Muscular Dystrophy Association

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Muscular Dystrophy Association Reviews

Updated August 12, 2014
Updated August 12, 2014
219 Reviews

2.7
219 Reviews
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Muscular Dystrophy Association President & CEO Steven M. Derks
Steven M. Derks
71 Ratings

Review Highlights

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

  • The client families are amazing (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Potential for nonexistent work-life-balance during busy seasons depending on local leadership (in 18 reviews)

  • Long hours, little pay, no bonuses, no comp time, unrealistic goals and expectations (in 14 reviews)

More Highlights

60 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    The Experience Will Get You Places......But First It Will Make You Miserable

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

    Pros

    Benefits are good, families are amazing. Because you have to do many tasks outside of your own job, it prepares you for the next step in your career. Wonderful coworkers minus the upper management

    Cons

    I went to college to earn a degree where I could work in nonprofit. My first experience with a nonprofit agency was the Muscular Dystrophy Association and I will never work for another nonprofit thanks to them. I worked in a district with a very large budget. They run their employees into the ground and show no appreciation for them on the local level and very little recognition on the national level. In the year and 3 months I was there I watched 8 people leave one of which being me. Local management is very unprofessional, but believe they know everything. You are never compensated for working after normal business hours. You will get .50 for every mile you drive, and you will be driving around a lot! Do NOT believe the there will be room for growth because there isn't. The management will lead you to believe you will be moved up so you will continue to work hard, but they will snatch that right out from under you. Steve Derks has no personality and no idea what he is doing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your employees as people and not your slaves. Do not lie, cheat, and persuade to get your way. Be up front and maybe you would not have as much turnover

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Interesting times

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

    Pros

    Great mission. Great co-workers. Decent environment.

    Cons

    No training…. no upward movement… no hope

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get Florida offices together...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Administrative tasks are varied and interesting

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant

    Pros

    At the end of the day you are fighting muscle disease and making lives better. After 5 years the time off is good. The job it self, the tasks and responsibilities are varied and interesting and can be challenging.

    Cons

    The constant turn over makes progress impossible. Constantly training someone new leaves no time to develop and grow. People beyond the office are beginning to listen but the people making the decisions, policies and programs have no clue how to do the jobs they are dictating to.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't roll out new ideas, programs, procedures until you trouble shoot and work out the problems.
    Field test or do more field testing before implementing new things.
    Listen to the people doing the job.
    Stop talking about what you're planning to do and start talking about what you are doing. Stop talking in vague buzz words and team speak and tell us what's going on with plain honest communication.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Administrative Assistant

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

    Pros

    Good benefits, opportunity to make networking connections

    Cons

    Almost everything at the MDA is a "con" on my list including compensation, promotions - which don't happen, company values - they have no idea what their values are or where the organization is going, management - management that is hired is not qualified or have the appropriate experience.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Great resume builder, not ideal for long-term

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

    Pros

    * There are clearly a host of Current Employees who have recently made it a point to do some PR by listing many "cons" on this site...take that info very, very cautiously. Do your own research (Charity Navigator).
    *Great and worthy mission
    *Some of the most deserving families. Seriously, this is what keeps you going amidst the chaos.
    *Every bank/gov't holiday is observed
    *Summer hours
    *Great opportunity to add in-demand experience to your resume (sponsorship sales, event facilitation, marketing, volunteer coordination, project management...). Very thankful for this because, combined with my previous experience, it allowed me to land an awesome opportunity elsewhere pretty quickly!

    Cons

    *Disconnected leadership, both internally and with the 21st century
    *Ambitious and lofty goals, but shallow knowledge on how to lead a team to such success (nationally, and as a result, regionally and locally).
    *Hard to sell/promote outdated brand. An internal survey revealed that the general public of young adults have NO CLUE what MDA is! They're working on this...but it will be a very long journey.
    *Unstable financial outlook = HIGH pressure on the field level to get $$$
    *No retirement contribution
    *No raises...nope...not even cost of living or merit based
    *Potential for nonexistent work-life-balance during busy seasons depending on local leadership.
    *Quite honestly, it's just a hot mess internally. So often things would be last minute or unclear due to an intense scramble for much needed money. Also, because the organization is struggling to find its footing and invests nothing aside from annual salary in its employees, I would only advise working for MDA for the short-term to gain valuable experience. Run very quicly once you have some wins under your belt.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    PLEASE, for the sake of the families you help, educate yourselves outside of MDA and encourage your staff at all levels to do the same. There's a flourishing fundraising world that is rebounding since the recession - relying on what worked 20 years ago is simply incompetent and obsolete at this point. Also, until you invest in your staff, your turnover will remain high and detrimental to long term success.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Too good to be true...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant

    Pros

    Working as a temp employee everything is great!

    Cons

    Once you get hired on as a full time employee the cracks begin to show. Systems are ancient processes are outdated and there is no respect for Administrative assistants at all even though it's one of the most demanding positions. The pay does not equal the work load. And as an hourly employee you are not required to attend event after hours but are chastised if you don't attend. No accountability for anything!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Open your eyes and look around and learn from the great staff members that you have now and weed out the useless ones. A warm body doesn't equal a great employee.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Mission rich job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Divisional Staff
    Current Employee - Divisional Staff

    Pros

    Co-workers and clients/families we serve keep me coming to work everyday.
    Office culture varies greatly from office to office. Our office is fantastic.
    time off is good.

    Cons

    The company has been changing and has not found its own "culture" yet
    company continues to down size giving the remaining employees more work
    no pay raises in 6 years
    new staff are brought in at same pay as current staff who have been here for awhile with no pay raises
    no pay for performance
    no matching 403b
    no career advancement/opportunities (especially in administrative areas)
    no recognition unless you are bringing in $$
    you are only as good as your last event

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please stop the restructuring. enough is enough
    Pay for performance. adjust pay for people that have not received raises. Administrative staff are not 2nd class citizens

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Great families and an amazing mission, but leaves much to be desired if you are employed here.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Fundraising Coordinator
    Current Employee - Fundraising Coordinator

    Pros

    The families- I personally have developed great relationships with many of our families... this is something that for me extends beyond MDA's bureaucracy. Working with these people is easily the best part of my job. I feel blessed to know that the money I work to raise is going to help find a cure for muscular dystrophy. Many of our long term sponsors are amazing, most notably our retail partners and firefighters.

    Cons

    Bloated, out of touch upper management, which plays favorites with employees in odd ways, such as passing competent and dedicated staff over for promotions in favor of others that are less able but who have been in place longer. An antiquated business model and hiring process. Like other non-profits, there is not very much money allocated to keeping up to date Compensation that is nowhere near market rates... as for a raise, forget about it. Benefits are terrible, as is vacation time (5 days of vacation in your first year of employment). Touts itself as an employer that "respects work-life balance", but this is far from the truth. Arbitrary and ever-changing territory lines make it difficult to engage new sponsors that you try to recruit- you are absolutely not allowed to "cross" territory lines, and are required to hand over new contacts located in that area over to the district office in that territory, even if you have a prior existing relationship. There is an odd focus on "signature programs" that are no longer relevant, are time sucks, and do not bring in very much money. It is difficult to engage or recruit top level donors or potential sponsors without support from the national office.

    There have been MANY recent changes in the past two years that I have been employed here, nearly all for the better... however these are things that should have been changed a very long time ago, so it is hard to get excited about them. At other similar non-profits, these changes would have been a no-brainer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to offer similar benefits as other non-profits (increased compensation, more PTO, flex time, improved technology in offices) to retain or attract top talent. Steve Derks is doing good work but changes need to roll out faster.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Unfortunate State of Affairs

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

    Pros

    Motivated to work for a cause to see hope in the eyes of those you strive to help.

    Cons

    Poor compensation, executive management, work life balance is non-existent, poor asset control.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Revisit compensation and leadership of both National and Divisional Offices.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Problems galore and no one to report issues to.

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

    Pros

    The benefits are great and are very affordable. The vacation and sick time are separate hours, giving your more flexibility, plus the company also has many other holidays that are paid for during the year. You also get an anniversary and birthday off.

    Cons

    I have seen my director verbally bash everyone, from temp workers, to management, to patients and sponsors. I have experienced first hand being cursed and yelled at, told to shut up, and have been left in tears on my occasions. While an hourly employee, I was expected to work after hours, travel for events and then not be paid for my time or given comp time. The turn over rate is unbelievable due to a director that doesn't care about rules or policies, expects everyone to be a work horse, and more so, the complete disrespect that is shown for everyone, from the ground up. I have even witnessed their boss being cursed at by this individual and it is appalling. There is no one to report this to. This individual and their boss are friends, as well as the person above them. I have seen reports made to the higher ups and then calls directly to the director to then tell the director everything that was said and for them to handle it. There is no formal HR and it saddens me to know that the MDA will be a sunken ship due to individuals ripping it apart from the inside out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give heed to complaints and reports and act on them. Do not sweep it under the rug. Employee's voices matter and there are wonderful people that have come and gone due to the effects from one individual. Make a way for individuals to report certain things anonymously. VALUE your employees and encourage comp time. There is no time for families and personal time and an employee that has no way to regroup and rest, will be worn out, tired, and completely burnt out on their job and therefore, will not work to the best of their ability.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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