A grant is earmarked if the grantee is required to use it for a specific purpose or recipient or if the grantor has the right to impose such a requirement.

Earned Income

Money received by an organization in return for the sale of a product or rendered service.

Earned Media

A public relations industry euphemism for free coverage in newspapers and magazines, radio, television and the Internet.


A term that refers to any business conducted online.

Economic Development

Any effort or undertaking which aids in the growth of the economy.

Economic Pricing

The lowest price that can be charged to cover costs and make a profit satisfactory to the stakeholders in the business.

Effective Meetings

Meetings that have a format, an agenda available ahead of the meeting time, prepared inputs, expected outcomes, a designated recorder, and an evaluation at the end.

Effective Nonprofit Board

A board that not only acts in the public interest and fulfills its legal duties, but also ensures that the organization’s mission is appropriate and relevant and the organization secures, uses and protects its assets to carry out its mission and maximize the benefits to its constituencies.


The extent to which a program has made desired changes or met its goals and objectives through the delivery of services. Effectiveness can be judged in terms of both input and output.


The extent to which a program has used resources appropriately and completed activities in a timely manner.


An term used to describe the act of learning online.

Electoral Activity(ies)

Also called electioneering, these are attempts made to influence elections. All 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from engaging in any partisan activity. However, activities that may incidentally influence the outcome of elections are permitted if carried out in a strictly nonpartisan manner. Nonpartisan voter registration drives and candidate forums designed to inform the public about election issues fall into this category.

Electoral College

The body of electors who formally elect the United States president and vice-president. Each state has a pre-determined number of members, determined by population size. The winner of the popular vote in the state generally receives all electoral votes.


The group of people entitled to vote in an election.

Electronic Bulletin Board

A shared file where users can enter information for other users to read or download. Many bulletin boards are set up according to general topics and are accessible throughout a network.

Electronic Democracy

A form of direct democracy utilizing television and radio talk shows, electronic community networks, and other forms of telecommunications to create “electronic town meetings,” which influence the public policy process by putting pressure on government representatives through grassroots lobbying or bypassing them entirely.


Of or pertaining to alms, charity or charitable donations; dependent on or supported by charity.


Electronic mail that is sent and received over the internet.

Email Alias

A P.O. Box-style e-mail forwarding addresses. Domain hosts or registrars offer them to people who register domains but don’t want to reconfigure their e-mail software to pick up from another e-mail box, or pay for space on an e-mail server.

Email Marketing

A form of direct marketing that uses electronic mail as a means of communicating messages to a specific audience. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. However, the term is usually used to refer to: Sending e-mails with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or old customers and to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business.

Email Policy(ies)

Risk management policies that define acceptable use of company email. The policies protect legal liability, network security, and productivity.

Embedded Instruction

Instructions available during, or immediately following, the presentation of context.


Intentionally taking money belonging to an organization, by an employee or other trustee of that money.

Emergency Care

Refers to short-term situations when care arrangements fall through, as when a care provider is ill or an employee has to work overtime or travel on short notice. Employers typically provide benefits in the form of information to employees that will assist them with making necessary arrangements, or financial contributions towards the cost of care.

Emergency Funds

A one-time grant to cover immediate short-term funding needs on an urgent basis.

Emergent Strategy

A set of actions or behavior, consistent over time, that was not expressly intended in the original planning of strategy.

Emerging Markets

Markets in fast developing countries.

Emeritus Board Member

A board member who is retired from board responsibilities, but retains an honorary title corresponding to that held immediately before retirement.

Emotional Intelligence

A collection of skills, characteristics and talents that contribute to true leadership. They include self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.

Empirical Data

Relying upon or derived from observation or experiment.


Person working for another person or an organization for compensation.

Employee Affinity Groups

Groups facilitated by employees for idea and resource exchange.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Trained counselors, either in-house or contracted, who provide employees with one-on-one support and make necessary referrals to community resources. Many EAP’s have expanded from a traditional focus on substance abuse issues to also address family caregivers and work/life issues.

Employee Benefit Plan

A plan created or maintained by an employer or employee organization, providing benefits to employees. The two main types are employee pension plans and employee welfare plans.

Employee Discount(s)

Employer-negotiated discounted rates for employees for personal travel and purchases.

Employee Evaluation

An evaluation process that documents how well the employee is meeting goals and objectives on specific projects.

Employee Involvement

Teamwork between companies and nonprofits that harness the valuable network of employee interest, talent, and financial resources to create value for nonprofit organizations.

Employee Matching Gift

A contribution to a charitable organization by a corporate employee that is matched by a similar contribution from the corporation. Also termed as employee matching grant.

Employee Taskforce

Teams that meet, generally on a short-term basis, to explore work/life needs in the company, and recommend solutions.

Employee-Related Scholarship(s)

Scholarship programs funded by a company-sponsored foundation usually for children of employees.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Also known as a federal tax identification number, and is used to identify a business entity.

Employment Contract

A formal document outlining the employment terms and conditions between the employer and employee.

Employment Parity

When the proportion of affirmative action groups in the external labor market is equivalent to their proportion in the company work force without reference to classification.

Employment Process

Under Title VII, the employment process includes recruitment, application flow, hiring, job placement, compensation, promotion, transfer, termination, shift assignments, geographical and departmental assignments, and all other such activities.


(1) The expansion of capacities and choices. (2) The ability of all groups to exercise choice based on freedom and the opportunity to participate in, or endorse, decision-making that affects their lives.

Enabling Environment

Conditions surrounding an activity or system that facilitate the fulfillment of the potential of that activity or system.


The process of changing data into a form that can be read only by the intended receiver. To decipher the message, the receiver of the encrypted data must have the proper decryption key.


The expressed approval or support of a product or service, typically conveyed through advertising or a statement of endorsement on the product packaging.

Endowed Fund

A type of fund that uses gifts to establish principal and make grants from the income generated by that principal. An endowed fund exists in perpetuity and continues to carry out the donor’s wishes after death.


A permanently restricted net asset, the principal of which is protected and the income from which may be spent. It is controlled by either donor restriction or the organization’s governing board.

Endowment Needs

Funds required to add to the invested principal or corpus with income used only for sustaining funds, special project support, etc.

Engagement Continuum

A continuum of involvement over time that yields greater financial support from a donor. The seven steps of engagement include: identify, invite, inform, interest, involve, invest, inspire.

Enhanced Carrier Route Standard Mail

Nonprofit Standard mailers can qualify for a discount if their mailing contains 200 mail pieces or weighs at least 50 pounds and is sorted in carrier route sequence (additional requirements must be met).


Involvement and agreement by an individual to serve an agency, organization, or institution in some voluntary capacity.

Enrichment Activity(ies)

Structured learning or personal development activities that add value to the volunteer experience and increase retention. Examples would include social activities, leadership development training, and on-site enrichment courses.

Enrolled Bill

The final copy of a bill that has been passed by the House and Senate.

Entire Interest Gift

A gift to a nonprofit of an entire interest. Gifts of entire interests always satisfy the interest limitation and are thus always deductible for gift tax and estate tax purposes. Donors can deduct them for income tax purposes subject only to the percentage limitation, time limitation, and value limitation.


A legal construct such as a corporation or partnership.

Envelope Stuffer

A direct mail advertisement included with another mailed message.

Environmental Analysis

The process in which issues and trends in the broader society, including economic, demographic and cultural phenomena are examined, drawing implications for an organization’s further growth.

Environmental Assessment

An evaluation of the effect that a particular organization has on the surrounding environment.

Environmental Scanning

The collection of information about events, trends, and relationships in an organization’s external environment for use in planning.


This term describes the variety of methods of giving by using the Internet. Many sites have been developed that accept donations in addition to providing information regarding nonprofit groups. Many e-commerce sites (e.g., charity malls) incorporate fundraising efforts by donating a percentage of their proceeds to charity. Such sites can serve as a clearinghouse for large numbers of organizations and for information that would otherwise be difficult to access.

Episodic News Frame(s)

The predominant frame on television newscasts, accounting for 80 percent of television news reporting. Episodic frames depict public issues in terms of concrete instances.

Episodic Volunteer(s)

Volunteers that make a short-term commitment, usually six months or less, with limited or no customer contact

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

Civil rights requirement for all citizens to have equal opportunity for employment. It applies to all of the following: hiring, firing, compensation, promotion, recruitment, training, and other terms and conditions of employment regardless of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin or disability.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commision (EEOC)

The federal agency responsible for administration of several statutes which prohibit discrimination; has power to subpoena witnesses, issue guidelines that have the force of law, render decisions, provide technical assistance to employers, provide legal assistance to complainants, etc.

Equilibrium Price

The price at which the quantity demanded is equal to the quantity supplied.

Equipment Funds

Funds to purchase equipment, furnishings or other material.


Total assets minus total liabilities.


The study of equipment design in order to reduce operator fatigue and discomfort.

Error of Measurement

The difference between an approximate measurement and the actual measure taken.

Essential Job Functions

The fundamental duties of a position.


All the assets and liabilities of individuals or entities, such as corporations, trusts, or partnerships. The most common sorts of estates thought of in planned giving are the estates of living individuals and decedents.

Estate Tax

A tax imposed on decedents’ estates. The most common estate tax is the federal estate tax (unified transfer tax) collected by the IRS.

Estimate Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (EATNA)

This is a variation of BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement), and refers to one’s estimated alternative to a negotiated agreement.

Estimation Error

The amount by which an estimate differs from a true value. This error includes the error from all sources (for example, sampling error and measurement error).


A standard for connecting computers into a local area network (LAN).


Morally correct.

Ethical Behavior

Choosing actions that are “right” and “proper” and “just.” Our behavior can be right or wrong, it can be proper or improper, and the decisions we make can be fair or unfair.

Ethical Dilemma(s)

Situations in which a decision maker must choose between alternatives in which the following conditions exist: significant value conflicts among differing interests, real alternatives that are equally justifiable, and significant consequences on stakeholders in the situation.

Ethical Fitness

Refers to keeping people in moral and mental shape to recognize and address ethical dilemmas, as well as possessing global values recognized to be love, truth, freedom, fairness, unity, tolerance, responsibility and respect for life.

Ethical Leadership

Explores the difference between doing things right and doing the right things in leadership. Ethical leadership relates to both the nature of leaders and their behaviors; decision-making choices are a reflection of the leader’s ethics.


(1) The moral considerations of the activities of an organization. (2) A system or code of conduct that is based on universal moral duties and obligations that indicate how one should behave. It deals with the ability to distinguish good from evil, right from wrong, and propriety from impropriety.

Ethics Policy

A standard of ethics that members of an organization are expected to heed.


A classification in which members share a unique social and cultural heritage passed on from one generation to the next.


An individual’s belief in the superiority of one’s own groups’ physical, social, and cultural characteristics, and inferiority of other groups.


A method of studying and learning about a person or group of people. Typically, ethnography involves the study of a small group of people in their own environment.


The attitude and outlook characteristic of an individual, community or organization.


A system of rules and conventions that regulate social and professional behavior.


The subject being evaluated, whether that subject is a person, performance, product, or program.


To decide upon a task or persons worth or effectiveness.


The process of determining the worth or merit of a person, performance, program, or product based on relevant standards.

Evaluation Context

The combination of factors accompanying the study that may have influenced its results, including geographic location, timing, political and social climate, economic conditions, and other relevant conditions that may influence the evaluator or the evaluated.

Evaluation Cost(s)

Include fees for consultants, external evaluators, evaluation instruments, and other associated costs.

Evaluation Design

The process of deciding what information to gather and from whom, and how to analyze that data to best evaluate a program or process.

Evaluation Framework

A written summary or chart of the path from the primary input of the program to the final product.

Evaluation Grant

A grant that supports the external evaluation of a project(s). With a successful project, the evaluation grant effectively works as a leveraging tool, enabling the recipient to seek further funding with accurate, extensive, and impartial information on the project for potential grant-makers to consider.

Evaluation Imperative

A part of accountability that requires a person or organization to evaluate activities.

Evaluation Plan

A written document describing the overall approach or design that will be used to guide an evaluation. It includes what will be done, how it will be done, who will do it, when it will be done, and why the evaluation is being conducted.

Evaluation Practice

A practice or set of practices that consist mainly of management information and data incorporated into regular program management information systems. These practices allow managers to monitor and assess the progress being made in each program toward its goals and objectives. Ideally, a program is self-evaluating and continuously monitoring its own activities.

Evaluation Process

All of the steps involved in planning, executing, and analyzing an evaluation.

Evaluation Question(s)

The specific questions to be answered through an evaluation. Data collection and analysis are the means used to collect answers to the evaluation questions.0

Evaluation Team

The individuals who participate in planning and conducting the evaluation. Team members assist in developing the evaluation design, developing data collection instruments, collecting data, analyzing data, and writing the report.

Evaluation Types

Different ways of conducting evaluations and analyzing results.

Event Marketing

Promotional activities designed around an event to raise awareness or funds for a cause or to promote a company or product

Event Study

Empirical study of the prices of an asset prior to and directly following a specific event, like an announcement, merger, or dividend.

Ex Officio

Attend board meetings by reason of their office, rather than through elections. Executive Directors or CEOs of the organization or public officials are often designated as ex officio members of the board because of their position rather than their expressed interest in the organization. Ex officio members may or may not be granted voting privileges, as specified in the by-laws of the organization. The expectations for elected board members and ex officio members should be the same.

Exceptions to Lobbying

Exceptions contained in section 501(h) to the definition of lobbying, which do not create taxable expenditures include nonpartisan analysis, study or research; requests for technical advice and assistance; self-defense; and examinations and discussions of broad social and economic issues.

Excess Benefit Transaction

Excess Benefit Transaction. An economic benefit provided by a public charity to a disqualified person that is determined to be in excess of the value of the services or property received in exchange by the public charity. See also Disqualified Person, Intermediate Sanctions.

Excess Business Holding(s)

Investments prohibited to private foundations and, in certain cases, to charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts, and pooled income funds.

Excise Tax

The annual tax of 1 or 2 percent of net investment income that must be paid to the IRS by private foundations.

Exclusion Ratio

A fraction or percentage that is applied to payments from a charitable gift annuity to determine what part of those payments is tax free. Except for annuities created before 1987, no part of charitable gift annuity payments is tax free for annuitants who live beyond their life expectancies.


An exclusive arrangement between partners preventing any similar arrangements with other organizations.

Executive and Board Relationship

Refers to the ways in which responsibilities for running a nonprofit are divided between management and governance.

Executive Committee

Acts on behalf of the board of directors when a full board meeting is not possible or necessary. It is usually composed of all the officers, the executive director, and key committee chair people.

Executive Compensation Package(s)

Include base salary, bonuses and stock awards. Compensation packages are governed by the compensation committee of the board, which approves them initially and has the discretion to change them.

Executive Director

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.

Executive Order

An order issued by the head of the executive branch, usually having the force of law.

Executive Session

A meeting or a portion of a meeting that is restricted to only elected board members who are serving in a voluntary capacity.

Executive Summary

A short portion of a grant proposal, located at the beginning, that summarizes the entire proposal.


A person named in a will to carry out the terms of the will.

Exempt Employee

An employee who is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) based on the nature of their duties.


Awards to institutions such as museums, libraries or historical societies specifically to mount an exhibit or to support the installation of a touring exhibit.

Existing Records, Documents & Intake Procedures

These are the best methods for unobtrusively gathering biographical and other general information about participants. Necessary information may already be included in existing records or simple questions can be added to intake procedures. This is a particularly good way to gather “before” information that can be compared with “after” information once participants have gone through a program.

Exit Interview

1)An interview that is usually conducted by human resources when an employee leaves the organization. 2)An interview conducted when a person is preparing to leave a program or discontinue receiving services, with the goal of gathering subjective data.

Expected Return Multiple

Life expectancies for annuities reproduced in the Green Book (of the Committee on Gift Annuities) from Tables V (for one-life annuities) and VI (for two life annuities) of I.R.S. Regulation Section 1.72-9.

Expenditure Test

This test provides an alternative to the insubstantial part test. Under this test an organization can lobby up to a defined dollar limit based upon the organization’s exempt purpose expenditures (roughly equivalent to the budget for most organizations).


The spending of funds.

Expense Reimbursement

A policy that allows employees to be reimbursed for expenses incurred on behalf of the company.


Outgoing payment from an organization.

Experiential Learning

A method of teaching that uses active participation and the applied use of new skills through role playing and on-the-job experience, in addition to lecturing.

Experimental Evaluation

This type of evaluation design uses a control group, double-blind studies, and often longitudinal work over a period of many years. It is related to the scientific evaluation approach but is even more rigorous.

Experimental Group

The group that receives the program services, products, or activities being evaluated.


Skill or knowledge in a particular area.


To save a file in a format that another program can read.

Expunge the Record

The annulling of an action to prevent it from being printed in the official record of the state

Extension Strategies

Methods used to extend the life of a product.

External Evaluation

Evaluation conducted by an evaluator from outside the organization within which the object of the study is housed.

External Benchmarking

The process of looking outside an organization to examine how other organizations, designed to meet the same objectives, are meeting them in ways which are better, faster or less expensive.

External Coordination

The process of identifying the common goals and functions of different organizations and of collaborating among organizations to implement activities to reach these common goals.

External Environment

The prevailing conditions in the country or region that affect program development, including: culture, policy, economy, health, market, sources of funding and commodities, and demographics.

External Evaluation

An evaluation conducted by a third party with no vested interest.

External Monitoring

Performance information provided by organizations for systemic collation of performance benchmarks that will be used by other organizations for monitoring, decision-making and accountability purposes.

External Proposal Debriefing

A session between an organization representative and a grant-making organization to discover why their request for a grant was denied.

External Validity

The extent to which a finding applies (or can be generalized) to persons, objects, settings, or times other than those in the original study.

External Viewer

A program launched or used by browsers to present graphics, audio, video, and other multimedia files found on the Internet.


A site used to provide nonpublic information to a select group of people, such as business partners, customers, or constituents. It requires the use of a password to access the information.


Online newsletters or magazines.

© Copyright 2010 Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership

Supported by the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation