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Our Chapter Congratulates Adam Supgul on Becoming a CFRE!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Melissa Neeley
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Becoming a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) signals commitment, competence and credibility. To become a CFRE, fundraising professionals must document their professional performance, education, and professional practice, in addition to passing the CFRE exam.


We are proud to recognize Adam Supgul for his accomplishment of becoming a CFRE during the second CFRE testing window of 2018. We congratulate him on this career-defining achievement and for committing to uphold the highest standards in our profession.

Adam Supgul, CFRE
Annual Giving Manager

Houston Food Bank

We snagged Adam for a quick interview about why he decided to pursue his CFRE.


Q: Why did you decide to become a CFRE?


A: I felt earning the CFRE was a tangible way to demonstrate credibility to donors, my employer, and fellow fundraising professionals. Also, since so many of my mentors and leaders in this field made earning a CFRE a priority, it was important to me to match their commitment to the profession.


Q: How did you know the timing was right for you professionally?


A: I have been very fortunate to have spent the entirety of my career working for an organization that invests in the professional development of its employees. So, when I saw credits from conferences and courses that I took a few years back were starting to expire, it was a wakeup call that it was time to sit for the exam. Originally, I planned to finish my application and take the exam in the fall of 2017, and then Harvey hit—garnering unprecedented support for the Houston Food Bank and shifting my professional priorities for several months.


Q: How would you describe the process? How long did it take?


A: The process was straightforward and covered in detail in the CFRE Candidate Handbook. At the recommendation of one of my mentors, I started the CFRE application after attending my first AFP ICON. The application process requires some discipline, especially when it comes to tracking education credits. I didn’t always make the time to enter these credits in real time, but I saved all the agendas and programs from the CFRE-approved education sessions that I attended. It’s also very important to keep track of how much you fundraise annually by revenue source (referred to as Professional Performance on the CFRE application). Cumulatively, it only took a few hours to get all of this saved in the application, though I filled this out over the course of several years. Once the application was submitted and approved I selected a testing center and date within the testing window. The test took me about 2.5 hours, and I got the results on the way out.


Q: Tell us a little more about that daunting exam, and how did you prepare?


A: Frankly, the exam was irritating, but exactly as described. On most of the 200 questions, multiple answer choices were correct and the challenge was to select the answer that was most correct. As you’re taking the exam you have the option to flag or skip questions and come back to them. The first time through, I flagged a lot of questions.


To prepare, I reviewed CFRE International’s Test Content Outline, studied AFP’s CFRE Review Course Participants Manual and subscribed to the CFRE Practice Exam. I spent about a month reviewing these materials. These tools helped me understand the content and question format, but during the exam I also called upon knowledge that I first learned through fundraising classes and courses, articles and books, and professional practice.


Q: What advice would you give to AFP-GHC members considering getting their CFRE?


  1. Start your application now and update it often. If it helps, schedule time on your calendar to add in education and professional performance credits routinely.

  2. When taking the exam, don’t limit your thinking to your own experiences or how your organization does things. I was told to consider the questions from the perspective of the donor and I think that made a difference.

  3. One of the barriers to earning a CFRE can be the expense. I encourage any AFP-GHC member who sees this as an obstacle to apply for a scholarship from our chapter.


July 15th is the next CFRE application deadline. More information about becoming a CFRE is available at


Additionally, our Chapter will be hosting a CFRE Exam Prep session for this quarter’s testing window. This effort is based directly on feedback from former participants in a review course. We have decided on a new approach to the CFRE exam. This event is designed as review session to connect you with current CFREs and your peers seeking to take the exam in the near future. You will be able to go through exam material and receive support through the process. Learn more here.

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