Who We Are:

Frequently Asked Questions

Help the UN Solve Global Problems


Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  How is the UN Foundation different from the UN?
A:  The UN Foundation is an accredited 501 (c)(3) public charity, dedicated to supporting UN efforts. It is not a part of the UN system, though it does work closely with many UN agencies. The UN Foundation does not receive any funding from the UN.

Q:  What does the UN Foundation do?
A:  The UN Foundation supports the UN and strengthens US-UN relations through public education, advocacy, and outreach. The Foundation also supports UN efforts financially through grantmaking and by building innovative public-private partnerships with corporations, NGO’s, foundations, and individuals.

Q. Is Ted Turner active in the Foundation?
A. In 1997, Ted Turner pledged to give $1 billion to support United Nations causes. The gift – unprecedented at the time in both size and nature – led to the creation of the United Nations Foundation, and has served as a catalyst for change in philanthropy, on global issues, and at the United Nations. He is Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Q. What are your priorities?
A. The Foundation is focused on select global problems – decreasing childhood mortality, improving disaster relief, protecting diverse culture and environments, creating a clean energy future, empowering women and girls, and improving U.S.-UN relations.  In pursuing our work, we try to involve the public in the work of the UN; encourage partnerships with the UN; identify solutions to global challenges; enhance UN operations; advocate for the UN and increase giving to international programs.
Q. What does UN causes and issues mean?  Do you give/work directly with UN?
A. The UN is the only global platform for tackling things like child mortality.  Together, with the UN, we help mobilize resources, provide business expertise and harness constituencies to help find solutions to these problems. More than 500 children die every day in India from measles. Malaria kills more than a million kids a year. These are preventable diseases. And the prevention methods are cheap: $1 a shot for measles vaccine; $10 for a bed net to stop malaria. These are the problems that need to be addressed. Through the UN – and partnerships the UN Foundation has helped create such as the Measles Initiative or the Nothing But Nets Campaign – we’re getting closer to solving these problems.

Q.  What is UNFIP?
A. The then Secretary-General Kofi Annan established the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP) in March 1998 to coordinate, channel and monitor contributions from the UN Foundation. In the spirit of the Secretary-General’s call for reform, the UNFIP/UN Foundation partnership brings together UN agencies and funds through joint programming to encourage a coordinated approach to build support to tackling global problems. 

Q.  Who is on the Board of Directors?
A. Our work is guided by a distinguished international Board of Directors that includes:
Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah (Jordan)
Kofi Annan (Ghana)
Gro Harlem Brundtland (Norway)
Yuan Ming (China)
N.R. Narayana Murthy (India)
His Excellency Hisashi Owada (Japan)
Emma Rothschild (United Kingdom)
Dr. Nafis Sadik (Pakistan)
R.E. Turner (USA)
Timothy E. Wirth (USA)
Ambassador Andrew Young (USA)
Muhammad Yunus (Bangladesh)
Liang Dan (China) Emeritus
Graça Machel (Mozambique) Emeritus
Dr. Ruth Cardoso (Brazil) – in memorium

Q. How can someone get involved with the UN Foundation’s work?

A. It is easy to get involved in our work. In addition to accepting individual donations, the UN Foundation also works to create partnerships with individuals, corporations and other organizations. Visit Your Role on our website at www.unfoundation.org/yourrole to find out more.

Q. How can I apply for a grant from the UN Foundation?
A. The UN Foundation does not accept grant proposals from individuals or organizations outside of the UN system.

Q. How can I find out more information about the UN Foundation’s finances?
A. The UN Foundation received the highest possible rating (four stars) from Charity Navigator, the leading independent reviewer of charitable organizations. IRS 990 forms and financial statements from our auditors for the past several years are available on our website for both the UN Foundation and our sister organization, the Better World Fund. We provide our IRS Form 990s on our website in order to share our financial information with partners, donors and the public.

Q. How much money has the UN Foundation given?
A. We are honored by the many individual and organizational partners that have supported our work over the past 10 years. Together, we have been able to deliver to the UN and UN causes more than $1.5 billion. Of those funds,  more than $700 million was contributed by Ted Turner and another $900 million from corporate, philanthropic, government and NGO partners.

Q. How does the UN Foundation handle Email Scams?
A. Several deceptive emails claiming to be from or associated with the United Nations Foundation, Ted Turner and Timothy Wirth are circulating on the Internet. These emails often include our logo, photos, links, or other information from our Web site.

Some emails claim the recipient has won a lottery or other prize and request detailed personal information or a payment of some kind in order to receive the winnings. Some mention other foundations and organizations based in London and the United Kingdom none of which are apart of these scams. Other emails direct recipients to Web sites that promise large returns on investments and claim a portion of returns will be donated to the foundation.

The sources and contents of these emails, Web sites, and accompanying materials are in no way associated with the United Nations Foundation, Mr. Turner or Mr. Wirth. For your own protection, we strongly recommend not responding to emails making such claims.

The UN Foundation has reported, and will continue to report, these deceptive spam emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). For more information about the FTC’s efforts against deceptive spam, please visit www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/spam/report.html. For more information about the IC3, please visit www.ic3.gov/ . For information on the FBI, please visit www.fbi.gov/, or contact your local FBI office.

Q. Is Gift to the World a UN Foundation campaign?
A. Yes, Gift to the World is the UN Foundation's holiday giving campaign. Holiday Giving can be done via our regular donate tab, or by clicking on www.holidaygiving.org.

You can also email your inquiries about scam email, letters, and phone calls to info@unfoundation.org.