Muscular Dystrophy Association

  www.mda.org
  www.mda.org
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Muscular Dystrophy Association Reviews

Updated September 5, 2014
Updated September 5, 2014
202 Reviews
2.7
202 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Muscular Dystrophy Association President & CEO Steven M. Derks
Steven M. Derks
71 Ratings

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)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Mission rich job

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

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

    Pros

    Co-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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    Please 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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Too good to be true...

    • 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 for more than a year

    Pros

    Working as a temp employee everything is great!

    Cons

    Once 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 ManagementAdvice

    Open 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great families and an amazing mission, but leaves much to be desired if you are employed here.

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

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

    Pros

    The families- I personally have developed great relationships with many of our families... this is something that for me extends beyond MDA's bureaucracy. Working with these people is easily the best part of my job. I feel blessed to know that the money I work to raise is going to help find a cure for muscular dystrophy. Many of our long term sponsors are amazing, most notably our retail partners and firefighters.

    Cons

    Bloated, out of touch upper management, which plays favorites with employees in odd ways, such as passing competent and dedicated staff over for promotions in favor of others that are less able but who have been in place longer. An antiquated business model and hiring process. Like other non-profits, there is not very much money allocated to keeping up to date Compensation that is nowhere near market rates... as for a raise, forget about it. Benefits are terrible, as is vacation time (5 days of vacation in your first year of employment). Touts itself as an employer that "respects work-life balance", but this is far from the truth. Arbitrary and ever-changing territory lines make it difficult to engage new sponsors that you try to recruit- you are absolutely not allowed to "cross" territory lines, and are required to hand over new contacts located in that area over to the district office in that territory, even if you have a prior existing relationship. There is an odd focus on "signature programs" that are no longer relevant, are time sucks, and do not bring in very much money. It is difficult to engage or recruit top level donors or potential sponsors without support from the national office.

    There have been MANY recent changes in the past two years that I have been employed here, nearly all for the better... however these are things that should have been changed a very long time ago, so it is hard to get excited about them. At other similar non-profits, these changes would have been a no-brainer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to offer similar benefits as other non-profits (increased compensation, more PTO, flex time, improved technology in offices) to retain or attract top talent. Steve Derks is doing good work but changes need to roll out faster.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Unfortunate State of Affairs

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Motivated to work for a cause to see hope in the eyes of those you strive to help.

    Cons

    Poor compensation, executive management, work life balance is non-existent, poor asset control.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Revisit compensation and leadership of both National and Divisional Offices.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great mission, toxic management - on all levels.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Fundraising Coordinator  in  Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Fundraising Coordinator in Raleigh, NC

    I worked at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I had the pleasure of working with a few great people that I would work with again if given the opportunity.

    The families were my motivation! They are an amazing and unique group of people that I will keep in touch with for years to come!

    Cons

    Work load, stress level, LONG hours, unrealistic expectations, no respect from management, no matter how good you are/do it's never good enough.

    No work life balance...all work all the time.

    Micromanagement at its worst.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    CHANGE IS GOOD!
    The only way this organization will make thrive again is for upper management to change! Either change the way they think, act and treat their employees or for several new people with new and fresh ideas to enter those positions. If you don't start treating your employees like they matter and you respect and appreciate all that they are doing, you will continue to receive reviews like these and have one of the highest turnover rates of all nonprofits!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Only of you really need a job

    • 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 for more than a year

    Pros

    The families were great. Some co-workers also very motivated and fun to be around.

    Cons

    Poor management, poor pay, poor compensation. No reason to work hard and meet your goals when the person next to you isnt. So much turnover and minimizing office staff increasing the work load of staff. They are putting money in the wrong places. No leadership on the district level. No growth opportunities as they keep cutting positions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clean house and try again. What you have isn't working.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    A very structured work environment with great impact on patients and families.

    • 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 for more than a year

    Pros

    Very clearly stated goals
    Ability to make a difference in patient's lives
    Variety in daily tasks

    Cons

    Lots of phone work
    No flexibility in schedule
    Lots and lots of oversight and management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Simplify the mountains of rules, forms and procedures
    Allow people to match schedules to work load

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Amazing mission, positive change underway

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager  in  Tucson, AZ
    Current Employee - Manager in Tucson, AZ

    I have been working at Muscular Dystrophy Association full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great changes in place for organization that's regaining its edge as charity.

    Cons

    Heart-wrenching work fighting diseases that haven't had cures....but progress on the horizon.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Love the change underway.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Potential, Awesome Mission, but needs to invest in good employees

    • 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 for more than 5 years

    Pros

    You work with amazing families and awesome sponsors. There is a fantastic mission and huge strides in research in the past few years. Its fast paced and fun and promotes a team atmosphere!

    Cons

    I started here at the beginning of the recession. They instituted a salary freeze 6 years ago and it hasn't been lifted. Its difficult to be great at your job and not compensated for it. There also is a very cookie cutter path for promotions that doesn't fit everyone's goals. Its either a management position or you sit in entry level.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It was a great decison to bring in Steve Derks, he has really strengthened the association and has "righted the ship" so to speak. However, they really need to listen to the ground level employees more and bring back the salary raise for staff to at least apply for.

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

    Meaningful yet Overworked

    • 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

    Pros

    At MDA, it’s a joy to develop relationships with the families and provide services that directly impact lives.

    Cons

    The work load at MDA is unrealistic and work setting unsupportive. Many activities and work hours outside the 9-5 schedule without flex options. Benefits could be improved, no employee raises.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    New hire training was minimal and a last priority. There needs to be a work-life balance to stop high-staff turnover. I feel hopeful for the many changes that have been implemented and are still to come from the new CEO and national staff. However change is slow.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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