CFRE Certification & Credits

Are you interested in getting certified?

The AFP SEWI chapter is organizing those interested in a discussion and study group. Please contact us to learn more.

To help you earn the credits needed for the certification and recertification process, our chapter’s educational programming is submitted to CFRE International for Continuing Education Credits.
Download the AFPSEWI Credit Approved Programs Listing.

To learn more, review the FAQ below or visit CFRE International.


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

CFRE provides you with a recognizable demonstration of your personal and professional achievement and commitment. It is the only nationally recognized professional credential for fundraising executives.

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.

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.

The CFRE Program is governed by the CFRE Professional Certification Board. The program and the board is administered in cooperation with leading philanthropic associations:

  • Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP)
  • Association of Fundraising Consultants (AFC)
  • Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)
  • Association of Lutheran Development Executives (ALDE)
  • Association of Philanthropic Counsel (APC)
  • Boy Scouts of America (BSA)
  • Brazilian Fundraisers Association (ABCR)
  • China Association of Fundraising Professionals (CAFP)
  • Canadian Association of Gift Planners—Association Canadienne des Professionnels en Dons Planifies (CAGP-ACPDP)
  • Educate Plus
  • European Fundraising Association (EFA)
  • Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA)
  • Fundraising Institute New Zealand (FINZ)
  • The Giving Institute
  • International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC)
  • Japan Fundraising Association (JFRA)
  • Kenya Association of Fundraising Professionals (KAFP)
  • Korea Society of Philanthropy (KSoP)
  • National Association of Cancer Center Development Officers (NACCDO)
  • National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (CGP)
  • National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC)
  • New England Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (NEAHP)
  • North American YMCA Development Organization (NAYDO)
  • Texas Association of Community College Foundations (TACCF)
  • United Way Worldwide (UWW)

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.

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

  • Paid, professional employment for a minimum of three years.
  • 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:

Visit 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.

After CFRE International approves your application, you may schedule your exam. More information is available at The exam is computer-based and your score will be given to you immediately upon completing the exam.