Nadine Shalala, CFRE, is a fundraising professional working in Germany. She shares her views on the value of holding a globally-recognized, accredited fundraising certification.

How did you hear about the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification and what made you decide you wanted to pursue the CFRE?
I started my fundraising career in Canada and I believe it was back then when I first heard about the CFRE certification. Now that I have been working in the field for more than a decade I finally thought it would be time to get certified.

You’re based in Germany. What value do you see in holding a fundraising certification that is globally recognized?
Professional fundraising in Germany doesn’t have a long history. Although there are a number of degree programs and other courses in non-profit management available now, there is no standard certification yet. I believe that the certification helps with my future career plans as well as other opportunities, such as speaking engagements.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for fundraising professionals in Germany looking to advance in their careers?
Trying to pick the right continuing education. There are now numerous courses and seminars available.

Did your employer pay for your CFRE initial certification fee or did you?
No, my employer did not pay for the certification.

What value do you see in holding a certification that promotes ongoing continuing education?
With the world changing every day, I believe it is more important than ever to continue to learn. To learn from colleagues in your organization, from friends in other NGOs and from fundraisers in other countries. It strengthens each fundraising professional’s skills, but also the profession of fundraising itself.

What advice do you have for other fundraising professionals in Europe who may be wondering if the CFRE is for them?
Speak to someone who has the certification and ask them why they decided to get certified.