As a steward of the public trust, CFRE International certifies fundraising professionals.

Unlike many certificate programs being offered by educational institutions, for-profit firms, and nonprofit organisations, the CFRE program is practice-based. It is not an educational program that is intended to teach individuals how to raise funds. Rather, it is an assessment process that is designed to measure the individual’s knowledge and skills in best practices in ethical philanthropic fundraising.

Certification Certificate
Results from an assessment process Results from an educational process
For individuals For individuals
Typically requires some amount of professional experience For both newcomers and experienced professionals alike
Awarded by a third-party, standard-setting organisation Awarded by an educational program or institution
Indicates mastery/competency as measured against a defensible set of standards, usually by application or exam Indicates completion of a course or series of courses with specific focus; is different than a degree granting program
Standards set through a defensible, industry-wide process (job analysis/role delineation) that results in an outline of required knowledge and skills Course content set a variety of ways (faculty committee; dean; instructor; occasionally through defensible analysis of topic area)
Typically results in a designation to use after one’s name (CFRE, ACFRE, FAHP, CFP, APRA, CAE); may result in a document to hang on the wall or keep in a wallet Usually listed on a resume detailing education; may issue a document to hang on the wall
Has on-going requirements in order to maintain; holder must demonstrate he/she continues to meet requirements Is the end result; demonstrates knowledge of course content at the end of a set period in time

CFRE International promotes voluntary certification as the preferred alternative to licensure and/or government regulation.