22 Sep 16 30 Jul 20

How we spend your money

As an MSF donor, 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 organisation, 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 MSF we deliver care directly rather than through local partner organisations. 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 MSF is spent by MSF.

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When you donate to MSF UK, the money is banked and then directed to the country where the need is greatest. This is coordinated across the 19 MSF offices and our projects in over 60 countries, but none of the funds we send to the frontline is spent on international administration costs.

Essential costs

There are essential costs for any organisation and a small percentage of the money we raise – just two percent – is used for office running costs in the UK.

Another 13 percent is reinvested in fundraising to keep the money coming in for our overseas work. For every pound spent we receive £8.24 back. The rest pays for healthcare.

Each aspect of the way we operate from our London office is designed to keep these essential costs low. We rent inexpensive office space, we buy only the lowest fares for travel and stay in budget hotels when travelling abroad.

Money for emergencies

When an emergency breaks – such as an earthquake, an epidemic or a conflict – MSF 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, MSF 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 programmes 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.

We only launch an emergency appeal if we are certain we can spend the money on that specific crisis; there are no asterisks or hidden disclaimers diverting money to other parts of the organisation.

MSF principles

The way we raise and spend money upholds our core principles – independence, neutrality and impartiality. MSF UK very rarely takes money from the government; 100 percent 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 MSF’s work. Thank you.