Muscular Dystrophy Association

  www.mda.org
  www.mda.org

Muscular Dystrophy Association Reviews

Updated October 13, 2014
Updated October 13, 2014
206 Reviews
2.7
206 Reviews
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Muscular Dystrophy Association President & CEO Steven M. Derks
Steven M. Derks
74 Ratings

Review Highlights

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
  • Potential for nonexistent work-life-balance during busy seasons depending on local leadership (in 20 reviews)

  • While they offer lots of holidays, there is no comp time (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

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

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    don'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.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Do not work for this company!

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

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time

    Pros

    The best thing are the client families that you help!

    Cons

    Horrible work-life balance! They expect you to drop everything, even last minute, to work nights and weekends with no comp days.
    Extremely unrealistic goals and expectations set by the regional office.
    Too much regional involvement in daily activities (multiple meetings with regional a week when you could have been doing your job)
    I had years of non profit experience before I worked for this company and this is by far the worst I've ever seen regarding "money focused" and they completely lose sight of "the cause".
    No feeling of job security.
    High turnover.
    Trained very poorly!

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Hard work but great team

    Former Employee - Executive Director in Charleston, WV
    Former Employee - Executive Director in Charleston, WV

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 3 people 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

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

    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
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Administrative Assistant

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

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time

    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
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    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

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time (more than an year)

    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
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

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

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

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    If 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    The 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...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Never a Dull Moment

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

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

    Pros

    There is definitely a job to be done here. There are lots of variety and plenty of opportunities to widen your skill-set and learn new things. The people are great. MDA is a focused, dedicated and energetic group working toward a common good. It's exciting and challenging.

    Cons

    Time and change. The unbelievable fluidity that comes with constant change is the biggest obstacle. The boat has been rocked a few times in the last couple of years. Systems changes, management changes and company-wide reorganization have made staying on board and holding steady a hearty task. It isn't for the faint of heart.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the sails up.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    MDA is an AMAZING and REWARDING company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - District Administrative Assistant in Boynton Beach, FL
    Current Employee - District Administrative Assistant in Boynton Beach, FL

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

    Pros

    It's amazing coming to work each day knowing you are making a difference in someone's life! Additionally, MDA has the best benefits...hands down! Holiday pay, sick leave, personal days and an amazing vacation benefit. My last 2 jobs I had to wait 5 years to earn 3 weeks vacation...at MDA I earned 4 weeks in my 3rd year!

    Cons

    You work hard...all day! But at 5p it's time to go and what's left is waiting for you in the morning! Most times you're working on more than one event at a time...but each day is a chance to be successful...all for our families! Without us who do they have?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the great support! And thanks for recognizing our hard work, extra time, successes and so on! It means the world and truly makes all the difference. It makes me WANT to stay with MDA - knowing my efforts are noticed and therefore acknowledged.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Experiences to last a lifetime

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

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

    Pros

    The impact you make and the people you meet will stay with you forever. If you "really get it" this job won't be just a job but so much more, it's something you can feel passionate about. It allows you to be creative, to make any program or event, just want you want it to be. You can take the ball and run with it and the people you touch throughout the process will end up touching you so much more! Working at MDA, you are surrounded by managers and co-workers who want you to succeed and are there to help you achieve your goals. The better you are at your job, the better it is for the company. It's a team environment and we are all here for the greater good of our families and mission.

    Cons

    There is a lot of turnover, and it is tremendously difficult to find qulified employees to staff open positions. There is not a 403b match and raises are only offered with a promotion. That said, there is little room for growth without relocation unless the manager above you leaves his/ her position.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sometimes the work takes over and there is not time for team building or team meetings and those are really important. I think conferences or divisional meetings are also important to learn from other districts.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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