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About the CFRE

It's not just a lot of money to spend - it's a lot of time, too! So it's only natural to wonder if it's going to pay off in the end.  This is something I can't help with quite yet since I only reached CFRE designation status as of April 2021. So I compiled a list of resources that ask the question of whether a CFRE is worth it. I also want to connect with other CFREs and have them share their wealth of knowledge

Tips

The application takes years. 

Well, really, the process behind the application takes years. It takes diligent tracking and reading over the application instructions over and over again. The application is part 1 of the CFRE certification process. If your application is accepted, you will receive email instructions about selecting your preferred testing date. 

  • Triple-check that your professional development hours are from an approved vendor before you submit. 

  • Scan or upload your professional development in a sky drive (i.e. Google Drive) and take the notes with you from job to job. It also might help you study for the test! 

  • You'll need to pay at the time of application submission, so figure out your funding source when you are fully ready to submit. I paid for my own test, but remember, this may be reimbursable through your employer. Here are some other things to consider.

    • Offer to fundraise an additional $700 - $850 (cost depends on whether or not you have an AFP membership). 

    • Offer to split it with your employer. 

    • Or, pay for it by yourself and upon achieving full status, negotiate for more of a professional development stipend. 

The Subjects of the CFRE

Prospective Donor Research

This part is 14% (approximately 28 questions). From the highest portion to the lowest portion, this is the fourth largest part of the exam. 

Securing the Gift

This part is 23% (approximately 46 items). From the highest portion to the lowest portion, this is the second-largest part of the exam.  

Relationship Building

This part is 28% (approximately 52 items). From the highest portion to the lowest portion, this is the largest part of the exam.  

Volunteer Engagement

This part is 8% (approximately 16 questions). From the highest portion to the lowest portion, this is the smallest part of the exam. 

Leadership & Management

This part is 19% (or 38 items). From the highest portion to the lowest portion, this is the third-largest portion of the exam. 

Ethics

This part is 10% (or 20 items). From the highest portion to the lowest portion, this is the fifth-largest portion of the exam. 

Let's put all that another way. 

largest part of the CFRE

1) Relationship Building

2) Securing the Gift

3) Leadership & Management

4) Prospective Donor Research

5) Ethics

6) Volunteer Engagement

smallest

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