Philanthropy Terms



the act or process of writing or speaking in favor of, or supporting, a cause

annual gift

(n) Contributions made to nonprofit agencies in support of their yearly fundraising

annual report

(n) A voluntary report issued by a foundation, nonprofit organization, or corporate grantmaking program that provides financial data describing their grantmaking activities


(n, pl. ties) Annual payment of an income or allowance


(n) A more or less permanent increase in value due to an upward change in the market price or due to an inherent quality or qualities that enhance the desirability of, and hence the demand for, a product over time


(n) The amount of capital or principal –money, stocks, bonds, real estate, or other resources – controlled by a foundation or corporate giving program

asset mapping

(n) Finding the positive values in a community and building on those values so as to create a stronger community; important character building qualities found to help children be successful



(n) The grantee receiving funds from a foundation or corporate giving program is the beneficiary, although society benefits as well; a person receiving a gift through a will


(n) The inclination to be charitable – benevolent (adj.)


(v) To give or leave someone by will; to hand down – bequeathal (n)


(n) The act of giving or passing on to another



(n) Innate ability for growth, development, or accomplishment


(n) The representational net worth of a business; used to describe fundraising for a building or major piece of equipment


(adj) related to giving to the needy

charitable deduction

(n) The portion of a donation that can be written off of the donor’s income, subject to federal, or sometimes state, income tax


(n) Money or help given to aid the needy; an organization, fund, or institution whose purpose is to aid those in need – derived from the Christian concept of caritas, meaning love of one’s neighbor

civic engagement

(n) A person’s connections with the life of their communities – Robert Putnam


(v) To cooperate or work with another person or organization – collaboration (n), collaborator (n)

common good

(n) Working together with other members for the greater benefit of all; promotes the welfare of the community

community capital

(see also social capital) (n) Personal investment of time through social interactions that builds trust and enables participants to act together more effectively to pursue shared objectives – Robert Putnam


(v) To give something to someone – contribution (n), contributor (n), contributive (adj.), contributory (adj.), contributively (adv.)



(adj) Reliable; can be counted on to follow through

development fundraising

(n) A term used to define the total process of organizational or institutional fundraising, frequently inclusive of public relations and alumni affairs

distribution committee

(n) The board responsible for making grant decisions


(n) Variety; including people of different cultures or races


(n) One who gives, donates, or contributes; individual or organization that makes a grant or contribution



(v) To manage thriftily; to use sparingly – economizer (n)


(adj) Able to produce the desired outcome


(n) Identification with and understanding the feelings of another person – empathetic (adj.), empathic (adj.)


(v) To authorize; to delegate; to license


(n) Funds intended to be kept permanently and invested to provide income for continued support of an organization

enlightened self-interest

(n) Sacrificing time and resources to the benefit of the whole, which, in turn, benefits self; understanding that what is good for the community is good for me


(adj) Equal treatment of all concerned


(n) A usually large or extensive piece of land containing a large house; in law, the nature, degree, and extent of ownership or use of property; total market value of all forms of property which a person owns; total assets of a deceased person

estate planning

(n) Planning for the management of all of an individual’s assets for the benefit of the person and his or her heirs

estate taxes

(n) A tax usually progressive in character levied upon the gross estate of a deceased person before its division


(adj) Relating to or of ethics; conforming to right principles of conduct as accepted by a specific profession – ethically (adv.)



(adj) Achieving a proper balance of conflicting interests; a fair decision; impartial

family foundation

(n) An independent private foundation whose funds are derived from members of a single family


(adj) Relating to or pertaining to the holding of something in trust

food insecurity

(n) The risk or fear of not having consistent access to food that meets people’s dietary needs and food preferences; not being sure one will have enough food or the right food to feel full, grow, and be healthy


(n) An organization created from designated funds from which the income is distributed as grants to not-for-profit organizations or, in some cases, to people


(n) Soliciting money to benefit a cause or organization



(n) Sharing freely; abundant; overflowing – generously (adv.), generous (adj.)

gift giving

(v) When a contribution is made


(n) A purpose; the terminal point of a race or journey deed


(v) A financial donation given to support a person, organization, project or program. Most grants are awarded to not-for-profit organizations; to allow; to consent to; to admit something as being the truth; in law, to transfer property – grant, (n) Grantee (n), grantor (n), granter (n), grantmaker (n)

grant proposal

(n) The document submitted to the foundation or other potential funding source in which the organization presents its request for support

grassroots organization

(n) A group consisting of local participants who work together originally to improve upon their community and extend to a broader basis


(n) The state of appreciation and gratefulness; thankfulness