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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

6 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

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


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!


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.


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.


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