Types of Funds

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SEE ALSO: Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

Unrestricted funds are those items that have no donor-imposed restrictions.

Temporarily Restricted funds are those items that were received with a donor-imposed restriction that will be satisfied in the future (generally within one year). The donor’s restriction may be for a particular purpose or program or for use in a specified time period.

Permanently Restricted items are those received with a donor-imposed restriction that states that the donation must be maintained permanently, but may permit the organization to use up or expend part or all of the income derived from the asset.

A board restricted fund is not the same as an endowment fund, although many groups mistakenly call it such. Technically, a board designated fund will appear on the financial statement as “unrestricted” because the limitation was imposed by the board of directors rather than the donor.[1]


IRS: Audit Technique Guide – Fundraising Activities

QuickBooks: What is the definition of restricted donations (permanent and temporary)?

NonprofitAccountingBasics.org: Statement of Financial Position


  1. http://www.npccny.org/info/fi29.htm