Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders)



Case Code : CLSM036
Publication date : 2005
Subject : Services Marketing
Industry : Charitable Institutions
Length : 04 Pages
Price : Rs. 100

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Key words:

Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF, Doctors Without Borders, Charitable Organization, Volunteers, Fund Raising, Donations, Ratings, Parameters


1: This caselet is intended for use only in class discussions.
2: More comprehensive case studies are priced at Rs.200 to Rs.700 (US $5 to US $16) per copy.


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This caselet gives an overview of the activities of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The innovative fund raising methods used by MSF have been described in detail. It also discusses the use of these funds by the non-profit organization. Finally, it outlines the good ratings received by MSF from evaluating agencies, based on various parameters.


  » Importance of funds in a charitable organization.
  » Alternative means to raise funds.
  » Basis of rating of charitable organizations.


In 1971, a few French physicians came together to launch a nonprofit organization 'Médecins Sans Frontières' (MSF) (Doctors without Borders) to provide medical services to people affected by wars, epidemics, natural calamities, and other man-made disasters.

As the name suggests, they did not confine their operations to their homeland but reached out to the needy throughout the world.

MSF played an active role in providing emergency healthcare and long-term assistance to populations suffering from dreaded epidemics. By 1999, MSF had 2000 volunteers working alongside 15,000 staff hired locally, working in 80 countries...

Questions for Discussion:

1. Charities survive on donations given by individuals and organizations. Briefly discuss the fundraising initiatives of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), highlighting the various methodologies used by the charity organization.

2. Charity Ratings are very effective in boosting an organization's capacity to raise funds from donors. Explain the mechanisms employed by rating agencies that boost the credibility of charity organizations like the MSF.