Glossary of Non profit Jargons

501 (c) (3) – A section of IRS under which it identifies different kinds of organizations eligible for tax exemption of various kinds.

Annual report – A report published annually (or periodically) containing a description of activities undertaken by the organization during the reporting period. It also includes a general overview of the organization with respect to its human resources, financial statements and other material disclosures.

Articles of Incorporation – A legal document filed with the incorporation authorities of a particular state. Filing of Articles of Incorporation is the first step for incorporation a non-profit organization.

Audited Accounts – Books of Accounts that are duly scrutinized and certified for its accuracy by a certified Public Accountant.

Bye laws – Rules that determine the broad functioning policies of an Organization and govern the procedures for functioning of the board of the organization. Includes details like – Board meetings, Quorum, Voting procedures and other vital rules for the organization.

Capacity building – A generic term used to describe all activities that help a nonprofit organization improve its functioning, growth and development. For instance – conducting a perspective building training for staff members would be a an exercise in capacity building , as it would help the organization develop its resources.

Capital Campaign – A campaign aimed at raising funds for meeting the capital expenditure needs of the organization (in contrast to fund raising for day to day activities).

Capital Support – A financial support provided to a Non Governmental organization towards incurring capital expenditure.

Case statement -A brief compelling statement that is aimed at attracting support from various quarters towards a given project.

Challenge Grant – A grant promised to be disbursed after and subject to the organization achieving certain quantifiable goals.

Charitable Contributions – A gift for a charitable cause.

Charity – A general term describing all activities aimed at promoting the general well being of the community.

Community Foundations – (also called ‘Public foundation’) – An organization that raises funds from multiple sources and applies them for the benefit of an identified community.

Community Funds – A formal fund raising group that receives funding from the general public and distributes it to charitable organizations.

Company Sponsored foundation – A private foundation that receives major contribution from a ‘For-Profit’ corporate entity.

Corporate giving program– A funding program managed by a ‘For-profit’ company.

Demonstration grant– Grant made on a pilot/test basis to analyze benefits of a new/unique proposal.

Direct Outreach – An indication of the number of beneficiaries who are directly helped by a particular program.

Distribution Committee – A committee formed to appraise projects and decide on the suitability of a project for granting of funds. All Non Government funding agencies have a distribution committee to conduct this function.

Donor Advised Fund – A fund received by a nonprofit organization to further fund projects by other nonprofit organizations under instructions from the original donor.

Donor designated Fund – Funds granted to a nonprofit organization with restrictions and clear specifications on  the use of the funds.

Endowment – Funds where the principal amount is to be kept intact while the income from investing this fund to be used to support charitable causes.

Excise Tax – Tax payable on net Investment Income by Nonprofit organizations to the IRS.

Family Foundation–  A informal term to describe a foundation that is run by family members.

Federated Campaign/Federated giving program – Campaigns that raise funds only to redistribute the funds to other nonprofit organizations.

Fiscal sponsor– Funding/Sponsoring of Projects undertaken by Individuals or informal groups  by a nonprofit organization.

Foundation – A nonprofit organization with grant making as a primary activity .

Gift table – A plan that defines the quantity and the number of donations needed to be raised to achieve the fund raising goals of the organization.

Grantee – Grant recipient.

Grantor – Grant maker.

Independent Sector – Another term to collectively describe all the nonprofit organizations. Also called the Charitable sector, the third sector, the Non Governmental sector,  the Nonprofit sector, the development sector or the Volunteer sector.

Indirect Outreach – The number of beneficiaries of a project who do not derive direct benefits out of a project but are benefited indirectly by coming/being in association with the direct beneficiaries of the project.

Lobbying – Programs or activities aimed at influencing legislation.

Matching Gift Programs – A grant program that matches board members or employees gifts made to eligible nonprofit organization.

Matching grant– A grant that requires the recipient to match it against revenue from other sources or to comply on a one -for one criteria.

Mission Statement – A statement that summarizes the objectives and key activities of a nonprofit organization.

Non profit – An organization that does not distribute its profits amongst its constituent members but uses it for community benefits.

Needs Assessment Survey– A preliminary survey aimed at identifying needs of the community. This is then used to draw out justifications for starting of a project to address those needs.

Outcome Evaluation – An process for assessment of the efficacy or effectiveness of a project.

Program Officer – An individual working on a particular program of a nonprofit organization.

Private Foundation – A nonprofit organization that receives funds from a small number or large donors or from closely held groups or Individuals. A large number of funding agencies operate as private foundation.

Project Proposal – A application made to a granting or funding agency requesting funds for undertaking a project. Also called the Project report.

Public Charity – A non profit organization that receives donations from a large group of people. It generally raises funds by appealing to large  sections of the society in contrast to a private foundation which receives funds from a few large sources.

Restricted funds – Funds for which the usage is presently restricted by the donor.

Tax Exempt – A status granted by the Internal revenue services to eligible nonprofit organizations, thereby allowing them freedom from paying taxes on their income. A 501 (c) (3) organization is fully tax exempt – i;e the organization does not pay any tax and its donors are also exempted from paying tax to the extent of the donation. A private foundation is exempt from all taxes except for excise tax on Investment Income.

Unrelated Business Income – Income from activities that are within the primary mission of the organization.

Unsolicited Proposal – Proposals put to funding agencies without prior knowledge or call from the agency.

Venture Philanthropy – Grant making to social entrepreneurs with assessment based on sound business principles.