CFRE Recommended Resource Reading List

The publications on the Reading Resource List are all widely available and provide information on current, commonly accepted fundraising practices. These references are comprehensive and most closely relate to information covered on the exam.

It is not intended that each candidate read every publication on the Resource Reading List. This list is provided as a guide for candidates seeking books on particular subject areas or general overview texts.

The books listed were used frequently by item writers and reviewers to create the exam. However, reading any or all of the publications on this list does not guarantee you will excel on the exam.

The exam is not intended to be an assessment of your knowledge of literature. 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 ResearchKD4 = Volunteer Involvement
KD2 = Securing the GiftKD5 = Leadership and Management
KD3 = Relationship BuildingKD6 = Ethics and Accountability

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. For titles that cover more than one domain, enter more than one Knowledge Domain Code. For example, to find titles on Securing the Gift and Volunteer Involvement, enter “KD2 KD4”

Link to BookTitleKnowledge Domains Addressed

Keep Your Donors (2008) by Tom Ahern and Simone JoyauxKD1, KD2, KD3, KD6

Fund Raising Basics (2009) by Barbara L. Ciconte and Jeanne JacobCOMPREHENSIVE
KD1, KD2, KD3, KD4, KD5, KD6

Developing Major Gifts (2006) by Laura FredricksKD2, KD3

Beyond Fund Raising (2nd ed.) (2005) by Kay Sprinkel GraceKD1, KD2, KD3, KD4, KD5

Major Donors: Finding Big Gifts in Your Database and Online (2006) by Ted Hart, et alKD1, KD2, KD5, KD6

Internet Management for Nonprofits (2010) by Ted Hart, et alKD1, KD2, KD3, KD4, KD5

Prospect Research (2nd ed.) (2007) by Cecilia HoganKD1

Strategic Fund Development (2011) by Simone JoyauxKD2, KD3, KD4, KD5, KD6

Capital Campaigns (2009) by Andrea KihlstedtKD1, KD2, KD3, KD4

Excellence in Fundraising in Canada (2011) by Guy MallaboneCOMPREHENSIVE
KD1, KD2, KD3, KD4, KD5, KD6

Ethical Fundraising (2008) by Janice Gow PetteyKD2, KD3, KD6

Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing (2011) by Michael J. RosenKD1, KD2, KD3,

Achieving Excellence in Fundraising (3rd ed.) (2010) by Eugene R. Tempel, Timothy L. Seiler, and Eva E. AldrichCOMPREHENSIVE
KD1, KD2, KD3, KD4, KD5, KD6
Achieving Excellence in Fundraising (4th ed.) (2016) by Eugene R. Tempel, Timothy L. Seiler, and Dwight F. BurlingameCOMPREHENSIVE
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.