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About the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Program

Note: Minor changes were made to the CFRE International Exam starting June 3, 2011. To see the changes, please click here.



AFP Spotlight: What Does It Takes To Become A CFRE?

AFP Spotlight

Hear CFRE International President and CEO Eva E. Aldrich, M.A., CFRE discuss with Chris Griffin of the AFP Professional Advancement Department the best steps to take to become a certified fundraising executive!


The Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential provides you with a recognizable demonstration of your personal and professional achievement and commitment.

The CFRE Program is governed by the CFRE International. The Program and the Board is administered in cooperation with leading philanthropic associations:

  • Association of Christian Development Professionals (ACDP)
  • Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP)
  • Association of Fundraising Consultants (AFC)
  • Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)
  • Association of Lutheran Development Executives (ALDE)
  • Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP)
    • Association Canadienne des Professionnels en dons Planifies (ACPDP)
  • Council for Resource Development (CRD)
  • Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA)
  • Fundraising Institute of New Zealand (FINZ)
  • International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC)
  • National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC)
  • North American YMCA Development Organization (NAYDO)
  • Philanthropic Services for Institutions (PSI)
  • United Way of America

Certification process

The Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential demonstrates an individual's mastery of the standards set for core knowledge and skills required of fundraising executives after five years of experience. This practice-based designation requires demonstration of having met these standards through both an application and a written examination.

Application

All candidates must complete a written application that works on a point system. A minimum number of points in each of four areas must be documented. Those areas include: Professional Practice; Education; Performance; and Service.

Examination

Candidates must achieve the passing score on a standardized written examination consisting of 225 multiple-choice questions that cover the following core knowledge areas: Prospect Identification, Solicitation, Donor Relations, Volunteerism, Management, and Stewardship. Exams are given at various locations around North American and Australia throughout the year. Three exam forms are available: one for U.S., one for Canadian residents, and one for residents of Australia.

Accountability standards

Upon making application to the program, candidates agree to adhere to the Donor Bill of Rights and the CFRE Program's Accountability Standards, designed to promote integrity and ethical behavior of fundraising executives.

Re-certification

Because fundraising is a dynamic field and because certification attests to a professional's competency, certification is awarded for a three-year period. A new application updating your Professional Practice, Education, Performance, and Service is required in order to continue to be certified.



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