The CFRE process requires a comprehensive written application followed by a written exam. Individuals interested in the CFRE designation must have at least five years of paid, professional practice in fundraising, meet all of the minimum eligibility requirements, and pass the written exam.
"The best thing to happen to me because I have my CFRE was actually gaining my CFRE in the first place. It defined me as a professional in the vocation I had taken on 9 years before.
Up until the time I achieved my CFRE I had felt a sense of something missing in the way the profession of fundraising was articulated and how I viewed myself within it. Gaining my CFRE gave me a place – and the confidence to know I belonged in that place." - Nigel Harris, CFRE Maters' Hospital Trust, Brisbane, QLD Australia
60 points (5 years) minimum. Candidates earn one (1) point for each one (1) month of paid, professional experience as a member of a philanthropic fundraising staff or a consultant to a nonprofit during the most recent eight (8) years. This allows for allowing for employment gaps. A minimum of 50% of job duties must be directly related to generating philanthropic dollars.
55 points minimum. Candidates can earn points three ways: 1) Communications projects (PDF) that have measurable outcomes that directly impacted the development function of the organisation (5 points per project); Management projects (PDF) that had measurable outcomes that directly impacted the development function of the organisation (5 points per project) ; or 3) Actual funds raised (1 point per 25,000 in your own currency). Click here for examples of: Communications (PDF) projects or Management (PDF) projects. Only Performance completed during the past five (5) years is applicable.
55 points minimum. Candidates earn points on a sliding scale – depending on the level of involvement - through participation in professional associations and/or community organisations (i.e., local church, youth groups, service clubs, etc.) Only Service completed during the past five (5) years is applicable. Service need not be fundraising-related.
Donor Bill of Rights and Accountability Standards Candidates must agree to adhere to the CFRE Donor Bill of Rights (PDF), as well as signing their agreement with CFRE International Accountability Standards.
The Application Process
Candidates must submit a completed application at least 60 days prior to a desired exam date. Click here to access the on-line application form.
The application must be reviewed and approved before candidates are permitted to sit for the exam.
Once the application is approved and at least 30 days prior to the desired exam date, candidates will be sent an Authorisation to Test (ATT) letter.
CFRE International staff members are available to assist you with your application, if you have questions after reviewing the application. Please call +1 703.820.5555, or use our CFRE Contact Form.