CFRE Certification for Your Fundraising Career

CFRE Certification for Your Fundraising Career

Why is a CFRE certification important for fundraising professionals, and how can it elevate your career?

What is a CFRE certification?

The CFRE certification is an accredited credential designed specifically for fundraising professionals. Having a CFRE certification shows you have proficiency in nonprofit fundraising at the highest possible level, and understand ethical best practices in the industry.

Getting your CFRE certificate is a process through which you can learn even more critical skills to enhance your professional work. Passing the CFRE exam demonstrates you’ve done the work necessary and have the skills to develop relationships with donors, increase volunteer engagement, and lead a team of skilled fundraisers.

What are the benefits of a CFRE certification?

Job Development

Having a CFRE certification offers you greater confidence in the work you already do in nonprofit fundraising. It can also open the door to even more professional opportunities. According to the 2023 CFRE Certificant Survey, 87% of those with CFRE certifications saw increased openings for career advancement and development.

Higher Pay

CFRE certificants may also see greater demand for their skills in the professional world, which can lead to better-paying jobs and pay bumps in current jobs. The 2023 AFP Compensation and Benefits Report indicates that those with a CFRE certification have higher earning potential, seeing between 5% and 16% higher pay than those without one.

Greater Confidence

Pursuing your CFRE not only boosts your knowledge and understanding of fundraising, but offers confidence in your skill set. Acquiring your certification is a rigorous process that can help you discover where you may need more professional development.

Stay Current

The CFRE certification must be renewed every three years. This ensures that you are up to date with changes in the industry, so you are always on the cutting edge.

Have your fundraising mastery recognized with a CFRE Certification

The CFRE certification process pushes you to achieve your goals as a fundraiser. It also demonstrates to those around you that you have a true understanding of fundraising ethics and professionalism. Ensure the respect of your peers and supervisors, and enhance the reputation of your organization.

CFRE ApprovedWhat is the process of obtaining a CFRE certification?

First, those applying for a CFRE certification must complete an application in order to take the CFRE exam. The education necessary for the application is not directly provided by CFRE International. The process of applying and becoming a successful candidate can guide you in the direction of what education and professional experience you still need to reach your goals.

The application is made up of four categories, with each category requiring a certain number of points in given areas. In some cases, documentation is required to obtain each point value.


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Candidates are responsible for choosing and obtaining their own education. Keep in mind what point values are assigned to each type of program. The categories of education are:

Continuing Education: Points are assigned by attending or teaching conference sessions, webinars, and workshops.

Authoring: Points are assigned by published article, book or book chapter.

Academic degrees: While academic degrees are not required to become a CFRE, achieving levels of higher education (even in areas outside of fundraising) count towards your total point value.

Service learning: Volunteer service and volunteer leadership count towards your point total.

Professional Practice

Employment in the nonprofit fundraising field, whether full-time or part-time, counts towards your professional practice requirements.

Professional Performance

CFRE application candidates can demonstrate success in their professional endeavors through actual funds raised, as well as work on discrete projects within their organizations.

Once your application is complete and approved, then you’re ready to take your CFRE exam.

A Commitment to Elevate Expertise in the Fundraising Field

Obtaining CFRE certification can significantly elevate the expertise of fundraisers, providing them with valuable skills and knowledge. Beginning in 2024, Greater Giving has become an Approved Provider of CFRE continued education credits. This approval further emphasizing our commitment to supporting fundraising professionals in their continuous growth and development. Approved webinars will have the CFRE approved designation. As fundraisers strive for excellence, the CFRE certification, coupled with educational resources like Greater Giving’s approved webinars, become a powerful combination in advancing the field and achieving impactful results.

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