Glossary of Fund Raising Terms

ACCOUNTABILITY
The responsibility of the organization to keep a donor informed about the use that is made of the donor's gift as well as the cost of raising it.

ACCOUNTING POLICY
A predetermined policy dictating the appropriate account management of all contributions received.

ACCOUNTING PROCEDURES
Those procedures established to assure that all contributions are properly accounted for, managed, and disbursed in accordance with the approved accounting policy.

ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE
Office procedure to control collections on pledges, including file reflecting balances due on pledges, terms of payment, records of payments made, and dates made.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT/LETTER OF RECOGNITION
Written expression of gratitude for gift or donated service for all gifts directly to the National Park Service. A letter of recognition to the donor is required, acknowledging receipt of the gift.

ACQUISITION MAILING
A mailing to prospects to acquire new members or donors.

AFFINITY CARD
A credit card cosponsored by a nonprofit agency and a financial for-profit company. The cause represented receives support through a percentage of transactions and the bank or card company gets exposure and business.

ANALYSIS
That section of a study that deals with the factors essential to success in a fund raising program; principally the case for support, leadership potential, and fields of support.

ANNIVERSARY CAMPAIGN
A fund raising campaign or development program centered around an anniversary date of an institution on the premise that the occasion will stimulate special gifts and additional giving.

ANNUAL GIVING
Annually repeating gift programs; seeking funds on annual or recurring basis from same constituency; income is generally used for operating budget support.

ANONYMOUS GIFT
A gift which, by specific wish of the donor, can only be announced by amount; the name of the donor is withheld.

APPRECIATED REAL PROPERTY AND SECURITIES GIFT
Gifts of real estate or securities held long term are deductible for federal income tax purposes at the full fair market value with no capital gain on the appreciation. However, the appreciation is a tax preference item and proper counsel should be obtained to evaluate whether this would have alternative minimum tax consequences.

APPRECIATION
The increase in market value of property over its original cost or tax basis; gratitude for a gift.

AUDIT
An internal evaluation of development procedures as practiced by a nonprofit institution or agency; normally conducted by professional fund raising counsel or certified public accountant.

BARGAIN SALE
The sale of property at less than its fair market value. Frequently, a person will sell property to a 501(c)(3) organization or institution at a "bargain" price (e.g. the individual's cost as opposed to its market value) and take a tax deduction for the donated value portion. The transaction is partly a gift and partly a sale.

BENEFACTOR
One who makes a major gift to an organization; also, an arbitrary classification of contributors whose gifts are above a certain level, which is calculated to single them out as a group and to stimulate similar giving by others.

BENEFIT EVENT
A form of fund raising which involves the organization and staging of a special event for charitable purposes; all proceeds above expenses are designated as a contribution to the charitable organization or cause.

BEQUEST
Contribution made by an individual after their death, through provision in their will.

BOILERPLATE
Standard copy which may be inserted in reports, foundation proposals, and other documents since it is unchanging and generally timeless.

BOOK VALUE
The amount of an asset stated in a company's records, not necessarily that which it could bring on the open market.

BRICKS AND MORTAR
Common manner of alluding to the physical plant needs of an institution and to the campaigns designed to secure the necessary funds. A "bricks and mortar campaign" is a campaign to raise funds to build something.

BUDGET
A detailed breakdown of estimated income and expenses for a development program, prepared in advance. Budgets show various cost categories, including personnel, printed materials, purchase and rental of equipment, office expense, headquarters, mailing charges, costs of events, etc.

CAPITAL CAMPAIGN
A multi-year fundraising initiative focused on raising a substantial amount of funds for a specific project or program, usually bricks and mortar.

CAUSE RELATED MARKETING
A joint marketing venture between a non-profit and a business or corporation, providing benefits to both. The non-profit normally provides the "cause," a positive image, and direct or indirect access to consumers. In return it receives greater visibility, financial support and/or donated goods and services. The corporation normally provides the non-profit with increased visibility, financial support and/or donated goods and services. For doing so, it gains a positive association with the non-profit cause and image, access to consumers and an increase in sales/revenue.

CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITIES
Involves a transfer of cash or other property to the organization. In return, payment to the donor of a specified amount determined by age is made to the donor during his/her lifetime. The rates paid are the most recent ones adopted by the Committee on Gift Annuities as agreed to by most major charities. There is an immediate income deduction for the present value of the amount ultimately to pass to the charity; part of the income received by the donor is also tax free.

COMMEMORATIVE GIFT
Use of a gift to perpetuate memory of an individual, family, firm or organization; the receiving institution commits itself to honor the name of the donor or cause in an appropriate form.

COMMITMENT
A pledge or promise to contribute; expression of support through dedication as a contributor or volunteer worker.

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
A philanthropic foundation that is specifically committed to the support of, and acting as an umbrella for, institutions in its own community, often receiving bequests from persons whose legacy is modest. Often provide support, services and a local or regional networking to non-profits.

CORPORATE FOUNDATION
The philanthropic arm created by a corporation to deal with requests for contributions.

CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY
Support through gifts, equipment, supplies, or other contributions by corporations/ business firms to charitable institutions, sometimes through organized programs which may include corporate foundations and employee donation matching programs.

CULTIVATION
The ongoing process of promoting or encouraging interest and/or involvement on the part of a potential donor or volunteer leader; an educational process to inform about an institution and reasons why it merits support.

DESIGNATED GIFT
Restricted or a commemorative gift made for a specific purpose and designated for specific use.

DEVELOPMENT
Refers to all dynamics of a continuing fund raising program (annual giving, special gifts, planned gifts, public relations).

DIRECT MAIL
Solicitation of gifts or volunteer services and distribution of information pieces by mass mailing.

DONOR PROFILE
A description of basic information about a prospective or existing individual donor through research.

DONOR RECOGNITION
The policy and practice of recognizing gifts, through immediate acknowledgment by card or letter, and subsequently through personalized notes, personal expressions of appreciation directly to donors, published lists of contributors, on-site recognition, events and other appropriate ways.

DONOR RELATIONS
Planned program of maintaining donor interest through acknowledgments, information, personal involvement, events, etc.

DROP DATE
Date to deliver direct mail letters to a post office for mailing.

ENDOWMENT
Principal or corpus maintained in a permanent fund to provide income for general or restricted use of an agency, institution, or program.

ETHICS
Adherence to DOI and NPS fundraising ethics. The moral considerations of the activities of a philanthropic organization. Also, standards of conduct and methods of doing business by organizations or fund raising counsel which provide assurances of professionalism in client relationships.

FAMILY FOUNDATION
A foundation whose funds are derived from members of a single family. Generally, family members serve as officers or board members of the foundation and play an influential role in grant making decisions.

FEASIBILITY STUDY
An in-depth examination and assessment of the fund raising potential of an institution or agency, often for a capital campaign, conducted by fund raising counsel and presented in the form of a written report setting forth various conclusions, recommendations, and proposed plans.

FUND RAISER
An individual employed by an organization to provide direction, counsel, and management of its fund raising operations.

FUND RAISING COUNSEL
An individual operating as a consultant, or a consulting firm organized specifically for the purpose of counseling charitable institutions in all aspects of fund raising.

GIFT-IN-KIND
A non-cash contribution of equipment or other property on which the donor may place a monetary value and claim a deduction for income tax purposes.

GIFT RANGE CHART
A chart of gifts that enables campaign leaders to know, in advance of a campaign, the size and number of gifts that are likely to be needed at each level of giving in order to achieve the campaign goal. The chart focuses the attention of campaign leaders on the sequence of gifts that will be needed.

GIFT RECORDING
Process of registering information pertinent to all gifts received, i.e., name, address of donors, amount of gifts, terms of payment if pledge, purpose, etc.

GIVING FORMULAS
Systems, based on past performance or other criteria, of determining what donors might be expected to contribute to a campaign or development program.

INITIAL GIFTS
Contributions, usually from trustees or directors of an institution or agency, which serve to launch a campaign, giving it momentum at the outset and creating a nucleus fund.

INSTITUTIONAL FOUNDATION
A device employed by some institutions, especially those that are publicly funded, to receive contributions from private sources via a legally constituted agency that is legally independent of the parent institution.

INTESTATE
Without a will.

KICKOFF
Formal launching of a campaign or development program, usually via a special event to which major donor prospects have been invited and frequently featuring an announcement of funds already in hand or committed. Not to be confused with announcement of the public phase of the campaign which usually comes later.

LAI PRINCIPLE
The fund raising axiom of separating prospects from possible prospects on the basis of Linkages, Ability, and Interest.

LEAD GIFT
A gift given early in a major fund raising campaign, during the quiet phase, which, by its nature and size, tends to lead others to increase their levels of giving; a pacesetting gift. A lead gift is critical to launching a campaign.

LEADERSHIP
The force within an institution, agency, program, or fund raising campaign that stimulates others to act, get, or give.

LETTER OF INQUIRY
A letter sent by an organization to a foundation or corporation presenting a project for which funding is being sought and asking the foundation or corporation if they will consider funding the project or receiving a full proposal.

LEVERAGE
Power to influence another to contribute or to serve as a volunteer. Also many donors seek or require leverage whereby their gift is matched, and therefore, by other gifts.

LYBUNTS
Acronym for donors who gave "last year but not this" year.

MAIL CAMPAIGN
A campaign, usually broadly based, conducted by mail, frequently with several mailings over a specified period.

MARKET
Potential sources of funds, members, or clients (individuals and organizations).

MARKETING RESEARCH
The process of gathering, recording, and analyzing information pertaining to the marketing of goods and services.

MATCHING GIFT
A gift that is made on condition it be matched within a certain period, either on a one-to-one basis or in accordance with some other formula; also a gift by a corporation matching a gift by one of its employees.

MEMORIAL
Gift made to perpetuate the memory of an individual. "Memorial" should not be confused with a gift to honor a living person.

MISSION
A philosophical or value statement that seeks to respond to the "why" of the organization's existence, its basic reason for being. Mission statement is not defined in expressions of goals or objectives.

NEEDS
In fund raising terms, refers specifically to the institution's dollar requirements that can constitute objectives for an intensive campaign or for a continuing fund development program. Needs can be classified as capital, endowment, program, or project. Also, identified community or constituent needs which the organization and its programs seek to address.

NONPROFIT (NOT-FOR-PROFIT) ORGANIZATION
Organizations of members and/or volunteers that are classified by the Internal Revenue Service as providing a public benefit without purpose of profit for members of the corporation.

OUTRIGHT GIFT
The simple transfer of gift property to the recipient organization without any conditions or terms of trust.

PERSONAL SOLICITATION
One or two individuals, optimally board members volunteers rather than staff, meet in-person with donor or donor prospect to obtain financial support. The most effective way to obtain financial support for a non-profit.

PLANNED GIFT
A gift provided for legally during the donor's lifetime, but whose principal benefits do not accrue to the institution until some future time, usually at the death of the donor and/or his/her income beneficiary.

PLEDGE
A signed and dated commitment to make a gift over a specified period, generally two or more years, payable according to terms set by the donor, with scheduled monthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual payments.

PLEDGE CARD
A printed form used by solicitors in seeking what is usually considered a binding commitment from a prospect for a multi-year gift.

PROGRESS REPORT
A report prepared periodically during a campaign by the fund raiser for distribution to leadership and other representatives of the organization and for the record.

PROPOSAL
A written request or application for a gift or grant that includes why the project or program is needed, who will carry it out, and how much it will cost.

PROSPECT
Any logical source of support, whether individual, corporation, organization, government at all levels, or foundation.

PUBLIC GRANTS
Generally refers to commitments of funds by government agencies rather than those distributed by foundations.

PUBLIC PHASE
Commences in a fundraising campaign after two-thirds or three-fifths of the funds needed is raised in the quiet phase.

QUIET PHASE
Stage at the front end of a campaign during which solicitations are made directly to individuals; before the public phase.

RATING
An evaluation or "guess-timate" of a prospective contributor's ability to contribute. The rating becomes an asking figure for the solicitor to suggest in requesting a contribution or pledge from the donor.

RECOGNITION/ RECOGNITION EVENT
Formal or informal acknowledgment of a gift or contributed services; an event, communication, or significant item honoring a gift or a service. A recognition event may be staged to recognize individual(s) and also raise funds from others attending.

RESTRICTED GIFT
A gift for a specified purpose clearly stated by the donor. Cannot be used for another purpose without donor consent.

STEERING COMMITTEE
In fund raising, an executive committee of top leadership that bears overall responsibility for a fund raising campaign.

TAX EXEMPT
Organization has federal and state tax exempt status that allows donors to claim a tax reduction for gifts to that organization.

TELEMARKETING
Utilizing telephone calls to personally solicit gifts. Best used in conjunction with direct mail.

THIRD SECTOR
A term used to describe all nonprofit organizations and institutions. Also known as the Independent Sector.

TIMETABLE
Time management plan for a fund raising program; calendar of planned events, with designated dates for the completion of specified activities.

TRUST FUNDS
Money, securities, property held in trust by an agent of wealth (bank, estate manager, attorney) or managed by an institution under trust agreement to produce income for the beneficiary.

UNRESTRICTED GIFT
A gift to an organization for whatever purposes officers or trustees choose.

VEHICLE
The particular form in which a fund raising program is organized and executed; e.g., annual giving, capital campaign, or direct mail.

VOLUNTEERISM
The willingness of private citizens to serve voluntarily a great variety of programs and causes, both in fund raising programs and in other capacities.

YEAR END GIVING
The practice among many charitable organizations of seeking gifts, usually via mail campaigns, in the last two or three months of a calendar year on the premise that prospects will take last minute advantage of opportunities to secure tax deductions when their financial situation for the tax year is clearest.