The Value of Becoming a CFRE

News | January 14, 2016

by: Lara Kadylak, Manager of Annual Giving at American Chemical Society, CFRE

A sense of personal accomplishment. That was my initial feeling after learning that I passed my CFRE exam and would soon be an official Certified Fund Raising Executive. But, becoming a CFRE is so much more. It is an achievement that carries great value for your association foundation, your donors and the beneficiaries of your programs.

CFRE certification serves as an impartial, third-party endorsement of your knowledge and experience against international standards in philanthropy. The initial application is based on a points system in the following categories:

  • Education: Points are awarded through continuing education, authoring, academic degrees and service learning through volunteer experiences
  • Professional Practice: 1 month of employment = 1 point (minimum 5 years)
  • Professional Performance: Points are earned in actual funds raised, communications projects and management projects

Association Foundation Group can help you earn points in the Education category through our monthly educational programming and the Annual Conference. Webinars have been added to accommodate members nationwide! Click here for the 2016 schedule.

Once the application is approved, you can schedule the 200 multiple choice exam which covers fundamental knowledge needed for fundraising success. Candidates receive a pass/fail determination at the testing center. A few weeks later successful candidates will receive official notice and a certificate from CFRE International.

Association foundations depend on us to execute our missions by performing at the highest level of standards. CFRE certification demonstrates personal commitment to stay ahead in the profession.

Donors depend on us to be accountable and ethical. All CFREs must agree to uphold the International Statement of Ethical Principles in Fundraising, the Donor Bill of Rights, and CFRE Accountability Standards.

Beneficiaries of our programs and services depend on us to continue to raise funds in order to sustain and grow our respective initiatives. This is accomplished by staying up- to-date on the latest trends and best practices. CFREs must get recertified every three years ensuring they are staying ahead of the curve.

The value of a CFRE can be looked at from various perspectives demonstrating its worthwhile investment for your personal and professional goals.

Go to and apply to join the over 5,500 CFRE certificants worldwide!


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