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For Faculty and Staff Private Grantseekers
We hope this short glossary defining commonly used terms in charitable grantseeking is useful. A more comprehensive grantseeker's glossary is available at Just Grants! Arizona.
501(c)(3) refers to a section of the Internal Revenue Code that defines certain types of tax-exempt organizations. The University of Arizona Foundation is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the code. Many individuals and organizations prefer to make charitable contributions to entities with this tax status.
990-PF is a financial report filed annually by a private or corporate foundation in accordance with federal and state tax laws. Items listed in the 990-PF include foundation assets, receipts, expenditures, compensation of officers, and grants.
Advisory Boards are groups comprised of individuals that offer their expertise, advice, and skills to an organization, cause, or project, but who do not have authority to implement any fiscal or policy changes. They are usually composed of knowledgeable and influential people.
Case for Support or Case Statements are written documents and presentations that clearly express your organization's mission, vision, history, and programs, while presenting a strong argument for the importance of the work done by the organization. The case for support acts as a tool to convince others to donate to the organization.
Challenge Grant is an award paid on the condition that the recipient organization is able to raise additional funds from other donors. There is usually a specific ratio assigned for funds to be raised; for example, a grant of $10,000 that specifies a 2:1 match would require $20,000 in additional funds to be procured.
Endowment. A pool of contributed funds (from one source/gift or many) that are invested, with the earnings off the investment at a specified rate (known as the payout rate) going for a defined charitable purpose. At a university, faculty positions (chairs and professorships), programs, research, and scholarships are all able to be supported by endowments.
Evaluation is the process of undertaking an analysis, at various degrees of formality, of the impact of a grant-funded project, usually communicated in the form of a report to the funder.
Executive Summary. Often, the executive summary is the primary part of the document considered by busy corporate and nonprofit executives. An executive summary would include: the project title, contact person, organization's official name and address, a one-sentence statement of the problem your project addresses, mission statement for your project, a very brief summary description of your project, and a two-or three-sentence description of the results you expect from the successful completion of your project.
Indirect Costs. Direct costs generally refer to specific expenses related to the activity for which you are seeking funding, such as equipment and refreshments for program participants. Indirect costs are those incurred by the institution to create an infrastructure where programming can take place. For example, organizations typically have expenses related to rent and/or building maintenance, computers and IT support, utilities, etc. At universities that contract frequently with the federal government, a percentage rate to cover these costs is negotiated and applied on federal grants. Charitable grantmakers vary in their willingness to pay for indirect costs, also known as operating costs. In some cases, the federally negotiated rate is not appropriate, but the donor will allow some operating expenses in the proposed budget. It is important to check guidelines carefully and clarify expectations.
In-Kind Contribution refers to a non-cash contribution to a project or organization. In some contexts, it describes non-cash contributions from outside an organization, such as a donation of prizes used at a fundraising event. In other cases, it is used to describe the non-cash inputs from an organization to a project, such as administrative time.
Letter of Inquiry also known as letter of intent, concept paper, white paper and pre-proposal is a brief, preliminary letter describing an organization and proposed grant request, usually sent prior to a full proposal.
Proposal. A written request or application for a program in an academic unit. Formal proposals are prepared and submitted to a potential sponsor or donor and outline the scope of activities. Some proposals are submitted in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP).
Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are issued from grantmaking institutions asking for proposals covering projects or programs related to furthering the goal of the specific initiative.
Stewardship is the practice of ensuring that gifts are used as donors intend and assuring them of this through acknowledgement and reporting. See our guide about practicing good stewardship for a more thorough discussion.