Changing ways of giving

William “Grit” Laskin with his MSF-inspired guitar. Canada, 2020. © William Laskin
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William “Grit” Laskin, a Canadian guitar maker, has combined his passions for guitar making and supporting Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) by creating a beautiful guitar depicting MSF’s work through inlay art. He sold the guitar and donated the proceeds to MSF. 

“I’m just one person who has been lucky in his career,” says Grit. “I was happily in a position to be able to support MSF in addition to my regular monthly donation. It’s not a huge sum, but I still felt any amount would be appreciated. And it was.” 

We are very grateful to Grit and all our supporters, many of whom have adopted innovative ways to stand with us, helping MSF provide lifesaving medical care when and where it is needed most. 

CELEBRATING SUPPORTERS’ TRANSFORMATIONAL LEGACIES 

We are always inspired by unexpected gifts from our loyal supporters who generously include Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in their will. Last year was full of uncertainty and change — and for us, a year of pleasant surprises regarding estate gifts. 

A long-time monthly supporter, who wished to remain anonymous, left almost $4 million to MSF in their will. This is the largest gift MSF Canada has ever received, and it came during one of the toughest years for medical humanitarian aid. We wish we could have expressed our heartfelt gratitude to this supporter during their lifetime. We take this moment to thank all our anonymous donors, for their humility and their generosity. 

Legacy giving is one of the most special and rare types of support to MSF. In Canada, 57 per cent of adults don’t have a will. Of those who do, only about seven per cent remember a charity in their will. While leaving a philanthropic legacy isn’t very common, it can be transformative to the organizations you support. 

If you’ve left a gift to MSF in your will, we hope you will give us the honour of telling you in person how appreciative we are. Thank you for believing in our work, for helping us save lives, and for transforming the health of future generations. 

MSF’s HUMANITARIAN CHALLENGE 

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) ability to provide lifesaving medical care in more than 70 countries is possible thanks to our community of supporters. Almost all our funding comes from individuals like you, giving us the independence to respond to emergencies based on medical need alone. 

Last year, we had the opportunity to come together and maximize our collective impact. A long-time Canadian supporter, who has requested to remain anonymous, made a generous gift of $1.2 million for the first time. Recognizing everyone’s circumstances are different, they hoped their donation would inspire our entire community to give whatever amount they could. We called on you to join together to collectively match their gift in MSF’s Humanitarian Challenge. 

To date, our supporters across Canada have raised an additional $1.6 million, pushing our cumulative impact to nearly $3 million for our lifesaving work. Thank you for rising to the challenge, and for sharing the deeply humanitarian spirit that drives all of us across MSF to help people in crisis access quality medical care.