United Nations Foundation Reviews | Glassdoor

United Nations Foundation Reviews

Updated July 6, 2017
59 reviews

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59 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great colleagues, diverse areas of work, great benefits (in 15 reviews)

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

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

  • Very top-down structure, especially in decision making (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (15)

    "Good benefits but not much else"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  2. "Summer Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good exposure to the foundation and to UN agencies in DC. Well developed intern program includes lunchtime events with interns of other UN programs, led by professions in the fields of environmentalism, humanitarian/refugee efforts, development, etc. The offices are fancy and the other interns are fun!

    Cons

    Hard to integrate with teams other than your own. Unpaid internships only make it hard to live in DC. Do not expect a salaried position from your internship (but do expect networking opportunities).

    Advice to Management

    Pay your interns. They work hard!

  3. Helpful (1)

    "great benefits, positive work culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    great benefits, positive work culture

    Cons

    bureaucratic and overly focused on communications as opposed to substantive work

    Advice to Management

    focus more on contributing to tangible outcomes and tracking these outcomes through solid metrics, instead of PR


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Fine"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at United Nations Foundation full-time

    Pros

    The staff is smart. I met some great people while working at UNF and still have a great relationships with several people.

    Cons

    Growth opportunities are very limited. Additionally, it is clear that "favorites" get promoted while others who do great work never rally advance. Like most non-profits, the higher levels of the team are dominated by men, despite the women and girls focus of the organization. Finally, opportunities for grown for people of color flat out don't exist.

    Advice to Management

    More focus on the substance of the work.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Digital Media"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Digital Media in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Digital Media in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at United Nations Foundation (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I started at UNF as an intern and was offered a full-time position after my internship finished. Working in the digital space we have always looked at the glassdoor reviews from time to time and as I am leaving I decided to rate my own job. I have really enjoyed my time, work and colleagues, the program I worked on was great and I personally believe I really made a difference - sad and hard to leave.

    Cons

    It's a shame that the foundation does not pay its interns anymore ( I was one of the last groups of paid interns).

    Advice to Management

    I enjoyed my job and the team I worked with. Thanks for the benefits, Kathy Calvin is a great CEO.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to learn and grow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    I loved working at UNF, I was a Senior Associate and worked there for 3 years. Place in my opinion is awesome, fast paced, energetic and lots of fun. The place was BUSY and by that I mean you will have to run to keep up. Once I got myself aligned and knew what was expected of me I really enjoyed it. Learnt a TON about international development, made some great contacts and I will take that experience with me.

    Cons

    Can't really think of any, maybe if you are not quick enough to keep up it might be a bit frustrating?

    Advice to Management

    Thanks for 3 years, good luck in the future, I didn't know a whole lot about the UN before I started but know I feel like I have done a degree in UN studies.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Cleaning up"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at United Nations Foundation full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I enjoy working here, its busy, lots to do and more to learn. I have been here for around 7 years and have seen some changes. Lately a few bad managers have 'left' (mine was one of them) which is great, hopefully I will have a few more opportunities here.

    Cons

    Should have gotten rid of the bad managers long ago, having said that at least its done so lets get on with it.

    Advice to Management

    I do not have a lot of interaction with executive management. My NEW manager is great, pay is good, benefits are great.

  8. Helpful (9)

    "Selfish Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Executive Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Senior Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bethesda, MD
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The mission of the Foundation and the ability to play at the highest levels.

    Cons

    Hierarchical, lacks transparency in decision-making

    Advice to Management

    Engage with staff particularly those not part of the inner circle.


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