Doctors Without Borders

551 Adelaide Street West
Toronto, ON M5V 0N8
Executive Director: Joe Belliveau
Board President: Wendy Lai

Charitable Reg. #: 13527 5857 RR0001
Sector: International Aid
Operating Charity

Charity Rating

[Charity Rating: 4/4]

Results Reporting

Grade: B+

The grade is based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.

Financial Transparency

Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity's website [Audited financial statement for most recent year]

Need for Funding

Funding Reserves Program Costs

Spending Breakdown

Cents to the Cause

2015 2016 2017
For a dollar donated, cents funding the cause after fundraising and admin costs, excluding surplus.

Impact Rating: High

Full-time staff #57

Avg. Compensation $98,920

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 0
$120k - $160k 1
$80k - $120k 9
$40k - $80k 0
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2016

About Doctors Without Borders:

Founded in 1991, Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières Canada (MSF) works in over 70 countries and has a mission to reduce suffering and provide medical care to people around the world. MSF’s charter states that it helps people regardless of race, religion or political affiliation.

A Charity Intelligence 2018 Top 10 Impact Charity

Doctors Without Borders focuses on providing medical assistance to victims of armed conflict, people in areas infected with diseases, victims of natural or man-made disasters, and those living in areas without established health care. Disaster response projects are much shorter than long-term medical projects combating diseases such as cholera, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and tropical diseases. Finally, MSF’s advocacy arm raises ongoing public awareness on instances of human abuse and populations in danger.

MSF Canada is 1 of 20 national MSF offices. Since 2013, Canadian Dr. Joanne Liu has been MSF's International president. In F2017, MSF Canada sent 378 medical and logistical professionals on missions in 33 countries. MSF Canada reports outputs and outcomes but it is unclear whether these are fully funded by Canadian donations.

In response to the civil conflict that began in late 2013, MSF performed 1,394 surgeries and delivered 2,319 babies among six of ten South Sudan states between October and December 2016. MSF operated in Bangladesh in May 2018 to provide medical care to Rohingya refugees, helping over 434,500 patients at MSF mobile clinics and health facilities. World Health Organization estimates that over half of Yemen’s health facilities are non-functional, remaining susceptible to disease outbreaks. In the three years leading up to the end of F2017, MSF provided medical assistance to 718,802 people in Yemen in emergency rooms and medical facilities that MSF had set up.

In F2017, Doctors Without Borders worked with Democratic Republic of Congo’s ministry of health to immunize over a million children against measles. MSF states that tuberculosis (TB) is the infectious disease killing the most people around the world, followed by malaria and HIV/AIDS. In 2015, MSF provided treatment to 20,000 TB patients over 24 countries and as of October 2016, it provided over 1,000 patients across 12 countries with new drugs that are given to patients with no other options remaining. Ebola is another leading fatal disease and MSF started providing Ebola vaccinations on May 28, 2018 to those that are connected to Ebola patients to prevent further spreading. As of June 6, 2018, MSF has vaccinated 670 people against Ebola.

Results and Impact: In response to the South Sudan civil conflict, MSF treated 2,225 malnourished people and 80,000 people with malaria between October and December 2016. In May 2018 in MSF’s Bangladesh emergency relief project helping Rohingya refugees, MSF treated 311 women and girls for sexual and gender-based violence, over 2,045 refugees for violence-related injuries, and 1,900 refugees for severe acute malnutrition. Between September 2016 and January 2017, Doctors Without Borders treated 4,371 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh who lacked basic health services and had diphtheria. In Nigeria, unsafe and small-scale mining activities cause lead poisoning that led to approximately 400 deaths, most of which were children, in Nigeria’s Zamfara state. Since 2010, MSF treated over 5,000 children with lead poisoning.  

Ci's impact analysis shows Doctors Without Borders International (MSF-I) created high impact per dollar in 2016 (see lower right impact grid). The key drivers of this impact came from: vaccinations 44%, medical surgeries 28%, and medical treatments 24%. In 2016, MSF-I vaccinated more than 4 million people responding to disease outbreaks, reducing disease levels. In 2016, MSF-I performed 92,000 surgeries and supported/assisted in 225,000 surgeries, and assisted in 180,000 births reducing child and maternal mortality. The third driver, medical treatments, reduces death rates in people who are already ill. MSF-I treated 2.8 million people with transferable diseases and intervened with 290,000 children facing severe acute malnutrition.

To read more details on MSF's key impact drivers.

Impact returns will vary year-to-year. MSF-I's response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak was a high water mark in impact. Reports are surfacing on MSF-I results in the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and the heroic work of Canadian doctor Rob Fowler from Sunnybrook Hospital, seconded with the World Health Organization and MSF-I. First into West Africa in March 2014, using aggressive fluid protocols, MSF-I reduced the Ebola mortality rate from over 80% to less than 40%, saving tens of thousands of lives and instrumental in ending the Ebola outbreak. 

Financial Review:

Doctors Without Borders Canada is a Major 100 charity, with donations of $59.1m in F2017. Its administrative costs are 3% of revenues and its fundraising costs are 15% of donations. For every dollar donated to the charity, 83 cents go to the cause, falling within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

The charity has funding reserves of $9.8m, resulting in a program cost coverage ratio of 14%. This means that its existing funding reserves can cover just over 2 months of its annual programs, indicating a need for funding. Program cost coverage fell from 45% in F2016 largely because MSF’s funding reserve has fallen 61%, due primarily to the purchase of an office condominium in F2017. 

MSF Canada used external fundraisers in F2016. The charity paid $4.9m to raise $24.8m from external fundraisers for a cost of 20 cents per dollar raised. F2017 information was not available at the time this profile was updated.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Doctors Without Borders Canada for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 29, 2018 by Joeyanne Cheung.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 2.5%3.1%2.7%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 15.0%16.4%15.1%
Program cost coverage (%) 13.9%45.2%31.9%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 59,11955,79153,658
Government funding 12,5003,55013,750
Investment income 169221214
Other income 8,3687,2916,446
Total revenues 80,15666,85374,068
Program costs - International 69,22754,10455,325
Program costs - Canada 1,2451,295929
Administrative costs 2,0222,0671,978
Fundraising costs 8,8469,1398,104
Cash flow from operations (1,185)2477,731
Funding reserves 9,78025,01217,915

Comments added by the Charity:








Additional articles:

Dr. Rob Fowler, "What it's like ... to help patients during an Ebola outbreak", Globe and Mail, April 19, 2017

MSF report on South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Jordan "Where is eveyone",

Peter Cavelti shares his personal journey as a donor on giving for impact. A terrific and interesting essay. 



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