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Case study

Supporter engagement enhanced by data

As part of their outsourced response handling, the team at MSF uses Woods Valldata's in-house-developed database module as its primary data stream

The team at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) rely on Woods Valldata data systems to derive critical information about supporters and to manage the thanking process from beginning to end. This case study outlines the next stage in the evolution of MSF supporter services, the primary objective of which was to enable more efficient in-house query resolution, developed alongside a number of other enhancements.
As a result, MSF has improved query response times and eliminated manual reconciliation, resulting in the freeing up of vital resource and increased supporter trust.


  • Supporters re-thanked
  • Queries dealt with quality and with ease
  • Reconciled payments


MSF centres supporter care at the heart of its fundraising programme. Being able to respond to supporters’ questions and queries in a timely manner is extremely important to the MSF team.

The team at MSF uses Woods Valldata’s in-house-developed database module as its primary data stream. Every transaction is managed in a uniform way. To enhance the system further, MSF wanted to be able to answer supporter queries in real-time and decided they needed to develop their ability to resolve queries themselves, which often proved difficult to action.


  • Extended search functionality –
    Firstly, MSF wanted to be able to look things up quickly. Not all supporters know everything about their transaction; they rarely know their supporter number and sometimes an address just isn’t enough. The search function has been extended, particularly around payment information.
  • Search history –
    Woods Valldata has added the ability for individual users to look at their search history. Both MSF and Woods Valldata use this extensively when dealing with multiple queries at the same time. This function can be used to search by URN or by previous search criteria.
  • Merge contacts –
    MSF manages a lot of supporter interaction and a lot of unsolicited transactions. Merging Contacts is a way for MSF to ‘clean’ the data where duplicates have been created in error. This ensures improved synchronising of databases and more accurate fulfilment of records.
  • Charity voucher reconciliation –
    Like most charities MSF has to reconcile payments, including charity vouchers. This often proves difficult given the time taken for payment. The additional functionality allows MSF to send Woods Valldata all voucher payments received. These are subsequently checked, flagged and exported so that MSF knows which vouchers are yet to be reconciled.
  • Bounced/refunded donations –
    Payments can be flagged as having bounced or refunded so that the value shown in MSF’s bank account reconciles exactly to the value on DAT (Woods Valldata’s reporting tool) and shows accurately on the supporter’s record.
  • Re-thanking –
    Re-thanking makes it easy for Woods Valldata to reissue a letter. MSF uses this new function when a supporter claims they haven't received a letter and Woods Valldata use it when rejects are received in-house.

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