Cable Modem

Internal computer device that receives cable signals.

Cafeteria Plan

A list of benefits from which an employee can choose. Typically employees work with a predetermined amount of money.

Calendar of Business

An agenda or list of business eligible for floor consideration. Each house decides which measures are discussed, and in what order, in accordance with its rules and practices.

Call of the Calendar

Senate bills not brought up for debate by a motion, unanimous consent or a unanimous consent agreement are brought before the Senate for action when the calendar listing them is “called.” Bills must be called in the order listed. Measures considered by this method usually are non-controversial, and debate on the bill and any proposed amendments is limited to a total of five minutes for each senator. Party leaders and their aides check with senators beforehand to make sure that no one objects to the measures. The system is referred to as “the clearance process”.

Call to Action

A communication from an organization to individuals or groups to take action on a public policy matter.

Call Tree

A list of names and contact information about people who should be notified immediately in a crisis situation.

Camera-Ready Art

Artwork that is in sufficiently finished form to be photographed for printing.


General term used to denote fundraising for a defined purpose.

Campaign Costs

Expenditures that are deemed essential to the planning and operation of a campaign and that are directly related to campaign budget projections.

Campaign Finance

Refers to the means by which money is raised for political election campaigns. Campaign finance systems generally refer to prevailing fundraising practices, as well as the laws governing those practices and the use of public funds to attract votes.

Campaign Finance Reform

The common term for the political effort in the United States to change the involvement of money in politics, primarily in political campaigns.

Campaign Materials

General term used to denote campaign forms of all kinds: materials required for campaign workers, fact sheets, prospect lists, and numerous other items essential to the effective functioning of a campaign; printed materials such as pamphlets, brochures, leaflets, and flyers used to advance a campaign.


1)A method used in campaign to directly speak to large numbers of voters. 2)Electioneering door-to-door to persuade voters in a political campaign.

Capability Mapping

A method used by benchmarking teams to analyze the nuts and bolts of an organization, in order to assess its unique capabilities. Nuts and bolts, also known as infrastructure, include all the tangible resources available to a particular organization, including technical, equipment, manufacturing, and transportation resources.

Capability Statement

An evaluation of how well an organization is able to live up to its pre-set goals and mission.


The ability to perform or produce a desired output.

Capacity Building

(1) The development of an organization’s core skills and capabilities, such as leadership, management, finance and fundraising, programs and evaluation, in order to build the organization’s effectiveness and sustainability. (2) The process of assisting an individual or group to identify and address issues and gain the insights, knowledge and experience needed to solve problems and implement change.

Capacity Development

The process by which individuals, groups, organizations, institutions and countries develop their abilities, individually and collectively, to perform functions, solve problems and achieve objectives.


Activities with individuals, communities or other groups that broaden or deepen the abilities or skills of the organization.

Capital Asset

An asset held for investment or for use in a trade or business, but not such things as inventory. Example: Contractor C buys a road grader for use in his construction business. The road grader is a capital asset.

Capital Campaign

An intensive, time-limited fundraising endeavor to meet a specific financial goal in order to fund a special project such as the construction of a facility or the acquisition of equipment.

Capital Funds

Funds that are provided for endowment purposes, buildings, construction, or equipment.

Capital Gain

The appreciation in a capital asset.

Capital Gain Property

Any asset containing appreciation. The term is almost always used to refer to property where the appreciation is long-term capital gain rather than short-term capital gain.

Capital Gains Tax

The tax due as a consequence of selling an asset which has capital gain. (For some particular purposes, capital gain can be deferred or even exempted from taxation.) The term capital gains tax almost always is used to refer to the tax on long-term capital gain.

Capital Grant

A grant made for equipment or construction projects

Capital Market

A financial institution where debt and equity securities are traded. Generally, capital markets finance long-term debt.

Capital Market(s)

1)Markets where capital, such as stocks and bonds, are traded. 2)A financial institution where debt and equity securities are traded. Generally, capital markets finance long-term debt.

Capital Needs

Building or property needs, in the form of new construction, additions, expansion, remodeling or acquisition of property. Sometimes related to equipment purchase or to raising funds for an addition to endowment capital.

Capital Request

Plan of action referring to office space: building, renovating, and/or office equipment.

Capital Spending, 5 Year Growth Rate (%)

The compound annual growth rate of capital spending over the last 5 years. Capital Spending is the sum of the Capital Expenditure items found on the Statement of Cash Flows.

Capital Support

Funds provided for endowment purposes, buildings, construction, or equipment.

Care Subsidy

A reimbursement benefit for child or elder care services.

Career Counseling/Resource Center

These types of Centers include services such as: one-on-one counseling, self-assessment and career planning services, and speaker series designed to help employees manage their careers and stay competitive.

Career Ladder

Composed of jobs requiring related and increasingly more responsible duties, through which employees advance by experience, in-service training, and testing.


The five years following the tax year in which a gift to a nonprofit is made and during which the donor must claim any balance of the value of the donation that he or she could not claim as a charitable contribution tax deduction because of the applicable percentage limitation.

Cascading Style Sheets

A program that allow developers to control the style and layout of multiple Web pages all at once. Cascading Style Sheets work just like a template, allowing Web developers to define a style for an HTML element and then apply it to as many Web pages as they’d like.


1)A single person, thing, or event for which attributes have been or will be observed. 2)The combination of reasons advanced by an institution or agency in justification of its appeals for support, with emphasis on its services, past, present and potential.

Case For Support

The history, mission, goals, objectives, programs, resources, and plans of a nonprofit. Nonprofits focusing efforts toward fundraising develop a case for support and then generally express that case in white papers, brochures, and other media.

Case Law

Reported decisions of appeals courts and other courts that make new interpretations of the law and, therefore, can be cited as precedents. To be distinguished from “statutory law,” which includes the statutes and codes enacted by legislative bodies; “regulatory law,” which are regulations required by agencies based on statutes; and in some states, the “common law,” which is the generally accepted law carried down from England.

Case Study

A tool to collect in-depth program information on a single participant or site.

Case Study Education

Exploring issues through the case study approach.

Case Study Method

Evaluation done on the micro level by examining the experiences of individual program participants and attempting to generalize those cases to the program as a whole.

Cash and Equivalents

This represents cash and all securities that can readily be transferred into cash as listed in the current assets section.

Cash Basis Accounting

Revenue is recorded when received in cash and expenses are recorded in the period in which cash payment is made.

Cash Cow

A business activity which generates a cash surplus as well as paper profits.

Cash Equivalent

Certain investments that are just as good as cash.

Cash Flows

Net of cash receipts and cash disbursements relating to a particular activity during a specified accounting period.

Cash From Financing

The sum of all the individual financing activity cash flow line items.

Cash From Investing

The sum of all the individual investing activity cash flow line items.

Cash From Operations

The sum of all the individual operating activity cash flow line items.


The existing problem(s) or the reason(s) for collaboration to exist.

Catastrophic Leave

Also referred to as a “leave bank”, this program is designed to assist employees who have exhausted paid time credits due to a serious catastrophic illness, injury or condition of the employee, or his/her family member(s). It allows other employees to donate paid time off to another employee so that they are able to remain in a paid status for a longer period of time, thus ameliorating the financial impact of the illness, injury or condition.


A memorable phrase which seeks to strengthen a product’s brand identity.

Category Exclusivity

The rights of a sponsor to be recognized as the only company, product or service associated with the event or property within a specifically defined category.


An informal organization of Members of the House and/or the Senate to discuss issues of mutual concern and possibly perform legislative research and policy planning for its members. There are regional, political or ideological, ethnic, and economic-based caucuses.

Causal Analysis

A method for analyzing the possible causal associations among a set of variables.

Causal Association

A relationship between two variables in which a change in one brings about a change in the other.

Causal Relationship

The relationship of cause and effect. The cause is the necessary act or event that produces the effect.

Cause Marketing

Also called cause-related marketing, a partnership between a for-profit company and a non-profit organization which increases the company’s sales while raising money and visibility for the cause.

Cause-related Marketing

Marketing in which a for-profit organization will use the name of a nonprofit organization to promote its product and in return contributes money, time or expertise to the nonprofit organization. The process also works in reverse where a charitable cause will use the name of a corporation or product to generate income for the cause, image and/or sales of the organization.

CD-ROM tower

In a computer, the central processing unit, or the brains of the computer that includes space for CD-ROM drives.


The highest limit of performance that can be assessed or measured by an instrument or process. Individuals who perform near to or above this upper limit are said to have reached the ceiling, and the assessment may not be providing a valid estimate of their performance levels.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

A highly complex silicon chip, is your computer’s brain, taking requests from applications and then processing, or executing actions. The faster your processor, the more operations it can execute per second. The more operations you have per second, the faster things happen in your applications; thus, games play more smoothly, and spreadsheets calculate more quickly.

Central Tendency Effect

A type of rater effect in which an assessor or an evaluator tends to rate toward the mid-point of a scale or to judge performance as average or neutral when it is actually well above or well below the middle level of the scale. This use of the term central tendency is not the same as that used in statistics.


The tendency for data points to cluster around a central value. There are three common measures of centrality in data sets that possess centrality: Mean, Median and Mode.


Upper level management retains major decision-making authority, creating all major policies and programs, and preserving the authority to make significant changes.

CEO Evaluation

The CEO’s performance assessment, conducted by the board of directors.

Certificate of Incorporation

Secretary of State issued document that completes the forming of a company.

Certificate of Mailing

A receipt prepared by the mailer or window clerk to show evidence of mailing.

Certified Fundraising Executive

A credential granted to a fund-raiser by the National Society of Fundraising Executives based upon performance as a fund-raising executive, knowledge of the fund-raising field, tenure as a fund-raiser (minimum of five years), education, and service to the profession.

Certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA)

Credential offered by the Association for Volunteer Administration (AVA) for practitioners in volunteer resources management. Unlike many “certificate” or certification programs being offered by colleges and universities, the AVA professional credentialing program is performance-based. It is not intended to teach individuals how to manage volunteers effectively. Rather, it is designed to measure an individual’s “knowledge-in-use” – the application of knowledge and skills by those with real-life experience in this role. This includes the assessment of a candidate’s ability to structure tasks, produce ideas and solve problems.

Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

Internal auditor who has satisfied the examination requirements of the Institute of Internal Auditors.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

An individual licensed by one or more states to engage in the public practice of accounting, qualified to examine the financial affairs of an organization, and issue opinions in accordance with established professional standards.


The presiding officer of a committee or subcommittee. In the Senate, chairmanship is based on seniority of committee tenure, but a Senator may not chair more than one standing committee.

Chairman of the Board

This member chairs board meetings, provides leadership in fundraising, monitors financial planning and reports, encourages the board’s role in strategic planning, and appoints committee chairs in consultation with other board members. The CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board and is evaluated by the Chairman. The CEO and the Chairman of the Board together provide leadership in achieving the organization’s mission.

Chairperson of the Board

This member chairs board meetings, provides leadership in fundraising, monitors financial planning and reports, encourages the board’s role in strategic planning, and appoints committee chairs in consultation with other board members. The CEO reports to the Chairperson of the Board and is evaluated by the Chairperson. The CEO and the Chairperson of the Board together provide leadership in achieving the organization’s mission.


The meeting place for the members of the House or Senate; also the membership of the House or Senate meeting as such. A chamber is often referred to as “the floor”.

Change Agent

An individual who is a catalyst for change in a given community.

Change Management

An organized, systematic application of the knowledge, tools, and resources of change that provides organizations with a key process to achieve goals and objectives.

Change-in-Control Arrangement(s)

An executive employment contract that provides the executive with a lucrative severance package in the event of termination. May include a continuation of salary, bonus and/or certain benefits and perquisites, as well as accelerated vesting of stock incentives and/or certain retirement benefits.

Change-in-Control Provision(s)

Provisions in executive compensation plans that allow participants to cash out options or accelerate benefits in the event of a change in control. The provisions may be explicitly written into a plan when it is adopted, or may simply give the board or compensation committee broad discretion to adjust awards when faced with a change in control. Some executive severance agreements provide payments in the event of the executive’s departure regardless of the reason. The Internal Revenue Code considers such payments excessive if they exceed 2.99 times an executive’s average annual compensation package.

Channel of Distribution

The route taken by a product as it passes from producer to consumer.

Chaos Theory

A means of explaining the dynamics of sensitive systems that seeks to find the underlying order in apparently random data or apparently random systems; used especially to understand the functioning of dysfunctional organizations.

Chapter Out

When a bill becomes law its provisions will override any conflicting provisions in existing law; thus chaptering out earlier law.

Charitable Corporation

A nonprofit corporation that exists to support charitable causes, and whose income is generally exempt from taxation by Federal and State law. A 501(c)(3) charitable corporation is a special kind of charitable corporation. People who make donations to a Section 501(c)(3) charitable corporation are usually entitled to deduct the amount of their contribution from their gross income on their personal income tax returns.

Charitable Deduction

The portion of a gift to a qualified charity that is deductible from an individual’s or corporation’s federal income tax, individual’s gift tax, or individual’s estate tax.

Charitable Deferred Gifts

A charity may be named as beneficiary under a will in many ways. These include (1) gifts of specific property, whether it is real property or personal property; (2) a gift of a stated amount of money; and (3) a percentage of the remaining estate after specific gifts are made.

Charitable Gift Annuity(ies)

Involves a transfer of cash or other property to the organization. In return, payment to the donor of a specified amount determined by age is made to the donor during his/her lifetime. The rates paid are the most recent one adopted by the Committee on Gift Annuities as agreed to by most major charities. There is an immediate income deduction for the present value of the amount ultimately to pass to the charity; part of the income received by the donor is also tax free.

Charitable Immunity

Laws that vary from state to state protecting nonprofits from liability for some actions of volunteers, and protecting volunteers from liability for some actions.

Charitable Lead Annuity Trust

A charitable lead trust which pays a fixed amount annually (an annuity) for its duration to a nonprofit or a private foundation.

Charitable Lead Trust

A trust that provides an income stream to a charity for a specified period of time. At the end of that period, trust assets are distributed to noncharitable beneficiaries such as children or grandchildren. The donor is able to make gifts of assets to his/her heirs at favorable gift tax rates and remove assets from his/her estate while benefiting his/her favorite charity.

Charitable Lead Unitrust

A charitable lead trust which pays a fixed percentage of its annual value to a nonprofit or a private foundation. An alternative form can pay the greater of a fixed percentage of the trust’s annual value or its net income.

Charitable Remainder Trust

A trust that provides an income stream to noncharitable beneficiaries for a period of time. These beneficiaries can include the donor, his/her spouse, and/or their children. At the end of that period, the trust assets are distributed to a charity. The donor receives an immediate tax deduction, removes assets from his/her estate (thus eliminating estate taxes on those assets) and often increases the income stream produced by those assets while ultimately benefiting his/her favorite charity.

Charitable Remainder Unitrust

The unitrust is very similar to the Charitable Remainder Trust, except that the unitrust provides a variable income. Payment is based on a fixed percentage of the net fair market value of the trust assets as valued each year.

Charitable Reverse Split-Dollar Insurance

Reverse split-dollar insurance in which the employer further assigns its rights in the insurance to a nonprofit. The employer may thus obtain a deduction, perhaps equal to the amount it has paid for the insurance. (If this aspect of reverse split-dollar insurance is promoted with its sale, the deduction may be lost, as an attempt to avoid the rules for non-qualified split-interest gifts. If the reverse split-dollar insurance is bought for independent reasons, and the employer later donates all its rights, the gift may be deductible as a gift of an entire interest.)

Charitable Set-Aside Rule

A rule which before 1969 applied to all irrevocable trusts but now only applies to pooled income funds (and, under different statutes and for different purposes, to private foundations). The rule allows pooled income funds to deduct from their income all income that is set aside to be paid to a nonprofit.

Charitable Solicitor

An entity that solicits contributions for a charitable purpose. A charitable organization that requests or receives funds for charitable purposes must have a charitable solicitation license.

Charitable-Gift Annuity

A fixed sum of money paid at specific time intervals by a charity to a donor or another designated beneficiary, or both, as stipulated in a contract between the parties involved.


In its traditional legal meaning, the word charity encompasses religion, education, assistance to the government, promotion of health, relief of poverty or distress, and other purposes that benefit the community. In most cases, charities are exempt from federal income tax, and eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable gifts under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Checklist Approach

The principal instrument for practical evaluation, especially for investigating the thoroughness of implementation.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Hires, supervises and evaluates staff and serves as a liaison between staff and board. The Chief Executive Officer and the Board serve as checks and balances for the organization.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

This act, effective April 21, 2000, applies to the online collection of personal information by persons or entities, under United States Jurisdiction, from children under 13. It spells out what a Web site operator must include in a privacy policy; when and how to seek verifiable consent from a parent; and what responsibilities an operator has to protect children’s privacy and safety online.

Christmas Tree Bill

Informal nomenclature for a bill on the Senate floor that attracts many, often unrelated, floor amendments. The amendments that adorn the bill may provide special benefits to various groups or interests.


Certain characteristics are generally attributed to churches, and have been developed by the IRS and by court decisions. They include: distinct legal existence, recognized creed and form of worship, definite and distinct ecclesiastical government, formal code of doctrine and discipline, distinct religious history, membership not associated with any other church or denomination, organization of ordained ministers, ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study, literature of its own, established places of worship, regular congregations, regular religious services, Sunday or Sabbath schools for the religious instruction of the young, and schools for the preparation of its ministers.

Citizen Politics

An approach to governance that stresses the role of ordinary people in making public decisions and solving public problems in everyday environments and places of employment.

Civic Engagement

Refers to a wide range of learning activities within and on the part of an institution. Civic engagement activities include engaged experiential education, service-learning, some internships and practica, and action research that engages the institution in partnership with the communities in which it is located.

Civic Engagement

Term that is increasingly preferred in the aging community to refer to a comprehensive strategy of engaging 50+ adults to address public concerns. Encompasses unpaid volunteering, service with a stipend and encore careers int he public interest.

Civic Entrepreneur

A leader providing collaborative leadership to bridge the economy and community. They utilize skills including: motivation, networking, teaching, convening, integrating, agreement building, pressing for outcomes, and mentoring others.

Civic Sector

The arena where public, private, and community interests meet in order to create private action for the public good.

Civic/Public Participation Processes

Engaging citizens in identifying and working effectively with local, state and national opinion leaders and decision-makers.

Civil Investing

A term referring to foundations and corporations investing their resources in a community process to build civic responsibility on the part of the citizenry to solve their own problems.

Civil Rights Act of 1871

The federal legislation that provides that anyone, who under the jurisdiction of state or local law, causes a person to be deprived of rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, or federal law, is liable to that person.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

The federal legislation that made sexual discrimination, and therefore, sexual harassment illegal. It also created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Civil Society

The social space between the individual and the private and public sectors. The human energy extended to others to create social good. As such, it includes volunteerism, activism, and advocacy.

Civil Society Organization

An association, society, foundation, charitable trust, not-for-profit organization, or other legal entity that is not regarded under the particular legal system as part of the governmental sector, nor as subject to a special legal regime, and that is not operated for profit. If any profits are earned, they are not and cannot be distributed as such.

Class Action

A civil lawsuit brought against a company by a group of persons (the class) similarly affected by the alleged misconduct of corporate officers and directors. Any recovery, less legal fees, is divided among all members of the class in proportion to their losses. Class action suits often allege false and misleading corporate statements, securities fraud or other breaches of directors’ duties to the shareholders.

Class Agent

A designated alum of a preparatory school, college, or university whose responsibilities usually include the writing of letters to classmates, urging support of the alumni fund, or the bequest program.

Classes of Senators

Senators are elected to six-year terms, and the terms of one-third of the Senators expire every two years. A class is the approximately one-third of the Senate elected in the same general election.


The grouping of mail into mail classes and subclasses by rate categories. Categories are determined according to content, weight, size, and preparation standards (such as sortation and barcoding).

Clean Bill

After a committee has finished a major revision of a bill, one of the members (typically the chairman) will assemble the changes and what is left of the original bill into a new measure and introduce it as a clean bill. The revised measure, which is given a new number, is then referred back to the committee, who then reports it to the floor for consideration.

Clerk of the House

The chief administrative officer of the House of Representatives, primarily responsible for the administrative support of the legislative process in the House. Duties correspond to those of the Secretary of the Senate.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

An online marketing term, this is the percentage of users who click on an online ad.


1)The customer side of a client/server setup. 2)Someone who pays for goods or services. 3)The population that goods and services are directed towards.

Client List

A list of a company’s key clients; sometimes includes contact information.

Clipping Agency

A media monitoring service that provides clients with new material (written, audio, or visual) that refers to them.


Democratic and Republican cloakrooms adjacent to the Senate chamber serve as gathering places for party members to discuss chamber business privately.

Closing Date

The day final copy and other materials must be at the media outlet in order to appear in a specific issue or time slot.


The process by which a filibuster can be ended in the Senate other than by unanimous consent. A cloture motion requires the signatures of 16 senators to be introduced. To end a filibuster, the motion must obtain the votes of three-fifths of the entire Senate membership, except when the filibuster is against a proposal to amend the standing rules of the Senate and a two-thirds vote of senators present and voting is required.

Cluster Evaluation

An approach favored by the Kellogg Foundation of grouping grantees together with an overall evaluator who attempts to uncover problems that the group can solve collectively.

Cluster Evaluation

Evaluations that look across a group of similar projects to identify commonalities or unique contributions that can inform planning and policy development.

Cluster Sample

The population is divided into mutually exclusive geographical clusters, and random samples are drawn from each cluster.


Identifying similar characteristics and grouping cases with those characteristics together.


A method of knowledge distribution with the objective of deepening learning and improving performance. The coach is usually not an employee of the organization but an outside consultant.

Coaching Program

An in-house or external program in which consultants (also called coaches) are hired to advise employees on work, family, or general issues in life.


An alliance of individuals or organizations working together in a common effort for a common purpose, to make more effective and efficient use of resources.

Coalition Building

Organizing coalitions, partnerships and collaborative relationships to achieve community change.


An online term referring to the way two websites display their logos together so that the viewer considers the site or feature to be a joint enterprise.

Code of Best Practice

Guiding principles for ensuring good corporate governance to which all publicly listed companies should aim.

Code of Conduct

A central guide and reference for users in support of day-to-day decision making. It is meant to clarify an organization’s mission, values and principles, linking them with standards of professional conduct.

Code of Doctrine

The particular set of beliefs adopted by a religious organization. This is part of the IRS definition of a church.

Code of Ethics

A set of accountability standards against which an organization can be measured. A code should state the consequences of violating standards and procedures for resolving disputed cases. No one code works for every organization; each should be tailored to an organization’s particular circumstances and environment.

Code of Practice

Strict operational guidelines, which may be issued by a trade association or other collective body.


Translate a given set of data or items into descriptive or analytic categories to be used for data labeling and retrieval.

Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS)

A service offered to mailers that improves the accuracy of delivery point codes, ZIP+4 codes, and carrier route information on mail pieces. CASS provides a common platform to measure the quality of address matching software and useful diagnostics to correct software problems.

Cognitive Dissonance

The most widely known of the consistency theories that hold that people prefer to avoid tension or stress-producing situations by maintaining consonance. As a result, individuals tend to avoid paying attention to or retaining information which conflicts with their belief system.

Cold Call

Implies insufficient preparation or cultivation before solicitation of a prospective donor, as in “cold” prospect, “cold” approach, “cold” presentation, etc.


A mutually beneficial and well-defined relationship entered into by two or more organizations to achieve common goals. The relationship includes a commitment to mutual relationships and goals, a jointly developed structure and shared responsibility, mutual authority and accountability for success, and sharing of resources and rewards.

Collaborative Agreement

A contract that describes and details the responsibilities and expectations of all the parties involved in a collaboration.

Collaborative Empowerment

A process for societal change; a planning and organizing method through which community and neighborhood-based organizations can design, implement, and assess problem-solving strategies that increase their effectiveness at dealing with community issues.

Collaborative Funding

A cooperative effort among funders to address a particular need or project more effectively. Collaboration can involve information exchange, program or project review, and/or shared funding responsibility.

Collaborative Learning

Learning through the exchange and sharing of information and opinions among a peer group.


Groups or individual people coming together to complete one task as one group.


Materials used to promote and support an event, cause or program. Typically print materials, these range from on-site signs, posters, brochures, maps, fliers and invitations. Sponsors commonly have their ID or logo placed on these materials, or receive a mention on the cause’s collaterals.

Collateral Material(s)

Promotional materials, such as newsletters, catalogs, brochures, and flyers, used to reach customers directly instead of through mass-media.

Collections Acquisition

Grants to libraries or museums to acquire permanent materials as part of a collection, usually books or art.

Collections Management

Grants for maintenance, preservation, and conservation of materials.

Collections Preservation

Grants for maintenance, preservation, and conservation of materials.

Collective Volunteering

A style of volunteering characteristic of the traditionalists where the identity and needs of the volunteer are totally subservient to those of the organization. Individuals within the group put the group’s needs first.

Color Proof

An early full-color print of a finished advertisement, used to evaluate the ad’s final appearance.

Color Separation

The separation of a multi-color ad into four screens for printing; yellow, cyan, magenta, and black.

Column Inch

A common unit of measure by newspapers, whereby ad space is purchased by the width, in columns, and the depth, in inches. For example, an ad that is three standard columns wide and five inches tall (or deep) would be 15 column inches.


Use of a gift to perpetuate memory of an individual, family, firm, or organization; by receiving a gift, the institution commits itself to honor the name in an appropriate form.

Commercial Sector

Generally defined as non-manufacturing business establishments, including hotels, motels, restaurants, wholesale businesses, retail stores, and health, social, and educational institutions.


A fee or percentage paid to an employee or consultant for services rendered.

Commissioning New Works

Grants to support the creation of new artistic works.

Committed Funds

A portion of a donor’s budget that has already been pledged for future allocation.

Committee Amendment

An amendment recommended by a committee in reporting a bill or other measure.

Committee Calendar

Senate committees periodically publish a calendar that lists the bills and resolutions referred to them, action taken on those measures, and other relevant information.

Committee Chairperson

This board member recruits committee members to carry out the committee’s board mandate. The Committee Chairperson oversees committee work by assigning work to committee members, setting committee meeting agendas and running committee meetings. The Committee Chair provides committee members with information appropriate to the work being done. The Committee Chairperson also reports committee decisions and recommendations to the Board.

Committee Jurisdiction

The subjects and functions assigned to a committee by rule, resolution, precedent, or practice, including legislative matters, oversight and investigations, and nominations of executive officers.

Committee Membership

Senators are assigned to specific committees by their party conference. Seniority, regional balance, and political philosophy are the most prominent factors in the committee assignment process.

Committee of the Whole

Membership is composed of all House members sitting as one committee. Any 100 members present on the floor of the chamber to consider legislation comprise a quorum. Any legislation taken up by the Committee of the Whole must have passed through the regular legislative or Appropriations Committee, and have been placed on the calendar.

Committee on Committees

Committees formed in each party conference and responsible for nominating the party’s Senators to committee membership and committee leadership positions. Nominations are subject to approval by the full party conference and to a formal vote of the Senate.

Committee Print

A publication used by committees for various purposes. For example, the rules of each standing committee may be published as a committee print, and drafts of bills or committee reports may be produced as committee prints.

Committee Substitute

A complete, new bill or resolution recommended by a committee in lieu of the original measure. A committee will report a committee substitute rather than a large number of individual amendments when the committee wishes to make a substantial number of changes to the original measure. The committee substitute must contain the same subject matter as the original measure.

Committee Veto

A requirement added to report language directing that certain policy directives by an executive department or agency be reviewed by certain congressional committees before they are implemented. Under common practice, the government department or agency and the committee involved are expected to reach a consensus before the directives are carried out especially when an appropriations committee is involved.

Committee Work Plan(s)

Work plans specify annual goals for the committee, strategies to meet the goals, and timelines for completion of the goals. The goals of the committee should be closely aligned with achieving the strategic goals determined during the organization’s strategic planning process. Committees should be asked to submit written reports to the governing board on a regular basis. These reports should summarize progress made relative to the committee’s work plan.

Common Ground/Commonalties

The things two people or groups share, or hold in common. Although disputants often assume they have nothing in common with their opponents, they almost always have some common ground.

Common Interest Group

1)Political organizations established to influence governmental action in a specific area of policy. This could be done by persuading legislators, working through a regulatory bureaucracy, engaging in legal proceedings, or other means. 2)A group of people who are linked through a mutual concern or commitment.


A process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of words, symbols, signs, or behavior.

Communication Channel(s)

The means available to communicate with another person or group.

Communication Objective

What your organization wants the communication to do (for example: raise awareness, get people to change their attitudes, move people to action, buy a ticket, buy season tickets, etc.)


A process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of words, symbols, signs or behavior.

Communications (COM) Port

This term is used to describe the serial port on a PC. COM is generally used in conjunction with a number, as in COM1.

Communications Audit

A systematic survey of members of a target audience to determine awareness of, or reaction to, a product, service, or company.

Communications Service Provider

Telephone companies, internet providers, and cable companies. Sometimes they are combined in one company for greater ease.

Communications Strategy

The foundation for creating a message that works, a communications strategy is a tool for focusing your message on benefits versus facts. It addresses five key parameters: objective, target, message, support and tone.

Community Assessment

A collection of key community indicators that assist in setting priorities and documenting the relative success of community-wide efforts.

Community Capacity

Combines people’s commitment and skills to build on strengths within the community to address problems and react to potential opportunities.

Community Coalition

The coming together of representatives of public or private organizations and individual citizens in a community for the purpose of collaboration on community concerns and seeking resolution of those concerns.

Community Development

The process of building communities on a local level with an emphasis on building the economy, forging and strengthening social ties, and developing the nonprofit sector.

Community Development Corporation(s) (CDCs)

Community-based organizations focused on building livable, sustainable communities for their residents. Activities include: affordable housing, small business development and services.

Community Economic Development

Citizen-led, community-focused job creation, and other business activities that lead to increased financial viability.

Community Forums

Series of public meetings held as opportunities for an organization’s target population to share and discuss their needs with members of the organization(s) intending to serve them.

Community Foundation

A tax-exempt, nonprofit, autonomous, publicly supported, nonsectarian philanthropic institution with a long-term goal of building permanent, named component funds established by many separate donors for the broad-based charitable benefit of the residents of a defined geographic area, typically no larger than a state.

Community Fund

An organized community program that makes annual appeals to the general public for funds that are usually not retained in an endowment but are instead used for the ongoing operational support of local agencies.

Community Group

A group of people that live/work in a community and make things happen. They may also be referred to as community associations.

Community Mapping

A participatory exercise in which community members identify the assets and challenges in their neighborhood.

Community Media Centers (CMC)

A physical location in the community that provides access to media such as broadcast television, computers and the Internet, music and other forms of communication mediums.

Community Needs Assessment

Process of discovering what a group of people in a defined location are I need of.

Community Organizer

An individual who guides the process of community building through mobilizing citizens to organize around needs usually through seeking outside resources to help the community.

Community Organizing

A process through which an expert helps a group of individuals engage in collective action to address a social problem.

Community Outreach

Recruitment for government and social service agency programs which traditionally do not use participants to determine how services will be provided.

Community Policing

A law enforcement strategy built on relationship-building between police officers and community residents. It usually encourages neighborhood residents to take responsibility for law enforcement through cooperation with police who typically live in the neighborhoods.

Community Profile

A picture of the community which reflects the demographic, economic, human, social, visual and natural resources of the community. It also includes the needs and assets of the community.

Community Relations

The planned, active, and continuous participation by an organization with and within a community, usually to maintain and enhance its environment to the benefit of both the organization and the community.


An approach to coalition-building which focuses on weaknesses, and solving problems by addressing deficits.

Community-based Sector

Comprises a broad array of organizations, institutions, agencies and collectives, including: charities; cooperatives; religious groups; health, education and social service providers; self-help and mutual aid groups; social justice groups; environmental, cultural, arts, recreation, sports, and professional associations, such as chambers of commerce.

Community-based Service

Organizations outside a formal governmental framework that provide services and opportunities to meet the needs of children, youth and/or adults in the community.

Compact Disk-Read Only Memory (CD-ROM)

High-capacity computer disks that allow publishers and other information providers to distribute large amounts of information in a searchable format.

Compact Disk-Recordable (CD-R)

A CD-ROM format that enables you to record data onto compact discs so that regular CD-ROM drives can read it.

Companies Code

The uniform legislation governing the operations of organizations incorporated under the Companies Act.

Companion Bill or Measure

Similar or identical legislation that is introduced in both the Senate and the House. House and Senate lawmakers who share similar views on legislation may introduce a companion bill in their respective chambers to promote simultaneous consideration of the measure.

Company-sponsored Foundation

A private foundation whose assets are derived primarily from the contributions of a for-profit business. While a company-sponsored foundation may maintain close ties with its parent company, it is an independent organization with its own endowment and, as such, is subject to the same rules and regulations as other private foundations.


A term used to encompass the entire range of wages and benefits, both current and deferred, that workers receive from their employment.
Compensation Committee
The purpose of the Compensation Committee is to assist the Board in setting executive compensation and to review and make recommendations regarding compensation plans, policies and programs of the organization.

Compensatory Damage(s)

Damages recovered in payment for actual injury or economic loss, which do not include punitive damages.

Compensatory TimeA type of work schedule that allows employees to take time off instead of receiving overtime pay.

Competency Based Training

Training that focuses exclusively on teaching the skills, facts, and attitudes related to specific jobs. The content of such training is ideally pre-determined by the trainees themselves.

Competency testing

Means to measure goal-based evaluation.

Competition-based Pricing

Methods of pricing based upon the prices charged by competitors.

Competitive Analysis

This analysis looks at the benchmarking gap between organizations and best-in-class organizations that provide leadership within a specific industry.


Lists of people taken from directories such as the Yellow Pages or the White Pages of the phone book. A common source for direct mail lists.

Complementary Product(s)

Goods that are connected in some manner to each other, for example computers and software. If sales in one increase, it is reasonable to assume that demand for the other will also increase. Also referred to as joint demand.

Complete Financials Update

This date indicates the last quarter or annual update with a complete set of financial records.
Compliance Within statutory limits and court interpretations, acts by an employer to bring practices into line with state, federal and local regulations.
Compliance Agency(ies) Organizations established under the Office of Federal Contract Compliance as internal sub-units of major government departments or agencies. They are charged with the administration of Executive Order 11246, Revised Orders No. 4 and No. 14, and with the collection and analysis of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Reports and Affirmative Action Plans. Their powers of enforcement include the ability to deny government business to contractors found in violation.

Compliance Requirements

A list of things that are demanded of an organization as a stipulation of being awarded a federal grant.

Complicating Factor(s)

Dynamics such as communication problems or escalation which, while common, are usually extraneous parts of the conflict which confuse the core issues in the conflict and make them more difficult to understand and deal with.

Compressed Work Week

A standard workweek compressed into fewer than five days. Examples include 4/10 or 9/80 schedules.

Computer Equipment Grants

Grants to purchase or develop automated systems.

Concept Mapping

A special form of a web diagram for exploring knowledge and gathering and sharing information.
Things one side gives up to try to de-escalate or resolve a conflict. They may simply be points in an argument, a reduction in demands, or a softening of one side’s position.


Efforts by a third party to improve the relationship between two or more disputants. It may be done as a part of mediation, or independently.

Concurrent Resolution

Must be adopted by both houses but is not sent to the president for his signature and therefore does not have the force of law. A concurrent resolution is most commonly used to fix the time for adjournment of a Congress.

Conduct of a Sexual Nature

This conduct can include sexual advances, propositions or attempts for sexual favors, hostility based on gender, and lewd, sexual or obscene language.


Senators appointed to serve on conference committees. Conferees are usually appointed from the committee or committees that reported the legislation; they are expected to try to uphold the Senate’s position on measures when they negotiate with conferees from the other body.


A meeting that is held when the House and Senate disagree on the provisions of a bill.
Conference Committee

A temporary, ad hoc panel composed of House and Senate conferees, formed for the purpose of reconciling differences in legislation that has passed in both chambers.
Conference Report The compromise product negotiated by the conference committee.


A meeting format in which participants engage in real-time discussions through the use of a web, video, or audio-based communication system.

Confidence Level

The level of certainty to which an estimate can be trusted. The degree of certainty is expressed as the chance that a true value will be included within a specified range, called a confidence interval.

Confidence Limits

Two statistics that form the upper and lower bounds of a confidence interval.

Confidentiality Agreement

A written form that assures evaluation participants that information they provide will not be openly disclosed nor associated with them by name. Since an evaluation may entail exchanging or gathering privileged or sensitive information about residents or other individuals, a confidentiality agreement ensures that the participants’ privacy will be maintained.


Characteristics of hardware and/or software that make up a computer.


An informal term for the Senate giving “Advice and Consent” to a presidential nomination for an executive or judicial position.

Conflict Management

The long-term management of intractable conflicts and the people involved in them so that they do not escalate out of control and become violent.

Conflict of Interest

A situation in which the private interests of someone involved with an organization could cause him or her to make decisions that are not in the best interest of the organization.

Conflict ResolutionThe process of resolving a dispute or a conflict permanently, by providing each side’s needs, and adequately addressing their interests so that they are satisfied with the outcome.

Conflict Transformation

Reflects the notion that conflicts go on for long periods of time, changing the nature of the relationships between the people involved, and themselves changing as people’s response to the situation develops over time.

Congressional Record

The document that contains the daily proceedings in the House and Senate chambers.

Congressional Terms of Office

Normally begin on January 3 of the year following a general election and are two years for representatives and six years for senators.

Congruence Analysis

The verification of data by using more than one instrument or source of data for assessing performance on the same criterion.
Consensus General agreement to a solution that everyone can accept.

Consensus Democracy

This reformulates how local democracy operates in the 21st Century. The basic principles of consensus democracy recognize the need for new institutional ways that allow all citizens to have access to direct control of the decision-making process.

Consensus Organizing

This model draws upon individual creativity and initiative to fashion innovative solutions to community problems. It stresses comprehensive strategies for bringing people together and providing them with the tools necessary to achieve tangible reforms.


Creating consensus in groups through leadership and compromise.

Consensus-Building Outcome

The production of a common understanding among participants about issues and programs.

Consent Agenda

A practice by which non-controversial board action items are organized apart from the rest of the agenda and approved as a group in an effort to save meeting time and ensure focus on substantive topics.


Special types of split-interest gifts of real estate for which donors can claim tax deductions if the gifts are for conservation purposes.


In the context of a contract, some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing to one party or some forbearance, detriment, loss or responsibility given, suffered or undertaken by the other.


(1) The implementation of procedures in an identical or near identical manner across individuals or over time. (2) Obtaining the same or similar results across multiple administrations or scoring of an assessment. (3) A type of rater effect in which an assessor or an evaluator tends to rate or to interpret different data and information in a similar way. Such a rater tends to assign the same grade or rating to all assessment results and products without regard to their quality or to the scoring rubric.

ConsistentKeeping with the needs and expectations of the organization and its stakeholders.
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA)
This law requires that most employers sponsoring group health plans offer employees and their families the opportunity for a temporary extension of health care and union Employee Benefit Fund coverage called “continuation coverage” at group rates in certain instances where coverage under the program would otherwise end.


Refers to the act of creating a new corporation and extinguishing both of the consolidating nonprofits.


All people who have in some fashion been involved with the institution seeking support; consists of members, contributors, participants (past or present), clients, or relatives of clients, vendors, community leaders, extended family, staff, alumni, etc.

Constituent Relationship(s)

The heart of an organization’s work. Constituents serve on boards, participate in programs and evaluation, and inform strategic planning. They are the organization’s most important public.


An attribute of an individual or a phenomenon that is not directly observable, but which is theoretically based or is inferred from empirical evidence.

Constructive Criticism

Critical feedback designed to improve performance, rather than attack the subject.
Constructive Discharge
The situation in which a harassed employee is justified in quitting his or her job due to intolerable workplace conditions that force the employee to leave.


(1)A consultant is an outside expert who is hired by an organization to help with the planning and/or implementation of a program. 2)A professional employed on a contractual basis who has expertise in a specific field.
Consumer Users or recipients of agency products and services.

Consumer Panel(s)

Consumers are recruited to serve on permanent panels. Each member keeps a diary noting their product purchase details. Analysis then shows what type of customer buys what type of brand, where from and when.

ContaminationA tendency for the assessor’s data, the scorer’s ratings and judgments, or the evaluator’s conclusions to be influenced or confounded by irrelevant knowledge about the subject, other personnel, or other factors that have no bearing on the subject’s level of performance.

Content Analysis

A process for systematically determining the characteristics of written or spoken material and examining for patterns, frequency, and bias.

Content Management

A system used to organize and facilitate collaborative content creation.
Content Management System (CMS)
Software or a group of tools that enable users with little knowledge of programming to create, edit, review and publish Web content.

Content Validity

The ability of the items in a measuring instrument or test to adequately measure or represent the content of the property that the investigator wishes to measure.
Continuing Appropriation A resolution passed by Congress based on rates of the previous year’s appropriations. This typically occurs when Congress has not yet enacted the appropriation bills for the previous year, but the current fiscal year has already begun.

Continuing Education

An educational/instructional program that expands an individual’s area of knowledge or skills.
Continuing Education Unit A documented measure that is used in non-credit continuing education programs.


The fact that a corporation or organization can maintain its legal status independent of specific individuals.

Continuous Improvement

(1) An ongoing quest for improvement in all aspects of an organization. (2) A series of steps to identify and implement improvements, solve problems, or create new processes.
Continuous Processing
An ongoing quest for improvement in all aspects of business or service processes.


A contract is a legally binding document between two or more parties.
Contract Authority Budget authority contained in an authorization bill that permits the federal government to enter into contracts or other obligations for future payments from funds not yet appropriated by Congress. The assumption is that funds will be available for payment in a subsequent appropriations act.

Contract Authorization

Stopgap provisions that allow the federal government to let contracts or obligate itself for future payments from funds not yet appropriated based on the assumption that funds will be available for payment.

Contract Evaluator

An external evaluator, under contract for a specific project or projects.
Contracting Officer Member of an organization that has the authority to enter into a contract on behalf of the organization.

Contrast EffectA type of rater effect in which an assessor or an evaluator tends to compare one subject to other subjects rather than comparing that subject’s level of performance to the standards.


A contribution is a donation to a nonprofit organization.

Contribution Base

Adjusted gross income without taking into account net operating loss carry backs. Individual donors determine the maximum, (for interpretation, construction, and integration) amount that they can claim in any tax year by applying their percentage limitations to the contribution base. However, since most individuals never have net operating loss carry backs, individuals can generally precisely determine this maximum by applying their percentage limitations to AGI.

Contributory Pension

Plan A program in which the employee and employer share the cost of pension benefits.

Control Environment

The overall feel of the control flow between an organization’s board and management.

Control Group

A group of individuals whose characteristics are similar to those of the program participants but who do not receive the program services, products, or activities being evaluated.
Control Variable A variable that is held constant or whose impact is removed in order to analyze the relationship between other variables without interference, or within subgroups of the control variable.

Controllable Budget Item(s)

Programs for which the budget authority or outlays during a fiscal year can be controlled without changing existing, substantive law.

Controlled Circulation

Publications, generally free and business-oriented, that are delivered only to readers who have some special qualifications.


The managerial activity of monitoring a plan’s implementation and taking corrective action as needed.

Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM Act)

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 established the United States’ first national standards for the sending of commercial e-mail and requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce its provisions.
Convene To assemble or call together a meeting
Convenience Sampling

A type of nonrandom sampling that involves surveying or interviewing any person that happens to come along and is willing to answer questions. This type of sampling provides no evidence that the opinions expressed are representative of a larger population.


1)Belief in the organization 2)Manifestation of a belief in an organization 2)Dedication of a belief in the form of gifts or exemplary service as a volunteer.


Small data files written to your hard drive by some Web sites when you view them in your browser. These files contain information the site can use to track such things as passwords, lists of pages you’ve visited, and the date when you last looked at a certain page.

Cooperative Approach

A situation in which the goals of the participants are so linked that any participant can attain his goal if, and only if, the others with whom he is linked can attain their goals. It is contrasted with a competitive approach in which it is assumed that it is impossible to win, unless the other side loses.

Cooperative Mailing(s)

An eligibility restriction for nonprofit Standard mail that occurs when an authorized nonprofit mailer joins with one or more unauthorized organizations to share in costs, risks, or benefits to send out a mailing at the nonprofit rate.


Words printed by the press.

Copy Testing
A process of gathering input from a target group to help determine the effectiveness and appropriateness of written text. This can help predict the effectiveness of text in an ad or other published work.


The exclusive right to produce or reproduce (copy), to perform in public or to publish an original literary or artistic work. Many countries have expanded the definition of a “literary work” to include computer programs or other electronically stored information.
Copyright Act of 1976 The primary basis of copyright law in the United States. This act spells out the basic rights of copyright holders, codified the doctrine of “fair use”, and converted the term of copyrights from a fixed period requiring renewal to an extended period based on the date of the creator’s death.
Core Competence A component of branding that answers the questions: “What is the one single thing that separates your organization from the rest?” and “Why is that one single thing important to consumers?”

Core Competency

Fundamental knowledge, ability, or expertise in a specific subject area or skill set. To be considered a core competency, a capability must be an essential part of an organization’s offerings and it must describe a significant advantage in the marketplace.


The practice of one organization, on its own subscription and membership registration forms, of offering subscriptions, memberships or leads to another organization.
Corporate Advertising Advertising which is meant to promote a whole company rather than a particular product or product line.
Corporate Citizenship

Term used in the business sector to refer to business giving, including business relationships and partnerships with nonprofit organizations.

Corporate Contribution(s)

A general term referring to charitable gifts made by a corporation. Usually this term is used to describe cash contributions only, but may also include other items, such as the value of loaned executives, products, and services.

Corporate Gift

A donation by a for-profit corporation, budgeted as an annual expense and usually funded with pre-tax income.

Corporate Image

The image of a company or other organization: how it is perceived by the public at large.
Corporate Records A diary of meeting minutes, and other vital decisions and paperwork to help the organization function properly.

Corporate Social Investing

A shift from traditional corporate philanthropy to a broader, multi-faceted strategy. Under this philosophy, specific goals are set for contributions, targeting giving toward causes that provide a return on investment, and giving shareholders a means to hold corporate donors accountable for nonprofit investments.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The overall relationship of the corporation with all its stakeholders. These include customers, owners/investors, government, suppliers and competitors. Elements of social responsibility include investment in community outreach, employee relations, creation and maintenance of employment, environmental responsibility and finance performance.

Corporate Sponsorship

Financial endorsement of a project by a corporation in exchange for publicity and/or other benefits.

Corporate Veil

The general rule that members of a nonprofit corporation (and the shareholders in a for-profit corporation) are not liable for the debts of the nonprofit corporation beyond the extent of any financial commitment they may have made to the nonprofit corporation. There are numerous exceptions to the general rule, and there are also circumstances in which the protection of the corporate veil may be lost, so-called “piercing the corporate veil.”

Corporate Volunteer Council

Organizations set up by groups of companies who want to provide community support through employee volunteerism. It assists with the development of corporate volunteer programs, provides training and resource materials to members and recognizes achievements in corporate volunteerism.

Corporate Volunteer Program

Also called employee or workplace volunteer program, this company-managed program coordinates company staff with charities and nonprofit groups who are looking for volunteers.


An entity chartered by a state to act as a single enterprise with certain legal rights whose owners remain separate and assume limited liability.
Corpus The original gift and ongoing principal that forms the asset base from which a foundation or endowment operates.

Corrective Action

Appropriate responses to that weed out problems in a business or organization.


A statistical means of showing a relationship between an intervention and an outcome. Generally, correlation is the closest an evaluation can come to showing cause-and-effect.


Communication by the exchange of letters.

Cost Accounting

Procedures used for rationally classifying, recording, and allocating current or predicted costs that relate to a certain production or service process.

Cost Analysis

The process of obtaining cost breakdowns, verifying cost data, evaluating specific elements of costs and examining data to determine necessity, reasonableness, and appropriateness of the costs reflected in a grant budget.

Cost Center

The area of responsibility, function, or unit of activity for which costs are allocated.

Cost Driver

Internal or external influence that causes the total cost to fluctuate.
Cost of Operation

The total costs associated with day-to-day operation of facility. It includes all maintenance and repair, administrative costs, labor costs, janitorial, housekeeping and cleaning costs, all utility costs, and all costs associated with roadways and grounds.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

Advertisers whose agreements specify cost-per-click only pay for subscribers who click through the online ad to the advertiser’s Web site.

Cost Per Thousand (CPM)

The cost of advertising per thousand potential customers reached by a given publication, broadcast, or outdoor advertisement. The M in CPM is the Roman Numeral for 1,000.

Cost-based Pricing

Methods of pricing products which are based upon costs.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

An analysis that compares present values of all benefits less those of related costs when benefits can be valued in dollars the same way as costs. A cost-benefit analysis is performed in order to select the alternative that maximizes the benefits of a program.

Cost-benefit Ratio

Divide the costs associated with a barrier-reducing marketing strategy by the revenue generated by that strategy to determine whether this strategy has potential merit, and which barriers can most cost-effectively be addressed.


An advertising payment model based on specific actions of the user in response to an ad. Actions may include a sales transaction, a customer acquisition, or a click.


In online advertising, the term for the amount of money an advertiser is charged each time a site visitor clicks on their ad.


A more specific form of the cost-per-action model in which a visitor provides enough information about the advertiser’s site to be used as a sales lead.


The calculation of the cost of web advertising determined by the number of products sold via the web site.

Cost-plus Pricing

The average cost of a product of service plus a profit margin.

An owner of an undivided interest in an asset, whether as a joint tenant, tenant in common, or otherwise.


A second signature on an organizations check to state that more than one member has approved the expense.

Court of Public Opinion

The period before an issue arrives in a court of law, when it receives widespread publicity and discussion through news media coverage and other public forums.

Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM)

A pre-addressed return envelope provided by business mailers to their customers. The customer still pays the postage.

Court-Ordered Community Service

Also known as community restitution or community service orders, court-ordered community service involves the assignment of persons convicted of criminal acts to nonprofit or governmental agencies. Community service orders usually specify a number of hours over a time period established by the court and are imposed as an alternative to incarceration.

Creative Brief(s)

A one-page document that sets forth the strategic direction for the creation of a marketing message.

Creative Strategy

In the development of an advertisement, an outline of the content, direction and tone of the message to be conveyed that provides the guiding principles for copywriters and art directors. The written statement of creative strategy is sometimes called the copy platform.


The perception by an audience that information is valid or a person is believable.
Crisis Communication Plan A plan that offers possible crisis scenarios and suggestions for handling those scenarios, while providing general guidelines for reacting to a crisis. A good plan outlines what must be done in times of crisis, but must also be flexible enough to adapt to specific situations as they unfold. The plan must also be periodically tested and evaluated to ensure its effectiveness.

Crisis Management

The use of public relations to minimize harm to the organization in an emergency situation that could cause the organization irreparable damage.
Criterion Whatever is used to measure a successful or unsuccessful outcome.

Critical Juncture

An issue or situation in an organization with long-term effects that must be addressed in order to move forward.

Critical Path

In project management, the sequence of events with the longest duration. The duration of the critical path determines the duration of the entire project. Any delay of a terminal element on the critical path directly impacts the planned project completion date.
Critical Path Analysis A mathematically based analysis for scheduling a set of project activities. Critical path analysis is a very important tool for effective project management.

Critical Success Factor

The “do or die” measurement of effectiveness, as applied to the process or service of a particular organization. These are quantitative, empirical measurements of things that directly affect a customer’s satisfaction with an organization.

Critical Thinking Skills

The use of those cognitive skills or strategies that increase the probability of a desirable outcome. Describes thinking that is purposeful, reasoned, and goal directed.

Cross Elasticity of Demand

The responsiveness of demand for product to changes in the price of another product.

Cross Sector Collaboration

A voluntary, strategic alliance of organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors that enhances each organization’s capacity to achieve a common purpose by sharing risks, resources, responsibilities, and rewards.
Cross-cultural Communication

Communication between people of two different ethnic backgrounds.
Cross-sectional Study

A study designed to mimic longitudinal studies without the wait time. In this method, a current comparison group is substituted for the study group’s situation in the future.
Cultivation The process of promoting or encouraging interest and/or involvement on the part of a potential donor or volunteer leader. It is the educative process to inform about an institution and give reasons why it merits support.

Cultural Competence

The state of being capable of functioning in the context of cultural differences.
Cultural Relevance
Demonstration that evaluation methods, procedures, and/or instruments are appropriate for the cultures to which they are applied.

Cultural Sensitivity

Recognizing and being aware of the similarities and differences in the values of different cultures.


A learned pattern of customs, beliefs, and behaviors which are socially acquired and socially transmitted through symbols and widely-shared meanings.

Current Ratio (MRQ)

This is the ratio of Total Current Assets for the most recent quarter divided by Total Current Liabilities for the same period.

Current Services Estimates

Estimated budget authority and outlays for federal programs and operations for the forthcoming fiscal year based on continuation of existing levels of service without policy changes. The president transmits these estimates of budget authority and outlays to Congress, accompanied by the underlying economic and policy assumptions upon which they are based, when the budget is submitted.

Curriculum Development

Development of classroom ready instructional materials for career and technical education.


Person or corporation that has custody of assets and handle the up-keep of such assets.


The person served by an organization.

Customer Advocate
The benchmarking team member whose role it is to speak for the customer base of an organization.

Customer Base

The group of current clients and consumers that an organization serves.
Customer Profile

A description of a segment of your organization’s customers. This description can use demographics to create a broad outline of the segment or psychographics to create a detailed portrait of the segment.
Customer Service

Meeting customer needs through designing processes with the customer in mind and training employees and volunteers to exceed customer expectations.

Customer Service Policy

A document that defines and outlines an organization’s commitment to good customer service.


A reduction in services, staff members, budget, or all of the above.


Brief description for a publicity photograph with the event and key people pictured and credited.
Cy Pres

An ancient legal doctrine developed by the courts to carry out the wishes of a charitable donor as nearly as possible where either the language of the restrictions is not exactly clear or where the original purpose has been fulfilled. Example: D created a perpetual trust to aid in the fight against polio. When a cure for polio was found, the doctrine of cy pres was applied to convert the use of the trust to research on birth defects.

Cyber Meetings
Annual meetings held by “remote communication” rather than at a specific site.

Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership
Supported by the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation