DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS USA INC

Rating: 4.14 stars   28 reviews

Issues: Disaster Aid, International

Location: 333 Seventh Ave, 2nd Floor New York NY 10001 USA

Mission: MSF is an independent, international medical relief organization aiding victims of armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters, and social marginalization. Each year, MSF doctors, nurses, logisticians, water-and-sanitation experts, administrators, and other medical and non-medical professionals depart on more than 3,800 aid missions. They work alongside more than 22,500 locally hired staff to provide medical care in more than 60 countries. In emergencies and their aftermath, MSF provides health care, rehabilitates and runs hospitals and clinics, performs surgery, battles epidemics, carries out vaccination campaigns, operates feeding centers for malnourished children, and offers mental health care. When needed, MSF also constructs wells and dispenses clean drinking water, and provides shelter materials like blankets and plastic sheeting. MSF was founded in 1971 by a small group of French doctors and journalists as the first non-governmental organization to both provide emergency medical assistance and to publicly bear witness to the plight of the people it assists.
Programs: Every year, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provides emergency medical care to millions of people caught in crises in more than 60 countries around the world. MSF provides assistance when catastrophic events — such as armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, or natural disasters — overwhelm local health systems. MSF also assists people who face discrimination or neglect from their local health systems or when populations are otherwise excluded from health care.On any given day, close to 27,000 doctors, nurses, logisticians, water-and-sanitation experts, administrators, and other qualified professionals can be found providing medical care in international teams made up of local MSF aid workers and their colleagues from around the world. 

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have served as a volunteer pro bono attorney, from 1988-2000 as a volunteer director, from 2000-present as a volunteer member of the board of advisors, and as a donor to Doctors Without Borders USA. Before I retired, I practiced law specializing in the law of charities. I choose to give to Doctors Without Borders because it is the most ethical organization I have ever worked with and serves huge numbers of the world's poorest and neediest in often-awful settings. Doctors Without Borders has low salaries and highest ratings from people who know actors in the field of international relief and medical service. It follows its own internal rules of its MSF/Doctors Without Borders movement and I find it stunning--absolutely stunning--that the BBB has elected to downgrade its rating because Doctors Without Borders has not written some internal evaluation report to take to the US board of directors. Maybe the board of directors is too busy worrying about the safety of its staff and patients in South Sudan or Syria to worry about make-work reports to satisfy rating agencies. Has the BBB ever read the reports on its missions produced by Doctors Without Borders??? They are the gold standard in the medical field.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Doctors Without Borders is an amazingly self-reflective organization. It is always debriefing its returning volunteers and trying to improve its delivery of medical services. If I had to make changes, I would try to entice more Americans to return for more field visits. Unfortunately, it is harder for US medical professionals to get blocks of time off in consecutive years to go to the field repeatedly.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Not sure what all the fuss is about the snail mail donor solicitations. I've donated online a couple times in the past 6 months and I have had no issue with solicitations. The only mailings I get from DWB are quarterly updates on the work that DWB is providing and I think that's because I'm associated with their Partners Program. CEO compensation appears to be in check which was a big thing for me when I decided to donate to DWB. The advertising and fund raising program numbers appear to be slightly high and I would prefer that more of that money be spent directly towards the needs of the people that require assistance but DWB I feel is a top notch charity. Also, DWB is a secular charity not pushing some religious agenda which is right up my agnostic alley. I don't see religious charitable organizations as being completely compassionately motivated if your gonna push your religious agenda upon those your providing assistance too. I will continue to donate to DWB in the future.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

MSF sets the standard. Their reports to the media are highly regarded. Unparralled.

I have been in developing nations during war it is not a picnic. I just had my EMS I respect the very fact of completing medical education. To then eschew raking in the money doing elective cosmetic surgery and to put your life on the line going into Syria is awesome.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I have no criticism.Maybe they should be more protective of their trade name.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

DWB (MSF) is an incredible organization. No one else really can do what they do - providing care to the places that need it most.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Reduce direct mail, especially to me. My donation is not influenced by it, and your DM costs to me must be at least $20+ per year.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 4 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I would rate this a 5 because the work Doctors Without Borders do is fantastic and they go into places that many would not. However, the money poured into mailings and calls could be better spent if fewer solicitations were made. My husband and I were getting about one mailing a month from DWB, which was bad enough. But somehow that split into two mailings one to him and one to me. Then they started sending one to two different forms of my husband's name, for a total of three copies. (First name, middle initial and first initial, middle name.) The number of calls seemed to increase, as well. So they must have been calling for each name.

I called to have the names removed from the mailing list and was told that they could only remove one name per call. That's a ridiculous policy. I had to speak to Donor Services, which took several calls. DWB should be easily able to avoid sending multiple solicitations to one address in the first place.

Although I apparently could have reduced the frequency of mailings if I had an online account with them, I don't because I've always done my donations through the mail. But I would still know that even if I reduced my own mailings my annual donation would be paying for monthly mailings to other people.

So, as a result, I've asked us to be completely removed from mailings and calls. And this year, our donation will go to a different organization who doesn't just waste the money I donate on mailing things out to me.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Reduce the frequency of all solicitations to any particular household to a maximum of quarterly or less. Make simple changes to your data base software to ensure that you are not sending multiple solicitations to the same address and last name each time.

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unsure

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unsure

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I am donating because as I research I find DWB along side every NGO in any hotspot around the globe and sadly they lose too many doctors, nurses, caregivers are killed at these places--both local personnel they recruit and their staff.... They are truly saints and unsung heroes to risk life and limb to this cause. Likewise when I view many a documentary or television special about a conflict or disease outbreak or mission of mercy,,,in the background quietly I see DWB in their role. This has recently promted me to make a monthly donation via credit card, rathe rthan write checks. I give to a few charities regularly this way. I have not been heavily solicited to date, as others report-- that only adds to expenses and they will hear from me if that occurs,,,perhaps one nicely done package of reports and a global map, etc, and a request or two here and there. I am switching to email notification and I will block them if it gets bothersome. thank you, best wishes,,,,,Richard B.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

This is a fantastic organization. It goes into very dangerous areas to give medical care where needed. Their advertising and administration expenses are minimal. It is one of the few charities that I give monthly to.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This is a great organization that has minimal admin and advertising expenses. The doctors go into places that are extremely dangerous in order to give aid to injured, starving, or sick individuals. I think they are highly effective in what they try to do.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 4 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

This is my favorite charity because they go where the action is and put their lives on the line to help the victims of war and violence. I have given since i can't remember when and will continue. But i must whole heartily agree with those that comment about the monthly mail, and equally frequent emails and phone calls. ENOUGH. You can only drive firm supporters away. Be selective with your solicitations. Become more competent with your very high advertizing expenditures.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I HAVE BEEN DONATING TO DWB FOR SEVERAL YEARS NOW THROUGH DIRECT CHARGE TO ONE OF MY CREDIT CARDS. I DON'T MISS THE $$ AND FEEL THAT IT IS DOING SOME GOOD. TAKE A LOOK AROUND YOU, PEOPLE, AND SEE HOW LUCKY WE REALLY ARE HERE IN THE U.S. THESE MEDICAL PERSONNEL GO INTO WAR ZONES TO GIVE HELP TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOTHING!! OPEN YOUR POCKETS, EVEN FOR A SMALL AMOUNT, AND SHINE A LIGHT IN THE WORLD. I HAVE NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEMS WITH THIS CHARITY.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

GOOD CHARIITY! IT MAKE ME HAPPY. Thaks for you time! - Jeff

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2001

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