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Joy McKee Becomes ACFRE Number 102

November 19, 2014

In October, Joy McKee became the 102nd person to earn ACFRE certification. Joy is the manager of annual and special giving at the Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in Englewood, New Jersey.

Joy has been a full-time professional fundraiser for 13 years. She got into fundraising when she decided to “give a year back” after college and went to work as a director of development at a small college in Tennessee. “I fell in love with the work,” she says.

The ACFRE program is the most rigorous certification process available to professional fundraisers.  The process has four parts: a comprehensive application detailing achievements in practice, education, publishing, teaching, and service to the profession; a written examination that measures a candidate’s knowledge of fundraising as well as the philosophical, ethical, and social aspects of philanthropy; a portfolio representing the candidate’s body of professional work; and an oral peer review in which the candidate must articulate a mastery of advanced-level knowledge in fundraising management, leadership, and ethics.

Joy decided to go for the ACFRE after only a couple of years in the profession. She heard a speaker at one of the AFP meetings who was an ACFRE, and she was impressed with the donor-centric, philanthropic philosophy he put forth. She decided right there that this was the kind of person she wanted to emulate.

Asked what she found most daunting about the ACFRE process, Joy said: “The written examination. I put a lot of emphasis on my experience, and I found that I really should have read more of those books they recommended, and eventually I did. I would encourage anyone to read those books, whether they intend to go for Advance Certification or not. 

The part she liked best was the oral exam. Once she was in the exam room, she relaxed, and then it was a conversation with peers that she admired. When it was announced that she had passed, she said she was half-way to the dais to receive her award when it hit her: “Did I hear right?” A week later, when she received an email asking all ACFREs for input to some proposed changes to the program, she said it was a giddy moment when she realized she is now a peer of all those she admires. 

For more information about the ACFRE process, click here.



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