The term stift or capitalised Stift (in German, and Danish until 1948, the corresponding Dutch term is sticht) is derived from the verb stiften (to donate) and originally meant a donation. Such donations usually comprised earning assets, originally landed estates with serfs defraying dues (originally often in kind) or with vassal tenants of noble rank providing military services and forwarding dues collected from serfs. In modern times the earning assets could also be financial assets donated to form a fund to maintain an endowment, especially a charitable foundation. When landed estates, donated as a Stift to maintain the college of a monastery, the chapter of a collegiate church or the cathedral chapter of a diocese, formed a territory enjoying the status of an imperial state within the Holy Roman Empire then the term Stift often also denotes the territory itself. In order to specify this territorial meaning the term Stift is then composed with the compound "hoch" as Hochstift, denoting a prince-bishopric, or Erzstift for a prince-archbishopric.