Success StoryDoctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières

Doctors Without Borders Combines Facebook Ads and Page Fundraiser to Drive $110,000 in Donations on GivingTuesday

“Our aim with social marketing is not just to raise funds, but to raise awareness of the critical needs of people around the world who are trapped in conflict and crisis, and to remind people that even the smallest donation can have a lifesaving impact. With GivingTuesday being one of the biggest days of giving throughout the year, we wanted to make sure our organization was a part of the conversation people were having around charitable giving on Facebook.”
Kyle Levine – Digital Marketing Manager at Doctors Without Borders


Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent international medical humanitarian organization delivering emergency aid and healthcare to vulnerable people and populations affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters, and exclusion from healthcare in more than 70 countries worldwide.

Success Story

Seeking the most effective way to reach supporters for GivingTuesday 2019, MSF tested both paid Facebook Ads and a boosted Page Fundraiser within the same campaign timeframe. This combination yielded more than double the organization’s GivingTuesday donations from the previous year.


Following the best practices laid out in Facebook’s GivingTuesday Toolkit, MSF began the campaign a week before GivingTuesday to build anticipation and momentum. They ran both a paid awareness Facebook Ads campaign and a direct-to-donate campaign in order to reach additional supporters and share more about the work the organization does around the world.

  • Paid Ads Duration: November 24, 2019 — December 3, 2019
  • Page Fundraiser Duration: November 27, 2019 — December 3, 2019 (boosted twice by $700 on November 27 and December 3)

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Including a paid awareness ads campaign for GivingTuesday 2019 doubled the organization’s reach and allowed MSF to share their mission and message with an audience they might otherwise have missed. MSF also saw success in boosting its Page Fundraiser, quadrupling their original goal of $10,000 dollars in donations to $40,000 dollars raised, a 7% increase YoY.

Paid Ads

  • Ad spend for GivingTuesday campaigns: $26,000
  • Donation value from ads: $72,000
  • Return on Ad Spend: 2.8x
  • Donors: 60% new donors, 40% returning donors
Page Fundraiser
  • Total dollars raised: $40,000, a 7% increase YoY
  • Three organic posts, two boosted with a $700 spend
Campaign Approach
“We found success in hopeful and direct language, which resonated with our supporters to inspire them to donate to us when there were so many other wonderful organizations to choose from. The Page Fundraiser focused on our most active Facebook followers, to give them a chance to make an impact beyond engagement.”

Amanda White – Social Media Manager at Doctors Without Borders

Campaign Lessons
  • Activate ahead of GivingTuesday to build momentum
  • Use Targeting and Custom Audiences
  • Use Evocative Imagery
  • Create Quality Content

The content MSF shared on its Page Fundraiser and in the Facebook Ads focused on the power that individuals have to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people in need.

The tone of the copy focused on direct, supporter-focused language to engage and empower supporters to act now.

The copy in the “About” section and in update posts on the Page Fundraiser provided concrete examples of the services the donations will fund.

MSF regularly updated supporters about how the fundraiser was doing.

MSF engaged directly with supporters on the Page fundraiser, posting thank you messages to each supporter who donated and sharing information about where the donations were going and what work they would directly support.

Best Practices
  • Tap into a dedicated community across multiple channels and platforms to drive awareness early in the campaign.
  • Involve your audience. Interact with supporters on your fundraiser page to galvanize supporters and get them excited about the goal.
  • Create quality content and use evocative imagery to show supporters the work their donations are funding.
  • Monitor the donations and give updates on fundraising progress. Increase goals when necessary.
  • Offer to match donations made to your fundraiser to incentivize giving.
  • Reveal “milestones” reached in the fundraiser and encourage supporters to share, too.
  • Say thanks! Be sure to thank your supporters early and often.

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