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Doctors Without Borders USA Inc

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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

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Scott Slocum

Donor

Rating: 5

These people are heroes. They go where they're needed, and they make impossible situations possible for people to live through, and hopefully go on with their lives.

Donor

Rating: 5

Former Nobel Peace Prize winners and 33,000 volunteers makes an awesome impact.

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.

26

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

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.

8

Donor

Rating: 4

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.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated to Doctors without Borders for years and feel confident that my money is going to save lives effectively. I used to receive more mail than I wanted, but I contacted them and the mail has slowed considerably. On their site, this is their suggestion for updating mail preferences:

"We can send you mail as often as you would like. We can limit the mailings to quarterly, twice a year, just once a year, or none at all. Simply state your preference when making your gift or send an email, with your name, address, and mail preference, to donations@newyork.msf.org.

Please note that due to our mail production schedule it may take up to 6-8 weeks for this request to take effect."

6

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm sure Doctors Without Borders is well worth any donation we can give. When they sent me a snail mail request for a donation, I donated $50.00 through Charity Navigator rather than write a check and mail it. As it turned out, the total charge to my bank account was $57.37 -- "processing fee" of 2.37 and another, unspecified fee for 5.00. Charity Navigator won't let me rate them, and this unknown intermediary, "Network for Good" (which seems to have claimed the unspecified five dollars) doesn't appear on Charity Navigator's list of charities. I didn't authorize these charges. I will donate to Doctors Without Borders again, but guess how I will NOT be doing it from now on.

7

Donor

Rating: 5

I have a family member who just returned from E. Africa after having spent nine months with the U.S. Military on the Kony mission. I asked him if he came across any charitable organizations working there I should support. His immediate answer was DWB. He said it is reaching people like none other. I’ve been a long-time donor and getting his first hand confirmation sealed the deal for future donations.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 3

I wrote this charity, explaining that I could not contribute in the near future and suggested that they could try again in two years. It had no effect. Well, I tried. If they persist, I will keep any gifts received and throw everything else away.

Comments ( 1 )

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Doctors Without Borders 08/15/2012

Thank you for your past support and for sharing your concerns about Doctors Without Borders' fundraising practices. We value your feedback and want to address your concerns specifically and directly. Doctors Without Borders takes the contact preferences of our supporters very seriously and makes every effort to honor requests to either limit or stop completely mailings and other requests for contributions. Please contact our Donor Services department at your convenience and we will make sure our records reflect your preference. Donor Services, 212-763-5779 or donations@newyork.msf.org

3

Donor

Rating: 4

I seriously considered stopping my donations to Doctors without Borders because I could not get them to stop sending me solicitations by mail. I finaly wrote to directly to a board member when I received a solicitation signed by her. I have not received any mail from Doctors without Borders in several weeks. I am cautiously optimistic at this point that the mail has stopped.

Comments ( 1 )

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Doctors Without Borders 08/15/2012

Thank you for your generosity and support of Doctors Without Borders’ work. Please know, that we make our very best effort to respect all our donors’ requests for limited solicitations and apologize that your initial requests were not honored. If you contact our Donor Services department at the number below we will confirm that our records reflect your specific preferences. Also, if at any time in the future you would like to change the frequency with which we contact you, please feel free to contact us directly. Donor Services, 212-763-5779 or donations@newyork.msf.org

Review from CharityNavigator

1 Paul F.

Donor

Rating: 5

Doctors Without Borders is one of the premier international medical non-profits. Doctors Without Borders medical staff provide health services in areas of the world that are too dangerous from other non-profit agencies to work in. The courage of these doctors is unbelievable. They are literally laying their lives on the line to provide medical services in conflict zones around the world. Critics who question the fund-raising practices of DWB are directed to www.charitynavigator.org and www.charitywatch.org.

Comments ( 1 )

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Doctors Without Borders 08/15/2012

Thank you for your support of Doctors Without Borders work. We are grateful for your positive feedback. Our field staff works in nearly 70 countries around the world, and in many regions where conditions can be extraordinarily precarious. The generosity of donors like you makes their work possible and allows Doctors Without Borders to treat many thousands of people around the globe who would otherwise have no access to medical care. We hope you will continue to contribute as we depend on individual donors for more than 90% of our annual funding.

1

Donor

Rating: 3

Like some others who have commented, I receive about one mailing per month from this charity, each with a 45-cent stamp on the enclosed envelope. How many people are likely to donate this frequently? I feel it is a real waste of money on their part and would like to see that money go to their field work instead. If people want to donate, they will provide their own stamp! This practice has made me less likely to contribute in the future.

Comments ( 1 )

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Doctors Without Borders 08/15/2012

First, thank you for your support of Doctors Without Borders. We appreciate and share your interest in keeping fundraising costs low and are continually reviewing our practices in an effort to lower them. We also strive to always honor specific requests from donors, regarding how often and in what manner we communicate with them. We would be happy to discuss your preferences and put in place measures that will ensure future correspondence are the most cost and environmentally responsible. Please feel free to contact us directly at Doctor Without Borders headquarters in New York. Donor Services, 212-763-5779 or donations@newyork.msf.org

Review from CharityNavigator

Donor

Rating: 4

Yes, they do wonderful work but I too am tired of all the snail mail (and environmental degradation that goes with it). Seems like that would be better spent on non-donors. If you stop donating, does the mail ever end?

Comments ( 1 )

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Doctors Without Borders 08/15/2012

Thank you for your generosity and interest in Doctors Without Borders. We share your desire in keeping costs low and minimizing any negative impact our fundraising efforts may have on the environment. Donors can notify us of their contact preferences on our website, http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/contact/. This link allows you to let us know how often and in which manner you would like us to communicate with you. We are happy to honor any requests you have related to when and how you hear from us. Our donor services team is available at 212-763-5779 or donations@newyork.msf.org

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 1

We have donated to Doctors Without Borders for many years. They absolutely will not stop the snail mail, no matter what we do. We donate to quite a few charities, and all of them have honored our request to stop the calls/snail mail. But Doctors Without Borders will not. Also, their privacy choices are difficult to find on their website, and I'm not sure they will honor those preferences either. There are so many wonderful international charities that we find it easy to stop our donations to this group.

Comments ( 1 )

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Doctors Without Borders 08/15/2012

First let us apologize for not having honored your requests. We try our best to respect the wishes of all of our supporters. From time to time duplicate records are created in our database and an individual may be entered more than once in the system under a slightly different name or address. This may generate duplicate mailings or additional contact from us. We continually work to improve our systems to ensure your requests are honored. If you would be so kind as to contact us in our NYC office, we would be happy to review your current preferences and put in place the necessary filters which will reduce or completely stop our mailings if that is what you wish. We are also able to limit our correspondence with you to email alone, if that’s your preference.

Review from CharityNavigator