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Muscular Dystrophy Association

CharityWatch report issued
September 2020

CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

Muscular Dystrophy Association
161 N Clark Street
Suite 3550
Chicago, IL 60601

Other Names


Tax Status




Stated Mission

Committed to transforming the lives of people with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases through innovations in science & innovations in care.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 12/31/2019

Program Percentage: 51%

The percentage of Muscular Dystrophy Association's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $49

How many dollars Muscular Dystrophy Association spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
Muscular Dystrophy Association IRS Form 990 13-1665552
Muscular Dystrophy Association Audited Financial Statements 13-1665552
Entity: Muscular Dystrophy Association
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 13-1665552
Entity: Muscular Dystrophy Association
Document Type: Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: 13-1665552

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
Muscular Dystrophy Association
meets governance benchmarks.
Muscular Dystrophy Association
meets transparency benchmarks.
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy

  Name Title Compensation
1 Ellen Vos President/CEO $536,247
2 Karen Andrews Chief Legal Officer $413,969
3 Adam Cotumaccio Chief Impact & Philanthropy Officer $330,623
Name: Ellen Vos
Title: President/CEO
Compensation: $536,247
Name: Karen Andrews
Title: Chief Legal Officer
Compensation: $413,969
Name: Adam Cotumaccio
Title: Chief Impact & Philanthropy Officer
Compensation: $330,623

CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.

According to the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) 2019 tax filing, MDA reports for Business Transactions Involving Interested Persons, a transaction in the amount of $413,969 involving Karen Andrews, officer. The reported description of the transaction is: "Karen Andrews is Principal at Karen Andrews Law LLC, and is not compensated by Muscular Dystrophy Association, Inc. as an employee on Part VII, Section A [Compensation of Officers, Directors, Trustees, Key Employees, and Highest Compensated Employees]" (IRS Form 990, Schedule L, Parts IV & V).

In addition, MDA reports for Grants or Assistance Benefiting Interested Persons, research grant assistance in the amount of $239,250 benefiting Stanley Appel, board member. The reported purpose of the assistance is: "The grant amount went to Stanley Appel's institution, the Methodist Hospital Research Institute. He was the researcher that the grant benefits" (IRS Form 990, Schedule L, Parts III & V).

According to the Muscular Dystrophy Association audit of December 31, 2019 (Note 14, Commitments and contingencies, Contingency for research and training grants):

"At December 31, 2019, the Association is contingently committed to providing research and training grants of $13,207,809 including $10,585,743 in the year ending December 31, 2020, and $2,622,066 in the year ending December 31, 2021. These amounts are in addition to the $11,383,214 in research and training grants payable at December 31, 2019."

According to the Muscular Dystrophy Association audit of December 31, 2019 (Note 17, Subsequent events):

"The spread of a novel strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused significant business disruptions on the entire globe beginning in the first quarter of 2020. The economic impact of the business disruptions caused by COVID-19 is uncertain. The extent of any effects these disruptions may have on the operations and financial performance of the Association will depend on future developments, including possible impacts on the operations of the business, which cannot be determined."

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