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The global nature of our network lends itself to a variety of interpretations for terms used by philanthropy professionals, depending upon cultural and legal contexts. Definitions in italics are specific to country or region. Contact us if you'd like to add, change or expand an entry.

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  • Administrative Endowment
    A fund that generates income used to help cover a foundation's operating costs.
  • Advised Fund (see Donor-Advised Fund)
  • Affinity Group
    A coalition of grantmaker organizations or individuals with a shared interest in a particular subject or funding area that meets to exchange information, provide networking or professional development opportunities, or facilitate collaborative programs (e.g., Africa Grantmakers Affinity Group, Grantmakers for Education).
  • Agency Endowment
    A fund managed by a community foundation on behalf of another voluntary organization. The community foundation invests the fund and periodically returns investment income to the organization or reinvests the proceeds. The community foundation receives a fee for its management and investment services.
  • Annual Report
    A report published voluntarily by a foundation or corporation describing its grant activities. It may be a simple, typed document listing the year's grants or an elaborately detailed publication. A growing number of foundations and corporations use an annual report as an effective means of informing the community about their contributions, activities, policies, and guidelines.
  • Articles of Incorporation
    A document filed with the appropriate governmental agency by persons establishing a corporation. This is usually the first legal step in forming a nonprofit corporation.
  • Assets
    Cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, or other holdings of a foundation. Generally, the resulting income from the investment of assets provides the funds used to make grants.
  • Association of Grantmakers
    A nonprofit membership organization that provides services such as information, training, and technical assistance to build the capacity of one or more emerging or established foundations and/or corporate giving programs.
  • Audit
    A detailed examination of an organization's financial statements and records for the purpose of determining that they are sufficiently accurate and properly representative.
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