Glossary of Terms

The University of Memphis offers this glossary as a tool for visitors to the Development website. These terms are defined only as they may pertain to the University of Memphis and are not applicable in all situations. It is not a comprehensive dictionary of terms, nor do the terms listed cover all possible meanings or applications. Furthermore, it is recommended that donors first consult with their appropriate legal, financial and other advisors for any necessary counsel before making any gift or agreements with the University.

A    D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N   O  P  Q  R  S   T   U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Alumni – a graduate or student who has earned 24+ hours from the University of Memphis.

Academic Fund – The Academic Fund is the collection of gifts from alumni, parents, and friends that are given to the University of Memphis with no restrictions. These gifts are primarily used to assist with financial aid needs, classroom updates, technological improvements and betterment of the overall student experience.

Annual Giving – The Annual Giving program exists to provide the University of Memphis with financial support for scholarships, special programs, research facility, technological upgrades, and other needs. The mission of the University of Memphis Annual Giving program is to build a strong core constituency of alumni, friends, and the University family who will provide consistent financial support to the University of Memphis and its programs. The Annual Giving program works to acquire, reactivate, and renew donors and gifts of $1 to $4,999.

Appreciated assets – assets that have a higher market value than their basis or tax purpose value. Such assets would, if sold at a price higher than their basis, potentially generate a taxable capital gain. Such assets are often very good assets to use in making a tax-wise charitable gift.

Basis – the tax purpose value of the property or asset used in establishing the potential capital gain amount.

Beneficiary – the person and/or organization that receives the benefits (usually assets or income) of a will or trust.

Beneficiary Designation - Clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

Bequest – a gift of property or assets to a beneficiary as defined in a will.

Cash gift – a gift made most often by check or credit card (rarely cash).

Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) – A charitable gift annuity is a way to make a gift to the University of Memphis and receive an income for the rest of your life. It is a contract under which the University, in return for a transfer of a minimum of $25,000 in cash or other property, agrees to pay you a fixed sum of money for a period measured by one or two lives.

Codicil – a written change or amendment made to a will.

Development – the organized activity of soliciting contributions to further the mission of the University of Memphis.

Development Officer – a staff member of the University charged with soliciting contributions at the University, typically for a particular college or program.

Donor honor roll – a listing of those generous individuals and organizations who have provided support to the University of Memphis (unless anonymity was requested)

Donor advised fund – a charitable giving vehicle administered by a third party, such as a community foundation, and created for the purpose of managing charitable donations on behalf of an organization, family, or individual.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – the use of telecommunications networks to transfer funds from a financial institution to the University of Memphis.

Endowment – a fund or collection of funds that produces income for an organization. Endowments are valuable to the University because they create an ongoing source of income, enhance our stability and prestige, allow for program expansion and provide a measure of independence.

Executor – the person or institution named in a person's will who carries out the terms of the will.

Current Expendable Fund – a fund from which all monies may be drawn for current use, as opposed to an endowed fund from which only the earnings on the principal are typically used.

Fiduciary – an individual, corporation or association holding assets for another party, often with the legal authority and duty to make decisions regarding financial matters on behalf of the other party.

Foundation – the University of Memphis Foundation is a 501c3 organization established from donated funds for the purpose of providing support to the University of Memphis.

Fund Agreement – the legal document by which your gifts are segregated for a specific purpose at the University of Memphis.


Fund status report – an annual report provided to concerned parties which outlines activity in a fund of the University of Memphis.

Gains/Losses, realized - Actual gain (or loss) that occurs when an asset, (who's price has change since it was purchased) is converted into cash at fair market value in an arm's length transaction.

Gains/Losses, Unrealized - Paper profit (or loss) that does not become actual until the underlying asset is sold, redeemed, or otherwise disposed of.

Gift - Irrevocable outright or deferred contribution (cash or marketable securities) received from individuals, corporations, foundations, trusts, and other organizations (referred to as "donors") in which neither goods nor services (other than fulfillment of donor intent) are expected, implied or forthcoming from the donor.

Gift-In-Kind – a charitable gift of personal property not described as a "Gift" above.

Honorarium – any gift, of any size, made to the University in recognition or in honor of an individual or other entity.

Matching Gifts a charitable practice where an individual or organization pledges to give an equal amount of money to the University of Memphis, where the amount given is equal to the amount raised in individual gifts. Many companies encourage their employees to make charitable contributions by matching their philanthropic support.

Memorial – any gift, of any size, made to the University in someone's memory.

Non-degreed alumni – an individual who attended and earned 24+ hours at the University of Memphis and has not receive a degree.

Phonathon – The University of Memphis Phonathon is an important element to the Annual Giving Program in which student employees make telephone calls to alumni, parents and friends. The Phonathon works to acquire financial contributions in support of our University programs, scholarships, facilities, research and more.

Planned giving – a term commonly used to describe a wide variety of giving vehicles that allow you to give to charity during your lifetime and/or after your death, while meeting your current income needs and providing for your heirs. Planned giving is typically done in conjunction with your overall financial, tax and estate planning, sometimes involves a professional advisor, and is a viable option for donors of all income levels.

Pledge – a promise to make a gift to the University at a future time.

Probate – the legal proceeding in which a court determines how an estate will be divided. Estate planning advisors often seek ways to reduce or eliminate assets from an estate such that they are not a part of probate proceedings.

President's Society – the University of Memphis Annual Fund 's leadership society. President's Society members are among the most loyal and generous benefactors of the University. Donors to the President's Society make significant annual contributions to the academic areas on campus that they personally value. These gifts provide financial resources necessary to maintain excellence and implement innovations at the University of Memphis. The President's Society recognizes all donors who make a gift of $1,000 or more to any college, school, department, program, or other academic area at the University of Memphis during the fiscal year.

Restricted gift – directed gifts (designated gifts) and contributions made to the University to be used in accordance with donor-created guidelines.

Retained life estate – a gift plan allowing the donation of a personal residence (including a vacation home) or farm but allows you to retain the right to life enjoyment. A life estate may be retained for either one or more lives or a term of years. All routine expenses – maintenance fees, property taxes, repairs, etc. – remain your responsibility. However, you receive an income tax deduction for a significant portion of the value of the contributed property (since the property is irrevocably deeded to the charity) and estate tax benefits.

Scholarship – financial aid awarded to a student.

myMEMPHIS – the portal on the University of Memphis website through which the campus community can gain access to online services and information.

Trust any arrangement where property is to be held and administered by a trustee for the benefit of those for whom the trust was created. Depending on the type and how it is established, a trust may be revocable (changeable) or irrevocable (not changeable). There are many types of trusts available to fit to various situations.

Trust, charitable lead – an arrangement in which income from your property or investment is given to the University for a term of years, but the principal passes to other parties designated by you upon termination of the trust.

Trust, charitable remainder annuity – a special type of Charitable Remainder Trust under which a beneficiary of your choosing (not the University) receives an annual fixed income. You are allowed an income tax deduction of the amount of the present value of the charity's remainder interest as of the date you contribute your assets to the trust.

Trustee – and individual or organization which holds or manages and invests assets for the benefit of another.

Unitrust, charitable remainder – a trust under which a beneficiary designated by you (not the University) receives a fixed percentage of the net fair market value of the trust on an annual basis. The annual income paid to the beneficiary must be either for life or for 20 or fewer years.
Unrestricted gift - a gift made to the University to be used as needed.

Will the legal expression or declaration of your mind or wishes as to the disposition of your property, to be performed or take effect upon your death.