Our corporate supporters
The companies that help make our medical work possible.
Earthquakes strike Turkey and Syria: MSF teams in Syria are caring for the injuredRead more
The companies that help make our medical work possible.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is grateful to our current corporate supporters that help make it possible for our teams to provide emergency medical care to those who need it most.
As published in Alert newsletter Winter 2018
For the company, positive impact means fostering meaningful and enduring cross-cultural partnerships, according to Becky Epstein, chair of Odysseys’ charitable giving committee.
“We have travelers all over the world, and we are a part of many communities,” she says of the company’s 58-plus small group tours. Based in Newton, Massachusetts, and active across six continents, Odysseys Unlimited brings clients to a wide range of destinations such as the remote Tibetan capital of Lhasa, the otherworldly Namib Desert in Namibia, the verdant French countryside, and the Grand Canyon in the US.
Over the years the company has grown, and so has its ability to give back to causes that are important to its owners and staff. Eighteen months ago, Odysseys Unlimited decided to launch a formalized charitable giving program that has local, national, and global reach. As part of the program’s international focus, the company has made a five-year commitment to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
Previously, Odysseys Unlimited had donated to MSF on an ad hoc basis in response to crises around the world.
“Very often, Doctors Without Borders was the one who was there” in times of emergencies, explains Sue Bonchi, vice president of marketing at Odysseys Unlimited and a member of the charitable giving committee. “When we were ready to formalize [our giving] and we were looking for how we could have a larger impact with our donations, Doctors Without Borders was at the top of our list.”
Odysseys Unlimited is currently supporting MSF’s work with Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
“Doctors Without Borders has both the infrastructure and the resources to operate efficiently and have both an immediate and a long-lasting impact,” says company president Bruce Epstein.
So far, reaction to the program from Odysseys Unlimited employees has been moving for company leaders to see. “I'd say the most heartwarming part is that people have said it makes them proud to be working for an organization that has a mission to place charitable giving at a pretty high level,” Bruce Epstein explains.
He hopes that as the program continues, it will help Odysseys Unlimited guests to understand the company’s philanthropic philosophy and inform those who are interested in supporting some of the same causes.
“I think that it’s a positive for people to know that we’re engaged with the world in a different way than only running our trips,” Bonchi adds. “I hope in sharing what we do with our community, both internally and externally, that we can inspire others to give or get involved.”
As published in Alert newsletter Fall 2018
“You have a significant number of the baby boomer leaders who are now leaving the sector, and a lot of folks who are going to have to come in and fill those roles,” he explained. As this shift continues, he said, the next generation of leaders at nonprofits, including MSF, need the kind of management training that will give them the skills to achieve their ambitious goals in a complex environment.
That’s where the American Express Leadership Academy comes in. Targeted specifically towards nonprofit and social purpose organizations, the program invites up-and-coming leaders to build their personal, business, and leadership skills over multi-day, in-person training sessions. For the first time, MSF staff received invitations to attend American Express Leadership Academy programs in the spring and summer of 2018.
The nearly weeklong training programs came at no cost to all 16 MSF participants, thanks to generous sponsorship from American Express.
“The nonprofit sector provides critical services,” Brown said from his office at American Express, only a few short blocks from MSF in New York City. “American Express is known for growing great leaders internally. But for more than a decade it has also been a priority for us to drive strong social purpose leadership throughout the communities where we live and work.”
From MSF, 13 emerging leaders received training in New York from the Center for Creative Leadership, an institution highly regarded for its leadership education and research. Three other MSF managers attended the Leadership Academy at Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona.
Since 2008, American Express has invested nearly $70 million to develop more than 70,000 social purpose leaders who are tackling some of society's most complex issues. The American Express Leadership Academy is the signature program of this work. To date, they have hosted 112 Leadership Academy programs across 11 countries, training more than 3,500 nonprofit and social sector leaders. MSF’s Leadership Academy graduates are eager to apply the lessons they’ve learned to their work delivering critical medical aid where it’s needed most around the world.
“The Leadership Academy taught me skills that are now an essential part of my management toolbox working with the team responsible for recruiting and supporting hundreds of US staff members in field projects around the globe,” said Suzanne Ceresko, MSF-USA’s Deputy Director of Field Human Resources. “The Academy’s focus on adaptable leadership is especially relevant to our organization given the diverse challenges we face in the field.”
Other MSF participants agreed, saying that the Leadership Academy’s programming was thoughtfully tailored to meet the needs of nonprofit organizations and to strengthen the expertise of individuals dedicated to social causes.
The relationships between Leadership Academy graduates and their instructors continue far beyond the in-person training sessions—the organization has a strong alumni network and additional leadership development opportunities for graduates. Brown is rewarded whenever he sees what the next generation of nonprofit leaders can accomplish. “Many of the leaders we trained at earlier stages in their careers are now leading organizations and making amazing things happen— it is inspiring to see the vast impact our programs can have.”
As published in Alert newsletter Winter 2017
For MSF’s corporate donor Currey & Company, success isn’t simply defined as creating wealth for its owners and employees.
Our mission statement is to serve our customers, owners, and employees in an exemplary manner through a culture, which encourages all to flourish,” said Sonny Koontz, CEO of the Atlanta-based manufacturer of distinctive
home furnishings. “Now, there’s no question that the customers, owners, and employees of Currey & Company will flourish more if we share our good fortune.”
Robert Currey, the founder of family-owned Currey & Company, brought Koontz on board 15 years ago. Working together, they ushered in a new era in company operations, jump-starting sales, and increasing business fivefold while taking an employee-centered management approach with a humanitarian outlook.
Currey, a multimillion-dollar company, prides itself on
employee development (they cover college tuition and books for night courses) and its diverse workforce. In fact, when our team toured Currey’s manufacturing facility, we met a logistician who had once served as an MSF national staff member in Uganda.
“When you have a workforce,” Koontz said, “your people have a hope for a better tomorrow, which they get with education.” Currey & Company first became an MSF donor in 2011. Koontz, who learned about MSF when
his grandson wrote a high school research paper on global poverty, was particularly moved by the organization’s medical assistance to children in conflict regions. The best way to make the most impact, Koontz believed, was to donate to international childhood relief organizations.
Then, in 2014, Currey & Company was able to ramp up its year-end giving. The firm began asking its top 200 customers to select among three charitable organizations that would receive a percentage of annual company sales, totaling roughly $300,000. MSF has emerged as a popular perennial choice for Currey’s top customers, receiving six-figure donations every year.
“Both customers and employees have come to want to be a part of a company that adds international charitable giving as a component of its operating system,” Koontz said. Now, Koontz and the Curreys work with outside businesses and institutions, inspiring others with the effectiveness of their humanitarian leadership system.
“We have benefited greatly from globalization, but there’s a lot of the world that hasn’t, and we need to share our fortune,” Koontz said, expressing hope that Currey & Company’s story will leave a seed in people’s minds that will motivate everyone to do their part.
On any given day at MSF’s New York office you might notice staff wearing brightly colored socks featuring sassy sayings. Those socks are courtesy of Blue Q, a novelty gift manufacturer that donates 1 percent of proceeds from sales of their socks to MSF. Here, Blue Q co-founder Mitch Nash discusses why his company chose to give to MSF, and why they continue to give.
As published in Alert newsletter Spring 2017
What is Blue Q?
Blue Q is a gift manufacturer based in Pittsfield, MA, founded in 1988. We design and make curious and fun gift items. Our first gift to MSF was made 14 years ago in 2003 for $75. Over the past three years, through 1 percent of the sales of our socks, we’ve been able to donate $249,726.08.
Why did you decide to give a percentage of your sock proceeds
We decided to support MSF during a product development brainstorm. We were discussing organizations who have strong track records of humanitarian work. Katie, our product development manager, suggested MSF, and really the conversation ended there! We knew it was going to be a long-term relationship, so we wanted to make sure the organization we chose would continue to do great work. As a company we want to be well-rounded, good to our employees and customers, and support a cause. Making a difference means just as much as creating beautiful products. At Blue Q we believe there is a price to everything, including living in the world. This is one way we pay it back.
What part of MSF’s work resonates with Blue Q?
MSF is involved in real life-or-death emergencies and there is a sense of urgency. At Blue Q we are drawn to the idea of MSF not being patient but responding to emergencies immediately. You guys go to where you’re needed, regardless of politics. Your name says it all—there are no borders.
How do your employees feel about Blue Q’s support of MSF?
Our employees are proud to support MSF, often sharing that their hearts “swell with pride” because they know that every sock we create benefits MSF. We don’t have nor do we need any analysis from the market, we’re not concerned with quantifying what supporting MSF does for us. We just like the idea of being a good steward of MSF’s message.
How does supporting MSF further your company’s mission?
Supporting MSF is an extension of Blue Q’s ethos. We have products that benefit the Nature Conservancy, we employ people with disabilities, and all of our employees benefit from our profits. MSF is a piece of the larger question of “who we are,” and is arguably the most beloved. This is not just a business for us, we are trying to redefine what a company can be. As with our employees, who share in the success of our company, we’re glad that MSF is able to share in our success as well.
As published in Alert newsletter Spring 2016
As an expression of one of the company’s core values, and boosted by multifaceted contributions from employees, Google’s diverse corporate giving programs have supported MSF with more than $10 million in the past two years alone—and over $15 million overall since 2005—making them one of MSF’s top corporate donors.
MSF relies on financial independence in order to meet the needs of our patients, and Google’s holistic support has been critical to meeting these needs, from newsworthy emergencies such as the Ebola epidemic and the current refugee crises, to neglected disasters like the recent floods in Myanmar. We customarily request unrestricted support from donors in order to maintain the flexibility to respond to crises as they occur, based on medical needs alone; Google and its staff have supported these efforts wholeheartedly.
According to Jacquelline Fuller, director of Google.org, “MSF is at the forefront of major global emergencies and provides needed care at critical times. Google.org has supported MSF’s response work during many emergencies, including the Ebola outbreak, and most recently on the ground for their response to the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Additionally, Google employees have donated both money and volunteer time to help build products and facilitate innovation sprints to develop new technological solutions to assist those working directly in the field.”
MSF benefits greatly from relationships with many groups within Google—particularly its employees, Google.org, and the Googlers Give teams—and programs such as Google grants, employee matching, donations of travel miles, and Google AdWords Grants for paid ads. There have been operational collaborations as well, instances wherein Google and the Google community have committed considerable resources and data and technological expertise to solve specific problems that arose in the midst of emergencies. These include a cholera mapping project after the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the development of specialized mobile tablets during the Ebola outbreak. Some Google employees have even applied, and been accepted, to work in the field with MSF.
MSF is grateful for all of Google’s support and we look forward to continuing our relationship with the company and its employees.
CREDO Mobile is a progressive cell phone company founded in 1985, when activists launched a for-profit business to fund the causes they care about most. They knew they could have a big impact if they could turn bills people don’t love paying into ones they can be proud of. Since its founding, CREDO has donated more than $90 million to nonprofit organizations supporting climate justice, civil liberties, peace, women's rights, voting rights, and more—including over $1.6 million since 1992 to support the medical humanitarian work of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
As published in Alert newsletter Winter 2020
How does CREDO’s business model support the company’s philanthropy?
Philanthropy and progressive values are built into our business model, our company culture, and our interactions with all customers. CREDO commits a portion of its revenue to its donation program. Many customers also make additional donations by rounding up their monthly bills to send extra support.
Donations are then distributed democratically: CREDO supports three different nonprofits each month, then asks anyone (customers and the wider public) to vote to determine how $150,000 should be divided up. With every action we take and with every product we offer, we show that profit and giving can, and should, go together.
How does CREDO’s social mission impact its financial bottom line?
We don’t practice philanthropy just to make money. In fact, we use our profits to fund our philanthropy. We give because it is the right thing to do, and because we want to provide a better option for consumers.
Many people believe that it is difficult to have a successful for-profit company that prioritizes philanthropy, but for nearly 35 years we have proven that’s just not the case. Our founders were prescient in their pursuit of their collective values through commerce. Companies and business leaders are increasingly coming around to the notion that they can do great things and be fundamentally good, all while also being profitable and sustainable.
Why is it important to you that CREDO creates social impact?
Many of us feel the tension between having to make money and wanting to live by our values. At a certain point in my career, I decided that I wanted to work with a company that focused on doing good as a first priority, not as an afterthought or as a way to get good press.
Various traits define a person, but to me, integrity, honesty, compassion, and empathy are everything. I decided that the company I work with should reflect these personal values. Each of us is a brand to ourselves. Our body of work is a reflection of who we are.
I love working with a company that shares my own passion for helping others, that gives voice to those who have been neglected and marginalized. Emotionally, it feels great to make a difference, and CREDO’s employees and customers connect with that purpose.
Why does CREDO support MSF?
MSF, like CREDO, works to improve the lives of people who need help. We speak out—via our branding, messaging, content production, and philanthropy—to protect the lives, health, and wellness of people within our society. MSF’s conviction, sense of purpose, willingness to act, and the value it places on all human lives resonates deeply with CREDO’s core values. We strive to rise to the occasion whenever we can, and we often stand in awe of MSF’s unwavering, lifesaving efforts.
Want to learn more about how your company can become a corporate supporter? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212.763.5745.
Please note: Until a fully executed agreement is received, use of the Doctors Without Borders name, logo, or any of its licensed marks is prohibited.