failed fundraisers which have cost a load of money and made little in return, just to test the waters of an idea. Staff are constantly made to stretch themselves to meet targets for 'people living with cancer', yet most of the internal work has noting to do with a charitable cause, so no impact on people living with cancer. But you are guilt tripped to do more and more because your salary is coming from donations. This also means your hard work is not rewarded, only given the inflation pay rise, which to those on lower pay bands means very little, but to those managers and directors, is a huge pay rise. The last pay rise was pushed back a couple of months to save money, while hiring several head of departments roles. There is also a huge discrepancy over pay for new starters. Some staff get put onto the bottom of the pay bracket as this is the 'process', but other new joiners can quote a salary and get what they want with the same role profile. This goes down to the woeful recruitment process where managers hire people when they themselves have no experience in the role they are hiring for. The senior leadership team are trying so hard to look that they are ahead of the curve in terms of values. Defining their pronouns in meetings for the last few months to show they are street wise to the current movement, but it comes off totally unauthentic and forced. Staff have no voice, the various levels of management suppress any issues and nothing gets through to anyone with any power. There have been many times colleagues have called for change but it's been ignored, only for world events to spark a change. Then it's the leadership team who get on their high horse, take these ideas and claim them for their own as champions and sponsors to show how alert they are to current affairs.

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      7 people found this review helpful

      Macmillan Cancer Support Response

      Employee Engagement Manager

      Hi there, Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. In our last employee survey in March, 74% of our colleagues said they would recommend us as a great place to work, so we’re saddened to hear that your experience has not reflected this. We recognise the need to innovate and test new fundraising ideas, particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic when some of our traditional methods have not been possible. Not every idea will work, but we believe it’s important to trial new opportunities to help us identify different ways that people can support us. You mentioned salaries and pay bands, and we work hard to ensure that all levels of the organisation are fairly rewarded for their hard work. Our reward policy has been reviewed by an external company to ensure that it is fair and inclusive for all our employees and the processes and procedures that are conducted around pay are currently being audited. At the end of the review we will communicate the outcome to all our colleagues. We have decided to change our annual salary award date from the 1 April to the 1 July every year starting from 2021. This is so we can fully understand our financial position ahead of awarding any salary increases. This is consistent with the approach taken by other non-profit organisations in the sector and gives us more time to understand the impact of any decisions we make. The annual salary review did not take place last year due to the impact of Covid-19. Although most colleagues will receive an increase this year, we took the decision not to award an increase to our Executive Strategy Team and Directors. As you’ll be aware, one of Macmillan’s key strategic objectives is to reflect and represent the communities we serve, and so equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is high on our agenda and we recognise that we have a lot of work to do. We have EDI employee networks which are sponsored by our Executive Directors, and our Heads and Directors are currently undergoing an Inclusive Leadership development programme. This is leading to noticeable changes in how our leaders act, which is an important step in ensuring that people from a diverse range of backgrounds feel nurtured and supported here at Macmillan. We have various ways of ensuring our colleagues can speak up and challenge, including the EDI networks and our employee forum Our Voice. I’d be grateful if you could get in contact with us on glassdoor@macmillan.org.uk to tell us more about the issues you’ve raised, so we can look into these with you in more detail.

    9. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Recognise the potential & skills of professionals in partnership roles to support cancer teams

      Jul 13, 2021 - Partnership Quality Lead in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      home based, furlough package, home working resources

      Cons

      Lack of recognition of skills and experience I could offer, financial allocation of resources not always directed towards the values of the charity.

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      1 person found this review helpful
    10. 2.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      Disappointing

      Feb 24, 2021 - Partnerships 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Strong brand, some excellent work happening through partnerships and volunteering. They are very generous to colleagues on furlough. Most of my immediate colleagues are great and passionate - the stars are for them.

      Cons

      Constant slow moving change programmes. Huge amounts of waste, in charity money, top-heavy management roles, consultants. Very slow to get anything done, and the constant restructuring means efforts are often duplicated elsewhere. Shocking silo-working still not addressed by the change programmes. Real atmosphere of fear and mistrust of senior teams. Very bloated at the centre in most directorates and departments - highly paid senior managers and Heads, whilst they've really cut the frontline roles recently. Rests on the popular brand but will be found out. Many assume Macmillan is doing the work of NHS and Hospices, whereas in reality Macmillan has become a funder of those services - but so much time and money is spent on ourselves that we're funding less partnership work every year. Ancient technology. Recent change programme was particularly brutal, highlighting the lack of strength of Our Voice. Lot of support for the furloughed staff but very little recognition of those who have worked throughout. Overall a really disappointing decline in the organisation and culture over my years here.

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      13 people found this review helpful

      Macmillan Cancer Support Response

      Employee Engagement Manager

      Hi there Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We recognise that change is difficult, and we try to manage it as best as possible, and gather feedback from those affected through multiple channels throughout the process. Our Voice are a key source of support for our people going through change. They have ongoing support and development to strengthen their role, and received excellent feedback following the most recent change programme. There is new leadership in the Partnerships team who have dedicated their first few months to listening and hearing the challenges and frustrations of the Partnerships teams. They are now working through all of this feedback and insight to see how we can address some of the key themes. I hope you had the opportunity to contribute to this, but if not, there is also an all-employee survey currently running where you can also give your feedback, and action plans will be developed from that. We know that furlough has led to an imbalance of annual leave, so we’ve recently introduced greater flexibility in how you can manage annual leave, including buying and selling days.

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