Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE)

CFRE International Mission

CFRE International exists to uphold the public trust through voluntary certification of fundraising professionals. Through the CFRE credential, CFRE International supports and encourages fundraising professionals to aspire to the highest standards of professional competence and ethical practice in serving the philanthropic sector.  Please click here to see our members with CFRE certification.

Visit the CFRE International website for additional resources.


The Application

Applications for Initial Certification require candidates to document information in three categories (activities must be within the past five years):

  • Education (for initial certification, all academic degrees may be counted, even if the degree was earned more than five years ago)
  • Professional Practice*
  • Professional Performance

Many CFREs cite the hardest part of getting certified is not the test: it is the application. Whether you're planning to take the CFRE exam in a few months or a few years, create an account at My CFRE  and begin keeping track of your activities NOW! Make sure to keep paper copies from all of your conferences and continuing education seminars: CFRE randomly audits applicants to confirm their application details.

*For professionals with less than 5 years of employment in fundraising, completion of an academic degree in fundraising and/or an intensive certificate program in fundraising is highly recommended before sitting for the exam.

CFRE Application Summary  

Exam and Preparation

The exam is a 4-hour, 200-question test covering knowledge from six areas of fundraising and philanthropy:

  • Current and Prospective Donor Research
  • Securing the Gift
  • Relationship Building
  • Volunteer Involvement
  • Leadership and Management
  • Ethics, Accountability and Professionalism

For more information on the exam, click here.

CFRE Reimbursement: AFP Charlotte Invests in its Members!

AFP Charlotte has designated a limited amount of funds to support CFRE certification and recertification for its members by reimbursing members $200 for receiving the initial CFRE certification and $100 for CFRE recertification.  Members must provide proof of passing the CFRE exam or receiving their CFRE recertification.  There is no limit on the number of times a member may request or receive reimbursement for CFRE recertification, as long as funds are available. 

To learn more about this opportunity, please click here or contact Shannon Hinson.

Learn more about preparing for CFRE.