Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Register
Share |


The CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) designation is a fantastic way to demonstrate your dedication to your career, open up new doors in the field, and enhance your credibility.  To apply for the CFRE, you must have five years of professional fundraising experience, documentation of professional performance and continuing education, and service through community organizations.  Earning the CFRE after a successful application requires passing a test designed to test general knowledge of a broad base of fundraising concepts.

 While the CFRE is not a part of AFP, AFP strongly encourages its members to certify.  More information is available on the CFRE webpage at:

Key Dates:

  • To take your CFRE exam within the June 5 – June 27 testing window, your application must be postmarked by April 7.
  • To take your CFRE exam within the August 28 – September 19 testing window, your application must be postmarked by July 31.
  • To take your CFRE exam within the October 30 – November 21 testing window, your application must be postmarked by August 28. 

The Application

Many current CFREs have said the hardest part of getting certified is not the test: it is the application, which requires the applicant to report on the previous five years of job performance, continuing education, and other items.  Keeping track of all of those binders and folders you get can be difficult, but it’s easier than remembering that conference you attended four years ago!

Whether you’re planning to take the CFRE in a few months or a few years, it can be a wise strategy to start your application today.  After you finish a conference or course, add it to your application.  When you’re ready to get certified, your application will be nearly complete!

And make sure to keep paper copies from all of your conferences and continuing education seminars: CFRE randomly audits applicants to confirm their application details.


The Exam

The exam is a 4-hour, 225-question test covering knowledge from six areas of fundraising and philanthropy:

Current and Prospective Donor Research
Securing the Gift
Relationship Building
Volunteer Involvement

While it is not an easy exam, CFRE reports that 76% of first-time test takers pass the exam and earn their certification.  It is a computerized, non-adaptive test, and you will receive a preliminary score before you leave the test center. 

For more information, go to



Interested in taking the CFRE, but feel like you need a study course?  There are a couple of options close by!

First off, a CFRE Study Course will be held in conjunction with the AFP International Conference in New Orleans, on March 28-29.  Details can be found at

Also, our friends in the Dallas AFP Chapter are also hosting a study course on June 24-25.  Details can be found at

The registration fee for either course is $390 for AFP members.


From our CFREs:

The CFRE Exam is long.  However, if you have been involved in fund raising for 5 years you will know, or have been exposed to, most of the exam information.

Keeping track of all your activity is the hardest part of the application.  Once you think about applying, create a folder to begin tracking all your activity.  Having everything handy will simplify the process.

(The test) was also very thorough on the topic items. (It is important) to look at the questions as what best practice would be from a smaller organization.  Very rarely was the correct answer of best practice from that of a large institution.

After your application is accepted, CFRE will send you sample questions.  Make sure you answer them: five of the sample questions were verbatim on my exam!

Study up on planned giving: you might be able to "common sense” your way through other aspects, but there is a lot of detail on planned giving vehicles in the exam.


Other Questions?

Please contact our CFRE Chair, Emelda Douglas, at , Sean Carter at or Angela Seaworth at for more information.



more Latest News
more Calendar

Members Only - Virtual Affinity Group: Special Events

National Philanthropy Day

Online Surveys
Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal