• Quill Team

Nonprofit Jargon

We all feel lost when a multitude of terms are regularly thrown around by professionals in the nonprofit sector. If you’re familiar with these words, you feel a sense of unity working within the industry. Here is a list of buzzwords to help you get acquainted with the nonprofit world:


Deep Dive: Professionals commonly use this as both a verb and a noun. It can mean to explore a topic in greater detail, or it can refer to an exploration of a topic.


Bandwidth: The available resources for a project.


Donor Pipeline : Your community of prospective donors, all at different stages in the process to become a donor.


Move the needle: To incrementally make progress toward a goal.


Underserved: Disadvantaged populations. An example could be a population that does not have access to healthcare.


PoC: Person of Concern, or a refugee or displaced or stateless person.


Piggyback: To build off of another’s thought or idea with your own.


Granular: To speak about things at the highest level of detail.


Pick your brain: To chat with and get insight from someone more knowledgeable on a particular topic.


Take this offline: To address a topic at a later time, or to talk about something with a coworker in person. It could also mean to communicate through any means not using the internet.


Planned Giving: Any major gift, made in lifetime or at death as part of a donor’s overall financial and/or estate planning. (i.e. gifts of equity, life insurance, real estate and personal property, cash, etc.)


In-kind Contributions: Donations of goods, services or time, as an alternative to cash.


Restricted Funds: A reserve of money that has been set aside for specific purposes; provides reassurance to donors that their contributions are used in a manner they have chosen.


Capital Campaign: An intense effort on the part of a nonprofit organization to raise significant funds in an allotted period of time.


By Asees Bindra



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