This study analyses the visibility and impact of the European Community in the UN system in the light of its financial contributions. While the Community functions as a donor in its own right, it is not a member of the United Nations to which only sovereign states can adhere. Therefore, formal representation of the Community in the UN system remains weak. Whether this constitutes an impediment to the ECs impact on UN policies is discussed with the help of a detailed empirical analysis of EC financial contributions to 23 selected UN bodies, and, on the theoretical level, with the help of two different models - the Full Membership Approach and the "No Flagwaving" Approach. The study reaches three main conclusions. First, return on EC investment - in terms of visibility and impact - can be regarded as satisfactory. Second, the EC should not aim at becoming "just another donor" in addition to its Member States. Third, the Community may embrace a potentially strong role under the condition that it defines its approach to EU-UN relations and Development Policy on the basis of its specific nature.