Girl with UNICEF backpack

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)



What is UNICEF?

The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was created in 1946 to bring emergency food and health care to children and mothers in countries devastated by World War II. 

In 1950, UNICEF's mandate was extended to address long-term needs of children and women in developing countries worldwide. In 1953, UNICEF became a permanent part of the UN system. The words international and emergency were dropped from the organization's name, but the acronym remained the same.

In 1947, UNICEF USA was founded to support UNICEF's lifesaving work for children.

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What is UNICEF USA's mission?

UNICEF USA's mission is to relentlessly pursue a more equitable world for every child.

UNICEF and UNICEF USA are driven by a shared vision: a world that uphold the rights of all children and helps every child thrive. UNICEF USA advances the global mission of UNICEF by rallying the American public to support the world’s most vulnerable children. 

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What does UNICEF do?

In the aftermath of World War II, UNICEF supplied dried milk, nutritional supplements, medicine, immunizations and other emergency assistance to help starving and ill children in Europe, the Middle East and China. Today UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to save and improve children's lives.

In cooperation with governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector and many other partners, UNICEF works to advance and protect child rights and to provide health care, immunizations, nutrition, access to safe water and sanitation services, education, protection and emergency relief.

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How can I make a donation?

You can donate online or mail a personal check to UNICEF USA, 125 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038.

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How does UNICEF USA allocate my donation?

Your gift to UNICEF USA will go where children need it most, unless you specify that it be directed to a particular program or cause. Unrestricted contributions help UNICEF use resources most efficiently and where the needs are greatest. UNICEF USA retains complete control over the use of donated funds in furtherance of its mission and purpose, and may direct some or all of your donation to a specific UNICEF program or UNICEF USA activity. 

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What does UNICEF do for children in the United States?

Responding to UNICEF's universal mandate "for every child," UNICEF USA works to promote the rights of all children to be healthy, educated, protected and respected in every community. UNICEF USA's goal is to improve child well-being globally, and in the U.S., by advocating for child-centered policies, building support for child rights and child-focused local governance approaches across the U.S. and amplifying children's needs and voices in domestic and global research.

Examples of UNICEF USA's work include partnering with youth and adult volunteers to elevate youth voice and advocate for girls' education and youth mental health funding and the expansion of school-based mental health and nutrition services, and advancing child-centered governance approaches in local communities through UNICEF USA's Child Friendly Cities Initiative. Further, UNICEF USA convenes and partners with researchers throughout the U.S. to ensure data and best practices inform action and drive progress with and on behalf of children and youth. 

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How can I work for UNICEF USA?

Our staff is a diverse group of highly capable and committed individuals who bring a wide range of professional experiences, both nonprofit and for-profit, to bear on our mission. Open positions are posted on the UNICEF USA Jobs and Careers page.

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How can I become a UNICEF USA intern?

A limited number of paid internship opportunities are available three times a year, in the spring, summer and the fall. Interns must be in the United States and enrolled in a degree-granting program to be eligible. Visit the UNICEF USA Jobs and Careers page and scroll down to current job openings to learn more and apply.

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How can I volunteer for UNICEF?

UNICEF volunteers must have at least a Bachelor's Degree and two to five years' experience in their field of expertise. Start by visiting the UN Volunteers website. Current opportunities are posted here. You can search by "host entity" — of which UNICEF is one of several — and set other search parameters.

If you are interested in volunteering within the United States, consider joining UNICEF Unite.

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What is UNICEF's position on international adoption?

As a global organization devoted to the survival and well-being of children, UNICEF is working to create a world in which no child is ever institutionalized, bought or sold, stolen from a family or otherwise victimized. UNICEF believes that every child deserves to grow up in a loving family and supports inter-country adoption when conducted ethically in accordance with prevailing law and best practices. At the same time, UNICEF works to support families in need so that no one ever feels forced by poverty or insecurity to give up a child. UNICEF focuses on all of these things to ensure that every child's rights are protected and their best interests are paramount.

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Where does UNICEF get its funding?

UNICEF is supported entirely by the voluntary contributions of governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), foundations, corporations and private individuals.

UNICEF receives no funding from the assessed dues of the United Nations.

Most of the fundraising is done by UNICEF's National Committees, which are autonomous NGOs. Of all the National Committees, UNICEF USA has been around the longest. 

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What portion of UNICEF USA's budget is spent helping children?

UNICEF USA is highly rated for transparency and accountability from Charity Navigator. Of every dollar spent, nearly 84 cents goes toward helping children. We spend just 12 cents on fundraising costs, and just over 4 cents on administration.

Our 990 tax forms are available online for viewing and downloading.

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How can I make a monthly donation?

By making a tax-deductible monthly donation of $5, $10, $15 or any amount to UNICEF USA, you can provide children with lifesaving vaccines and anti-malarial bed nets, emergency relief following natural disasters and much more. To set up your gift today, visit our Monthly Giving donation page.

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How can I update my monthly donation?

To change your monthly donation amount credit card information, you can log in to UNICEF USA's user portal or call The U.S. Fund for UNICEF/UNICEF USA's Monthly Giving Team at 1-800-367-5437 and ask for donor services. You can also email but please do not send credit card information via email.

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May I donate non-cash goods for emergency relief?

Many supporters inquire about donating goods here in the U.S. for emergency relief efforts abroad. UNICEF does not accept non-cash goods, however, due to the cost of screening, sorting, storing and transporting the items to children and families in need. A blanket donated today can take weeks, or even months, to arrive abroad, but a dollar donated today can be deployed tomorrow to buy lifesaving supplies.

Monetary donations are the fastest and most efficient way to provide assistance. UNICEF pre-positions supplies to speed up delivery and sources them locally whenever possible. UNICEF also purchases supplies in bulk to save money, maximizing the impact of every dollar donated.

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What is UNICEF USA's tax ID number?

U.S. Fund for UNICEF d/b/a UNICEF USA

Our Federal Identification Number is 13-1760110.

The IRS letter confirming our 501(c)(3) status is available for downloading here in PDF format.

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How can I link to

UNICEF USA welcomes links to its website from any website meeting the criteria specified in this agreement.

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How can I recognize online fraud?

Our organization acknowledges that there has been an increase in websites and emails imitating UNICEF USA (UUSA). All open vacancies at UUSA will be posted on the UNICEF USA Jobs and Careers page. Please disregard any emails that refer you to a different website.

All recruitment requests will be from a ‘’ email address. UNICEF USA will not request sensitive personal information (i.e. your Social Security number) over the phone or by email.

Offers of employment or job openings with requests for payment of fees are fraudulent. The scammers' request for the payment of fees may come only after you have accepted the fraudulent offer. UNICEF USA does not charge an application fee or any other fee at any stage of the recruitment process. Any requests for such payment or information should be refused. If you have already sent money, then you should report this to your local law enforcement authorities for appropriate action.

UNICEF USA adheres to Internet industry standards and best practices when it comes to ensuring your online giving is safe and secure. Unfortunately, online fraud and scams have become more frequent.

If you suspect someone has contacted you fraudulently representing UNICEF, please be aware of the following:

  • UNICEF never solicits funds to be sent via Western Union.
  • UNICEF never strands its employees overseas, and never expects them to pay their own transportation expenses.
  • UNICEF never fails to respond to the needs of an employee who is sick or injured.
  • UNICEF never pays for employee vacations, and does not handle travel arrangements via third party payments.
  • UNICEF never solicits representatives to accept donations with the promise of a commission.
  • UNICEF never solicits individuals to forward donated merchandise overseas.
  • UNICEF never participates in lottery awards.

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