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Frequently Asked Questions

Médecins Sans Frontières is committed to protecting your personal information. Please do not email your banking or credit card information as your email may be vulnerable before it is received by our secure system. You may send us this information by mail, by fax, over the phone or through our secure donation pages.

This is the Donation FAQ, in which you will find the most frequently asked questions about donating to Médecins Sans Frontières Australia.

General

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fold faq Does my contribution to Médecins Sans Frontières help?

As an independent organisation that relies solely on our donors for funding, your support is absolutely crucial to Médecins Sans Frontières’ ability to provide medical assistance to millions of people throughout the world. Whether it’s assisting casualties of war, those in danger from deadly epidemics or in great need after a flood or earthquake, victims of sexual violence or someone excluded from health care; the funding we receive from our donors helps us stay flexible, responsive and ready to act swiftly in times of crisis.

In 2007, Médecins Sans Frontières carried out 8,447,106 outpatient consultations and dealt with 340,689 inpatient admissions in 62 countries worldwide. Our interventions spanned four continents with the majority of projects taking place in Africa, and smaller numbers in Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. Armed conflict was the most common cause of humanitarian and medical crises followed by epidemic or endemic disease outbreaks.

One aspect of Médecins Sans Frontières' work involves responding to disease and epidemics. To give you some idea of just what your donations can achieve and the contribution you can make, below is a list of the number of patients affected by the world’s most deadly diseases who were helped by Médecins Sans Frontières in 2007:

  • 2.5 million people vaccinated against meningitis and more than 10,800 cases treated
  • 1.3 million cases of malaria treated
  • 430,000 measles vaccinations carried out
  • 112,000 people received anti-retroviral therapy (ART) for HIV/AIDS
  • 43,000 people treated for cholera
  • 29,000 people treated for tuberculosis, including 640 for the severest form, MDR-TB (multidrug-resistant tuberculosis)
  • 4,200 treated for Leishmaniasis, a disease which attacks the immune system
  • 1,700 patients treated for Human African Trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness
  • 685 people treated for Chagas
fold faq Who donates to Médecins Sans Frontières?

Our funds are raised through private contributors -  the vast majority are people like you. Private support is essential to our ability to operate independently and to respond at a moment's notice to the most urgent emergencies, often in countries and regions that are otherwise forgotten.

Médecins Sans Frontières Australia does not accept money from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, extraction industries (such as oil, natural gas, gold and diamonds), alcohol and tobacco companies, or arms manufacturers. Médecins Sans Frontières Australia will not accept contributions from corporations/industries and their respective corporate foundations whose core activities may be in direct conflict with the goals of the medical humanitarian work of our organisation, or in any way limit Médecins Sans Frontières Australia’s ability to provide humanitarian assistance.

fold faq Does Médecins Sans Frontières have any religious or political affiliations?

No, Médecins Sans Frontières does not have any religious or political affiliations. We carry out our work and assist those in need regardless of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. We remain completely independent so that we have greater freedom to go where we are needed and to speak out about the suffering and injustice we see in the course of our work.

fold faq In what ways can I donate to Médecins Sans Frontières
fold faq Can I make my donation as a tribute in honor or memory of someone?

In lieu of flowers, you can arrange to honour a friend or loved one with a memorial gift to Médecins Sans Frontières. You can either set up a memorial fund in memory of a friend or loved one, or make a donation in memory of someone special. Please visit the Giving in Memory page to find out how.

fold faq Can my wedding or birthday guests donate to Médecins Sans Frontières in lieu of gifts?

Yes they can! It is a very kind and meaningful way for you to support and raise awareness of our work and we appreciate your selfless action. See our detailed information on how to organise gifts in leiu for Médecins Sans Frontières.

fold faq Does Médecins Sans Frontières provide Workplace Giving and will Médecins Sans Frontières accept a matching gift from my company?

Yes, Médecins Sans Frontières encourages and supports Workplace Giving and matched gifts from many companies. Please refer to the Workplace Giving and Matching Gifts sections of this website for more information on corporate support.

fold faq Can I hold a fundraising event for Médecins Sans Frontières?

Yes you can! Thank you for your interest in organising a fundraising event for Médecins Sans Frontières. Fundraising events are a fun and interesting way for you to support and raise awareness of our work and we appreciate your efforts on our behalf. See our detailed information on how to organise a fundraiser for Médecins Sans Frontières.

fold faq Can I donate supplies as an in-kind donation?

Médecins Sans Frontières is unable to accept donations of supplies. Because the key to saving lives in an emergency is speed, it is our practice to have prepared, specialised, and uniform kits and other materials that are ready to go in the event of an emergency. Médecins Sans Frontières does all of the purchasing for these kits in advance and therefore cannot accept in-kind gifts such as medical equipment, drugs, food, or other materials for its operations.

fold faq How do I increase my donation?

There are a number of ways you can increase your regular donation. You can call our office on 1300 13 60 61;  send an e-mail to our office at office(at)sydney.msf.org with the details how much you would like to increase it by; Fax your details with the increased amount to us on 02 9552 6539; Or post the details with the new amount to our office address - PO Box 847, Broadway NSW 2007.

fold faq Can I donate to a specific country or project?

We appreciate that some of our supporters may have a particular interest in a country or program in which we work. While in some circumstances it is possible to have your gift directed toward a specific program or country where we are currently working, we ask that you contribute unrestricted funding. By not restricting your contribution for a specific emergency or project, you will enable us to allocate our resources more efficiently and where the need is greatest.

fold faq Can I use the Médecins Sans Frontières’ logo?

Médecins Sans Frontières understandably has very strict guidelines about the use of our name and logo. We are often asked for the use of our name or logo in publications or in association with other organisations and each request needs to be approved on a case by case basis.

With this in mind please contact Médecins Sans Frontières with the details of your suggestion and how you intend to use the Médecins Sans Frontières name and logo. Call us on 1300 13 60 61, email our office at - office(at)sydney.msf.org or post to PO Box 847, Broadway NSW 2007. 

fold faq Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes. Médecins Sans Frontières is endorsed by the ATO as a Deductible Gift Recipient organisation. All donations made in Australia to Médecins Sans Frontières Australia over $2 are tax deductible.

fold faq Will I receive a tax receipt for my donation?

Yes you will. For a single gift your tax receipt should arrive in about 7 working days. For regular monthly gifts tax receipts are sent annually, towards the end of July. Please keep your address details updated so we can ensure you receive your tax receipt.

fold faq How can I change my donation?

There are a number of ways you can change your regular donation. You can call our office on 1300 13 60 61; send an e-mail to our office at office@sydney.msf.org requesting that your donation is changed with your donor number, full name and address details so we can identify you; Fax your details and request to 02 9552 6539; Or you can post your details and request to our office address - PO Box 847, Broadway NSW 2007.

Please allow 14 days notice.

fold faq Is Médecins Sans Frontières privacy compliant?

Yes we are. Please find our privacy policy available here

fold faq Is the Médecins Sans Frontières online donations site secure?

The online donations area of the Médecins Sans Frontières Australia website is fully secure. This area of the site can be identified by the pages address which begins with "https". All these pages are encrypted using SSL before transmission.

fold faq How can I find out my supporter number?

Please refer to your mailings to find your supporter number. It should appear on all updates, newsletters, appeals etc. you receive. You can also call our office on 1300 13 60 61 or you can send an e-mail to our office address - office(at)sydney.msf.org and ask us for your supporter number.

fold faq As a monthly donor, on what dates will my donation be taken out?

Your donation will be taken out on the 1st or 3rd Wednesday of every month. You can nominate which Wednesday you would prefer.

fold faq Can I choose the amount of mail and emails I receive?

Please call our office if you would like to discuss how often you receive the newsletter or other information we send out from time to time.

fold faq Can I buy a Médecins Sans Frontières T-shirt or any other merchandise?

We regret that we are not able to give out or sell MSF T-shirts to people who are not directly involved with our organisation. MSF T-shirts are the uniform of our staff in the field and clearly identifies the wearer in this context as a humanitarian aid worker. Understandably this means we unfortunately can not give or sell our T-shirts. Médecins Sans Frontières Australia does not currently sell any other merchandise or items.

fold faq Does Médecins Sans Frontières measure its environmental impact?

Yes.  Médecins Sans Frontières had its carbon emissions measured for 2008 and 2009.  Overall there was a decrease in emissions in 2009 compared with 2008.  We will continue to monitor our carbon emissions with the aim of reducing them where practicable in the future.

School and Community Fundraising

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fold faq Does Médecins Sans Frontières need to know about all fundraising activities conducted on its behalf?

Yes, because Médecins Sans Frontières Australia is required by law to be accountable for the activity we must issue an authority stating our approval and the conditions under which you can fundraise. In addition, in some states of Australia the fundraiser must also apply for permission to fundraise from their state authority.

fold faq Can I fundraise every now and then for Médecins Sans Frontières when I have the time?

Yes. However each time you raise funds, Médecins Sans Frontières-Australia will need to issue an authority for the specific project and period that covers the activity. Simply download another application form and send it to Médecins Sans Frontières.

fold faq Can I begin fundraising while I’m waiting for my application to be approved?

No, Médecins Sans Frontières Australia must approve all fundraising activities before they commence.

fold faq I’d like to collect donations in my street or my local area – can you provide me with a receipt book and identification?

No, there are a number of activities that Médecins Sans Frontières Australia can’t authorise for community fundraising projects, and this includes general cash collections in public places or door-to-door approaches by individuals. Therefore Médecins Sans Frontières does not issue identification badges, cards or collection tins.

fold faq I want to do something simple – like ask my friends to donate to Médecins Sans Frontières instead of giving me a birthday gift. How do I arrange this?

We can set up a facility for supporters to donate on-line, with a donation form or by telephone in celebration of birthdays, weddings, anniversaries etc. or in memory of a loved one. Please check the donation pages of the Médecins Sans Frontières Australia web site for further information or call 1300 13 60 61.

fold faq I’m booking a venue for my fundraiser – does Médecins Sans Frontières cover the insurance?

No, Médecins Sans Frontières cannot allocate funds to cover insurance for this purpose nor does Médecins Sans Frontières' public liability cover community fundraising events.

fold faq I’m going on a trek in Nepal, can I arrange sponsorship in aid of Médecins Sans Frontières for this?

No, Médecins Sans Frontières Australia is only able to approve fundraising activities that take place in Australia.

fold faq I want to invite as many people as possible to my fundraising event; can Médecins Sans Frontières help?

Unfortunately due to resource constraints, our privacy policy, and necessary discretion in contacting our donors, Médecins Sans Frontières Australia can’t promote community fundraising projects, or pass on donors’ details for fundraisers to contact them directly.

fold faq Can someone from Médecins Sans Frontières attend my event or visit to pledge support?

Because of limited staff and volunteer resources, this is often not possible, however you can certainly make a request, but please note it may take six weeks before we can confirm.

fold faq Can I promote my event to the media?

If you would like to send out press releases then these must be approved by MSF-Australia prior to distribution. In addition, MSF Australia may allow use of MSF’s logo, depending on the proposed usage.

fold faq What should I tell the people donating or participating in my fundraiser?

Médecins Sans Frontières Australia should be named as the beneficiary of the project, for example including "proceeds of the event will go to Médecins Sans Frontières.” In addition, the percentage or actual portion or gross proceeds donated to Médecins Sans Frontières should be disclosed, eg. on tickets, flyers or in a notice visible to all participants.

fold faq Can expenses be deducted from monies gathered in fundraising?

Yes, ‘proper’ or ‘reasonable’ expenses may be deducted but some legislation gives a strict limit. At least 50% of the total income from your project should be allocated to Médecins Sans Frontières Australia. 

NB. Commissions or fees for you are not considered a reasonable expense and should not be submitted.

 

fold faq Will Médecins Sans Frontières review our budget and expenses?

Yes, there is a budget form included in the fundraising application and we will need a final income and expense report at the conclusion of your project.

fold faq Can Médecins Sans Frontières issue tax deductible receipts?

Médecins Sans Frontières Australia can issue tax receipts for donations but only to individuals or organisations who make a donation without receiving a product or service in return. Tax receipts can’t be issued for donated services like set-up or entertainment.

fold faq Does Médecins Sans Frontières accept donated material goods?

No, we’re unable to accept material goods as we don’t have the resources or systems to convert them into donated funds. Equipment and medicines for the field are prepared by our logistics specialists packaging items for swift passage though customs and quarantine departments.