copyright msf caption © Brendan Bannon
A Doctors Without Borders nurse smiles at a patient during rounds in a therapeutic feeding center.
22 Sep 16 05 Jul 18

How your donation is used

When you donate to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), you fuel the delivery of medical aid to the people who need it most, no matter where they are or whether they have hit the headlines.

Your money pays for millions of consultations, operations, treatments and vaccinations every year. As an organization, we work to spend your money in the most efficient way and to help those in greatest need. But how do we do it?

At Doctors Without Borders we deliver care directly rather than through local partner organizations. We set up and run medical services, train staff and respond to fast moving emergencies, as well as longer-term crises. This means the money you trust to Doctors Without Borders is spent by Doctors Without Borders.

When you donate to Doctors Without Borders Canada, the money is banked and then directed to the country where the need is greatest. This is coordinated across our 19 offices and our projects in over 60 countries, but none of the funds we send to the frontline are spent on international administration costs.

Essential costs

There are essential costs for any organization and a small percentage of the money we raise – just three percent – is used for salaries and running costs in Canada.

Another 12 percent is reinvested in fundraising to keep the money coming in for our overseas work (and for every dollar spent we receive five dollars back). The rest pays for healthcare.

Money for emergencies

When an emergency breaks – such as an earthquake, an epidemic or a conflict – Doctors Without Borders can respond immediately. This is because we encourage donors to give unrestricted funds, which means we can spend them where the need is greatest.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Doctors Without Borders has a significant emergency reserve fund. This means there is no delay in mobilising, no wait for government funds to be released and no lag as donation appeals are launched; we can act immediately and then replenish this fund with new donations.

Once the money reaches the medical programs it is carefully managed by the project team. It is subject to a rigorous accounting system, with every penny logged and all the information flowing back to the headquarters and our donors – transparency and accountability are essential.

Our principles

The way we raise and spend money upholds our core principles – independence, neutrality and impartiality. We very rarely take money from government; the vast majority of our donations come from private donors, like you.

This means they come with no strings attached and allow us to provide medical care where the need is greatest. It is you, our donors, who fuel our work. Thank you.