Muscular Dystrophy Association Reviews

Updated August 1, 2015
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Muscular Dystrophy Association President & CEO Steven M. Derks
Steven M. Derks
96 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

241 Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    Working for the MDA is an incredible opportunity to be a community connector and help people...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Executive Director in Indianapolis, IN
    Current Employee - Executive Director in Indianapolis, IN

    I have been working at Muscular Dystrophy Association

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I have been an MDA partner since 2010, when our son was diagnosed with DMD. I have recently joined the MDA team help and have a greater impact on the ongoing work and mission of the MDA. Working for the MDA is an incredible opportunity to be a community connector and help people overcome obstacles. The MDA provides the opportunity to get to know, collaborate and work with medical professionals, community leaders, local and national fire stations, professional athletes and celebrities. Now is the time, more than ever before to be apart of change and new answers to old problems. I love the culture, spirit and people I have come into contact with that make up the MDA. It is incredible to see a child smile and get a hug from a family member because they know you care and you are fighting for them.

    Cons

    And organization that is successful has to change and grow. Changing and growing up is hard work.

    Muscular Dystrophy Association Response

    Jun 15, 2015 – HR Director

    Thank you for your inspiring comments! I can feel the passion in your words and appreciate that you took the time to let others know about MDA's powerful mission. We are working hard to to fight ... More


  2. Fundraising Coordinator

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The people who work at MDA are genuine people and the work that they do in the community benefits so many lives.

    Cons

    So far there is nothing to complain about.


  3. Helpful (3)

    This organization needs to change if it is to survive. Look at the history over the past 5 years, it looks bleak.

    • 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 (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Volunteers are wonderful unfortunately they are under utilized and appreciated for their commitment .

    Cons

    This organization is still run like its 1970. Upper management does not support local staff and you have to spend more time reporting on every incidental step you don't have enough hours in a day. The training is minimal but they make you check off that you received training. Fundraising costs are so high that goals are unattainable after event costs. Regional staff is at best judgmental and not honest about expectations and unethical regarding confidentiality. The work is overwhelming with NO appreciation or respect for the staff commitment. This organization does not have local Boards so there are no local decisions it is based on upper managements decision. Recruit new leadership with a fresh perspective.

    Advice to Management

    Give less power to regional staff and cut down on number of regional staff and provide support for local and community staff. Bring the organization into the 20th century by changing formula events and using technology for your benefit. Provide local volunteer leadership instead of staff leadership at a regional level that does not have a grasp of communities served. Look into the high staff turnover at the local level and provide transparency about fundraising events costs and volunteer recruiter expenses.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Health Care Service Coordinator

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Health Care Service Coordinator in Saginaw, MI
    Former Employee - Health Care Service Coordinator in Saginaw, MI

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

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Support from the National Office

    Cons

    Long hours, lots of driving, gossip, backstabbing

    Advice to Management

    Clean out the out guard and replace with good, caring, honest people


  6. Helpful (1)

    Amazing place to work!

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

    I have been working at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I've worked for MDA for almost 5 years, so I saw the organization both before and after the new management and the restructuring. Change is always difficult, and the restructuring involved making some hard choices about how to be good stewards of donors' dollars. But overall the change has been very positive and very rapid considering the size of the organization. The culture has improved, and there is more of a team atmosphere now. There is also much better communication from senior management regarding the direction of the organization. The people who work here are wonderful colleagues, and the families we serve are inspirational every single day. Also, you really can't beat their benefits package.

    Cons

    Change is a process, and MDA is still going through some change, although the biggest changes seem to be behind us at this point. Pay raises for local staff are needed.


  7. 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.


  8. 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

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

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

    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.


  9. Helpful (7)

    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!


  10. Helpful (7)

    Fundraising Coordinator

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Plenty of programs to learn and master, supporting a worthy cause, minimal oversight on daily business, interactions with client base are phenomenal. There's a lot to learn and plenty of opportunities for successes throughout the year.

    Cons

    Extremely steep learning curve (most people burn out from poor work/life balance in 1-2 years), extremely high rate of turnover, poor organizational structure, little to no financial incentive to exceed expectations (internal promotions are lacking), lacks basic institutional infrastructure (no centralized donor database), little to no work/life balance, donor stewardship lacks focus (most donors are extremely frustrated with the organization).

    Advice to Management

    Implement a centralized donor database (such as raisers edge), focus on donor stewardship, focus on promoting from within.


  11. 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.



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