United Nations Foundation Reviews in Washington, DC | Glassdoor

United Nations Foundation Washington Reviews

Updated June 30, 2017
33 reviews

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Washington, DC

3.5
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Kathy Calvin
13 Ratings

33 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 (1)

    "Interesting experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, beautiful office space, prime location. High energy, exciting cutting edge approaches and missions. Introspective leadership. Where improvements were needed i.e. standardizing job titles with job responsibilities, creating career development trajectories for staff, actions were being taken to address them. What appeared to be agile, responsive leadership culture.

    Cons

    Workload was intense- but this varied across teams and departments.

    Advice to Management

    Keep assessing for career development opportunities for staff. Employ "350" surveys so that supervisors and staff are reviewed be each other and by the colleagues they each work with closely. Look for opportunities to allow staff between departments to network with each other more.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Good workplace morale, tone-deaf leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Washington, DC
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at United Nations Foundation full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The organization does lots of little things to help employees feel valued and supported

    Cons

    Executive leadership pays lipservice to listening to lower level staff but ultimately barrels ahead on what they want to do, even when advised otherwise by other staff and consultants

    Advice to Management

    Narrow focus of mission, actually listen to your employees concerns

  3. "Great place to work, with expected DC bureaucracy"

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

    I worked at United Nations Foundation as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great experience with a well-connected nonprofit and great missions to impact people around the world. In terms of working at a nonprofit, this has to be the upper echelon of all jobs. There are talented teams of very highly qualified individuals from around the world. A fantastic place to learn the ins- and -outs of all aspects of the global health, women's empowerment, social entrepreneurship, etc work you're interested in.

    Cons

    Highly bureaucratic, with tight regulations that at times prohibit the creativity needed to achieve tangible results. As an organization, there is a weighted importance towards "stepping up the ladder" to advance, where it may be easier to go elsewhere to get experience and come back to get a promotion.


  4. 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.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Could be good or bad - it depends"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Intern in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at United Nations Foundation as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    As an intern, this is a pretty cool place to work. The office is so nice, the location is great, and there are tons of young professionals who really care about their teams and what they're doing. Also, lots of learning/networking opportunities, free food, and lots to learn.

    Cons

    Your experience at the UNF can depend entirely on who your manager is. Sometimes you can have a great, enthusiastic manager who genuinely wants to invest in you--or you can have a manager like mine, who was so overworked and burnt out that they barely had time for me. Also, lots of petty office politics and senior staff are often out of touch with what's really going on.

    Advice to Management

    Distribute the work more evenly between your employees and stop with the drama.


  6. "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!


  7. 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.

  8. 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.


  9. 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.


  10. 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


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