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August 16, 2010; Source: Crain’s New York Business | Throughout the years, the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UN-USA) has steadfastly championed the United Nations, trying to build support here at home for the world body. Evidence would suggest the group has succeeded at this work, with support today for the U.N. “as strong as it’s ever been,” according to Crain’s New York Business.

However, doing its job well hasn’t paid dividends for UN-USA. Last week, facing up to the fact that the group has run out of money, the board voted to stop operating as an independent organization. Instead, it plans to form a strategic alliance with the United Nations Foundation, which was started in 1998 by Ted Turner. Ironically, the similarities of mission but greater public recognition of the United Nations Foundation, was the ultimate undoing of UN-USA.

When Turner announced his new organization, he pledged $1 billion for it. “The landscape of nonprofit organizations is so large and complicated that it makes less and less sense to have two entirely separate and distinct organizations doing the same things when they have complementary capacities and strengths,” said Edward Elmendorf, UN-USA president and chief executive.

UN-USA, whose roots go back to the League of Nations, the first attempt at a world peacekeeping body, has had a long and distinguished past. After serving as U.S. representative to the U.N., Eleanor Roosevelt became chairman of the board in 1961. The formal alliance of the two organizations is subject to the United Nation’s Foundation’s approval. In return for agreeing to unite with it, the United Nation Foundation’s new partner will bring connections to its 12,000 members and chapters around the country.—Bruce Trachtenberg