Foundation Terminology

Fair Market Value (related to Fundraising Events)

The estimated value of an event ticket that represents the non-gift portion of the event ticket. This is not necessarily the cost but the value that someone would put on what they are receiving as part of the event ticket price. For instance, if a fundraising event includes dinner and a speaker and the event ticket is $300, the fair market value of the non-gift portion might be $100 and would represent the value of the dinner and the speaker, and the gift portion would be $200. A Fair Market Value Worksheet should be submitted with event literature if a fundraising event will have both a gift and non-gift component in the ticket price.


In reviewing your monthly reports you may see various fees charged to your project.  Fees include but are not limited to: investment manager fee, custodial fee, endowment assessment fee, investment service fee, and institutional assessment fee.  Please see each fee definition for a description of each individual fee. There are also fees associated with credit card, stock, and charity campaign gifts.


A financial award, typically to a graduate student, that usually includes a stipend and payment of tuition and fees.


A person who acts on behalf of another, usually in a financial matter. In an organization, a person such as a board member or key employee who stands in a relationship of trust, confidence, and responsibility to others. 

Fiduciary Responsibility

The obligation to handle financial matters of an organization, for the benefit of all its constituents, with care, trust, and prudence.

Financial Edge or (FE)

This is the name of our financial software.


How expenditures are applied against the spendable income carryover and current year spendable income. Expenses are always applied to the oldest portion of your spendable income first.

Fiscal Year or (FY)

Refers to the accounting cycle of July 1 – June 30. The year used to describe the fiscal year is the year of the fiscal year end date. For example FY14 or FY2014 refers to the year that ends June 30, 2014.

Fixed Asset

An equipment or other tangible asset purchase which has a useful life of more than one year and a value exceeding policy minimums which is recorded as an asset in the financial records instead of as an expense. The expense for the asset is then recorded as an annual depreciation or amortization expense over the defined life of the specific asset category. Some fixed assets such as land and art are considered non-depreciable and remain in the financial records at their original cost until sold or adjusted for fair value increases or decreases.


Another term for account or project.

Fundraising Event

A function whose main purpose is to raise money through event ticket sales and/or donations. Expenses for a fundraising event are netted against revenues for the event to get to the realized revenue from the event. There are various policies and procedures regarding fundraising event announcements and breakdown of ticket revenue between gift and non-gift.

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.

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