Did you know 52% of CFREs say their employer helped cover part or all of their CFRE initial certification fee? (Source: 2018 CFRE Certificant Survey).

Not sure how to start a conversation with your employer about how they could support your CFRE journey? No worries! Check out these tips.


1) Your organization needs to show it operates ethically at every turn. Your board, other departments within your organization, grant makers, and donors want to know your fundraising team is holding itself to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism. Having a CFRE that has agreed to comply with the Donor Bill of Rights and Accountability Standards does just that.

2) Every boss wants the most knowledgeable fundraising professionals on their team. To become a CFRE, most CFREs study 20 – 60 hours and read a variety of books—and learn quite a bit in the process! Many CFREs say that while studying they absorbed new techniques, approaches to campaigns, and filled in knowledge gaps they didn’t even know they had. CFREs bring this knowledge to their workplace to help their teams excel.

3) A confident fundraising professional is an effective fundraising professional. No one can be effective in their job if they aren’t confident they’re performing it properly. Ninety-two percent of CFREs say earning their CFRE was valuable in lifting their on-the-job confidence.

4) The books you want to use for studying. If your boss isn’t going to financially support your CFRE initiation certification fee, they can help you in other ways. Talk to your boss about purchasing the books you’d like to use in your preparation. The books can be owned by your organization and used to start a staff library.

5) The time you need to study. The day before sitting for the exam, many people take the day off work to do one final revision of their notes (this isn’t time to cram!). Ask your boss if they might donate a day off so you can have a full day to revise and rest up.

6) Timing your conversation. A great time to bring the topic up with your boss is when your organization is creating its budget for the next fiscal year. If you’re near the end of your fiscal year and there will be unused professional development funds, check if some or all of them could be applied towards your initial certification fee.

Have a tip not listed here? Tell us at share@cfre.org.