Ever wonder if we're speaking different languages?  It happens!  Check out this glossary of common terms and expressions.

General Terminology


  1. Allocation Date: “As Of Date” that your funds are valued at for your spending policy calculation. For example: if your policy uses a 12-month rolling (or moving) average, the 12-month period would look back from the Allocation Date.


  1. Book Value:  Fundriver Balance considers book value to be the funds’ market value excluding unrealized gains/losses.


  1. Capital Call: If you have an upfront commitment that says you are going to guarantee X amount of dollars to a broker, then throughout the year, they will "call" on you to send these funds in installment payments. 


  1. CRUT (Charitable Remainder Trusts):  An irrevocable trust that dispenses income to one or more non-charitable beneficiaries for a specified period and then donates the remainder to your organization. Fundriver Balance’s software is designed to track Endowments. Having your CRTs in Balance to track MV is an option, but we are not set up to track the payment portion of the trust. You will need to maintain your rollforward payment schedule. 


  1. Deactivating a Fund:  One of the features used to close a fund. Merge Fund is another option. See this article: How Do I Deactivate/Close a Fund?


  1. Department User Module: Provides read-only access to a site where users can view fund information and reports assigned to them. Each institution can set up Department Module access for any individual they want (such as donors, advancement office staff, department heads, etc.).  

  • Distributions: Sometimes referred to as spending, draw, proceeds, or endowment appropriation (this is in line with the new ASU endowment footnote disclosure). Distributions are determined by the institution’s spending policy. Typically, it comes from investment earnings/income that is either to be spent or reinvested per the donor restrictions in the gift agreement. The frequency and calculation of the distribution varies and is also determined by the spending policy.

  • DLT:  Data Load template used by clients to upload information into Balance during your initial set-up.


  1. Due To/Due From:  A Fund or Manager (if you have the Investment Portfolio module) that serves as a placeholder for cash-in-transit. These are cash deposits or withdrawals that have either been recorded to or against the funds, but the cash has not yet been received or withdrawn on the investment statement(s). The Due To/Due From Fund is assigned a special code that restricts any earnings from being allocated to it. It also does not flow to the endowment footnote. See this article: What is Due To/Due From?

  2. Endowment:  A collection of donations/gifts held together in an investment portfolio that is overseen by a non-profit organization for the ongoing support of that organization. Usually, the endowment is structured so that the principal amount is kept intact while the investment income is available for use, or part of the principal is released each year. This allows for the donation to have an impact over a longer period than if it were spent all at once. An endowment may come with stipulations regarding its usage. 


  1. Historical Gift: The original philanthropic contribution given by a donor to establish an endowment fund. It is also commonly referred to as the Corpus or Principal. The balance of a gift's corpus can be increased through additional gifts to the endowment. A donor may also stipulate that they want a certain amount of a fund's income to be reinvested in the corpus, which also increases the historical gift. Additional gifts and reinvestments to principal are the only two ways to increase historical gift values. Occasionally, organizations will reinvest a portion of earnings to increase historical gift.


  1. Inception Date: Is normally the date that the Fund was created. Inception dates are informational only. On the Fund Profile.


  1. Journal Date: Commonly used to record the actual date that a transaction occurred (not the Post Date). Journal Dates are informational only. When spending distributions are created, the Journal Date defaults to the Allocation Date used to create distributions rather than the actual date.


  1. Post Date:  Determines which period your transactions are posted in your database. This would be the last day of the period.


  1. Quasi Endowment:  Board designated or set aside by institution from an institution's own funds. Invested with endowment funds. Sometimes used for matching donors’ gifts. (Net Asset Classification: Unrestricted. An organization cannot permanently restrict its own funds.)


  1. Reinvest Threshold and Authorized Date: Thresholds used to limit spending from a fund until a minimum amount is met for either historic gift/market value or date. The default setting for the Reinvest Threshold is Dollar Threshold is based upon principal/historical gift. The client can also choose market value but would need to submit a Support Ticket. The Authorized Date threshold will limit spending based on an assigned date in the future.  You can assign both a Date and Dollar threshold where both must be met to allow spending. Whichever is met first will trigger spending.


  1. Return of Capital: The broker is returning your money to you (think returning an item in a store; they give you your money back- this not a taxable event). 


  1. SOW (Statement of Work): A contract between Fundriver and a client to perform customizations on a client database.


  1. Standard Reports: Reports that are built on set templates and available in all databases.


  1. Term Endowment:  A gift is invested with endowments because it will not be spent in the near term, but will ultimately be spent in its entirety (i.e. to fund a future capital project). (Net Asset Classification: Temporarily Restricted)


  1. True Endowment: Outside donor gives a restricted gift with the intention that only the earnings/income from that gift will be used to fund programs, operations, or scholarships, etc. (Net Asset Classification: Permanently restricted)


  1. UDR (User Defined Report):  A tool allowing users to create new reports by selecting fields from existing data sets.   The report can be designed to sort, group, and apply filters as desired.


  1. Underwater:  Current value (market value) is less than the value at the time of original funding (historical gift).


  1. Unitization: An accounting system, or method of accounting, for endowments. A unitized endowment pool allows multiple endowments to invest in the same pool of assets. Each endowment owns individual units in the unitized investment pool, and the units are generally valued monthly. New endowments entering the pool can buy in by receiving units in the pool that are valued as of the buy-in date.


  1. Yale Method Spending Rule:  Blend of the average market value and prior year spending rules. It can be configured in Fundriver to work on the fund or pool level. The system default is calculated based on the pool.


FAS 117 Terminology 

Please note that the FASB standards board replaced the FAS 117 reporting requirement with Accounting Standards Update 2016-14 beginning after December 15, 2017. This report complies with the old standard and should not be used for current accounting and audit purposes. Please use this report for periods prior to your organization’s adoption of ASU 2016-14.
  1. Unrestricted:  Assets donated to nonprofit organizations that are not subject to use restrictions.
  2. Permanently Restricted:  Historical gift value must be maintained permanently—not used up, expended, or otherwise exhausted—is classified as permanently restricted net assets.  Only earnings and income from gifts may be used.
  3. Temporarily Restricted:  The portion of a term endowment that must be maintained for a specified term is classified as temporarily restricted net assets. These funds are not spent now, but will spend in its entirety (capital projects)


ASU 2016-14 Terminology


  1. Without Donor Restriction:  The part of net assets of a not-for-profit entity that is not subject to donor-imposed restrictions.
  2. With Donor Restriction:  The part of net assets of a not-for-profit entity that is subject to donor-imposed restrictions.