United Nations Foundation Reviews | Glassdoor

United Nations Foundation Reviews

Updated January 26, 2017
52 reviews

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3.6
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Kathy Calvin
19 Ratings

52 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • great benefits, positive work culture (in 12 reviews)

  • Great place to work with very passionate people and they often hire internally (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Managers are generally very out of touch, which results in extremely high turnover in certain departments (in 4 reviews)

  • Senior management says they are working to improve this (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (6)

    "Working with UNF was the Worst Experience in my Career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at United Nations Foundation full-time

    Pros

    The company has great name recognition because of the United Nations. When mentioning this company's name in conversation, most people do not hear you say the "Foundation" part of the company title and assume you are the United Nations. UNF's name carries more weight that the work that is produced. The company has great benefits and If you come from a culturally diverse background, you will fit in here.

    Cons

    I was excited to join the United Nations Foundation. They seemed very mission driven and from the outside seemed like they are genuinely making a difference in this world. I am a professional who has been recognized for my hard work and dedication but when joining UNF, there was no learning curve. They expect you to jump in there and know everything with minimal training. The department I worked in was timing me in my first week. How is one supposed to learn while being timed? The office gossip is also a put off. The people employed there engaging in office gossip and office politics make you question if these are the same people trying to make a difference in the world. Upper management doesn't really have respect for junior staff nor do they care about the hard work put in. If your mental health is important to you and if you want to be happy where you work, i would not recommend this company.


  2. Helpful (6)

    "Great Name"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Junior Staff in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Junior Staff in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at United Nations Foundation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The UN Foundation has a really great name. They have moved offices to a really nice facility and you get to rub elbows with a lot of people and high profile partners depending on the team you are on. The benefits package is pretty amazing, particularly if you have a family to support.

    Cons

    There is no real sense of work-life balance and the culture for junior staff doesn't reflect the more organized culture amongst senior staff and executive management. There is a big problem with professional development as well as poor management. Other reviews have mentioned poor management and that should be emphasized, there are a majority of senior staff members who are prone to finger pointing and create a culture of hierarchy. It wasn't uncommon for colleagues to admit being put in very questionable situations. Though the benefits may be great, you may not get the opportunity to really use them depending on the team you work on.

    Advice to Management

    Be more proactive when staff come with complaints, office bullying is not uncommon.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Negatives > Pros"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fantastic Benefits such as 401K, vacation days and building amenities

    Cons

    If you are looking for professional growth, career development and the ability to use your skills in a collegial environment, then the UN Foundation is not the place for you. There is a remarkably high turnover rate (1-2 yrs) as well as a high lay off rate. Some campaigns and initiatives are stronger than others, but for the most part, the organization is not an efficient/stable place to be.

    Advice to Management

    Know who the problem managers are, and hold on to the talented.


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  5. Helpful (10)

    "Good benefits but not much else"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at United Nations Foundation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits: excellent health insurance, vacation and personal days, transport allowance and retirement plan.

    Cons

    Don't be fooled by the beautiful building and the fancy conference rooms. Sadly, this place has not lived up to it's expectation. While UNF has a noble mission of achieving the SDGs, however, the way they treat their staff doesn't leave much to be desired.

    I think my biggest gripe with UNF is their lack of transparency, integrity and honesty in how they treat their employees. There is nothing egalitarian about UNF. Senior management is extremely hierarchical; some of the projects housed under UNF don't really have an on-boarding process, people work all hours of the day and night; senior directors and, and those that are friends with the senior leadership are treated differently than the rest of the staff. Those who have the right connections can get away with murder while the rest can get penalized for even the smallest mistake. There is little to no mentorship, some supervisors look for opportunities to sabotage their supervisees instead of mentoring them or helping them succeed. There is no performance improvement plan for employees to follow at UNF.

    Advice to Management

    Create accountability and transparency. Treat people you hire with respect. It would be nice for UNF to actually show impact by doing things, rather than only focusing on communications and PR.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "flashy, expensive, UN-foundation"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at United Nations Foundation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    young, hard working teams, creativity encouraged for certain departments

    Cons

    extravagant spending; no measurable impact; focused on marketing, not programming


  7. Helpful (2)

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

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Program Associate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    Communicate with employees. Develop transparent hiring and promotions.


  8. "Great location not very diverse"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great location to come to work. Dupont rocks.

    Cons

    Not very diverse set of skills.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Selfish Management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Digital Producer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Digital Producer in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at United Nations Foundation (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great colleagues who are motivated and care about their work. Lack of organization makes it easy to build skills you are interested in advancing,

    Cons

    Poor management and an enormous amount of money is wasted promoting executive team members who are poor managers and consistently cross professional lines. Leadership hires, promotes and invests in employees that they like and not individuals with high performance.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your employees, stop the extravagant spending, stop using company money to fund your personal career development, understand the people you are working on behalf of


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Executive Director"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at United Nations Foundation full-time

    Pros

    Good relationship with the United Nations

    Cons

    If you are not in the inner circle, you will not be promoted or given raises. People that are in the inner circle even if poor performers will get huge raises and those doing the work will be overlooked every time. Lacks diversity in leadership and senior management. Employee value not embraced and employee opinion and expertise not taken seriously. New HR leadership poor at best.

    Advice to Management

    Hire and more importantly retain employees who can help the organization grow and be successful. Stop running away good people by placing favorites in roles that they are not qualified for.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "OK interview"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Consultant in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at United Nations Foundation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    good pay, a lot of holidays, good pension fund, low stress, normal working hours. People who work at the UN are really helpful and relaxed.

    Cons

    There are no clear career paths. It seems that all depends on personal connections and how you place yourself among colleagues. There are not so much training and investment in the newly employed.

    Advice to Management

    Invest more in your subordinates.



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