CFRE Recommended Resource Reading List

Many fundraising professionals wonder which publications they can read in order to prepare them for the examination. In studying for your CFRE examination, you will probably seek out some resource materials and other references to read.

The publications on the Reading Resource List are all widely available and provide information on current, commonly accepted fundraising practices. These references have been identified as being the most comprehensive and most closely related to information covered on the examination.

It is not intended that each candidate read every publication on the Resource Reading List. Rather, this list is provided as a guide for candidates who are seeking sources of information on particular subject areas, or general overview texts. The books listed are also those that were frequently used by item writers and reviewers during item development for this examination. However, reading any or all of the publications on this list does not guarantee you will do well on the examination.

While this reference list is provided by CFRE International, and each examination item is drawn from facts that can be substantiated by professional texts, the exam is not intended to be an assessment of your knowledge of literature. Additionally, there is no single reference, or small group of references, that are associated with most of the questions on any given exam form. The best advice is to review a basic, widely used reference. You may then wish to seek additional information not covered in that publication.

Comprehensive Resources

These resources are comprehensive in nature, covering each of the six CFRE knowledge domains:  Current and Prospective Donor Research, Relationship Building, Securing the Gift, Volunteer Involvement, Leadership and Management, and Ethics and Accountability.

Fundraising Basics: A Complete Guide, 3rd ed. (2009) by Barbara Kushner Ciconte and Jeanne G. Jacob

Excellence in Fundraising in Canada (2011) by Guy Mallabone

Achieving Excellence in Fundraising, 3rd ed. (2010) by Eugene R. Tempel, Timothy L. Seiler, and Eva E. Aldrich

Achieving Excellence in Fundraising, 4th ed. (2016) by Eugene R. Tempel, Timothy L. Seiler, and Dwight F. Burlingame

Complete Reading Resource List

Each of these resources covers one or more of the six Knowledge Domains of the CFRE exam.  Knowledge Domain Codes contained in the table are the following:

KD1 = Current and Prospective Donor Research KD4 = Volunteer Involvement
KD2 = Securing the Gift KD5 = Leadership and Management
KD3 = Relationship Building KD6 = Ethics and Accountability

You can use Knowledge Domain Codes in the table search function to find books for particular Knowledge Domains.  For example, if you want titles on Securing the Gift, enter “KD2” in the search box.  If you want titles that cover more than one domain, enter more than one Knowledge Domain Code.  For example, if you want titles on Securing the Gift and Volunteer Involvement, enter “KD2 KD4”

Link to Book Title Knowledge Domains Addressed
Keep Your Donors (2008) by Tom Ahern and Simone Joyaux KD1, KD2, KD3, KD6
Fund Raising Basics (2009) by Barbara L. Ciconte and Jeanne Jacob COMPREHENSIVE
KD1, KD2, KD3, KD4, KD5, DK6
Developing Major Gifts (2006) by Laura Fredricks KD2, KD3
Beyond Fund Raising (2nd ed.) (2005) by Kay Sprinkel Grace KD1, KD2, KD3, KD4, KD5
Major Donors: Finding Big Gifts in Your Database and Online (2006) by Ted Hart, et al KD1, KD2, KD5, KD6
Internet Management for Nonprofits (2010) by Ted Hart, et al KD1, KD2, KD3, KD4, KD5
Prospect Research (2nd ed.) (2007) by Cecilia Hogan KD1
Strategic Fund Development (2011) by Simone Joyaux KD2, KD3, KD4, KD5, KD6
Capital Campaigns (2009) by Andrea Kihlstedt KD1, KD2, KD3, KD4
Excellence in Fundraising in Canada (2011) by Guy Mallabone COMPREHENSIVE
KD1, KD2, KD3, KD4, KD5, KD6
Ethical Fundraising (2008) by Janice Gow Pettey KD2, KD3, KD6
Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing (2011) by Michael J. Rosen KD1, KD2, KD3,
Achieving Excellence in Fundraising (3rd ed.) (2010) by Eugene R. Tempel, Timothy L. Seiler, and Eva E. Aldrich COMPREHENSIVE
KD1, KD2, KD3, KD4, KD5, KD6
Achieving Excellence in Fundraising (4th ed.) (2016) by Eugene R. Tempel, Timothy L. Seiler, and Dwight F. Burlingame COMPREHENSIVE
KD1, KD2, KD3, KD4, KD5, KD6

CFRE International is an Amazon.com Affiliate.  If you choose to purchase any of the Reading Resource List titles pictured below using the links on this page, CFRE International will receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no cost to you.  This funding will help support CFRE International and the ongoing development and maintenance of the CFRE credential.