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Muscular Dystrophy Association

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Nerve, Muscle & Bone Diseases, Nerve, Muscle & Bone Diseases Research

Mission: The Muscular Dystrophy Association is a voluntary health agency, a dedicated partnership between scientists and concerned citizens aimed at conquering more than 40 neuromuscular diseases that affect more than a million American adults and children. The diseases in MDA''s program include nine forms of muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig''s disease), spinal muscular atrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, metabolic diseases of muscle, myasthenia gravis, inflammatory myopathies, CMT, SMA, and other neuromuscular conditions.

MDA combats these diseases through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive medical and community services, and far-reaching professional and public health education. The Association''s programs are funded almost entirely by individual private contributors.

Programs: Local businesses sell green shamrock mobiles for $1 donation to MDA and gold shamrock mobiles for a $5 donation to MDA.  The program runs February - March every year.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

The management and promotion of MDA is too top heavy in administrative and fundraising costs and has implemented changes too drastically over the past four years, abandoning it's long time base in the hope of becoming more appealing to the Facebook and Twitter market. Turning a philanthropic icon like Jerry Lewis into a villain and putting him out to pasture betrayed the mission of MDA to give the disabled dignity and opportunity. Public trust has been lost. The lack of transitional planning has reduced income and increased expenses and many local branches are failing. Finally, MDA does not address the charges of exploitation brought by Jerry's orphans.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 2

I spent many years working for MDA and feel a need to address all the comments to paint a picture. The field staff does great working raising funds that stay local to support local programs. The goals set by National can be unrealistic and the approach to programs causes staff to burn out - too many events instead of building on the successful ones. The National staff is a bit dysfunctional and it is ironic since most of the current leadership came from the field. The income is declining which does not justify the high salaries they are paid and the money they waste. They recently cut nearly 30 staff members with a portion of those members being some of their longest tenured employees with an insulting severance. This organization has a good local presence but on a National level, can use some retooling and some lessons about loyalty.