Certified Fund Raising Professional (CFRE) 

The Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) program provides the only nationally recognized professional credential for fundraising executives.

The CFRE Program consists of three parts:

  1. Application - All candidates must complete a written application which requires information in four areas: Professional Practice; Education; Performance (dollars raised); and Service.
  2. Examination - Once a candidate demonstrates the minimum requirements on the written application, there is a computer-based, multiple-choice examination designed to assess fundamental knowledge of fund raising theory and practice in the following areas: Current and Prospective Donor Research; Securing the Gift; Relationship Building; Volunteer Involvement; Leadership and Management; and Ethics and Accountability.
  3. Recertification - To maintain CFRE status, recertification is required every three years. A new application updating Professional Practice, Education, Performance (projects managed or dollars raised) and Service is required. There is no examination requirement.

Ethical Code: All CFRE candidates must agree to uphold the Donor Bill of Rights and to adhere to a code of ethics and standards of professional practice in order to participate in the program.

 

Why should I become a CFRE?

The Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential provides you with a recognizable demonstration of your personal and professional achievement and commitment. The CFRE signals your colleagues, your community and potential donors that you have the knowledge and skills to be a competent fundraising executive and that you are committed to upholding the Donor Bill of Rights and a code of ethics and standards of professional practice. The CFRE also says you are committed to continuing your professional growth through ongoing educational activities.

 

Who can become a CFRE?

Individuals interested in the CFRE program must meet all of the minimum eligibility requirements. Those requirements include:

  • Paid, professional employment for a minimum of five (5) of the most recent eight (8) years, allowing for employment gaps. CFRE candidates must be employed full-time as a fundraiser or fundraising consultant.
  • A minimum of 80 points in Education, consisting of points awarded for academic education and continuing education (1 point per clock-hour or .1 CEU). CFRE candidates are expected to have participated in on-going educational activities.
  • A minimum of 55 points in the area of Professional Achievement. Points are earned for actual dollars raised (1 point per $25,000) and/or for major Communications projects (i.e., public relations campaigns) and/or Management projects (i.e., long-range strategic planning)
  • Points totaling a minimum of 55 in the area of Service. Points are awarded for volunteer service with any professional association and/or community organization (i.e., local church, youth groups, etc.)

Eligibility requirements, exam preparation materials, and the online application are available on the CFRE website: http://www.cfre.org.

 

How can I complete the application?

Visit www.cfre.org. The application for the CFRE exam is very detailed and inclusive. Please allow ample time to complete the application, as its submission and fee are required 90 days prior to your selected exam date.

 

Where and when can I take the CFRE examination?

When it's been determined that you can sit for the exam, CFRE International will provide you with a list of authorized testing centers that you can call and arrange to take the exam.
CFRE launched a new CFRE Examination in 2011. The new exam includes topics from the previous exam plus new topics in donor research, volunteer involvement, leadership and management, and ethics and accountability.

If you’d like more information about becoming a CFRE, please contact us.