By Jeff Norris, MBA, CFRE

As I look back on the last 20 years of my career, I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to take on a number of very impactful leadership roles that enabled me to put my own personal values into action.

I can say with certainty that I landed these roles because I obtained my CFRE early in my career.

Like many fundraisers, I had the fortune of having my employer cover the cost of obtaining my CFRE designation. This made the process significantly easier.

Years later, I remain truly thankful. Today, the organization I work for financially supports its employees on their CFRE journey. This is important to me not only because of the help I received, but also because of the significant benefits our organization, and others, receive from having employees with the CFRE designation.

Fundraisers with the CFRE designation inspire greater trust and confidence in donors
For many years we have seen a shift in the sector towards greater reliance and activity in Major Giving portfolios.

These major and transformational gifts bring with them increased expectations from donors for accountability, professionalism, and fiscal prudence throughout the organization.

Increasingly, I have seen this extend to fundraising activities and fundraisers.

A CFRE designation provides powerful third-party validation that the organization, and its fundraisers, are competent and value the highest level of ethical and professional fundraising operations.

Competition to hire great fundraisers is fierce
In recent years the market to hire excellent fundraisers has become more and more competitive.

Currently, more than half of employers polled are offering financial help to fundraisers pursuing their CFRE. Job seekers are also increasingly expecting this support. In order to hire and retain the best fundraisers out there, employers need to provide it.

Organizations benefit when fundraisers prepare to take the CFRE exam
There is great value in fundraisers immersing themselves in fundraising best practices and methodology.

Typically, CFRE candidates spend 20 to 80 hours preparing for the CFRE exam. The modest investment employers make in supporting staff members in pursuing their CFRE pays off immensely with their enhanced education and knowledge.

It’s a great time to invest in CFRE. Right now, there are fewer professional development opportunities for staff. Why not take those funds and direct them to the cost of the CFRE exam? Candidates can study independently, without the need for formal professional development sessions.

My CFRE designation not only provided me with excellent employment opportunities; it strengthened the organizations I worked for.

The CFRE designation means professionalism, excellence, and confidence that your organization is operating at the highest level. Your employees, and your donors, will thank you for investing in it.

TVNPA Logo

Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance

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Nepal Center for Philanthropy and Development

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BBB Wise Giving Alliance

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Korea Society of Philanthropy

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Habitat for Humanity Logo

Habitat for Humanity

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HKMA

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Boy and Girls Clubs of America

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China – CAFP

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NACCDO

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Brazil Fundraising Association

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European Fundraising Association

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Boy Scouts of America

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Japan Fundraising Association

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United Way Worldwide

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North American YMCA Development Organization

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New England Association for Healthcare Philanthropy

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Kenya Association of Fundraising Professionals

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International Catholic Stewardship Council

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Fundraising Institute New Zealand

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Fundraising Institute Australia

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Association of Philanthropic Counsel

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Association of Fundraising Consultants

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Educate Plus

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The Giving Institute

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AHP

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ALDE

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AFP

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