CFRE and CFRE Study Groups

CFRE International offers the only internationally-recognized baseline professional credential for philanthropic fundraising executives.  Why certify? Among some of the top reasons: certification grants you more credibility and it can improve career opportunities and advancement. 

Through the CFRE credential, CFRE International supports and encourages fundraising professionals to aspire to the highest standards of professional competence and ethical practice in serving the philanthropic sector.

What’s involved? An online application and computer-based exam.

To apply for your CFRE you need:
• A minimum of three years of professional fundraising experience
• Documentation of professional performance, continuing education, and volunteerism

How do I start the process?
• Visit the CFRE International web site at and begin completing your online application
• Review the upcoming exam schedule and select a date to schedule your written exam
Join a Golden Horseshoe CFRE Study Group (optional)

Our advice to you
Many CFREs cite the hardest part of getting certified is not necessarily the test: it’s the application. Whether you're planning to take the exam in a few months or a few years, begin keeping track of your activities NOW! And make sure to keep paper copies from all of your conferences and continuing education seminars.  Note: CFRE randomly audits applicants to confirm their application details.

The computer-based exam is a 200-question test covering six core knowledge areas related to the fundraising practice.  The exam tests knowledge and skills you use on-the-job. Each candidate is allowed a maximum of four hours to complete the exam.

Please contact CFRE International:
225 Reineker's Lane, Suite 625
Alexandria, VA 22314  USA
703-820-5555 ext. 202 /


CFRE Study Group
A study group usually meets for about 12 weeks, follows the CFRE study manual and is led week by week by the group members. It is mandatory that all study group participants have a copy of the most recent CFRE study manual. Participants must buy their own CFRE Review Course Manual which is $200 and can be purchased through

Groups and meeting locations are set based on interest and the geographic region of interested members. Currently, AFP GH does not have an active study group, but we would happily make a connection for you to one that is operating, or, if there is enough interest, create a group in our area. 

To express your interest in a future group or if you have any questions, please email Mary Osborne at


Celebrating New CFREs in our Chapter
If you’ve recently written your CFRE and are a Golden Horseshoe member, please let us know! The Chapter recognizes new CFREs on an annual basis at our Annual General Meeting. E-mail Mary @