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Mothers Against Drunk Driving

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Automotive Safety, Crime & Law, Disaster Aid, Drunk Driving-Related, Human Services, Victims Services

Mission: The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking.

Results: When MADD was founded in 1980, an estimated 25,000 people were killed in drunk driving crashes each year. Since then, we've been able to cut that deadly toll by more than half, save more than 350,000 lives and serve nearly one million victims. But there is still more work to do to get to No More Victims. MADD has passed all offender ignition interlock laws in 30 states and DC, serves a victim free of charge every 3 minutes and educates a parent or teen every 4 minutes

Target demographics: victims of drunk and drugged driving, general public education, teen/youth education

Geographic areas served: Nationwide and in local communities

Programs: Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, Victim Services, Power of Parents, Power of Youth, Victim Impact Panels, Law Enforcement Recognition Events, Walk Like MADD, Tie One On for Safety

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 DwayneB

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Victim Services? Ha! What a joke! My little brother was killed by a drunk driver in 2010 and I contacted MADD and all they did was send a couple of brochures on grieving and that was it! Nothing else, no legal help, no counseling, no financial help, NOTHING! Brochures on grieving.....REALLY? Everyone grieves in their on way and deals with things in different ways, you can't tell someone how to grieve! In my opinion MADD like most big non-profits have gotten greedy, it's all about the money! I've heard stories of donors keep getting gifts in the mail and the charities asking for more money. How about they stop spending all that money on gifts and use it toward the cause like they are suppose to do! And to those of you that donate to charities that take your money over seas to help poor and starving children....etc. Do you know that once that money leaves the USA their is no tracking it, your just throwing your money away. I founded a non-profit of my own to fight drunk drivers, My non-profit is ran by volunteers and all the money we take in goes directly towards fighting drunk drivers and helping the victims in everyway possible like it should be. MADD tries to change laws (so they say) and there is no way they can prove drunk driving is down because of them! I'll tell you this, counties that get voted wet always see a drop in drunk driving because they do not have to travel as far or as much to get alcohol and as far as laws are concerned.....MAKE A LAW THAT EVERY DUI CARRY WITH IT A WANTON ENDANGERMENT CHARGE because drunken drivers put everyone on our roads lives in danger! That will cut DUI's way down I guarantee that!!!

Previous Stories
4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I lost my baby brother April 3rd. 2010. I contacted MADD and talked to them about it, alot of talk and no action is what I got.

Review from Guidestar

3

Client Served

Rating: 1

30 years ago my wife was killed by a drunk driver (male)
Since I was a single father led household, MADD lived up to its name.
It was full of MAD women who felt MEN were the evil ones...
This summer my lead carpenter's wife was killed by a drunk driver (female).
Again history repeats. I email MADD on 3 june, get no reply till 11 August when some
there states they tried to e-mail me on the 28 of July.

I give them a list of problems, request for literture, local contacts, etc.. all ignored..


Seems these folks can't use phones. I think they've done good work, but their time has passed....

Give your money directly to those affected locally and let these folks use their big bugs at the state houses....

Lorenzo Levi Brown

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 3

I do not appreciate fundraisers calling me at 8:00 am!! I give once a year and that's it. This is the third time they've called in the past few weeks early in the morning when I'm getting ready for work, etc.
Considering that I never gave them my phone number I wonder why they keep calling. I am not very happy at the moment. Their process needs to be improved and a better way found to conduct their fundraising procedures.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I have been a volunteer for several years, helping mainly with the Walk like Madd. When you sign up online they ask for all types of information that they do not need. I recruited family, friends and co workers and raised thousands of dollars for them. Only to find out that we were all being spammed incessantly by various MADD staff asking for more money. I called the national office and asked them to stop spamming everyone who I recruited. The women I talked to who said she was in charge of the Walks was snotty and she would see what she could do. We are all still being spammed! My friend who works for a very reputable charity told me that MADD has serious issues at the national level and is rate as a 1 star charity by Charity Navigator, and was give a "D" grade by the American Institute of Philanthropy. These ratings were due to poor financial management. They spend too much money on overhead and not enough on their mission.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found myself in the madd office in July of 2012 after my partner of 20 years was hit by a drunk driver while using a cross-walk at a busy intersection. As you can imagine, I was and continue to be, absolutely devastated and if it weren't for the support, guidance and friendship from the madd staff, I don't know that I would be here today. The madd staff helped me through everything from emotional support which gave me the strength to make funeral arrangements, to support and guidance through the legal process and the emotional torture that goes with this. Thank you madd for all that you are doing for me and for all the help that you are giving to other victims across the country.

Review from Guidestar

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I became involved with MADD two years ago, after a family friend was killed by a drunk driver. It was important to me that I support an organization that really understood as well as shared the belief that drunk driving is a completley preventable crime and everything must be done to stop it. I am and continue to be a financial contributor to MADD because I believe in the work that they do and I support the manner in which their funds are spent. I typically work with the staff at the local level, but I have also had the opportunity to work with the staff at the National Office with respect to National Sponsorships from my company. I look forward to working with MADD in the future, and I know that my financial contributions will make a difference.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

After volunteering for MADD for several years, I was so impressed with their Victim Services, their preventative educational programs and their overall organizational management, that I decided to join the MADD family. I am proud to work for an organization where 78% of revenue funds goes directly to support programs and services. In addition, since 1980, MADD's mission work has saved more than 300,000 lives from drunk drivers and an additional 27,000 young lives have been saved through MADD's work of creating and/or lobbying for the implemenation of groundbreaking public health laws. MADD will continue to make great strides to make our communities and roads safer by eliminating drunk or impaired driving, providing support services to the victims of drunk driving crashes, and by working to prevent undeage drinking. Thank you MADD for all that you do!

14

Donor

Rating: 1

I have been involved in giving to non-profits for over 25 years. My family and I have given a considerable amount of money to charity organizations and I have always been happy to do so. We wanted to work with MADD after an employee of our firm had a family member killed by a drunk driver. I started researching the organization and I must say I was shocked. The development department was very professional. She was able to answer all of our questions and make available all the requested info. I spoke to the victim advocate department and felt more energized to get involved. Sadly after these two departments is where the professionalism ended. I attempted to contact the CEO and my calls were never returned. At a salary of near $250,000 per year I would have thought she would be a little more interested in returning calls. I attempted to contact the COO and once again I was made to feel that they simply had better things to do than speak with me. I enquired about the CEO and COO and learned that both lacked the experience to lead a national organization. As I mentioned my family and I have worked with charities for over 25 years but this is the first time I have walked away from an organization. If this organization is to survive it will need a cleaning from the top. I totally understand why MADD has one star. Charity Navigator doesn't lie. This is not the organization Candice Lightner created and they should bring her back to undo the damage. Mrs Weir and Mrs Knox, why were you not in front of the news camera when an NFL player killed a fellow teammate in the your city? You should have led the charge to end this tragedy but instead you sat quietly and within a few days another NFL player is charged with a DUI in your area. If your Board of Directors care anything about the organization they will step up and demand changes.
Sorry to vent but watching my employee's pain and never hearing from MADD and then watching the news while professional athletes thumb their nose at the law and never seeing MADD denounce what happened is just wrong. When that player appeared on the sideline the game after he killed his friend and team member you should have been livid and telling any news outlet that would show up how wrong that was, but I guess the Cowboys give more money and tickets than a foundation such as mine.
MADD change your focus and obtain at least three stars and we may revaluate a donation in the future.

Review from Guidestar

12

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 2

Because MADD exists, hundreds of thousands of people are alive who would have otherwise been killed in senseless wrecks. MADD victim advocates help thousands of people each year. As a former advocate, I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to assist victims of drunk driving and I am proud of the difference that I and other advocates have made in the lives of innocent victims.

I was often asked how I could endure the emotional strain of working with bereaved and injured crime victims. That was never a problem. The problem was (and from what I hear, still is) the dysfunction of the MADD organization: a tendency to ignore problems, a lack of accountability in middle and upper management, a disconnect between the national office and the real world and MADD’s odd desire to be liked instead of respected. It is the MADD organization itself that frustrated and exhausted me.

If MADD's victim services program is as high a priority as MADD regularly claims, why is the general public unaware of it? Why is there no national program to promote awareness of those services? Victim speakers are responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue through MADD’s victim impact panel program. However, that money is used for non-victim programs.

Advocates are expected to encourage the victims they assist to volunteer within the organization. Why would an advocate who has educated, encouraged and protected a victim want to expose that victim to an organization who sees that person not as a wounded human being but as a way to raise money?

MADD’s CEO is paid (last time I looked) $234,000 annually but MADD refuses to pay the full IRS mileage rate to compensate employees who travel in their personal vehicles. Being cheap with its employees while the big boss is paid nearly a quarter of a million dollars makes MADD appear unconcerned and/or out of touch.

Sadly, the restructure of MADD in 2006, meant to make the organization more efficient, has drained the passion from this previously well respected grass roots organization and has given it an impersonal, corporate feel. MADD was built on passion, but people with passion don't belong there anymore.

The group of people who started MADD in 1980 showed a tremendous amount of courage in confronting a crime that everyone else wanted to ignore. I would hate to see MADD become irrelevant while it is still possible to drive drunk. MADD still has work to do and I hope those in charge will do some soul-searching, set aside personal agendas, have the courage to admit there is a problem and do whatever needs to be done to fix it. If they don't, they can't claim to support MADD’s mission.

10 Scorpio29

Volunteer

Rating: 1

It doesn't come as any surprise that MADD gets a one-star rating. While its intent is noble and worthy, it all boils down to MADD making money to pay the salaries and benefits of a very top heavy administration. It's certainly not used to assist well-trained volunteer advocates to do their job serving and advocating for victims and victim families of DUI. Volunteer advocate chapters are expected to BUY brochures and printed materials from MADD National headquarters to assist victims and raise public awareness. Year after year, we organized and ran MADD's signature Walk Like MADD fundraisers which garner thousands upon thousands of dollars in every community or region. Yet, we had to buy MADD materials for victims since all fundraising money goes directly to MADD National headquarters. If we're doing a community awareness program and want to hand out MADD brochures which include the victim services hotline number, we have to buy them. And then MADD wonders why we can't recruit and retain volunteer advocates. As for the organization itself, I agree with others that it's totally dysfunctional. One hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing. Only when we are fundraising, do we get any recognition. The revolving door of dedicated staff at the state and regional levels is enough to make our heads spin. They're not evaluated nor valued for their services in MADD's mission, only for the amount of money they can raise and forward to national headquarters. Year after year, it's the same thing despite the mounting complaints from lower echelon staff and volunteers. I volunteer for two other non-profits which value my time and dedication. Volunteers are brought together on a semi-annual basis so we can network our skill sets while meeting each other and know who's doing what. Both of those renown non-profits have longtime volunteers and no problem recruiting new volunteers. And lest I forget to mention, they have four-star ratings with Charity Navigator. Our MADD chapter slowly dissolved and MADD National doesn't even know it. I suspect they're simply re-cycling the number of victims we used to serve just to bolster their self-reported numbers for the current year's report. If you think MADD is serving victims as they report, I have a bridge to sell you. Simply put, they generate money to pay their own salaries and generous benefits. Trust Charity Navigator's one-star rating of MADD and donate to some other charity.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've lost three friends in three different drunk driving crashes. MADD helped me get through those rough periods because I knew that I could make a difference in making sure that others would never have to go through what my friends' families and I went through.

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

I completely agree with the above former employee. I, too, was caught in the nightmare of working at this extremely dysfunctional and poorly run organization. I feel it is my responsibility to warn donors and potential employees about the almost complete ineffectiveness of MADD. If the public understood the extent to which money is wasted in terms of overpaid personnel and a top heavy administration, I am certain it would make front page news and quickly shut down. I was truly excited to join their "team" when I first began working for them. Boy, was I in for a surprise! My very first week at work, I rec'd an email from a disgruntled employee who, as his last gesture before quitting, blasted the entire organization with his complaints. That was just a taste of what was to come. During my tenure, there was a minimum of one employee each week who either quit or was let go - at every level from upper management to admin assistants. The turnover was unbelievable! The morale was always low among employees. There are way too many overpaid mid-level "managers" who micro manage everything, including MADD volunteers! These are the same managers who treated my state's corporate donors like garbage, acting as if they come a dime a dozen. And these were donors who had given tens of thousands of dollars. The Underage Drinking component is completely ineffective, duplicated many times over by local programs in the different states, but MADD hangs onto this program because of the federal dollars. But here is the clincher: They run a first offenders program in which first offenders are mandated to pay a fee to attend, as part of their sentence. No problem with doing that - it's a great program. But, they use their volunteers to run the entire program - and the money DOES NOT STAY IN THEIR COMMUNITY - IT GOES TO THE NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS TO BE WASTED BY HIGH PAID "MANAGERS" WHO DO NOTHING TO ALLEVIATE DRUNK DRIVING. This is the "dirty little secret" that needs to get out to the public. Very poor model for running an effective non-profit.

1 Sharon42

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I have volunteered with madd for 12 years now! I even met Candy L. personally thank God for her for starting madd. I am a 3 time victim of DUI CRASHES! and honestly I wish madd was around when my only sibling was killed in 1978. the volunteers are the heart AND backbone of madd, we give of ourselves daily. The only thing I would change is to require ALL paid staff to be victims / survivors of DUI Crashes so that they would have the same passion all the volunteers have. Candy L. began this with volunteers, victims, survivors, there was no paid staff for a while, yes this org. has grown, but I seriously think Candy should be CEO of madd, as she knows & understands the mission better than any of us ever could.

10

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

I am a former employee at the MADD National office in Irving, TX. I worked in the finance department for MADD. There is no clear cut way to say this but MADD finance/accounting is a complete mess and it begins with poor leadership. The CFO, Accounting Manager, and Controller are all terrible leaders. I have worked for non-profits in the past, but I never saw a non-profit waste so much money like I saw with MADD. Almost every invoice that ran across my desk had "late fees" attached to it. The amount of late fees MADD paid out was ridiculous. Remember, this is your hard earned money that is being wasted on late fees. MADD accounting is terrible and it begins with its poor accounting leadership. The books never close on a monthly basis and not even the CFO knows where the company stands at any moment. Turnover in finance is high because of how poorly run the company is. MADD wasted $10,000 in recruitment fees for me and another employee and we both left the company in less than a year’s time because of how poorly run it is. Remember, this is your hard earned money being wasted. It irritates me to this day that MADD wasted so much money from victims donating money in the name of their loved ones. They also wasted tax payer dollars with stimulus grant money. MADD is a very wasteful non-profit with some questionable accounting practices. I could go on and on about what I saw during my time at MADD. It was that bad. Do not donate to MADD. Trust me!

6 Jamie McWilliams

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

My 20-year old son was killed in April 2002 while leaving a party in a pasture in West Orange County, FL. The 18-year old driver, who had been drinking, ran him over and left the scene. The driver of the vehicle's BAC wasn't taken until 3 1/2 hours after my son's death; the driver's extrapolated BAC was .067. The driver had been on the phone with 911 when he ran my son over, and was clearly slurring his words. While my son had a designated driver that night, he still had been drinking and made a poor choice to walk back to that party. This was followed by the driver's choice to get behind the wheel after he had been drinking, run my son over and leave the scene. I refer to the events leading up to my son's death and the events that followed, as The Domino Effect of Poor Choices.

I contacted MADD right after Justin's death for support and direction. I left so many messages that I can't begin to tell you. I could tell by the questions coming from investigators that they were hesitant to press charges. I had no idea of what I was doing, but I put together my own plan of letter writing to the Governor, Florida Highway Patrol Investigators and the State Attorneys Office seeking justice for my son. I encouraged all friends and families to do the same. However, I was still a crying mess...a grieving mother who was dealing with the death of her first born; help my daughter deal with her only siblings death AND trying to come to terms with the fact that life would NEVER be the same. I finally got a call back from a nice woman with MADD several weeks later. We talked for abit and I asked for MADD's support. I was told by the MADD Representative that she thought I was doing a "fine job by myself." Really?!

I have no use for MADD, as when I needed them, they were no place to be found. Charges against the 18-year old driver were ultimately filed and dismissed because of a loophole in the Florida Statutes and this 18-year old walked away without consequence. In an effort to get some type of justice for my son, as well as the next family of a hit and run driver, I went on to change the Florida Law in his memory (The Justin McWilliams Act) and in July 2009 formed Parents Encouraging Confident Choices, a 501 (c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to the education of our young people on making confident and responsible choices. I go into middle schools and high schools and hold speaking events not only educating our young people on the dangers of underage drinking; drinking and driving; driving with an impaired driver and taking illegal substances...but also other poor choices that include prescription drug abuse; bullying; inappropriate use of the Internet/Cell Phone; texting while driving; sexting; street racing and car surfing.

Honestly, as the President and CEO of my own Non-Profit, and knowing how hard that I work ...I can not comprehend how the CEO of this Organization can in good faith and in good conscience take a paycheck for a quarter of a million dollars a year when his Organization stays in the red.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am on the local board of one of the MADD state orgnizations. I have witnessed for the past five years on the Board what great organizaiton it is. The quality of the victim advocates is outstanding. They have helped numerous familes through very difficult times.

Our local MADD chapter has fought have been able to increase the penalties for drunk drivers, lower the BAC threshold to .08, and made the seat belt law a primary offense. The organization is also fiscally strong locally. MADD is a great organization.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member for over 20 years. They helped me through my own victim experience and have been both helpful and effective.