Terminology Dictionary

Notify the donor Navigator NPO and related terms.

ALL A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0~9

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Subject Detail
Net Gains from Non-Inventory Sales Securities, real estate, royalty interest, partnership interest, all other non-inventory assets (such as program-related investments and fixed assets used by the organization in its related and unrelated activities), less costs, depreciation, and selling expenses.
Accounts Payable The amount owed by the organization to outside sources for items and services.
Accounts Receivable Unpaid money owed to the organization from outside sources for services rendered
Annual report A voluntary report issued by a foundation or corporation that provides financial data and descriptions of its grantmaking activities. Annual reports vary in format from simple typewritten documents listing the year's grants to detailed publications that provide substantial information about the grantmaker's grantmaking programs. Approximately 1,100 foundations issue them.
Assets The amount of capital or principal ? money, stocks, bonds, real estate, or other resources ? controlled by a foundation or corporate giving program. Generally, assets are invested and the resulting income is used to make grants.
Audited Statements An evaluation by an independent auditing firm of a nonprofit organization's financial position.
Beneficiary In philanthropic terms, the donee or grantee receiving funds from a foundation or corporate giving program is the beneficiary, although society may benefit as well
Capital support Funds provided for endowment purposes, buildings, construction, or equipment
Community foundation A 501(c)(3) organization that makes grants for charitable purposes in a specific community or region. The funds available to a community foundation are usually derived from many donors and held in an endowment that is independently administered; income earned by the endowment is then used to make grants. Although a community foundation may be classified by the IRS as a private foundation, most are public charities and are thus eligible for maximum tax-deductible contributions from the general public. See also 501(c)(3); public charity
Company-sponsored foundation (also referred to as a corporate foundation): A private foundation whose assets are derived primarily from the contributions of a for-profit business. While a company-sponsored foundation may maintain close ties with its parent company, it is an independent organization with its own endowment and as such is subject to the same rules and regulations as other private foundations. See also private foundation
Deferred Revenue Money that the organization has received, but has not yet earned as of the closing date on the balance sheet. The amount is carried as a liability until the organization provides the goods or services for which the money was received.
Direct Public Support Contributions, gifts, grants, and bequests received directly from the public. Includes amounts received from individuals, trusts, corporations, estates, foundations, public charities, or raised by an outside professional fundraiser.
Donee The recipient of a grant. (Also known as the grantee or the beneficiary.)
Donor An individual or organization that makes a grant or contribution to a donee. (Also known as the grantor.)
Donor-Advised Fund A donor-advised fund is a charitable giving vehicle administered by a third party and created for the purpose of managing charitable donations on behalf of an organization, family, or individual. It offers the opportunity to create an easy-to-establish, low cost, flexible vehicle for charitable giving as an alternative to direct giving or creating a private foundation.
Expenses The organization’s financial outlay for the tax period.
Family foundation An independent private foundation whose funds are derived from members of a single family. Family members often serve as officers or board members of family foundations and have a significant role in their grantmaking decisions
Fiscal Year A 12-month period for which an organization plans the use of its funds. This period may be a calendar year but can be any 12-month period. A fiscal year accounting period should normally coincide with the natural operating cycle of the organization. If an organization files an IRS Form 990, it is required to define its accounting period on Line A at the top of the form.
Fixed Assets Estimated value of land, buildings, equipment, and other tangible items owned by the organization.
Form 990 IRS Form 990 is an annual document used by approximately one-third of all public charities to report information about their finances and operations to the federal government. GuideStar uses data from Form 990 to populate its database with financial information about nonprofit organizations. Posting Form 990 images on the GuideStar Web site is an ongoing process.
Fundraising Expense Total expenses incurred in soliciting contributions, gifts, grants, etc.
Government Grants Payments from the government to a nonprofit organization to further the organization's public programs.
Grants Payable Unpaid amount of grants or awards that an organization plans to pay other organizations or individuals.
Income Money that the organization has received from contributions, grants, the performance of services, etc. GuideStar takes this figure from line 12 of IRS Form 990. These are net figures from which rental expenses, costs, sales expenses, direct expenses, and costs of good sold (lines 6b, 8b, 9b, and 10b on Form 990) have been deducted. If GuideStar currently has no Form 990 information, the figure is taken from the IRS Business Master File. Income listed on the Business Master File is a gross figure that includes the expenses listed above. For Form 990-EZ, the BMF income figure is generated by using line 9 of Part I and adding in the expense items, i.e. line 5b (Cost or Other Basis and Sales Expenses). The BMF income amount for the Form 990-PF is generated by using Part I, line 10b (Cost of Goods) and adding line 12, Column a (Total Revenue) and Part IV, line 1, column g (Cost or Other Basis plus Expense of Sale).
Independent foundation A grantmaking organization usually classified by the IRS as a private foundation. Independent foundations may also be known as family foundations, general purpose foundations, special purpose foundations, or private non-operating foundations. See also private foundation
Indirect Public Support Contributions received indirectly from the public (1) through solicitation campaigns conducted by federated fundraising agencies or organizations such as the United Way; (2) from a parent organization or another organization with the same parent; or (3) from a subordinate organization.
Inventories for Sale or Use Estimated value of materials, goods, and supplies purchased or manufactured by an organization and held for sale or use at some time in the future.
Letter of Determination A letter from the IRS to a nonprofit organization stating that the organization has successfully applied for tax-exempt status. In this document the IRS indicates under which section of the Internal Revenue Code an organization is qualified.
Liabilities An organization’s pecuniary obligation or debt.
Management and General Expense Expenses for the general functioning of the organization but not related to fundraising or programs. Such expenses include the salaries of the chief officer and the chief officer's staff for activities not related to fundraising or programs. Other costs include those associated with meetings of the board of directors or similar governing group; legal services; accounting; liability insurance; office management; auditing; personnel; preparation, publication, and distribution of an annual report; and investment expenses not related to programs or rental income.
Membership Dues and Fees ers' and affiliates' dues or fees that are not contributions.
Mission The main purpose for which an organization exists.
Net Income from Special Events Income earned from all special fundraising events and activities, less costs.
Net Rental Income Rental income earned from all non-program-related property, less costs.
NTEE Code National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities Code, created by the National Center for Charitable Statistics; A classification system for nonprofits that divides the nonprofit world into categories.
Operating foundation A 501(c)(3) organization classified by the IRS as a private foundation whose primary purpose is to conduct research, social welfare, or other programs determined by its governing body or establishment charter. An operating foundation may make grants, but the amount of grants awarded generally is small relative to the funds used for the foundation's own programs. See also 501(c)(3).
Operating Programs Programs and activities by which the organization accomplishes its mission.
Payout requirement The minimum amount that private foundations are required to expend for charitable purposes (including grants and, within certain limits, the administrative cost of making grants). In general, a private foundation must meet or exceed an annual payout requirement of five percent of the average market value of its total assets
Pledges & Grants Receivable Funds promised to an organization from grantmakers, individual donors, etc., but not yet received.
Private Foundation A private foundation is a legal entity set up by an individual, a family or a group of individuals, for a purpose such as philanthropy. Unlike a charitable foundation, a private foundation does not solicit funds from the public.
Program Services Revenue Fees and other monies received by an organization for services rendered. These services must relate directly to the primary purpose for which the organization received its tax-exempt status.
Public Charity A public charity normally receives a substantial part of its income, directly or indirectly, from the general public or from the government. The public support must be fairly broad, not limited to a few individuals or families.
Qualifying distributions Expenditures of a private foundation made to satisfy its annual payout requirement. These can include grants, reasonable administrative expenses, set-asides, loans and program-related investments, and amounts paid to acquire assets used directly in carrying out tax-exempt purposes
Revenue The total yield of sources of income for the organization for the tax period.
Ruling Year The year that the IRS granted an organization 501(c)(3) status.
Tax-Exempt Bond Liabilities The amount of tax-exempt bonds (or other obligations) issued by an organization on behalf of a state or local governmental unit, or by a state or local governmental unit on behalf of an organization, and for which an organization has a direct or indirect liability. Tax- exempt bonds include state or local bonds and any obligations, including direct borrowing from a lender, or certificates of participation.
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Total Assets All income received and property owned by the organization.
Total Liabilities All expenditures paid and debts owed by the organization.
Trustee A foundation board member or officer who helps make decisions about how grant monies are spent. Depending on whether the foundation has paid staff, trustees may take a more or less active role in running its affairs