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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Disaster Aid, Disaster Preparedness & Relief Services, International, International Development, Refugees

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.

 

Community Stories

31 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

While studying, I made a concerted attempt to understand disease beyond the contexts of the medical textbooks and decided to work with international child health in the polarized parts of the world where I could help share my pediatric knowledge reciprocated with the experience of local people of their disease.

With my red swiss water bottle in hand. I became a member of the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).I started work with MSF in 2014 and have really just started my life with MSF.

This is a life changing experience. I am now trying to decide what the next steps are for me. Only time will tell.

3

Donor

Rating: 4

This Nonprofit may not provide long term solutions but it helps those in need of immediate care. I am grateful for all those dedicated to providing the necessary care. I often find myself wishing I could do more for this much needed Nonprofit. I am so glad this Nonprofit exist.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

Doctors Without Borders is an international organization that seeks to provide medical attention to individuals that have been impacted by natural disaster, conflict, or limited accessibility to health care services. They have provided relief in 70 countries worldwide with recent work in Western Africa treating people who have been affected by the Ebola crisis.

The work done by Doctors Without Borders has been shown to reduce the hardships in developing countries during a crisis. However, once the immediate crisis subsides they train individuals in the region to run the medical centers and Doctors Without Borders leaves the operation in the hands of the locals. I think there is little question that the organization has a positive impact on relief efforts, but they may not contribute to long term development. This does not address the larger structural issues that plague developing regions and keep those affected in poverty. This ultimately results in regions reverting back to the same conditions they had before they were faced with a crisis.

Overall, Doctors Without Borders is a stable organization that has a positive impact in the developing world, and although health care is a factor in development the relief nature of their programs prevents them from having a long term effect in those regions. Relief efforts are important in the developing world but at a certain point focus needs to be redirected to finding long lasting solutions to the problems that cause overwhelming poverty. Money donated to Doctors Without Borders is well spent and benefits those with urgent need. That being said, I think the organization would have an even bigger impact if they did more work to address the underlying causes of poverty that make extensive relief necessary.

Review from Guidestar

24

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

8 Michael233

Donor

Rating: 4

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.

5 Geof Bar-David S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

5

Donor

Rating: 5

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

14 Sheri12

Donor

Rating: 4

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.

7

Donor

Rating: 4

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.

5 Loretta F.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
3

Donor

Rating: 5

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.