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Fundraising and Nonprofit
Supportingadvancement.com AFP Fundraising Dictionary
   (Members Only)
 Supportingadvancement.com Council on Foundations
 Supportingadvancement.com Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
 Supportingadvancement.com Nonprofit Good Practice Guide
 Supportingadvancement.com UCLA
On this site
 Supportingadvancement.com Alumni Dictionary
 Supportingadvancement.com Philanthropic Quotes
 Supportingadvancement.com Planned Giving Terms
    John Starritt & Bryan Mack
 Supportingadvancement.com Word on the Word Alumni

Glossary of Terms

Term Definition
activities the procedures involved in, or action steps taken, to implement a plan or to carry out a program.
benchmark a standard or reference point against which something is measured.

The term is used in two different ways: in conjunction with the setting of long-term goals for a broad range of societal and economic policies, and as a measure of efficiency in comparing key aspects of an organization’s performance with that of similar organizations.
bundle a group of needs, services and/or service providers combined or “bundled” together to appeal to a certain donor (customer) segment.
business plan a document prepared for a program or organization that describes its objectives and identifies the activities it will undertake to meet those objectives, the allocation of resources to those activities, and the measures that will be used to indicate progress toward the achievement of the objectives.

A business plan may include statements of relevance, the links to government direction, a client profile, and information on contingency plans.
business strategy – organizational defines aims and sets goals

a statement of the organization’s reason for being (vision, mission and high level goals) with a clear image of the organization, and a plan for its growth and improvement so that it can better fulfill it’s purpose.
client someone outside or within an organization who receives and uses its products and services. Government distinguishes between external and internal clients.
coalition a temporary alliance of distinct parties, persons, or states for joint action.

A coalition requires that all participants have a clear set of expectations and get together regularly to develop a friendly working relationship.

A coalition works best when established for a specific project, and then allowed to lapse when the project ends.
community needs term used in the broadest sense
critical success factors the conditions that have to be in place in order to succeed.

A handful of the critical elements of a plan, without which the plan is unlikely to succeed.
customer the people or groups who are targets of your organization’s product and service offerings.
distribution channel the paths, media, or mechanism through which the organization reaches potential donors with its marketing messages and through which donors respond.
donor satisfaction an organizational measure, usually by way of a survey, of the extent to which donors feel their needs and expectations have been met in their dealings with your organization.
donor segment a group of like minded donors whose giving behavior is very similar to one another, and different from other groups, and who respond to similar needs, services or service providers.
effectiveness the extent to which a program or service is meeting its stated objective and an aspect of performance that describes how well the organization’s activities are contributing to achieving the intended outcome.
efficiency an aspect of performance that describes the relationship between inputs and outputs or outcomes or the relationship of inputs to inputs (examples: cost per client served; equipment costs per square mile of brushed cleared; management to staff).

The ratio of the quantity of resources (inputs of time, labor, money, etc.) expected to be consumed in producing outputs of results under ideal conditions to the actual quantity of resources used.
evaluation the assessment of results, impacts and effects (both intended and unintended) of a program or policy.

Evaluation may also address the extent to which the policy or program continues to serve a useful purpose and whether there are more cost-effective alternatives available to achieve the same result.

Evaluation includes such techniques as peer review, case studies, surveys and cost – benefit analysis.
feasibility Feasibility Study*

Analysis to determine if a course of action is possible within the terms of reference of the project.

Feasibility Phase*

The project phase that demonstrates that the client’s requirement can be achieved and identifies and evaluates the options to determine the one preferred solution.
feasibility study A study to assess the viability of a potential project.

It includes a cost/benefit analysis and results in the development of a Feasibility Report that is developed as a result of a feasibility study, and is presented to senior management to determine whether a project has sufficient merit to continue into more detailed phases.
goal a general statement of desired results to be achieved over an unspecified period of time; the aim or object towards which a project or endeavor is directed; end; target; applied to large, long(er) term targets “attained only by prolonged effort or hardship”.
governance the directing and controlling of an entity’s direction and performance (entire manner entity is run: ethics and values, strategies, systems and accountability to government.
impact the result of program activities as felt by clients and society. Impacts research has demonstrated a causal link between the intervention and the result may be positive or negative.
initiative a new program; a project.
inputs the resources available to carry out a program (examples: number of hospital beds; number of full-time employees; amount of funding per student).
key major; essential; crucial; significant.
key performance indicator (KPI)
  • determined at the beginning of the project.

  • reflect directly on the key objectives of the project.

  • provide the basis for project management  trade-off decisions during the course of the project.
  • at the completion of the project these KPI’s will be the most relevant measures to confirm the acceptability of the project and its product y the project stakeholders as being “successful.
  • can be measured in some way, at some time, on some scale.

mission a statement of business direction that should also include for whom services will be delivered and how services are to be delivered; the formal statement of the fundamental purpose of an organization or unit, which defines the customers who the organization intends to serve and the value you will provide to your customers; value the organization promises to provide for the customer.
mission/vision statement gives concrete expression to the Vision statement, explaining how it is to be achieved.

The mission statement for this site is: ‘To provide a well-structured, accessible, concise survey of the best and most appropriate mind tools available’.
objective statement of specific measurable or observable results to be achieved over a specified period of time. It answers both “what” and “when,” quantitatively.

sub-goals; describe the intended end effect of action, not the action steps or means; must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound—SMART.



market ready bundle which consists of a single or multiple packages of needs, services or service providers and which is “packaged” together with all the necessary communications and supporting material to be offered in a “market-ready” state to a specific set of customers through a defined channel.
organizational culture the underlying assumptions, beliefs, values, attitudes, and expectations shared by the members of an organization.

the green slime found on lunches left in the lunchroom fridge for an excessive period. 
organizational structure the framework around which the group is organized. It is the operating manual that tells members how the organization is put together and how it works.

More specifically, structure describes how members are accepted, how leadership is chosen, and how decisions get made.
outcomes measurable consequences of a program’s outputs, impacts on the client or the public, and the results of the outputs (examples: percentage of graduates who find meaningful employment and make a positive contribution to society; number of citizens who enjoy improved health and a better quality of life because of early cancer detection; level of pollutants in ambient air tests; reduction in fatal road accidents through stricter enforcement of speeding regulations).

Outcomes may be immediate, ultimate or somewhere in between. 

generally indicates that there is a strong logical connection between intervention and results, making it plausible to believe that the intervention influence the result even though the link has not been tested statistically.

the benefits and other long-term changes that are sought from undertaking a project.

Project outcomes are achieved from the utilization of the outputs delivered by a project.
outputs measurable, direct results of activities, such as products or services provided (examples: percent of students who graduate from high school; number of teens counseled about teen pregnancy; emissions reduced by auto exhaust repairs; number of tickets issued for speeding).
package a verb—the act of converting a bundle to an  offer,  by adding all the necessary communication and support materials required to make making the bundle fully market market-ready
performance agreement an agreement between organizational levels that sets out performance targets to which the organization’s units must contribute.

These agreements are for a specified time period and reflect strategic priorities.
performance goal the target level of performance expressed as a tangible, measurable objective, against which actual achievement can be compared, including a goal expressed as a quantitative standard, value, or rate.

Performance goal and performance target are often used interchangeably, although the latter is usually the more specific or detailed of the two.
performance indicator a quantitative parameter used to ascertain the degree of performance.

Often misused as a synonym for performance measure.

A performance indicator is less precise than a performance measure and usually provides only an intermediate measure of achievement.
performance management the use of performance measurement information to help set agreed-upon performance goals, allocate and prioritize resources, inform managers to either confirm or change current policy or program directions to meet those goals, and report on the success in meeting those goals.
performance management system outlines the key elements and connection underlying the establishment and implementation of performance management in an organization.

These elements and connections include performance planning, target setting, negotiating performance agreements and contracts, measuring and monitoring performance, reporting and feedback.

The framework provides guidance as opposed to detailed processes and procedures.
performance measure a statement specifying, clearly and precisely, a desired output, outcome or event that is expected to occur; the “what” that is to be measured.
performance measurement process of assessing progress in achieving pre-determined goals.

It includes measures of the economy of acquiring resources; the efficiency with which those resources are transformed into goods and services (outputs); the quality of those outputs (such as how well they are delivered to clients and the extent to which clients are satisfied); and the effectiveness of government operations in terms of their specific contributions to the objectives of the programs.
performance target see performance goal.
policy a strategy that defines the way the organization does business.

Policies are designed to achieve goals, often not directly related to a program (such as, employment equity policy), and realize the vision.
process (business processes) a set of logically related tasks performed to achieve a defined business outcome; generally identified in terms of beginning and end points, interfaces, and organization units involved.

a structured, measured set of activities designed to produce a specified output for a particular customer or market. It implies a strong emphasis on how work is done within an organization.

Processes have two important characteristics:
  • they have customers (internal or external), they cross organizational boundaries, i.e., they occur across or between organizational subunits.
  • have process owners.

business process is a process in a value chain whose activities add value to the products of that chain.

Examples of processes include: developing a new product; ordering goods from a supplier; creating a marketing plan;  processing and paying an insurance claim; etc.

Processes may be defined based on three dimensions

1. entities: processes take place between organizational entities.  they could be inter-organizational (e.g. edi), inter-functional or inter-personal (e.g. cscw).

2. objects: processes result in manipulation of objects. these objects could be physical or informational.

3. activities: processes could involve two types of activities:  managerial (e.g. develop a budget) and operational (e.g. fill a customer order).

program a set of activities having clearly defined, dedicated resources and measurable objectives that are coherent and consistent.
program evaluation the objective assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of a program; also see Evaluation.
project charter The Project Charter formally describes and authorizes work to be performed on a project, phase, or set of phases.

It indicates the customer’s approval of the definition and the agreement to accept charges for project expenses, up to an approved amount.
risk chance of something happening that will have an impact upon objectives.

Measured in terms of consequences and likelihood.
risk management The culture, processes, and structures that are directed towards the effective management of potential opportunities and adverse effects—it is a decision process for managing uncertainties and effectively allocating resources.
stakeholder an individual or group outside your organization who is likely to be significantly affected by your organization’s decisions or activities and whose actions in turn may affect the success of your organization’s decisions and activities.
strategic intent a broad, high-level formal statement that defines what you intend your organization to become and achieve as you pursue your mission.
strategic plan a high-level corporate document that sets the organization’s course and priorities for a prolonged period.

A strategy usually includes formal statements that define outlines vision, mission, values, and key priorities for the medium to long term, and sets out strategies for achieving goals and defined objectives.
strategic plan a high-level corporate document that outlines vision, mission, values and key priorities for the medium to long term, and sets out strategies for achieving goals and objectives.
strategy the planned approach for successfully achieving the goal.

tactical initiative

a planned, directed and controlled program of actions to achieve an aim or goal.
tactics planned, directed and controlled actions used to achieve an aim or task; plans followed to achieve an aim or tasks.
value chain a linked series of value-adding services in the conversion of information, labour, and/or materials to a product or service with a higher state of value than the original inputs.
value chain links discrete value-producing services in the value chain that produce value for the customer for which customer the is willing to pay.
vision a snapshot statement defining the preferred future in general terms.
vision/mission statement expresses the benefit that an organization will provide to its customers.
Contributed by …
Mary Prodanovic, Manager, Business Transformation, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation

Email AddressMary is a senior project and operations manager with more than 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector.

Mary has led projects and processes to develop and implement change management strategies, new service delivery models, and strategic and operational plans that have contributed to enhanced organizational performance.

As Manager of Business Transformation at the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, Mary is currently leading and facilitating staff teams through transformative changes across a number of business functions in order to make sustainable improvements to their productivity and efficiency.

Previously Mary was with United Way of the Lower Mainland where she managed and participated in internal, community, and movement-wide initiatives that resulted in plans, activities, and breakthrough results that benefited United Ways and their stakeholders.

Prior to that, Mary was with the University of British Columbia during their $262 M World of Opportunity Campaign—at the time, the largest capital campaign ever in Canada.  While there, she developed a board operational base of experience in finance, administration, human resources, research, change management and strategy planning.

Mary is a graduate of the University of BC and the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Supportingadvancement.com Common Interview Questions. Asking the right questions improves your chances of finding the right employee. Familiarize yourself with the applicant’s resume and have a prepared set of questions. Mind the time but be willing to follow the natural flow of conversation rather than sticking to the order of your questions. Know what skills and qualities you are looking for, ask open-ended questions, and listen well.
Supportingadvancement.com Common Sources of Funding
. It is fiscally prudent for organizations to have diverse sources of revenue.
Supportingadvancement.com Communicating Change. A summary of practical and commonly given advice on communicating change in organizations.
Supportingadvancement.com Glossary of Terms.
Supportingadvancement.com Planning Cycle. Organizations with agile planning, budget and forecasting capabilities are best positioned to weather uncertain economic times. By instituting a standardized planning system, an organization will have a clear vision of where it wants to be in future and a blueprint to readily improve, adapt, and monitor progress toward goals.
Supportingadvancement.com Position Reclassification. Good organizations strive to ensure fair and equitable compensation of employees in relation to their duties. In order to do this, periodically the need to reclassify a position arises.
Privacy Principles
Supportingadvancement.com Privacy Policy Statement. Use to draft your own policy statement.
Supportingadvancement.com Project Management. Good overview presentation on the ins and outs of project management.
Supportingadvancement.com Some Sample Job Descriptions.
Supportingadvancement.com Status Reporting. What is a status report and what should the report include? Mary Prodanovic. More on plans and planning.

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