As a certifying agency, CFRE International adheres to international standards for the development and operation of a certification programme.

These standards state that the same organisation which assesses candidates cannot also prepare them for the exam. Therefore, in order for the certification process to be fair and reliable, CFRE International cannot sponsor or endorse any review or preparation courses.

CFRE International provides its Participating Organisations with the Test Content Outline and encourages those organisations to offer educational programming that covers topics found on the examination. However, each Participating Organisation is the sole determiner of the content of its review courses and the quality of the instruction provided.

The following organisations offer programmes which they promote as serving as a review for the CFRE Exam:

Because the CFRE exam is a generalist exam based on current best practices in ethical philanthropic fundraising practice, any educational activities in which you participate from a reliable provider are going to assist you in mastering the knowledge and skills you need to be successful on the CFRE examination.

Some candidates may choose to participate in informal or structured courses intended, or advertised, to prepare candidates for the CFRE examination. Typically, these are conducted by local chapters of professional associations related to fundraising, or by universities or private agencies. The length and cost of such preparatory courses vary widely.