Muscular Dystrophy Association

  www.mda.org
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Muscular Dystrophy Association Reviews

Updated Jul 23, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.4 195 reviews

59% Approve of the CEO

Muscular Dystrophy Association President & CEO Steven M. Derks

Steven M. Derks

(69 ratings)

26% of employees recommend this company to a friend

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)

195 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Culture & Values
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    Good experience

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsI loved the people I worked with - my coworkers, the client families and our sponsors and partners. I built lifelong friendships and professional contacts. The summer camp is so much fun to attend and no day in the office is the same.

    ConsIt can be very difficult to advance in your career and there was a pay freeze the whole 5 years I was there. There is much talk about making changes and getting us the money we deserve, but that came from the top, out of touch management. The Lock-Up program is dated and a frustrating fundraising program to work on.

    Advice to Senior ManagementValue your long-time employees more. Not just with words (though that was definitely not frequent enough either - new employees seem more valued), but with pay increases. I had been there three years and found out that new-hires were getting paid the same as me. It was very frustrating and I did not feel that I was in the loop on things happening in the organization...it felt like just the Executive Directors got to know important information. Lastly, some comp time and more work flexibility may have kept me there.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great Cause, but Be Ready to Work Night and Day

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsI love meeting the families and doing what I can to help make their lives a little easier. I have made some great relationships with our patient families. They are the reason I am still here. The pay is average, but when the workload is considered it's really not that great. Benefits are really, really good! Company continually looking for ways to make staff happy with work/life balance. We do provide more services to our families than any other non-profit and that is impressive, along with the fact that we have one of the highest percentages on use of funds to services. MDA is making great strides in research and that is exciting to be a part of.

    ConsWork load is ridiculous! Many weekend/evening events with no more money. In fact, raises are almost non-existant! I never feel I can relax at home due to being stressed about what needs to be done at work. Multiple events going on at the same time, so never a feeling of closure. Travel isn't too bad, but always just seems to fall at the worst time with families events going on! We are given a great amount of time off work, but it never feels like there is a good time to miss as there is ALWAYS something you need to tend to.

    Advice to Senior ManagementExecutive Directors shouldn't be asked to speak for the entire office. If a question pertains to a specific event/circumstance. The employee involved should be spoken with directly. The director in our office tends to "mislead" in their favor. Training in ALL positions could be better, rather than a couple of days and then getting thrown to the wolves. There doesn't seem to be "across the board" structure on how things are done, which lead to confusion and mistakes. Would like to see a more UNIFORM approach and leave out the guess work. Communication to change is key. Information doesn't seem to make to it the district offices a lot of times until you are getting in trouble for something that has changed yet you were never notified of!!! On a more positive note, I think the benefits that you offer are excellent and your hard work to provide the best prices/coverage are much appreciated. The acknowledgement of birthdays and anniversaries are added bonuses and, again, very much appreciated.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great Experience!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Houston, TX

    ProsThe people are great! Mission is amazing. Many people are veterans of 10-35 years. You wonder what keeps them here. That is what I hope for!

    ConsCompensation unfortunately is not competitive--

    Advice to Senior Managementreview salary surveys in the different areas and become competitive to retain the newer staff...

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
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    Awful

    Fundraising Coordinator (Current Employee)

    ProsHelping families. Working with Sponsors that really care.

    ConsEverything ever other negative review has said:

    Bad Management
    Unrealistic Goals
    Inexperienced Managers
    Terrible Culture
    Long Hours
    No Appreciation

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou obviously have no idea what is going on in your field offices. Your divisional management is not telling you the truth, and your eating up their lies and continuing on like there is nothing wrong, and it is RUINING your organization.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great Cause!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat cause and the time off is incredible.

    ConsLot's of change...but most is for the better.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep a focus on the people, they are what makes MDA special.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Exciting mission, lackluster environment

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat organizational mission and cutting-edge research. The employees really care about clients and making a difference. You'll learn a lot about muscle disease and cause-related marketing.

    ConsDoesn't take very good care of staff. No raises when I was there, no compensation time even when you're at events all weekend long. MDA's fundraising style and campaigns are so specific, that I didn't learn much about fundraising in general. There was no emphasis on professional development outside of very specific organizational training; I was not allowed to attend networking events.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

     

    Fundraising Coordinator

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThe job itself is a good opportunity for a first job. Ways to improve necessary skills like sponsor relations, communications, meeting budget goals, and more.

    ConsCompany does not have a solid brand and no plan to improve it. Company as a whole is behind the times. Does not encourage creativity or improvement of programs. National management is out of touch for what happens in the field. Local office has poor management. My divisional director told me she did not like "dealing with office drama". Unfortunately no management leads to more drama and bad office culture.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGreat job in cleaning out the up upper management but it's time to take a close look at the field. Someone who has been at MDA for a long time might be valuable or they could be very detrimental to the success of the company.

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Not good.

    Fundraising Coordinator (Former Employee) Boynton Beach, FL

    ProsOpportunity to help people in need. Decent salary, but lots of events on weekends.

    ConsPoor management - My director supervisor was a twit. She did zero work except write nasty write up emails about my colleagues and I to her superiors. She offered little direction and never wanted to discuss issues.

    Badly organized programs - MDA does events, such as Shamrocks and Lock ups. These are both antiquated programs, and no one is interested in buying a Shamrock or spending hours locked up in a restaurant.

    Culture - Mainly women, so expect LOTS of cattiness. We were forced to dress up, but people rarely came into our office. It was a non-profit -- why dress up?

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet rid of most of your directors and regional management. They do not offer any help to staff, except when it comes to throwing them under the bus.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Misguided non-profit with good intentions at heart

    Administrative Assistant (Former Employee)

    ProsMDA provides many of the needed services for those living with muscular dystrophy.
    Salary was comparable to other local non-profits.
    Offered a PPO health plan and dental (with discounts on vision).
    All local MDA offices work closely with the headquarters, everyone is held accountable to the same standards.

    ConsI was very hopeful when I accepted my (former) job at MDA. My interview was very positive and after taking the "tests" required to attain a job, I knew that I would fit right in with my experience. Within my first month of employment, I was already set on my path to succeed with multiple trainings, check-in phone calls, and constant support from my supervisor.

    After the first couple months, I started to notice that things weren't quite right. This can be said for the local office management, as well as the national headquarters staff.

    I would like to mention the EXTREMELY high turnover within the organization. Within my entire year of employment, our office was never completely full because of the high amount of resignations/new hires. Also adding to this high turnover were the "Volunteer Recruitment Coordinators" that were hired through local temp agencies to call potential donors (within my year, I had seen 50+ recruiters come through our door, and be "let go" the next day). Each office has a very strict quota and goal that they need to reach through fundraising, if a recruiter hasn't met their goal for the day-- they are gone.

    I envisioned my non-profit career to take a new turn when I started with MDA. I came from another non-profit that was highly "customer-centric" and their sole mission was to provide the utmost quality of service to our clients. I feel like I was misguided when I came to MDA, thinking that they had the same values. My job was 95% cold calls, fundraising, and asking for money (yes, even as the full time/salaried Administrative Assistant) and 5% "client-based" work.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPlease consider re-aligning your core values and mission within your local offices. Take note of your extremely high turnover within the full-time salaried staff, and make progress toward fixing it! After a year with this organization, I can honestly say that it was NOT a positive choice for my career to accept a job with you. Although I learned a lot about how to run multiple fundraising events in one month, and how to make cold-calls to sponsors -- my professional career was at a complete stalemate while in this position. Please work closely with your "Executive Directors" and take the time to train them on office management, many come from fundraising backgrounds and don't have any training on how to manage and talk to staff. I urge you to create positive changes within the organization, get out into the field and see what is happening in all of your local offices--- they are the life behind MDA and what keeps it going.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Love working here!

    Executive Director (Current Employee)

    ProsMDA is the best company that I have worked for. The cause is hands down one of the best out there and you can truly own your development and success. I am challenged every week and love every minute of it.

    ConsThere is a lot of nights and weekends in this role but so goes event planning and anything in the nonprofit industry.

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to invest in your people.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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