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Guide to the Dictionary

Resource Center - Foundation

The entries in this dictionary are of two types: full entries and cross-reference entries.


Full entries normally contain three sections, and often derivatives and notes.


1. The headword, which is printed in boldface type.

1.1 This can be one word: par, --noun the monetary value of a bond, share of stock,?

1.2 Frequently it is two or more words:

cash basis, in accounting, a method that recognizes income and expense....

1.3 Occasionally a headword will include a second headword when the two headwords are in some way interdependent:

capital gain (or capital loss), the difference between the tax basis of a capital asset and the fair market value. The gain or loss is unrealized until after the sale or other disposition....

1.4.1 Most variant forms also appear in a headword:

 half-tone, half tone, halftone, --noun in printing, a screened reproduction....

1.4.2 Sometimes a headword will appear in different forms when it has a different meaning:

resource, --noun 1 a person or thing that meets a need, such as an opinion or money. 2 (resources) the assets of an organization....

state, --noun 1 Austr. & US. a major political division of the country, as a part of a federal republic.... 2 Austr., Brit., S. Afr. a an organized political community under one government; a nation. b (State) the national government of the country. c (State) (used attributively) of, for, from, or pertaining to the State....

1.5.1 A few headwords appear in a plural form when this is the customary form used in the literature:

econometrics, -noun pl. a branch of economics using mathematics to test....

1.5.2 In some cases, especially with words whose singular or plural form (or both) are irregular, the singular is also offered:

data, -noun pl.. (sing. datum), 1 information; facts. 2 the basic elements of....

1.6 A headword can also be an acronym, the meaning of which is given in parentheses directly following:

bit (binary digit), n. the basic unit of information in a digital computer....

1.7 Several headwords are abbreviations: ACA, American Council for the Arts. Here it is necessary to look under American Council for the Arts for full information.

Part of speech

A part of speech is the grammatical identity of words (noun, verb, adjective, adverb). A part of speech label is given for all single-word entries and derivatives, and for compounds (especially when solid, as bylaw and fundraise; or hyphenated, as follow-up and pass-through) and phrases (ad hoc, in kind) when necessary to aid clarity.

2.1 Some words are only one part of speech:

clipsheet, -noun a printed summary of published material, such as news....

2.2 Plural forms are offered only when a plural form is irregular: medium, -noun pl. media. any means through which something is conveyed.... See also 1.5.1 and 1.5.2 above.

2.3 Many entries can be two or more parts of speech.

copyright, -noun the exclusive legal protection for a specified period to reproduce, sell, and control the use of an original work. . . . -adjective protected by copyright. -verb [with object] to secure a copyright for (such a work)....

2.4.1 For transitive verbs (verbs that take a direct object), any obligatory direct object(s) or possibilities for a direct object are shown in parentheses:

reverse,? -noun [with object] to run (printed material) with white type on a black or colored background sponsor,? -verb [with object] 1 - to endorse (an organization or cause). 2 to agree to assume the financial responsibility for (all or part of the cost of a special event or a special program or activity)....

2.4.2 When a transitive verb does not have an obligatory or suggested direct object, none is offered:

lease, -verb [with object] to grant under the terms of a lease. Various things can be leased, such as land, an apartment, commercial property, or an automobile. When an adjective and an adverb have the same meaning, they will be entered together:

in-house,-adjective & adverb (being or done) within an organization, business firm, or other group....

This means that the adjective definition is "being or done within an organization, business firm, or other group. . . ." and the adverb definition is "within an organization, business firm, or other group?.'


3.1 Many definitions are complete unto themselves:

caption, -noun an explanatory note accompanying an illustration or picture in a printed work such as a book or newspaper. -verb [with object] to put a caption on or have a caption for.

3.2 Many entries have words or phrases in their definitions that are main entries that the user may wish to look up:

specialty, -noun a specific occupation, pursuit, or skill in the fundraising profession, such as direct mail, capital campaigns, consulting, gift planning, prospect research, telemarketing, or special event.

For this entry, the user will find fundraising, direct mail, capital campaign, consultant, gift planning, prospect, telemarketing, and special event as main entries. A knowledge of this material will give the reader a wider scope on the meaning of specialty. Many definitions offer internal cross references of this sort. See also the Part of Speech section above and Cross References section below.


4.1 In addition to the above sections of a main entry, many entries have add-ons, words formed by adding suffixes to the main-entry word or words, or they are words that derive from the main entry by changing a suffix. Add-ons are not defined because the meaning is clear from the main-entry definitions(s).

demographic,-adjective of or pertaining to demography. -noun a particular instance of a demographic analysis or profile.-demographical, adjective, -demographically, adverb.

4.2 Some add-ons are the same as the headword but show a different form, such as the addition or deletion of a hyphen, when used as another part of speech:

letter quality, of output from a computer printer, a measure of quality for printed output, referring to a legibility of characters equal or superior to the output of a typewriter. Compare DRAFT QUALITY. - letter-quality, adjective.


Some entries will provide a usage "Note" where appropriate.

5.1 One kind of Note provides an instruction:

legacy,-noun = bequest. (Note: Demonstrative legacy, specific legacy, and other phrases in which legacy is the last word can be found under demonstrative bequest, etc.) A " = " signifies that campaign code means the same as reason code, and here the user must look under reason code for the definition. Many items are cross-referenced in this way to save space. Items cross-referenced with " = " are generally used less than the term to which it is cross referenced, and sometimes the cross-referenced term is considered preferable. (For ' = ' see 6.2.1. below.)

5.2 Another kind of Note provides a brief discussion of an entry:

data, -noun (sing. datum), 1 information; facts. 2 the basic elements of information that can be processed or produced by a computer. (Note: Formal English continues to regard data as a plural, to be used with a plural verb, rather than as a collective noun with a singular verb. Datum is seldom used.)

5.3 Sometimes a Note sends the user elsewhere:

thousand million, Austr, Brit., S. Afr. a (U.S. & Canad.) billion (nine zeros, 1,000,000,000). (See Note at BILLION.) Here, the "See Note at BILLION" will key the reader into the different meanings of billion in other countries. A similar "See Note" is at trillion, etc.


A cross reference is a reference from one part of the dictionary to another.

Cross References are of three types:

6.1. Internal cross references. For this, see section 3.2 above.

6.2 Several main entries are cross-referenced:

6.2.1 A cross reference with " = ": campaign code, = reason code. See, 5.1 above.

6.2.2 Another type of cross reference at a main-entry offers "see": Canadian Association of Educational Development Officers, see CANADIAN COUNCIL FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF EDUCATION. Here, the cross reference might or might not have the same meaning as the main entry, but pertinent information about the entry can be found at the cross reference.

6.2.3 A third type of cross reference at a main entry appears: BIR, Board of Inland Revenue (for which see INLAND REVENUE, noun 2) BIR means Board of Inland Revenue, but at Board of Inland Revenue the user will find: Board of Inland Revenue, = Inland Revenue (for which see INLAND REVENUE, noun 2).

At BIR, therefore, the user is sent directly to inland revenue, where, at definition 2, Inland Revenue can be found. A "for which see' cross reference by-passes the cross-referenced material and sends the reader on to another entry.

6.3 Cross references also appear at the end of several entries. There are four types of these:

6.3.1 An Also ... cross reference means that the item(s) cross-referenced has/have the same meaning as the main entry.

fiscal year, Canad & U.S. for an organization or government, the time between one yearly settlement of financial or taxing accounts and another Abbr. FY. Also (Austr., Brit., S. Aft.) financial year.

6.3.2 A See also ... cross reference means that the item(s) cross-referenced will be helpful to a fuller understanding of the main entry.

pilot,?-noun any action or operation intended as a model or trial for a future endeavor.... See also TEST MAILING.

6.3.3 A Compare ... cross reference means that the item(s) cross-referenced is/are in some way similar to the main entry, and having a look at the item(s) cross-referenced will help to distinguish meanings.

career fund raiser, a person in the field who has chosen fund raising as a profession. Compare COMMERCIAL SOLICITOR; DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT; PROFESSIONAL FUND RAISER; SOLICITOR (noun 1).

6.3.4 A See other ... cross reference is used as a connector reference for phrases that have a common last word:

expendable fund, available money that can be used for operation, construction, renovation, or other approved purpose. See other fund phrases at FUND. By looking at the main entry the user will see other phrases in which fund is the last word, thus plugging the user into other phrases that would otherwise not be at hand.

6.3.5 Some entries may have two or more cross references:

capital asset, any asset, such as real estate or securities, held for investment.... Also fixed asset. Compare CURRENT ASSET. See other asset phrases at ASSET.

All phrases are main entries, except where the or a preposition is the first word of the phrase. Hence, the ask is listed under ask, and over the counter is listed under counter. Exceptions to this are any prepositional phrases that are usually, if not always, used in a hyphenated form, such as in-house, which is listed under in.

Abbreviations used in the Dictionary


Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive

Association of Charity Officers.  Name changed in 2011.  See ASSOCIATION OF CHARITABLE ORGANISATIONS.

Association of Direct Response Fundraising Counsel

Association of  Fundraising Consultants

Association of Fundraising Professionals

Association of Fundraising Professionals/Fundraising Effectiveness Project

AFP/FEP Glossary of Terms
Association of Fundraising Professionals Fundraising Effectiveness Project Glossary of Terms.  Appendix C.AFP/IADFAFP International Advanced Diploma in Fundraising

Association for Healthcare Philanthropy

Association of Philanthropic  Counsel

Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement

Association for Researchers on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action



Canadian pl. plural

Certified Association Executives

Council for Advancement and Support of Education

Canadian Charitable Annuity AssociationCSAECanadian Society for Association Executives

Certified Financial Planner

Certified Fund Raising Executive

Certificate in Fundraising Management

Contact Relationship Manager

Canadian Society for Association Executives

Direct Marketing Fundraising Association

AFP Distinguished Fellow

Fellow in the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy

Financial Accounting Standards Board

Fundraising Effectiveness Project

Association of Fundraising Professionals/Fundraising Effectiveness Project

AFP International Advanced Diploma in Fundraising (IADF)

Fundraising Institute – Australia

Institute of FundraisingLOILetter of Inquiry also Letter of Intent

Management By Objectives

Memorandum of Understanding

National Association of Attorneys General

National Association of Charitable Gift Planners

National Association of State Charity Officials

National Center for Charitable Statistics

National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

National Council for Voluntary Organizations

non-governmental organization

National Philanthropy Day

National Society of Fund Raising Executives

Political Action Committee

Southern African Institute of Fundraising

S. Afr.
South African sing. singular

United States

Women’s Philanthropy Institute

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