Muscular Dystrophy Association Reviews

Updated September 1, 2015
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Muscular Dystrophy Association President & CEO Steven M. Derks
Steven M. Derks
24 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

73 Employee Reviews

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  1. Burn Out

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Fundraising Coordinator
    Current Employee - Fundraising Coordinator
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The families are amazing, you get to build relationships with some amazing sponsers.

    Cons

    No comp time, poor time off benefits, poor medical benefits, the retirement matching is a joke, no compensation for a job well done. If you can make it more than a year without feeling utterly burned out your not doing your job. As a fundraising coordinator you work full time, nights, weekends, never have time to take your lunch hour. There's never a momentary break, you'll be answering phone calls, texts, and emails anytime you take "vacation".

    Advice to Management

    Comp time is a real thing. If I'm accruring time hourly but you don't include the lunch hours, the nights, and weekends then it's a joke. Everyone lost time when we switched to your "employer of choice" system.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Rewarding experience, bad leadership

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Fundraising Coordinator
    Former Employee - Fundraising Coordinator
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Rewarding to help with camp and see lives impacted!! Great co-workers that were loyal and truly bought into the mission of MDA.

    Cons

    No growth opportunities. Poor leadership in the Executive Director role. The EDs were not held accountable for their core responsibilities, and were able to pass blame to people underneath them.

    Advice to Management

    Need a better review system for their EDs.


  3. Helpful (4)

    Used to be good

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Tucson, AZ
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Tucson, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The best part of my job was the people on my team. Most of them were like family. The vacation and sick time before the new policies was great. The summer hours were nice.

    Cons

    Expected to do things outside of the realm of expertise and/or normal duties. Had to pick up the slack when not my expertise. Unrealistic expectations in regards to time management. Towards the end did not feel valued as an employee. Especially when the presentations of new benefit packages and PTO came out. Made me thankful I was no longer on MDA benefits. Horrible maternity policies. Horrible attitude towards pumping mothers who return to work as well. Employees feel overworked with little to no support. Turn over is insane based on unrealistic expectations and not enough resources.

    Advice to Management

    Stoo lining your own pockets and those of the top layer of Management. Remember the "little people". Give them proper training, realistic expectaions. Clean house of those who just tell you what you want to hear, but then blame everyone they don't care for when they don't meet quota.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    Great Cause, tough to say that MDA is an employer of choice!

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

    I have been working at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The families and the cause keeps you working.

    Cons

    They have a pay freeze with no increases in the future, in fact they want us to work harder before they consider it but they keep cutting positions and making budget by cutting expenses. As an employee you are expected to shoulder expenses for travel, office needs such as volunteer meals, or anything that needs paid for that you can't determine in advance. They do not have local credit cards so you are expected and required to carry the costs. You have very limited opportunities for advancement and the turnover is constant with the expectation that you will pick up the additional work and it will be a success even if you don't have sponsors, attendees, budgets or support. You do not get comp time and work weekends, evenings and anytime you are expected to get anything done. The company is entirely event driven and you keep asking for money from the same people over and over and trying to get the same result.

    Advice to Management

    Stop making budget by cutting expenses! Invest in your employees, really pay them what they are worth and add the staff needed to get the job done. The cuts of staff and offices are obviously affecting the bottom line, you have to spend money to make money.

    Muscular Dystrophy Association Response

    Aug 7, 2015 – HR Director

    Thank you very much for taking the time to share your feedback. Our employees are extremely important to us which is why we take your feedback seriously. Please feel free to reach out to your local ... More


  6. Helpful (5)

    helping the children and their famlies

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Middle Management in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Middle Management in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    1. helping the children with muscle disease 2. nothing else

    Cons

    1. an environment of micro-management for every detail 2. increasing fundraising quotas from above 3. unskilled co-workers at middle level 4. overseeing the part time phone recruiters (who often do a good job but are told its never good enough) 5. middle pay level with few raises over the years

    Advice to Management

    Please realize that the good people at the middle and lower ranks of the MDA are the reason you are a functioning large NON-PROFIT. Instead of pressuring them, try showing appreciation to them and this will make them do great things for the MDA. There is no need to have constant fundraising pressure and micromanaging of everyone. The general MDA office management climate of micromanaging every detail does nothing but erode the empowerment of that person's confidence who is being "instructed" on improved ways to do or say something. That person who is being frequently "critiqued" or "micromanaged" begins to question their native and learned skills and their confidence over time is eroded so this may cause many of them to quit. I have watched so many people at these two levels come and go not because of increasing quotas but because of constant micromanagement commentary from others inside their own offices.


  7. Helpful (11)

    Questionable culture, change that didn't deliver

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

    I have been working at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time

    Pros

    Working for MDA has its rewarding factors, the families you meet will impact your life in a way you never thought imaginable. The experiences of working with them and seeing yourself help someone is a major positive about my experiences here. The company also offers great benefits - insurance, time off and summer hours. Salary is competitive if you are in a management position.

    Cons

    The expectations are unrealistic. The company culture has not changed. I've been with MDA over eight years and seen many changes in the last three. These changes were made at the management and planning level and now that the dust has settled the culture is the same - make budget or fail. Our staff make-up has changed due to budget cuts but we are still expected to raise the same amount of money. When I started with MDA it was all about executing programs and building relationships, now its that plus finding new business and finding runners for marathons that are 5 states away from me! We are pressured to get companies to say yes, even when they've already told us no and forced to go after the same companies year after year for in-store programs. When we bring ideas to the table for our area they are shot down because we can't legally support them and are forced to tell a potential sponsor - sorry I can't host a clay shoot.

    Advice to Management

    Understand your expectations for the staff out doing the work. The recent restructure to national liaisons may have seemed like a good idea at your level but the people in the field are the ones having to execute your strategies. With five core programs and the constant pressure to find new opportunities it is impossible to manage. I've seen too many of my colleagues fall victim to burn out and there are a number of us out there on the same path. A lot of us do this job for the mission and you are taking the pride out of that when you ask us to exploit services like our summer camp, how many times can we ask donors to send a kid to camp? My districts budget is $500,000 and last year over 1/2 of that was pitched as camp support but we only spend $30,000 on camp.


  8. Helpful (7)

    Fundraising Coordinator

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Families, co-workers, enthusiastic approach to fundraising when given the proper tools. The office works best with a great manager who trusts in their team and works to bolster their success.

    Cons

    poor, poor management. too many chiefs. Too much power given to middle management with no guidance from above. No support from HR.

    Advice to Management

    oversee the executive directors better with more training for them. There seems to be no human resources training for a manager who is overseeing a whole state.

    Muscular Dystrophy Association Response

    Jun 23, 2015 – HR Director

    Thank you for your feedback. We have implemented a training session for all of our managers of people which includes a class on HR fundamentals. We also have 4 HR Generalists, 1 for each division ... More


  9. Good to MDA families, tough on employees

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Fundraising Coordinator in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Fundraising Coordinator in Pittsburgh, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Excellent experience with MDA families -Each day is different

    Cons

    -Overstretched staff -"Quick fire" management philosophy -Unrealistic fundraising goals

    Advice to Management

    Provide more resources to staff; develop new fundraising campaigns that will encourage community participation


  10. Helpful (9)

    Unhappy culture

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

    I have been working at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time

    Pros

    Lots of ownership, ability to take the lead and lots of offices around the country.

    Cons

    Terrible work life balance mixed with unhappy employees makes it difficult to do this job. Kiss your summers and holidays goodbye, this company expects you to work longs hours constantly and does not provide comp time or exchange days. You are expected to endure a week at overnight summer camp and also devote weekends and holidays to helping third parties raise money. When traveling they do not provide a lunch stipend because during the week they don't buy you lunch. The way this organization treats its healthcare staff, fundraisers and management is a labor law suit waiting to happen. Lastly, 99% of the organization are women, this might have something to do with stagnant wages and non-existent pay raises.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees better and pay them more.

    Muscular Dystrophy Association Response

    May 22, 2015 – HR Director

    Thank you for your feedback. We are actively working on making changes to our culture. For example, we have implemented Friday afternoon summer hours beginning in July and if Friday's aren't ... More


  11. Helpful (4)

    So much potential...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Fundraising Coordinator in Albany, NY
    Former Contractor - Fundraising Coordinator in Albany, NY
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You're working for a great cause, and you can feel good about the work, even on the toughest of days.

    Cons

    It's terribly disorganized without a clear direction from leadership, organizational structure, or the proper management in place to take the organization where it needs to go, or deserves to go for the sake of its patients.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to the stresses of employees and their concerns about leadership. It might help prevent the constant turnover and will help the organization explore new and innovative ideas that would be very easy to implement.

    Muscular Dystrophy Association Response

    May 22, 2015 – HR Director

    Thanks so much for your feedback. We are in the process of building a culture that is more open and honest about the stresses that employees encounter. We are trying to encourage employees to reach ... More



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