Daily Feedback Form(s)

Evaluation forms designed to give trainers and managers valuable feedback on the trainees’ satisfaction with the training on a day-to-day basis.


Documented information or evidence of any kind. It can be factual information, such as text, numbers, sounds, and images that can be processed on a computer. It also represents concepts and sensations suitable for communication, interpretation, or processing.

Data Analysis

The process of systematically applying statistical and logical techniques to describe, summarize, and compare data.

Data Backup

The process of storing your data, can also refer to the media with which you chose to store your backed up files.

Data Collection Plan

A written document describing the specific procedures to be used to gather the evaluation information or data. The document describes who collects the information, when and where it is collected, and how it is obtained.

Data Communications Network

The necessary pieces that are needed in order to link computers together so that they can share data.

Data Processing

The steps involved in making rented lists ready to mail and more effective for yielding increased response.

Data Source(s)

Subjects or instruments that provide data in research.

Data Type(s)

The varieties of information used in an evaluation.

An organized collection of information, characterized by the use of data fields, it provides a foundation for procedures such as retrieving information, drawing conclusions, and making decisions.
Database Marketing

The on-going collection of information about customers so that staff can better understand, and therefore meet, that customer’s needs and desires.

Days in Receivable

The average amount of days that it takes to receive payment for services or a product.


Significant decision making authority is delegated throughout the organization to lower management levels.

Decision Making

The process of mapping the likely consequences of decisions, working out the importance of individual factors, and choosing the best course of action to take.
Decision Tree

A treelike diagram illustrating the choices available to a decision maker. Each possible decision and its estimated outcome are shown as a separate branch of the tree.
Deductive Thinking

A thinking pattern that works from the more general to the more specific.


The ratcheting down of the intensity of a conflict which occurs as parties tire out, or begin to realize that the conflict is doing more harm than good.


The act of making untrue statements about another that damages his or her reputation. If the defamatory statement is printed or broadcast over the media it is libel, and if only oral, it is slander.

Deferred Charitable Gift Annuity

A charitable gift annuity which is to make its first payment more than twelve months after the gift is set up. The annuity payments are based on the annuitants’ ages at the time the payments are to begin.

Deferred Gift

A gift that is committed to a charitable organization but is not available for use until some future time, usually the death of the donor.

Deferred Gifts

Methods of giving that require the wait of a year or more before being able to use the gift assets.

Deferred Giving

Methods of giving which require the nonprofits to wait a year or more before being able to use the gift assets. Deferred giving is only one part of planned giving.

Deficiency Appropriation

An appropriation that bridges the difference between an agency’s normal appropriation and the amount needed to operate for the fiscal year.

Defined Benefit Plan

A retirement program under which the retirement benefit to be paid is some percentage of final salary rather than simply the return on investment of the retirement fund.

Defined Contribution Plan

A retirement program under which an employee contributes a percentage of salary and the return on investment determines the retirement benefit.

Defining Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Results (DAGMAR)

DAGMAR refers to a process of establishing goals for an ad campaign such that it is possible to determine whether or not the goals have been met.


The practice of stripping out a layer of management from the hierarchical business organization.

Delivery Point Barcode

A barcode that reflects the delivery address, the carrier route and the order in which the location falls on the route.


The quantity of a product purchased at a given price.


(1) government by the people; majority rule, (2) form of government in which power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections, (3) a political unit


Shared characteristics held in common by a group, such as age, sex, income, education, occupation, and geographic dispersion.


The distribution of age groups within the population.

Denial of Service (DoS)

An attack in which a multitude of compromised systems attack a single target, thereby causing a DoS for users of the targeted system. The flood of incoming messages to the target system essentially forces it to shut down, thereby denying service to legitimate users.


The process of combining jobs into work units and grouping similar work units.


Often used to refer to people from poor neighborhoods, who are depicted as having deficiencies and needs that make them dependent on social service and healthcare professionals.

Dependent Variable

The variable effected by the manipulation of the independent variable.


A deduction allowable to taxpayers on depreciable assets used in a trade or business and which is intended to reflect the fact that such assets wear out. Over the years, the rules for deduction of depreciation have become increasingly complex.

Descriptive Data

Information and findings expressed in words, unlike statistical data, which are expressed in numbers.

Designated Endowment

Individuals, families, and businesses may be particularly interested in a Designated Endowment when they wish to create a separate, named endowment fund to support one or more charities. It can also be used to name a secondary charity to receive support if the named charity ceases to exist or is no longer a qualified charity. Designated endowments ensure the contribution remains local to benefit other specified or similar charities instead of forfeiting the contributed funds to a hierarchical entity if the specified organization ceases to exist.

Designated Funds

Funds that have recipients that are chosen and approved by the funding corporation.

Desired Outcome(s)

The results or products that a training program, process, instructional unit, or learning activity strives to achieve, as defined in measurable terms.

Desk Research

The use of secondary data that already exists and may be obtained from market or research reports, sales figures by market segments, reports from sales staff, stock movements, and other information.


A personal computer or professional workstation designed to fit on a desk. This term also describes what you see on your computer screen when no applications are running.

Desktop Publishing

The use of a computer to create documents that can be printed. Specialized software is used to add copy and graphics to the document, which is then outputted to be printed.

Determination Letter(s)

The letters provided by the IRS stating that the organization has been determined to be a tax-exempt charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) and ruling on its public support status under section 509(a). Many foundations require copies of both letters to be submitted with grant proposals.

Developing Sector

The factions of a community which have yet to be formally organized, but which are potential sources for many community leaders.


A term used to define the total process of organizational or institutional fundraising, frequently inclusive of public relations and (in educational institutions) alumni(ae) affairs.

Development Board

Refers to all dynamics of a continuing fundraising program including annual giving, special gifts, planned gifts, and public relations.

Development Planning

Written planning of how an organization will raise the money that it needs for an annual year.

Developmental Asset(s)

Developed by the Search Institute, this term is used to refer to 40 internal and external positive experiences, meaningful opportunities and personal qualities that young people need to be responsible, successful and caring.

Developmental Evaluation

Evaluations take place in situations in which goals and outcomes are not preset but emerge as learning occurs.

Device Driver

A program that lets peripheral devices communicate with computers.

Dial-Up Connection

A connection used by rural users to access the Internet. This kind of connection uses standard telephone lines to link your desktop to the host/server.

Dictatorial Process

Authoritarian decision-making processes in which one person (or a small group of people) make arbitrary decisions, supposedly on behalf of their people, but without any meaningful input from the people, nor any institutionalized process for reversing the decision if it is disliked by a majority of the people it affects. It is the opposite of a democratic decision-making processes, in which duly elected or appointed representatives or decision-makers make decisions based on public input on behalf of their constituencies.

Differed Gift(s)

1)A gift that is committed to a charitable organization but is not available for use until some future time, usually the death of the donor. 2)Methods of giving that require the wait of a year or more before being able to use the gift assets.
Digital Certificate

A password-protected file that includes a variety of information: the name and email address of the certificate holder, an encryption key that can be used to verify the digital signature of the holder, the name of the company issuing the certificate, and the period during which the certificate is valid.

Digital Divide

Describes the division between individuals or communities that have access to digital mediums such as the Internet, and those that do not.

Digital Signature

A digital signature is an electronic signature that can be used to authenticate the identity of the sender of a message, or of the signer of a document. It can also be used to ensure that the original content of the message or document that has been conveyed is unchanged.

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

These lines carry data at high speeds over standard copper telephone wires. With DSL, data can be delivered 30 times faster than through a 56k modem. DSL users can also receive voice and data simultaneously, so small offices can leave computers plugged into the Net without interrupting phone connections.

Digital Versatile Disc – Recordable/Rewritable (DVD-RW/DVD-R)

DVD-RW drives can write both DVD-R discs, which can play back on virtually all DVD set-top players and computer drives, and DVD-RW rewritable discs, which can be read only by DVD-RW drives.

Digital Versatile Disc (DVD)

Originally referred to as digital video discs, these high-capacity discs are now used to store everything from massive computer applications to full-length movies.

Dimensional Mail

A type of direct mail that is any shape other than flat like a post card or sales letter. Dimensional mail (also known as lumpy mail) could consist of a stuffed animal bearing a message, a box containing sales literature and product samples, or just about anything else that is not flat and carries your sales message.


The interaction between two or more nation-states.

Direct Action

A method and theory of stopping objectionable practices or creating more favorable conditions using immediately available means, such as strikes, boycotts, workplace occupations, sit-ins, or sabotage, and less oppositional methods such as establishing radical social centers, although these practices are often stopped by legal means.

Direct Charitable Activities

Programs that are operated directly by the foundation rather than by making a grant to another organization to implement which can include conducting scientific or public policy research; conducting an educational conference; and supporting the services of foundation staff on boards or advisory committees of other charities or public commissions.

Direct Costs

Includes all items that can be categorically identified and charged to the specific project, such as personnel, fringe benefits, consultants, subcontractors, travel, equipment, supplies and materials, communications, computer time, and publication charges.

Direct Deposit of Payroll

Making direct deposit of payroll to employee bank accounts via electronic transfer rather than writing individual paychecks.

Direct Gift(s)

When donors select charities that provide programs and services that reflect values similar to their own, and make gifts of cash or other assets such as appreciated stock.

Direct Impact

An effect of a program that addresses a stated goal or objective of that program.

Direct Lobbying

Defined under Section 501(h), this refers to a communication made to a legislator, an employee of a legislative body, or any other government employee who may participate in the formulation of the legislation. It must refer to a specific piece of legislation and express a view on it.

Direct Mail

1)Marketing communications delivered directly to a prospective purchaser via the U.S. Postal Service or a private delivery company. 2)Solicitation of gifts or volunteer services and distribution of information pieces by mass mailing.

Direct Marketing

A method of distributing products directly to customers without the use of intermediaries such as wholesalers and retailers.

Direct Observation

A less obtrusive method to gather information about things that can be observed.

Direct Observation

A research technique in which a researcher observes and records behavior or an event as it occurs.

Direct Service

Work directed at the achievement of the agency’s primary mission which often involves the provision of services directly to agency clients.

Directive Volunteer Management

The top-down, command and control approach to managing volunteers. Assumes that volunteers are less knowledgeable or experienced than staff and therefore need to be directed and closely supervised. Tends to result in low-level, defined positions with set procedures and strict rules.

Direct-Mail Fund Raising

Solicitation of funds by mass mail.


A board member not on the Executive Committee.

Directors and Officers Liability Insurance

Professional liability coverage for legal expenses and liability to shareholders, bondholders, creditors or others due to actions or omissions by a director or officer of a corporation or nonprofit organization.


A directory, sometimes called a folder, often lists the following information about its contents: file name, file size, creation date and time, file type, and author name.


Not fully capable of performing all essential functions of daily living, whether mental or physical.

Disarming Strategies

Actions that are designed to break down or challenge negative stereotypes.

Disciplinary Documentation

Records of disciplinary actions taken against an employee and stored in the personnel file.


Action taken against an employee for misconduct or incompetence when other efforts fail, or when a single incident is so severe as to warrant it.


The public dissemination of material, market-influencing information.


1)The act of distinguishing between and among different things. 2)A charge brought by people alleging the operation of prejudice. When discrimination is done in a way that disadvantages individuals because of birth or condition, it is unlawful.

Discriminatory Harassment

The unwelcome advances, requests for favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communication based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, marital status, partisan considerations, disability, or genetic information.

Discussion Board

Also referred to as a message board, this is a place on the Web where users may post and read announcements on topics of common interest.


Terminating an employee.

Disparate Effect

The result of an employment policy, practice, or procedure that, in application, has less favorable consequences for an affirmative action group than for the dominant group.

Display Advertisement

In print media, any advertisement other than a classified ad. Also describes an ad that stands alone, such as a window sign.


The process used by a corporate entity to cease its existence. The process involves resolving liabilities, disposing of assets, and filing required final documents with all State and federal taxing and regulatory authorities. A dissolved corporation continues its existence but shall only conduct affairs incident to the liquidation of its affairs.

Distance Learning

The method of obtaining training without being physically present during the class. The class/seminar/workshop or other training is viewed on a computer screen or by satellite broadcast.


A controlled subset of recipients for postings to a mailing list or newsgroup. A distribution helps organize any topic-oriented messages for multiple recipients.


An attempt to minimize risk by distributing assets among various asset classes or among managers within the same asset class who have different styles.

Diversified Funding

Diversified funding is the strategy of investing funding sources in a number of securities to minimize the risk of price fluctuations in one security.


Full participation by members of many different groups.

Do Pass

A favorable recommendation from a committee; thus sending a bill to the floor for final vote

Docking Station

A platform into which you can install a laptop computer. This typically contains slots for expansion cards, bays for storage devices, and connectors for peripheral devices, such as printers and monitors.


(1) Recorded information, usually saved as a file. (2) A legal document that states some contractual relationship. (3) Recording the actions of an employee, usually when those actions are in violation of policies and procedures.

Document Review

A technique of data collection involving the examination of existing records or documents.

Domain Name

A term that refers to the name used to access a Web page.

Domain Name System (DNS)

When sending email or pointing a browser to an Internet domain, the DNS translates the names into Internet addresses (a series of numbers such as: The term refers to two things: the conventions for naming hosts and the way the names are handled across the Internet.

Domains of Learning

Classification of types of learning: psychomotor (physical), cognitive (mental) and affective (emotional).

Domestic Mail Manual

This USPS-published manual contains the basics regarding domestic mail services.

Domestic Partner Benefits

An extension of benefits such as health insurance, family leave, bereavement leave, and long-term care insurance to nontraditional family members, sometimes referred to as spousal equivalents.

Domination Conflicts

Conflicts over placement in the social hierarchy, who has more status and power in a society, and who has less.


A donation is a voluntary charitable gift of money, goods, equipment, services, and property.


The recipient of a grant.

Donor Designated Fund

When a fund’s income must be used to further a public charity of the funder’s choice.

Donor Profile

1)A description of basic information about an individual donor through research. 2)An assemblage of information about an individual donor compiled through research.

Donor Pyramid

The graphic representation of the hierarchy of donors by gift size.

Donor Recognition

The policy and practice of recognizing gifts, first through immediate acknowledgement by card or letter, and subsequently through personalized notes, personal expressions of appreciation directly to donors, published lists of contributors, and in other appropriate ways.

Donor Relations

Planned program of maintaining donor interest through acknowledgments, information, personal involvement, etc.

Donor Services Representative

Staff person serves as a donor’s liaison or ongoing point of contact.


Individuals, groups, or foundations, that donate money to an organization.

Dots Per Inch (DPI)

A measure of resolution in printers and scanners, dpi ratings describe how many pixels such devices can fit into an inch of space.

Double Entry

A practice of keeping financial books and records so as to give a balanced picture at all times

Double Join

Language added to a bill that makes its passage contingent upon another bill’s passage to avoid one bill chaptering out the other

Double Truck

A two-page spread in a print publication, where the ad runs across the middle gutter.

Double-blind Study

A research method in which one group of subjects is given a treatment, while another group is given a placebo, and neither the subjects nor the researchers know who received which treatment.


To transfer data from a main source to a peripheral device. For example, saving a picture from a Web site or a computer that’s on a network to one’s own computer.


Reducing the number of employees at a company through layoffs, retirements, outsourcing, or any other means.


A computer program that interacts with a particular device or software. A driver is a file that contains the information a program needs to operate a peripheral.

Drop Date

Date to deliver direct mail letters to a post office for mailing.

Drop Shipment

Mailable items transported by the mailer to another city or post office for delivery in that town or delivery area.


Elimination of names from a prospect/mailing list due to death, lack of interest, or other reasons.

Dry Promotion

An increase in responsibility and status without an increase in pay.

Dual Aspect

A practice of keeping financial books and records so as to give a balanced picture at all times

Due Diligence

Investigation process done prior to certain activities such as recommending a grant to verify disclosures and analyze risk.

Duty of Care

The legal obligation to avoid causing harm, especially through negligence. For a board member, this would mean attending to all legal and ethical duties in the capacity of serving an organization.

Duty of Loyalty

A board member’s faithfulness to the organization. Board members must put the organization above personal interest.

Duty of Obedience

A board member’s obedience to the organization’s purpose.

© Copyright 2010 Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership
Supported by the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation