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Atlanta Fundraiser Lisa Kennedy Earns Highest Professional Credential from AFP

June 29, 2016

AFP has awarded its highest professional certification, the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE), to Lisa Kennedy of Atlanta, GA.

Available only to senior-level fundraisers who have worked in the profession for 10 or more years, the ACFRE is a distinguished achievement earned by only 110 professionals since the inception of the program in 1992.

“I’m honored to have received the ACFRE credential and appreciate the time the board invested in reviewing my work,” said Kennedy. “The process gave me an opportunity to learn and identify new areas of interest and opportunity for me and for my organization.”

Kennedy serves as chief advancement officer for Bobby Dodd Institute (BDI), an Atlanta-based nonprofit connecting people with disabilities and disadvantages to job training and permanent employment. 

BDI offers professional staffing services, matching job candidates with community employers, and employs people with barriers to work in its own social enterprises. BDI’s mission-based businesses include janitorial and grounds maintenance services, staffing and recruiting, call center and mailroom operations, and packaging and fulfillment services.  

Prior to joining BDI in 2009, Kennedy worked as a fundraising consultant with Haas Consulting, an Atlanta-based firm helping organizations succeed in annual and capital campaigns and make effective transitions from grassroots to major gifts fundraising.

Kennedy’s work with nonprofits has ranged from annual funds to planned giving, with focus on directing major gift initiatives, engaging leadership volunteers, planning strategic initiatives and campaigns, and leveraging philanthropy to diversify revenue streams and develop social enterprises.   

As a volunteer, Kennedy served as president of the Greater Atlanta Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and served in additional executive committee roles, including VP of Education and Certification.  She has chaired the Greater Good Luncheon for the Georgia Planned Giving Council (GPGC) and led the Host Committee for the 2006 AFP International Conference on Fundraising held in Atlanta. 

Kennedy currently serves on the Advisory Boards for the Foundation Center-Atlanta, and the Atlanta Chapter of the Social Enterprise Alliance. She co-chaired the honoree selection committee for Atlanta’s 2015 National Philanthropy Day luncheon. She has been a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) since 2006. 

The ACFRE program is the most rigorous certification process available to professional fundraisers.  The process includes 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.

The ACFRE Certification Board of AFP, chaired by Alice L. Ferris, ACFRE, MBA, CFRE, oversees the ACFRE candidate review process.  Kennedy will be honored for her achievement during AFP’s Leadership Academy in Portland, Ore. in October.



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