Muscular Dystrophy Association

  www.mda.org
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Muscular Dystrophy Association Reviews

Updated Jul 14, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.4 192 reviews

60% Approve of the CEO

Muscular Dystrophy Association President & CEO Steven M. Derks

Steven M. Derks

(67 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)

192 Employee Reviews
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    PEASE READ! Don't be fooled by the most current reviews!

    Fundraising Coordinator (Current Employee)

    ProsAs a current employee, I am truly finding it hard to come up with a pro regarding my job as a fundraising coordinator, other than working with real families living with muscular dystrophy. With all of the jobs I've had, this is the absolute worst, and I'm not alone in this. DON'T BELIEVE THE CURRENT REVIEWS! I don't know where these "current reviews" came from, but I guarantee you they are from made-up accounts by the higher-ups at our national office, or certain employees were "asked" to write a positive review. PLEASE GO BACK TO EARLY 2014 OR ANYTIME IN 2013 TO READ THE REAL REVIEWS. YOU WON'T BE SORRY.

    ConsWhere to start... absolutely NO TRAINING. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I can only speak from a fundraising standpoint, but there hasn't been one REAL training from my first day here. Sure, they'll tell you you're going to have a seminar or webinar or a "special meeting from the divisional head" for training - and the trainings are BOGUS. I still can't formulate into words EXACTLY what I do here because I've had no training. I was sent to a New Hire Training a few months after I arrived - 3 days long and it was a sales seminar... I left sales to pursue fundraising - fantastic.

    Now for when you get the job... there's no real history from previous employees left in a database anywhere for you to look at. So you come in to your new job, with copies of emails and other odd documents on a CD-ROM and you're supposed to magically understand how to do your job. OR BETTER YET, look through mountains of BINDERS where all of the pertinent information can be found regarding your job. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

    Oh, and did they tell you about the pay freeze that's been in place for the past 5 years? BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T TELL ME THAT WHEN THEY OFFERED ME THE JOB! Good luck with trying to move your life forward in this place - no pay increase, no bonus, no ability to move forward (and how would you anyway with no training).

    Advice to Senior ManagementEveryone in upper management should be ashamed of themselves - I've seen the salaries you're making compared to the pittance you pay field staff - and you're not even doing anything to deserve it! And if you are, try a little transparency. Your ridiculous nation-wide conference calls with all your business jargon and garbage is just that - garbage. You never answer a question directly and you never ACTUALLY GIVE US UPDATES. And such a shame too, because with your 30% turn-over rate, all your doing is preventing families from trusting anyone new, and causing sponsors and partners to feel at a loss when they have to explain their program all over again. Shame on you.

    GET WITH IT. What are you all doing up there... helloooooo. So what? - you're giving us early leave during the month of July, HALF OF THE STAFF CAN'T EVEN USE IT BECAUSE IT'S THE BUSIEST TIME OF THE YEAR.

    Tell the truth. Get rid of the dead weight (ie. divisional staff that have been here way too long to understand and offer new fundraising methods). Stop the pay-freeze OR offer performance based bonuses. Develop REAL trainings. STOP looking for sales people - people come to the MDA looking to fundraise and you're turning them into car salesmen. Have divisional staff be more present and available to field staff OTHER than the Executive Directors.

    START NOW.

    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
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Do Not Work Here

    Fundraising Coordinator (Current Employee)

    ProsThe mission, the sponsors, the families and some of your colleagues.

    ConsThis organization is a mess. There are a lot of cons, too many to list really. The biggest problem is divisional management, many of them have been there a long time and perpetuate mistreatment of employees. The culture is horrible, shocking, degrading, and life-sucking. Turnover is the second biggest problem and is a direct result of horrible divisional management.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWAKE UP

    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

     

    little training, lots of work, but also lots of freedom and comfort in sharing ideas, GREAT people

    Executive Director (Former Employee)

    Prosfreedom, empowerment to share ideas, work with a diverse group of people

    Conslots of weekend events, alot of work and reporting, but worth it

    Advice to Senior Managementdon't get too far removed from fundraising because there is constant change and if you are too far removed then you won't have the best ideas or the recent experience from which to draw your ideas/advice.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Administrative Assistant

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGood benefits, opportunity to make networking connections

    ConsAlmost 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.

    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
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great resume builder, not ideal for long-term

    Fundraising Coordinator (Former Employee)

    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 Senior ManagementPLEASE, 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Approves of CEO

     

    Hard work but great team

    Executive Director (Former Employee) Charleston, WV

    ProsGreat team,wonderful mission and they take care of you.

    ConsVERY lean so you will wear a lot of hats and they are trying to stay competitive

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Fraudulent activity prevalent

    Recruiter (Former Employee) Downers Grove, IL

    ProsNone that I can think of

    ConsThe manager of this office allows recruiters to indicate they work for the venue which is hosting the lock up event. This practice continues despite my numerous complaints. It is nearly impossible to make your quota without taking advantage of this little trick. I was called out for doing what the most successful recruiter in the office does every day and was told I could not do it. Management does not listen and there is no documentation by recruiters. I have no idea how they report on activity since their recruiters do not document. Wa.y too much work for the money.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to people who are older and wiser and have much more corporate experience than you do. Do not allow double standards. Rules apply to everyone.

    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

    2 people found this helpful  

    Great mission, great cause.........but......

    Divisional Director (Former Employee)

    ProsIf you view yourself as working for the families that MDA serves, it makes it almost worth it! The feeling of satisfaction knowing that you are making a positive impact in people's lives! The board has started to make some positive moves in terms of leadership changes but needs to continue.

    ConsThe lack of stability for the past several years...never knowing (for sure) when the next "big" organizational change is coming and how it may impact you or your teams. The culture of secrecy in the organization...

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe board and new CEO have brought some much needed change to the organization and I encourage them to continue with those changes but to adjust their focus. To date the focus has been on closing field offices and effectively reducing the number of qualified and successful fundraisers from the field at the same time expecting the same or even better fundraising results. I suggest taking a look at some of the senior leadership that is still hanging on who have been with the organization 30ish years but have not experienced success since the passing of the last successful CEO many years ago. These are the folks who have created the atmosphere of fear that many reviewers mention. Removing them and their bloated salaries would allow you to keep much needed fundraisers in the field. During the toughest times the organization went through several years ago, when salaries in the field were frozen they were still receiving bonuses and "other compensation" that the field never did see. Feel free to check out the annual reports from several years ago to verify that...

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

     

    Too good to be true...

    Administrative Assistant (Current Employee)

    ProsWorking as a temp employee everything is great!

    ConsOnce 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 Senior ManagementOpen 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Mission rich job

    Divisional Staff (Current Employee)

    ProsCo-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.

    ConsThe 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 Senior ManagementPlease 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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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