ALEXANDRIA, VA, USA – December 1, 2022 – As part of a regular review cycle, CFRE International made several updates to its Test Content Outline to ensure the CFRE credential remains in-step with current ethical best-practice fundraising. The updates give the nonprofit community and donors alike assurance the CFRE process continues to ready fundraising professionals with relevant information needed to perform their jobs to the highest ethical standards.
The updated Test Content Outline goes into effect January 1, 2023. Candidates for the CFRE who used the prior Test Content Outline to prepare for the exam should have no difficulties with the exam form that follows the new Test Content Outline. Initial Certification and Recertification application requirements remain unchanged.
The Test Content Outline reflects the base level of essential knowledge and experience a fundraising professional should have after five years in the profession.
The Test Content Outline covers the six domains of fundraising practice: Current and Prospective Donor Research; Securing the Gift; Relationship Building; Volunteer Involvement; Leadership and Management; and Ethics, Accountability, and Professionalism.
Consistent with the prior Test Content Outline, the Securing the Gift and Relationship Building domains comprise roughly half of the exam. The number of Volunteer Involvement questions dropped slightly while the percentage of Current and Prospective Donor Research questions experienced a minor uptick.
|Knowledge Domain||Percentage of Exam|
|Current and Prospective Donor Research||15%|
|Securing the Gift||22%|
|Leadership and Management||18%|
|Ethics, Accountability, and Professionalism||10%|
View the updated Test Content Outline.
CFRE International invites fundraising professionals around the world to participate in a Job Task Analysis survey every five years. The survey collects information about which tasks fundraising professionals perform, how often the tasks are performed, importance of those tasks to fundraising success, and knowledge used to perform the tasks. The survey’s data informs the Test Content Outline.
The Job Task Analysis is guided by psychometricians at CFRE International’s professional testing agency partner, Pearson VUE, while CFRE subject matter experts provide oversight.
Last conducted in 2015, the next Job Task Analysis was slated for 2020. Due to the global pandemic, it was delayed until early 2022.
More than 1,800 fundraising professionals, both those who are CFREs and non-CFREs, responded. Responses were received from 21 countries: Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Republic of South Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, and Uruguay.
“The Job Task Analysis found the core tasks fundraising professionals perform have not changed substantially since 2015,” said President and CEO of CFRE International Eva E. Aldrich, Ph.D., CAE, (CFRE 2001-2016). “However, several key additions were made, including further acknowledgment of the importance of principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in fundraising and philanthropy. Crowdfunding is now also included, plus several other updates.”
“The majority of the Test Content Outline remains unaltered,” explained CFRE International’s Job Analysis Task Force Chair Lesley Ray, MBus, CFRE, FFIA. “Candidates with studying underway should read through the updated Test Content Outline and use it going forward. If they began studying with the prior one, they will have a solid foundation of fundraising knowledge applicable to the CFRE Exam. Their previous study time will serve them well.”
CFRE International Board Chair Tom Berekoff, MA, CFRE, says, “It is important the Test Content Outline mirrors the actual work professional fundraisers around the world perform day-to-day. The regular review process ensures the CFRE credential continues to meet the profession’s needs globally.”
View FAQs about the updated Test Content Outline.
ABOUT CFRE INTERNATIONAL
The Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential signifies a confident, ethical fundraising professional.
Since 1981, the CFRE has set standards for fundraising professionals. As the only globally-recognized fundraising credential, the CFRE indicates professionalism, confidence, and ethics. It is how today’s fundraiser shows accountability, service, and commitment to making a difference for good. The CFRE certification program is accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) and is the only accredited credential for fundraising professionals.
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