Glossary of Philanthropic Terms

  • Annual Campaign: A campaign to raise money for the ongoing operational expenses of a nonprofit organization.
  • Capital Campaign: An effort to raise money for a specific charitable cause. Typically a capital campaign is for constructing or remodeling a facility, purchasing major equipment or re-structuring a large group of programs.
  • Donor: The individual or organization that makes a charitable gift of money, stock, land or any other object of value.
  • Endowment: A charitable savings account. In its truest form the money in an endowment is never spent. The interest earned on the account is available to be used for charitable purposes.
  • Foundation: A nonprofit organization established to support causes and programs that benefit society. There are several types of foundations:
    • Private Foundations: A foundation that received its endowment from private sources. The Dekko Foundation is a private foundation.
    • Public Foundations: A foundation that receives its funds from a broad range of donors who make contributions large and small.
    • Corporate Foundation: A foundation that receives its funds from a business or corporation.
  • Grantmaking Priorities: Issues or causes that have been identified as the highest importance by a particular foundation.
  • Governance: The act of process of overseeing a nonprofit organization and its programs.
  • Grant: The giving of funds for a specific purpose.
  • Grantseeker: An individual or organization requesting funding from a foundation.
  • Grantmaking: The giving of funds for a specific charitable purpose.
  • Grantee: The person or organization to whom a charitable grant is made.
  • Grantor: The organization that makes a charitable grant.
  • Investment: The placing of money or capital into the stock or bond market for example for a profitable return. When foundations make charitable grants they are investing in the work of a certain organization expecting a return in the form of positive societal change.
  • Investment Guidelines or Priorities: Issues or causes that have been identified as the highest importance by a particular foundation.
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS): A division of the US Department of Treasury that collects internal revenue including income and excise taxes.
  • Mission Statement: A summary describing the aims, values and overall plan for an organization or an individual.
  • Nonprofit 501(c)(3): An incorporated organization which exists for charitable reasons for from which its shareholders or trustees do not benefit financially.
  • Philanthropy: The concept of voluntary giving (of time, talent and treasure) by an individual or group to promote the common good.
  • Pledge: Sometimes foundations offer charitable grants in the form or a pledge which is designed to help organizations complete their project and/or enhance their effectiveness and sustainability.
  • Request for Proposals (RFP): An invitation to providers of a product or service to bid on the right to supply that product or service.
  • Technical Assistance: Training and skill development for people and organizations.
  • Trustee: A person entrusted with overseeing the affairs of a company or organization.
  • Volunteer: A person who performs a service without compensation.