United Nations Foundation

www.unfoundation.org

United Nations Foundation Reviews

Updated 28 January 2015
Updated 28 January 2015
30 Reviews
4.0
30 Reviews
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Kathy Calvin
15 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Not Your Typical NGO

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at United Nations Foundation full-time

    Pros

    Incredible benefits, good work life balance, very good culture, solid, mission driven plan. Thanks to Ted Turner, this NGO has a relatively large amount of capital to play with so at times that allows to it operate more like a business (which more NGOs should do!) than an NGO who has to worry more actively about scarcity. There are a huge number of people here with diverse professional backgrounds.

    Cons

    The NGO is going under a lot of changes as it spends its billionth dollar from Ted Turner. this means lots of exciting new opportunities but also some restructuring.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    And the cracks begin to show

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Associate
    Current Employee - Program Associate

    I have been working at United Nations Foundation full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    UN Foundation has some really great people on staff and some of them do great work. The UN Foundation name opens doors, so you can gain excellent experience and build a great network here, if you're in the right department and the right position. Benefits and compensation are some of the best in the non-profit world, but they need it to retain staff in an often tense and competitive environment. Work life balance is generally good (they usually provide more vacation hours than staff can use in a year), but some employees work long hours depending on their position and supervisor, or if they want to make a good impression. There are almost daily panels, lunches, dinners and receptions held in the office, some of which are open to staff, providing opportunity to engage in various issues and programs.

    Cons

    Many employees have reservations about how UN Foundation spends it's funding, which creates a strange disconnect between the messages the organization sends out and what employees say behind closed doors. Staff that dedicate their careers to making a positive impact in the world sometimes find it difficult to reconcile how the organization spends its resources on flashy events and travel while championing the U.N. and its issues. Other reviewers have it right: In the past, advancement was challenging under normal circumstances (lack of clearly defined progress paths), but will likely become more difficult now that the organization is tightening budgets and shedding staff. Complicated internal politics still dominate communications and strategy, making the UN Foundation a difficult place to navigate for those not savvy enough to play the game properly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    UN Foundation's C-suite are suffering from a serious case of founder's syndrome and typically keep their own council, ignoring dissenting voices and making decisions without regard to outside perceptions. Since they had little or no non-profit management experience prior to joining the UN Foundation, now that Ted Turner's billionth dollar is in the bank, the best thing they could do for the organization is step aside and bring in new blood to manage Ted's endowment and put the organization on a sustainable path. Without major changes in strategy and spending habits, this organization is likely to head downhill if it's endowment declines.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    And the cracks begin to show

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Associate
    Current Employee - Program Associate

    I have been working at United Nations Foundation full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    UN Foundation has some really great people on staff and some of them do great work. The UN Foundation name opens doors, so you can gain excellent experience and build a great network here, if you're in the right department and the right position. Benefits and compensation are some of the best in the non-profit world, but they need it to retain staff in an often tense and competitive environment. Work life balance is generally good (they usually provide more vacation hours than staff can use in a year), but some employees work long hours depending on their position and supervisor, or if they want to make a good impression. There are almost daily panels, lunches, dinners and receptions held in the office, some of which are open to staff, providing opportunity to engage in various issues and programs.

    Cons

    Many employees have reservations about how UN Foundation spends it's funding, which creates a strange disconnect between the messages the organization sends out and what employees say behind closed doors. Staff that dedicate their careers to making a positive impact in the world sometimes find it difficult to reconcile how the organization spends its resources on flashy events and travel while championing the U.N. and its issues. Other reviewers have it right: In the past, advancement was challenging under normal circumstances (lack of clearly defined progress paths), but will likely become more difficult now that the organization no longer has Ted Turner's yearly contributions to rely on. Complicated internal politics still dominate communications and strategy, making the UN Foundation a difficult place to navigate for those not savvy enough to play the game properly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    UN Foundation's C-suite are suffering from a serious case of founder's syndrome and typically keep their own council, ignoring dissenting voices and making decisions without regard to outside perceptions. Since they had little or no non-profit management experience prior to joining the UN Foundation, now that Ted Turner's billionth dollar is in the bank, the best thing they could do for the organization is step aside and bring in new blood to manage Ted's endowment and put the organization on a sustainable path. Without major changes in strategy and spending habits, this organization is likely to head downhill if it's endowment declines.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    Good place to start, but not to stay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in Washington, DC (US)
    Former Employee - Associate in Washington, DC (US)

    I worked at United Nations Foundation

    Pros

    I started here as an intern and worked my way up, I was with the organization for almost three years. It was a great place to start and I was able to make good connections with other organizations and individuals. The name of the organization carries more weight that the actual work that is produced. Beautiful office space.

    Cons

    Incredibly bureaucratic, and does not encourage creativity or new ideas. The organization is run like a company and it shows at all levels and fails to uphold the values it says it stands for. Upper management has little to no respect for junior staff. The work environment is very toxic resulting in very high turnover.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Embrace new and creative ideas, or else you will lose the people that bring diversity and fresh ideas to the organization.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Good place to work, boring

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Associate in Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - Program Associate in Washington, DC (US)

    I have been working at United Nations Foundation

    Pros

    Stable job, Employee protection, great benefits, great workspace

    Cons

    Boring work, very administrative, filled with red tape

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    UNF treats its employees well, but campaigns are poorly integrated within the UNF umbrella.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC (US)

    I have been working at United Nations Foundation full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Management treats its employees very well with generous benefits and work-life balance.

    Cons

    If you are working on a specific campaign, you're experience will depend largely on the Executive Director and your team. UNF has a lot of very young people with limited work experience, but lots of enthusiasm. UNF doesn't seem to provide much training for EDs to improve their management skills.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    UNF should consider more rigorous evaluation of Executive Directors and provide them with training to improve their skills. Also, management should consider creating more jobs at upper levels to allow people to grow with the Foundation.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    good experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY (US)

    I worked at United Nations Foundation as an intern

    Pros

    everyone in the office is very nice, learned a lot. Good internship opportunity.

    Cons

    Felt very removed from the causes we were helping.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have slightly more structured internship programs.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Good working environment, smart, passionate people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at United Nations Foundation full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Truly interesting work, insider access to UN, friendly environment, great benefits

    Cons

    Some mismatch in workloads - some people seem to work extremely hard, while others have very little - and compensation likely doesnt match up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More merit-based system for advancement. Not playing favorites.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    The senior leadership care more about making money than alleviating poverty.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Associate in Washington, DC (US)
    Former Employee - Program Associate in Washington, DC (US)

    I worked at United Nations Foundation full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    UNF is uniquely positioned at a nexus between private, public, and the UN. The company benefits are amazing.

    Cons

    The leadership has an authoritarian leadership style, in which they are not transparent about decision making and do not communicate. Entire departments and individuals have been fired at the drop of a hat with no explanation. This breeds a culture of fear within the organization.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate with employees. Develop transparent hiring and promotions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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