Glossary

501(c)(3)
An Internal Revenue Code section designating an organization as tax‑exempt, charitable and nonprofit. A 501(c)(3) organization is further classified as either a public charity or a private foundation. TIAA Charitable is classified as a public charity.
509(a)(1), (2) and (3)
Sections of the Internal Revenue Code that identify classifications of public charities, as opposed to private foundations. TIAA Charitable is a publicly supported organization under 509(a)(1).
Adjusted Gross Income
The amount of income on which your federal income tax obligations are based, before itemized deductions and personal exemptions are taken into account. This amount is used as a starting point for computing limitations on certain deductions.
Appreciated Securities
Marketable securities like stocks, bonds or mutual funds that have increased in value over time.
Appreciation
An increase in value of an asset over time.
Bequest
A sum of money or property available to a designated recipient upon an individual's death.
Capital Gain or Loss
Net profits or losses from the sale of securities held as capital gain property. Short‑term gains or losses are generated on securities held one year or less; long‑term gains or losses pertain to securities held for more than one year.
Charitable Remainder Trust
A trust that pays current income to one or more non‑charitable income beneficiaries and later pays the entire remainder to charity. Assets are transferred irrevocably and may result in a current (partial) charitable deduction for the fair market value of the remainder interest passing to charity. Income beneficiaries earn income from the trust assets. IRS rules apply to these trusts.
Donor-Advised Fund
A charitable giving vehicle owned and controlled by a sponsoring organization that is separately identified by reference to contributions of a donor where the donor has, or reasonably expects to have, advisory privileges over the distribution or investment of the assets. To establish a donor-advised fund, a donating individual or organization makes an irrevocable contribution to the sponsoring organization. Donors surrender ownership of contributions, but retain advisory rights over how the contributions are invested and can make charitable grant recommendations.
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
EIN is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the IRS that identifies an organization to the Internal Revenue Service. The EIN is also known as the Tax ID. You may use the EIN or Tax ID as a search criterion in the charity search tool. Search for the Tax ID or EIN of your favorite charity online and then enter it into the search criteria box.
Grant
An award of funds to a charitable organization, which is not a payment for goods or services (e.g., purchase of gala tickets would not be eligible even if a portion is described as “tax deductible”). Donors to TIAA Charitable can recommend that a grant be awarded to charitable organizations of their choice. TIAA Charitable reviews the recommendation and, if approved, awards the grant to the charitable organization.
Grantee
Individual or organization that receives a grant. Also called a donee.
Grantor
Individual or organization that makes a grant. Also called a donor.
GuideStar
Searchable database of more than a million nonprofit organizations. TIAA Charitable’s charity and cause search is powered by GuideStar.
Internal Revenue Code
Also known as the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. This is the body of laws governing taxation in the United States.
Irrevocable Contribution
Contributions made to TIAA Charitable are irrevocable. This means that legal ownership and control of the gift contributed property and all related future earnings, if any, are legally transferred from the donating individual or entity to TIAA Charitable.
IRS Form 990
An annual information return filed with the IRS by organizations exempt from tax under Code Section 5019(a) and by certain political organizations.
Marginal Tax Rate
The income tax rate at which the last dollar of your income is taxed. Under federal law, you often pay a higher tax rate on your last dollar of taxable income than you do on your first dollar.
Nonprofit
An organization whose income is not used for the benefit or private gain of stockholders, directors or any other persons with an interest in the company.
Public Charity
Designated under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) and classified under Code Section 509. A private foundation is not a public charity. A public charity normally receives a substantial part of its income directly or indirectly from the general public or from government sources. Public charity status can also be based on conduct of certain activities such as in the case of a university or a church. The public support must be broad.
Socially Responsible Investing
An investment strategy that focuses on socially ethical or “green” initiatives. Alternative energy is a prime example of this type of investment.
Successor
An individual named by the donor to succeed the donor in advising a donor-advised fund account in the event of the donor’s death. A successor has no authority over the account until the donor’s death, at which time the successor takes on all the rights and responsibilities of the donor, with the ability to recommend grants and name advisors and successors. A donor may name more than one successor and can declare that the successors will share responsibility for the account or that the account funds will be split with each successor becoming responsible for a portion.
Tax ID Number
A unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service that identifies an organization to the IRS. The Tax ID is also known as the EIN. You may use the EIN or Tax ID as a search criterion in the charity search tool. Look for the Tax ID or EIN number of your favorite charity online and then enter it into the search criteria box.

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Contributions to the Giving Fund are irrevocable. All recommendations from donors are subject to review and approval by TIAA Charitable.

TIAA Charitable does not provide tax advice. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

TIAA Charitable is the brand name for an independent public charity that maintains a donor-advised fund program. The TIAA name is a registered mark of Teachers Insurance of America and is used by TIAA Charitable pursuant to a license.