United Nations Foundation

Box brings a world of collaborators together — securely

The United Nations Foundation serves as a link between the United Nations and the world, partnering with individuals, corporations and nonprofit organizations to help the UN fulfill its vital global mission. Together with its partners, the UN Foundation supports the UN in tackling issues like climate change, global health, women’s empowerment, poverty and energy access.


With over 240 employees in Washington D.C. and another 30 in New York, the UN Foundation itself is not particularly dispersed. However, its external collaborators are spread throughout the world working on specific global projects.


Staff at the UN Foundation once used a mix of sanctioned and unsanctioned tools to collaborate, including FTP and Dropbox. But external collaboration was impossible with FTP and concerns around lack of centralized control over content became a concern for both transfer and storage of documents.


The UN Foundation sought a solution that gave users the same capabilities of the consumer tools they already used, but also provided collaboration and the enterprise-level security that the business required. Box was a solution that perfectly balanced the two.

UN Foundation

Trusted security controls

Box provided a single, centralized tool that teams across departments have adopted for secure collaboration, both internally and with external contractors and partners. With Box, there is no concern over the transfer of large files or who can access sensitive data.


“In a number of ways, Box has really simplified file sharing for us,” says Edima Elinewinga, Executive Director of IT. “Box has secured collaboration with external peers, and has given us governance and control over our content.”


Now, a number of UN Foundation departments use Box to boost their productivity and manage file sharing.


For example, Human Resources, IT and Finance use Box to collaborate with auditors, who continually review key documents to ensure compliance. Communications and Public Affairs use Box to share information and rich digital assets with the media — including large marketing files and videos — from any location, on any device.


Reducing the burden on IT


The UN Foundation uses the Box integration with Okta to support Single Sign On (SSO) for its users. With SSO, the UN Foundation has significantly reduced the burden on the IT team in fielding forgotten credential requests.


“It’s a great benefit,” Elinewinga says. “We have a ton of applications, in-house and in the cloud. And it's challenging for our users to remember all the URLs and the passwords.”


In addition, Box has eliminated the need for IT to provide network access to external parties by creating user accounts and restricting access to specific folders. It also eliminated the need for the IT team to remember to disable these accounts once the audits or projects were complete.


“We simply share a URL to specific folders in Box, and the access rights would automatically expire at the designated time,” adds Elinewinga.


Eliminating barriers to the greater good


Since Box eliminated the roadblocks the UN Foundation faced, employees across all departments can now easily share files and securely collaborate with anyone, on a global scale.


“They can focus on their jobs, not on worrying whether there is space on the server,” Elinewinga says.


And more focus on their jobs translates to more projects and good the UN Foundation can facilitate around the globe.