Foundation Terminology

Account (or Project)

All financial transactions through the USM Foundation - gifts and other revenues, disbursements, and investment earnings and fees - are tracked through accounts (also known as projects in our accounting software). An account must be established before activities can be recorded. Unrestricted donations can be comingled in one account. If a donor places a restriction on the use of a contribution, a separate account must be established.

Account Administrator

Those individuals who are assigned to oversee accounts. Their responsibilities are a key element of our donor stewardship as it relates to reassuring our donors that their gifts are being used as they intended. Specific responsibilities are ensuring that gifts are posted to accounts timely and accurately, disbursement requests from an account match the purpose defined in the account agreement or MOU, and available spendable income is used in full to support the students, faculty, or programs defined in the account agreement or MOU.

Account Agreement Form

This form is used to establish a new account at the USM Foundation. It identifies the name of the account, the campus, school, and department that the account benefits, the purpose of the account, the type of account, and the administrator and authorized signers for the account.

Account Agreement Update Form

This form is used to make administrator or authorized signer changes for an existing account/project.

Account Code

Account codes are similar to sub-codes or object codes used to classify expenses, revenues and other activities.  The expense code list with descriptions of the various expenses can be found in our Policies and Procedures Guide under Expense Code Definitions  (Note the ones specific to grants).  The revenue code list can be found under Revenue Codes (Note the ones specific to gifts).

Accountable Plan

IRS terminology for an expense reimbursement plan that must meet certain requirements to ensure that reimbursements will not be treated as taxable income to the payee. To be non-taxable, expenses must have a business connection, must be reported in a reasonable period of time, and any excess reimbursements must be returned within a reasonable period of time.


This stands for Automated Clearing House.  This is a form of a bank transfer.  An ACH transfer usually takes 2 days to be processed by the bank.  The foundation can receive ACH transfers for items such as grants, stock, gifts, membership fees and sponsorship for events.  ACH transfers can also be used to make payments to vendors or other payees. Please contact the USM Foundation Business Office via our Support e-mail every time you have an incoming or outgoing ACH transfer for correct transfer instructions.


Correspondence sent to a donor expressing gratitude for the gift.


This is the software used by the USM Foundation to process gifts, pledges, bequests and so forth and to keep track of all donors. Account giving history as well as market values and spendable income amounts are also available in the Advance database.


Support for an idea or cause. The USM Foundation Board of Directors has an Advocacy committee whose purpose is to engage key board members in outreach to the Maryland community to support public understanding of the value and impact of higher education in Maryland.

Annual Report

A report that highlights and summarizes the investment performance, financial results, and strategic accomplishments of the Foundation for the fiscal year. Often times grant proposals require a copy of the annual report be submitted with the proposal package. A PDF version of the report is available for download from the "About the Foundation" page of the website.


An individual who receives annuity payments under a gift annuity arrangement.


The series of payments that an annuitant receives under a gift annuity arrangement.

Audited Financial Statements

The presentation of financial results in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) which have been verified by an independent accounting firm in order for the firm to provide reasonable assurance to users of the statements that they present a true and fair representation of the results of an organization. The audited financial statements are often needed for grant proposal submissions and a PDF version of the statements are available under Corporate Documents on the "About the Foundation" page of the website.

Authorized Signers

Individuals given the authority to approve disbursement requests for a particular account, request transfers, or authorize other limited changes to an account. Since authorized signers have spending authority over their assigned accounts they are not allowed to make contributions to those accounts.

Our Vision

Our vision is to attract broad resources that transform the USM and its institutions, create a network of advocates to embrace the USM’s role as an educator and economic engine, and to grow a long-term, sustainable culture of philanthropy across the University System of Maryland.

Learn More About USMF