Muscular Dystrophy Association Reviews

Updated July 8, 2015
76 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
  • Any Status
Employment Status

Reset
1.0
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Muscular Dystrophy Association President & CEO Steven M. Derks
Steven M. Derks
27 Ratings

Pros
  • I knew I wanted to make a difference for the people that changed my outlook on life (in 17 reviews)

  • Benefits are good, families are amazing (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • There is a poor work/life balance for much of the year (in 20 reviews)

  • You are expected to work a crazy amount of nights and weekends with absolutely NO comp time in exchange (in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

76 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. phone work is out of sinc with the time we live in

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Phone Solicitor for MDA Lock Up Events in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Phone Solicitor for MDA Lock Up Events in Washington, DC

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association part-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    part time work if you want only part time work about 6 - 7 months a year (20 hours a week on average) median pay ( these is much better out there) you may be helping the MDA children and families irregular hours (VoIP goes out so you go home without pay)

    Cons

    Bad and silly policies like the MDA phone recruiters not being allowed to send a bit of information as an informative email (or compile a mass email list for the day) to be used when we reached a potential lock up event business person volunteer who wanted to commit but also wanted to make sure we are who we really say we are. The phone recruiters were not being allowed to give out an office phone number for a call back to us so it makes us look like we are "hiding something" as one nice gentleman who eventually declined the lock up said. Also the MDA employees expected the written "script" to be followed as most of the scripts they wrote are so long-winded and have long sentences that the scripts caused actual frustration for the person we "cold called" and often reduced the positive responses (unless the phone solicitors shortened it a bit). And the office personnel constantly printed out really old contact lead sheets with wrong addresses and wrong employment information and this always lead to the person we called refusing to sign up for a lock up event ("hey, I moved 5 years ago get your information right"...). Then even if we produced many business and executive sign ups for these lock up events we are always, always, always "critiqued" or " re-instructed" every day in a climate of inept micromanaging that made you want to "not continue" the job of helping the children and their families. These micromanaging lectures include information we phone solicitors already "knew" as we are the ones actually doing the hard job of selling the MDA lock up event to a stranger hundreds of times a week. These so-called "helpful little micromanagement lectures" are designed to make the MDA middle manager "feel like they are working" and are the middle management's poor attempt to make us "better salespeople". Also a policy of overly complementing the people getting the first bunch of sign ups for the lock up each day made the ones who did not get the first sign ups feel bad and (hello ! ) they were already feeling bad enough that they didn't get many sign ups. These main staff people assigned to oversee the phone solicitors sit behind the phone solicitors at a desk and most times that person is simply on Facebook all day (and frequently playing overly loud Pandora bad rap music with explicit lyrics - which is never appropriate as it does not reflect the professional stature of MDA as we made calls to professional businesses all day who can hear the music in the background). It is no wonder that I watched 4 people start working and all quit within a few weeks and another time when a few temp agencies sent another batch of people over for a MDA group job interview for the phone solicitor jobs not a single person showed up. I was told by a secretary who had worked there for years that this is common. Believe me, the phone volunteer solicitor coordinators doing the solicitation and mostly cold calling really did try on every single call but your corporate policies of micromanaging burnt them out from caring about the children and families till each one eventually quit. Shame on you MDA upper management for taking so many good, caring people who are willing to do a part time, low paying, cold calling job for the good of the MDA children and families and treating them so badly they quit.

    Advice to Management

    Get your act together and hire better middle management. Help the phone solicitors do a better job by not micromanaging them and driving them to eventually quit. Put the phone solicitors in charge of themselves and you will actually see higher numbers and better retention of the fundraisers who signed up for these MDA lock up events.


  2. Helpful (6)

    Spoiler Alert: Don't Work Here!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Fundraising Coordinator in East Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Fundraising Coordinator in East Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    The families that you can work with.

    Cons

    No training, no support, poor management, awful learning curve (because there's no training), cold calling is mandatory and sucking up to firefighters is your primary goal. DON'T WORK HERE! It's awful! I was laid off when they realized that they have been in the whole financially for the past 5 years and JUST figured it out. They laid off 50% of the company a week before Christmas. No values!

    Advice to Management

    Actually train people and don't hire complete jerks as Executive Directors!


  3. Helpful (2)

    Over worked Fundraiser

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association

    Pros

    The pay is pretty good for a non profits. The benefits aren't anything special.

    Cons

    Over worked and bad management.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (5)

    MDA

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Working for a cause. Having a chance to provide meaningful assistance and aide to those affected by MD.

    Cons

    Poor leadership on several levels. The director at my MDA office would often lie, throw others under the bus, and did not provide any training or support. They have employee retention problems because employees are doing enough work for 3+ people. Not enough support for the health care coordinator positions.

    Advice to Management

    Fundamental change is needed at MDA.

    Muscular Dystrophy Association Response

    Jun 18, 2015 – HR Director

    I'm sorry for your experience in this particular office at MDA. We are passionate about our mission and expect our employees and managers to live by our values. I'm sure that while you were at MDA ... More


  6. Helpful (2)

    Career Killer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Huntersville, NC
    Former Employee - Manager in Huntersville, NC

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The pro is the travel to different events, conferences and regions. Also meeting the public and volunteers while working fundraisers.

    Cons

    Very old boy network and completely micro-managed to the point where you need to report to someone, that you are using a paper clip. Very cliquish and the company technology is archaic.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the top heavy lifers that stifle any and all ideals from the rank and file.


  7. Deltes Bad Reviews- Probably for a Reason

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The clients and families! I worked with some of the most inspiring, brilliant, and driven co-workers. Summer hours and PTO (with tons of hoops to jump through to get approved).

    Cons

    Well, I will start out by saying my original review was deleted. So, let that be a sign. I watched my amazing co-workers go nowhere in their career. This is why I had to leave. I knew my career was not going to grow. So I took my passion and skills elsewhere. Very little training. On my first day I was told "sink or swim" and they were being absolutely serious. Management (Executive Directors and District Directors) promotes a bully culture where co-workers are publicly shamed in front of clients, donors and sponsors. A few months in I almost went to get tested for a learning disability because they made me feel like I had one. Management is absent, except if you make a mistake- then they come tails wagging! At an event my District Director yelled at me in front of a group of guests for not doing something she told me earlier not to do. People were whispering. I honestly felt embarrassed for her. I heard management gossip about their employees and the clients (YES, THE CLIENTS!) to other employees, call their employees names, swear at employees and belittle them saying things like "Do you know how to read?" in front of their peers. We always told new employees to stay away from our District Director on event days or suffer her wrath. My Executive Director constantly worked from home because her commute was too hard on her. She would never reply to emails, was never available by phone and provided no leadership. But when people from the National office were around, she was suddenly our offices biggest cheerleader. It was so insincere. I caught her on multiple occasions throw her staff under the bus when she had dropped the ball. I came to MDA to make a difference. I left feeling broken.

    Advice to Management

    When offices have huge turnover, it's for a reason. Take a look at that reason.


  8. Helpful (6)

    Great mission, poor management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Area Director
    Former Employee - Area Director

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Families at MDA are incredible. They motivate you and truly show how important the mission of MDA is. The relationships you build make you want to go above and beyond to help improve their lives. You also have an opportunity to share a wonderful mission with your sponsors, which is so rewarding. You also get to work with really committed sponsors and wonderful committee members. Some of them have been involved for years and years, which is great for institutional knowledge. Onboarding has improved with standardized orientation and programs. This has eliminated a lot of redundancies and hopefully will help leverage some existing partnerships from one market to another. They are making needed investments in technology, although things like wifi and color printing still don't exist! There are teams developing modern collateral and graphics to use to bring the brand of MDA into the 21st century (although getting your hands on some of the new stuff is almost impossible and the time it takes to get something from graphic design is about 6 weeks, which isn't great). Summer hours and lots of vacation time are appreciated. Town-hall style bi-monthly webinars from the CEO give some insight to the strategic plan for the organization.

    Cons

    MDA has a critical management problem. Performance standards are implemented arbitrarily and poorly performing staff never seem to be replaced. It's a gossip-factory and no one seems all that happy to be going to work. Management is poorly trained and has no real oversight in terms of how they're running an office so bad managers are left in place for a long time. You can have a terrible manager, vocalize that there are issues, and nothing is done. This is the same story in multiple districts, with multiple staff members, so it's not an isolated incident. There's no pipeline for innovation or new ideas, in part because you're so busy trying to cover huge geographic territories and large volumes of work that you have no time to try anything new. There's also a move to standardize everything, but there's not enough staff to support that, so things take much longer than they should (for example, you will wait 4 weeks to get color copies printed and shipped to you from the national team). Work life balance is a joke. Get ready to burn yourself out and gain 30 pounds. There is 3x the workload for any one employee, and you'll be working long hours, nights, and weekends with no flex time. Summer hours are great except most staff can't use them because they have fill the boot events on Friday evenings. It would be great if you could use them on a Monday morning or a Friday afternoon. Salaries are so low that good employees leave quickly for a better paying job and it's hard to attract good candidates who can help advance the fundraising success of the organization. Multiple reorgs have killed team morale and were penny-wise, pound foolish. There aren't enough people left to do the job and the people who have remained are the ones who can't make it elsewhere. The months it takes to fill a position mean the work falls to other already over-taxed team members so it's a revolving door with no stop in sight. On one company-wide conference call the CEO told a participating staff member that "there would be raises when field staff earned enough money to get them." Hard to stomach when the CEO is making half a million dollars a year. There is little room for upward mobility or career development - district offices are pretty flat and there are not advancing positions within the organization (likely because there's no money for the raises that would come with it). So, if you're talented, you grow out of your position quickly and are no longer challenged. There is no true staff appreciation - no raises for 6+ years, small bonuses that are secretly given out to some staff, no retirement match, and cuts, cuts, cuts to staff complements, benefits, etc. Moreover, there are not enough "Thank you's" or "good job's" ... it's really noteworthy and eats at you after you put in 60 hour weeks for months on end to pull something off. MDA's benefits package went from mediocre to poor this year, likely another cost-cutting measure. Our insurance quality declined, our retirement provider is terrible, and expenses for benefits went up. It's been several years of "tightening the belt" and employees are paying the price. Travel for work means you pay for it up front and wait 2-4 weeks to be reimbursed. You'll share hotel rooms, receive a pittance for meals, and will be asked to use public transportation for any travel under an hour. People seem to hate their jobs and their colleagues. It's not a pleasant place to work. Everyone has gripes and gossip, to the detriment of executing an event.

    Advice to Management

    Provide more staff feedback about management performance to gauge how an office is being run. Get in touch with today's market and figure out how to compensate staff as deserved. Offer more professional development opportunities to give high-performing staff members somewhere to go as their career advances.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Fundraising Coordinator

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Not much Employees who have been there are passionate - not all though; some are there because they are comfortable Families Volunteers Corporate Accounts

    Cons

    A whole bunch Benefits are horrible - no sick time pool but dip into pto No flexibility in hours if working after 5 pm Employees are disgruntled Senior mgt is over confident


  10. Helpful (4)

    Not this Non-profit

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Eugene, OR
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Eugene, OR

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great start in the hiring process

    Cons

    Never any raises, never any recognition and before you know it they close the doors the new CEO only wants one office per state. It was really sad to know all those families would not get one on one help again, And it is true about management, they don't even care if someone is dying they want the money.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to treat people and not make them feel so disposable.


  11. Helpful (13)

    The good, the bad, and UGLY

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Fundraising Coordinator in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Fundraising Coordinator in Houston, TX

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    MDA is very frugal with money, and definitely uses it to serve our communities to the fullest. I was always proud to tell people that 77 cents of every dollar helped people fighting muscle disease. Mda is a fantastic cause, muscular dystrophy is a terrible thing, and Mda is truly making a difference in the lives of people living with als, duchenne, SMA, and other diseases. The benefits are amazing. You are fully covered medically. They just switched time off to PTO though and that was a bummer. I was blessed to have great fellow fundraising coordinators at my location that worked hard and supported each other. At the end of my term, I felt very appreciated by higher up management (national office). I am thankful they noticed our office worked hard under such harsh conditions.

    Cons

    Time: In large cities, like houston, you will work many many many weekends. You will work late, and you will work hard. I know all offices are not this intense. The houston office had WAY too many projects and not enough staff making it difficult to succeed. This stretched the office thin. You will work long hard hours most of the year with little compensation. They offer summer hours, which is so appreciated, but many times we worked late on those days. If you have an event until midnight, you can come in at 10. There is no money compensation. Leadership: Our office had a huge transitional year, and it hasn't recovered. The staff is brand new and there is no direction or teaching on how to run events well. Everything is assumed. Management did not know how to explain projects well and there were LOTS of miscommunication. Tasks that should take 2 hours took days and the small things were sweated and the big things were forgotten. We all had to teach ourselves through trial and error. I believe that to still be the case today. They have started to offer webinars etc which are helpful, but in reality, if your leadership in the office is non existent, your office will tank. That happened at ours. Respect: I have never been treated with such condescending remarks in my career life. There is no appreciation or affirmation from management. The office moral is lacking greatly. I was not told once by our ED that I was doing a great job. There was also a lack of respect to our families, sponsors, and volunteers. Money was put before relationships and it was very obvious when I started here. I cannot describe how many times I have been yelled at, hung up on, or told "it's that time of year" by people that have supported MDA in the past. It's an embarrassment and needs to be fixed. Sponsors literally run away from our management because they hound them money questions instead of asking them his they are doing. It is awkward and humiliating. Communication: Communication is lacking. All management has different ideas on how to do things so projects never get done in an efficient matter. I have done so many projects over because of miscommunication or lack of communication. We would stay late at work with nothing to work on because they had not communicated tasks etc. To the team. Bullying: if you were different, you were bullied until you would just quit. I saw this happen to 4 people in the year I was with MDA. They would make remarks about your clothing, your car, your personality, and they would give you low jobs to do. Human resources has stepped in recently which I am thankful for. But I would NOT recommend this job to anyone as of now. A lot has to change and a lot of time needs to pass before this will be a stable working environment. I went into such great detail because I truly feel bad for people that will be stepping into this toxic environment.

    Advice to Management

    There has to be a management change for this office to get better. People are leaving after working for 3 months, the people need to change. I do appreciate national noticing that there is an issue and are trying to resolve it. But I think there needs to be more appreciation for the fundraising coordinators. When numbers and projects are really bad, call fundraisers too, not just managers who throw us under the bus.



Showing 76 of 247 reviews
Reset Filters
RSS Feed </> Embed

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.