Nonprofit Glossary |

Nonprofit Glossary: A New Resource from Julep

Have you ever wished for a glossary of nonprofit and philanthropy words? Have you come across a word while writing a grant or reading about philanthropy that you don’t know? Do the various types of 501c organizations baffle you? Are you confused about the different types of foundations or donations?

The nonprofit and philanthropy sectors have their own lexicon of words, phrases, and jargon, which can be confusing to understand. Because there’s so much to learn, the Julep team put together a comprehensive dictionary of nonprofit words to help you navigate. For example, do you understand the different types of endowments?


  • Endowment: Money from bequests or outright gifts to the organization that is invested in perpetuity to produce amounts to be distributed for pre-determined purposes according to the endowment distribution policy. Funds deposited in an endowment are not expendable; they are invested for the purpose of retaining and increasing the principal of the endowment. Distribution of earnings from the endowment coincides either with the donor’s wishes or, if there is no restriction on spending the earnings, at the discretion of organization leadership.
  • Endowment (Pure): Principal or corpus maintained in a permanent fund to provide income for general or restricted use of an agency, institution, or program.
  • Endowment (Quasi): A fund, the principal of which can be and often is invaded by a board in order to meet its operating costs. Such endowments include gifts for which donors specify their use; they may also include gifts that are given for no specific purpose, which a board treats as an endowment.
  • Endowment Fund: A permanently-maintained fund established to provide income for a nonprofit organization.


Whether you are a fundraising veteran or new to philanthropy, bookmark this resource. The Julep Nonprofit Glossary is both available online as an alphabetical resource or can be downloaded as a PDF.