Glossary

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A

Accounts Payable
The amount owed by the organization to outside sources for items and services.

Accounts Receivable
Unpaid money owed to the organization from outside sources for services rendered.

Audited Statements
An evaluation by an independent auditing firm of a nonprofit organization's financial position.

B

BMF
Business Master File, the Internal Revenue Service's list of more than 1.5 million nonprofits registered with the IRS as tax-exempt organizations.

C

Charitable Trust Number (CT Number)
A Charitable Trust Number is assigned to each nonprofit organization that registers with the Attorney General's Registry of Charitable Trusts to operate in California.

D

D.B.A. (Doing Business As)
An alternative name or trade name used by a business. For example, GuideStar USA, Inc. does business as "GuideStar."

Deferred Revenue
Money that the organization has received, but has not yet earned as of the closing date on the balance sheet. The amount is carried as a liability until the organization provides the goods or services for which the money was received.

Direct Public Support
Contributions, gifts, grants, and bequests received directly from the public. Includes amounts received from individuals, trusts, corporations, estates, foundations, public charities, or raised by an outside professional fundraiser.

Donor-Advised Fund
A donor-advised fund is a charitable giving vehicle administered by a third party and created for the purpose of managing charitable donations on behalf of an organization, family, or individual. It offers the opportunity to create an easy-to-establish, low cost, flexible vehicle for charitable giving as an alternative to direct giving or creating a private foundation.

E

Employer Identification Number (EIN)
A nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service. Every IRS-designated tax-exempt nonprofit organization has its own EIN.

Expenses
The organization’s financial outlay for the tax period.

F

Fiscal Year
A 12-month period for which an organization plans the use of its funds. This period may be a calendar year but can be any 12-month period. A fiscal year accounting period should normally coincide with the natural operating cycle of the organization. If an organization files an IRS Form 990, it is required to define its accounting period on Line A at the top of the form.

Fixed Assets
Estimated value of land, buildings, equipment, and other tangible items owned by the organization.

Form 990
IRS Form 990 is an annual document used by approximately one-third of all public charities to report information about their finances and operations to the federal government. GuideStar uses data from Form 990 to populate its database with financial information about nonprofit organizations. Posting Form 990 images on the GuideStar Web site is an ongoing process.

Fundraising Expense
Total expenses incurred in soliciting contributions, gifts, grants, etc.

G

Government Grants
Payments from the government to a nonprofit organization to further the organization's public programs.

Grants Payable
Unpaid amount of grants or awards that an organization plans to pay other organizations or individuals.

Gross Profit from Inventory Sales
Gross sales, less returns and allowances, from the sales of items the organization either makes to sell or buys for resale.

I

Income
Money that the organization has received from contributions, grants, the performance of services, etc. GuideStar takes this figure from line 12 of IRS Form 990. These are net figures from which rental expenses, costs, sales expenses, direct expenses, and costs of good sold (lines 6b, 8b, 9b, and 10b on Form 990) have been deducted. If GuideStar currently has no Form 990 information, the figure is taken from the IRS Business Master File. Income listed on the Business Master File is a gross figure that includes the expenses listed above. For Form 990-EZ, the BMF income figure is generated by using line 9 of Part I and adding in the expense items, i.e. line 5b (Cost or Other Basis and Sales Expenses). The BMF income amount for the Form 990-PF is generated by using Part I, line 10b (Cost of Goods) and adding line 12, Column a (Total Revenue) and Part IV, line 1, column g (Cost or Other Basis plus Expense of Sale).

Indirect Public Support
Contributions received indirectly from the public (1) through solicitation campaigns conducted by federated fundraising agencies or organizations such as the United Way; (2) from a parent organization or another organization with the same parent; or (3) from a subordinate organization.

Inventories for Sale or Use
Estimated value of materials, goods, and supplies purchased or manufactured by an organization and held for sale or use at some time in the future.

IRS Publication 78
Also known as the Cumulative List of Organizations, IRS Publication 78 lists all organizations to which charitable contributions are tax deductible. The Publication 78 record for each organization includes the organization's name, its city, and its current tax-exempt status, including what percentage of contributions to it are tax deductible.

IRS Subsection Code
The portions of the United States tax code that define the type of exempt organization a nonprofit is.

L

Letter of Determination
A letter from the IRS to a nonprofit organization stating that the organization has successfully applied for tax-exempt status. In this document the IRS indicates under which section of the Internal Revenue Code an organization is qualified.

Liabilities
An organization’s pecuniary obligation or debt.

M

Management and General Expense
Expenses for the general functioning of the organization but not related to fundraising or programs. Such expenses include the salaries of the chief officer and the chief officer's staff for activities not related to fundraising or programs. Other costs include those associated with meetings of the board of directors or similar governing group; legal services; accounting; liability insurance; office management; auditing; personnel; preparation, publication, and distribution of an annual report; and investment expenses not related to programs or rental income.

Membership Dues and Fees
Members' and affiliates' dues or fees that are not contributions.

Mission
The main purpose for which an organization exists.

N

Net Gains from Non-Inventory Sales
Securities, real estate, royalty interest, partnership interest, all other non-inventory assets (such as program-related investments and fixed assets used by the organization in its related and unrelated activities), less costs, depreciation, and selling expenses.

Net Income from Special Events
Income earned from all special fundraising events and activities, less costs.

Net Rental Income
Rental income earned from all non-program-related property, less costs.

NTEE Code
National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities Code, created by the National Center for Charitable Statistics; A classification system for nonprofits that divides the nonprofit world into categories.

O

Operating Programs
Programs and activities by which the organization accomplishes its mission.

P

Pledges & Grants Receivable
Funds promised to an organization from grantmakers, individual donors, etc., but not yet received.

Private Foundation
A private foundation is a legal entity set up by an individual, a family or a group of individuals, for a purpose such as philanthropy. Unlike a charitable foundation, a private foundation does not solicit funds from the public.

Program Services Revenue
Fees and other monies received by an organization for services rendered. These services must relate directly to the primary purpose for which the organization received its tax-exempt status.

Public Charity
A public charity normally receives a substantial part of its income, directly or indirectly, from the general public or from the government. The public support must be fairly broad, not limited to a few individuals or families.

R

Revenue
The total yield of sources of income for the organization for the tax period.

Ruling Year
The year that the IRS granted an organization 501(c)(3) status.

T

Tax-Exempt Bond Liabilities
The amount of tax-exempt bonds (or other obligations) issued by an organization on behalf of a state or local governmental unit, or by a state or local governmental unit on behalf of an organization, and for which an organization has a direct or indirect liability. Tax- exempt bonds include state or local bonds and any obligations, including direct borrowing from a lender, or certificates of participation.

Total Assets
All income received and property owned by the organization.

Total Liabilities
All expenditures paid and debts owed by the organization.