Founded in 2001, CFRE International is an independent nonprofit organisation whose sole mission is dedicated to setting standards in philanthropy through a valid and reliable certification process for fundraising professionals.

Between 1981 and 1996, two leading professional associations had their own separate certification programs.  The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy offered the CAHP and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, formerly the National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE), offered the CFRE.

In 1997 for the betterment of the entire profession, those two organisations merged their programs to form the independent CFRE Professional Certification Board, now CFRE International.  Following the creation of CFRE International, other leading philanthropic associations joined in support of the program.

In 2017, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited CFRE certification under the ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 standard for personnel certification programs, making the CFRE credential the world’s only accredited certification for philanthropic fundraising professionals.

ANSI accreditation is the hallmark of a rigorous, high-quality certification program. Accreditation by ANSI means that the CFRE credential’s global significance is recognized by other worldwide accrediting bodies with which ANSI has established multilateral recognition agreements.