The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. We are an advocate for the UN and connect people, ideas, and resources to power solutions to global challenges.
We help the UN take its best work and ideas to scale—through partnerships, advocacy, constituency building, and fundraising.
- Partnerships because we have learned what can be achieved when the public and private sectors work together through the United Nations;
- Advocacy because we know the leverage and impact that sound policy can have on the kind of social, economic, and environmental change the UN seeks and the world needs;
- Constituency building because the UN was created for “we the people,” and all of us can give back and contribute to a better world; and
- Fundraising because we need new and additional resources to power solutions to global challenges.
Under the direction of our distinguished Board of Directors, we also work closely with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Office for Partnerships.Preferences in private sector partnership
The United Nations Foundation links the entrepreneurial spirit and expertise of the private sector with the social, economic and environmental objectives of the United Nations to solve global problems.
In our first ten years, we have successfully facilitated results-driven partnerships with companies around the world to help the UN save children’s lives, provide rapid fire responses to global disasters, create a clean energy future, empower women and girls, preserve precious World Heritage sites, and ensure critical funding for the UN. Together, the Foundation and its over 300 partners have provided the UN with critical technical expertise, strategic planning support, human resources, marketing platforms, products, and technologies—and over $2 billion—to overcome some of the world’s most intractable problems.
Our corporate partners are vital in our work to address some of today’s most pressing challenges, and we are grateful to each one for their unique support and expertise. Together, we are able to achieve an outcome that is greater than what any one of us would have accomplished working alone.
The following examples highlight our work to leverage business expertise and resources and build coalitions around UN causes.
1) Technology Partnership with the Vodafone Foundation
With over 4 billion mobile phones in use around the world, more people have mobile devices than don’t. Widespread access to the most ubiquitous communications tool in human history is changing the ways in which societies and communities organize themselves and do business. The highest growth rates for mobile technology adoption are in developing countries, opening a world of new possibilities for international humanitarian and development applications.
Since the UN Foundation opened its doors, it has recognized that part of the development solution involves bridging the gap between the information rich and the information poor. To address this gap, in 2005, the Vodafone Foundation partnered with the UN Foundation to form the Technology Partnership, a five-year, $30 million commitment, that strives to be the leading public-private alliance using strategic telecommunications programs to strengthen the UN’s humanitarian efforts worldwide.
The agreement between the Vodafone Foundation and the UN Foundation provides for an Advisory Committee to help identify activities where technology can be leveraged to support UN humanitarian work worldwide; and make recommendations related to Partnership activities and funding for the UN Foundation Board. The Advisory Committee, comprised of members from the Vodafone Foundation, UN Foundation and the UN, brings vital expertise on issues related to technology and international development initiatives.
Through the Partnership, Vodafone’s core business areas are helping the UN improve disease surveillance and health data collection and enhance emergency communications initiatives.
2) World Heritage Alliance Partnership with Expedia
The World Heritage Alliance for Sustainable Tourism is a membership-based initiative that supports World Heritage conservation, sustainable tourism, and local economic development for communities in and around UNESCO World Heritage sites. In Fall 2005, the UN Foundation and Expedia, Inc., the world’s leading online travel company, created the World Heritage Alliance and, working with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, has:
- Educated travelers about World Heritage through the Friends of World Heritage and Expedia web-sites;
- Supported community development around World Heritage sites by contributing grants to the Friends of World Heritage Fund; and
- Engaged Expedia employees in lending their time and expertise to provide community-based tourism companies with skills in business planning, product and website development, and sales and marketing strategies.
The World Heritage Alliance is currently involved in the protection of 20 World Heritage sites in seven countries including Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize, Jordan, Dominica, Ecuador, and the United States. Over the last four years, the Alliance has expanded to include 59 corporate members and partners, such as the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Mandarin Oriental, which promote environmental, cultural and social responsibility and support local community tourism initiatives at World Heritage sites.
3) Nothing But Nets Corporate Partnerships
Nothing But Nets (NBN) is the UN Foundation’s global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. A donation of $10 to the campaign covers the costs of purchasing and distributing one life-saving bed net and educating recipients on their proper use. NBN works directly with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization to ensure that bed nets are distributed along with other health interventions such as vaccines for measles and polio.
Nothing But Nets has engaged many leading corporate, multi-media and financial partners who are raising awareness and funds to purchase and distribute bed nets and save lives.
- Orkin, Inc., a U.S. pest control company, will raise $150,000 this year through its Fight the Bite campaign. Orkin donates funds for one mosquito net for every mosquito service purchased and also encourages its employees and consumers to support NBN.
- United Airlines became the official airline sponsor of the NBN campaign in 2008, offering thousands of dollars in travel certificates and advertisement space in its in-flight Hemispheres magazine.
- MLS W.O.R.K.S., Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, hosts in-stadium promotional events including pre-game and half-time presentations, auctions, and contests to engage fans in the global fight to combat malaria in Africa.
- For every Hewlett Packard G6 server unit sold at CDW.com over a five month period in 2009, Intel and Hewlett Packard will donate $5 to Nothing But Nets.
Other Nothing But Nets corporate partners include: ESPN, ExxonMobil, the National Basketball Association, MTV, VH-1, the New York Stock Exchange, and Time Inc. Since its creation in 2006, NBN has sent over 2.8 million bednets to Africa to save children’s lives.
4) Adolescent Girls Partnership with Nike
The Nike Foundation was founded and began its exclusive focus on adolescent girls in the developing world in 2004. To help it navigate the many options for improving girls’ lives through UN agencies, Nike committed $5 million to forge a partnership with the UN Foundation.
In 2005, the UN Foundation and Nike Foundation launched the Coalition for Adolescent Girls. With the support of more than 30 leading international organizations, the Coalition has grown into a multi-sector alliance, bringing fresh perspectives, diverse resources, and concrete solutions to the challenges facing adolescent girls. The UN Foundation has enabled the Nike Foundation to establish partnerships with several UN agencies, including UNAIDS, the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the World Bank, for specific projects targeting adolescent girls, totaling $2.75 million.
The efforts of the Coalition coalesced in the 2008 publication, Girls Count: A Global Investment & Action Agenda, the first in a series of reports focused on adolescent girls with support from the UN Foundation and the Nike Foundation. The Partnership also works to build awareness around adolescent girls at high-level international events, including the Clinton Global Initiative and the World Economic Forum (WEF). As a result of our efforts over the past years, WEF agreed in 2009 to a public panel on adolescent girls for the first time in the history of Davos.Further guidelines
Advocacy of global issues; Business opportunities in low income communities/countries ; Project funding; Standards and guidelines developmentGlobal issues
Economic Prosperity & Development; Education & Culture; Employment & Inclusive Growth; Health; Human Rights, Equality & Women's EmpowermentRegions / countries / territories
Accounting and management services; Construction; Education and training; Leisure, hospitality, tourism and sports; Manufacturing; Media and PR; Medical and health; Property and real estate