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 five 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 225-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:
300 N Washington Street, Suite 504
Alexandria, VA 22314  USA
703-820-5555 ext. 202 /

CFRE Study Group
The AFP Golden Horseshoe Chapter organizes ongoing 6 to12 week CFRE Study Groups across our chapter catchment area. These groups are self-led and participant driven. 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.

Upcoming Dates: We have had a bit of interest in a study group for this spring. A study group usually meets for anywhere between 6 and 12 weeks, follows the CFRE study manual and is lead week by week by the group members. The group will either meet in person around the dinner hours and all meetings will be potluck OR the group may want to consider a study buddy concept.  All options for study group will be discussed in the first meeting which takes place by conference call. This gives you an opportunity to discuss with other interested candidates, the kind of study group that the group thinks will work best and the best days and times for the group. Once this conference call takes place, then people decide if they can make the commitment. Please consider at least joining the conference call to see if this concept might work for you. Our last study group had 100% success rate in writing their exam.

If you are interested in a study group please contact Darlene Bennett-Howes at As we get enough numbers we start a group!
Location: Location TBD
Who should attend: Professional fundraisers planning to write the exam within 6-12 months
To register: E-mail Darlene Bennett-Howes, CFRE Study Group Dean 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 Darlene at