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The Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Program

CFRE logo

About CFRE

Founded in 2001, CFRE International is an independent nonprofit organization whose sole mission is dedicated to setting standards in philanthropy through a valid and reliable certification process for fundraising professionals.

Why Should I Consider Becoming a CFRE?

Certification is becoming important in many professional industries and the fundraising community is no exception. There are many reasons to become certified, including:

  • Validates knowledge of the best practices in ethical fundraising
  • Demonstrates your commitment and dedication to professional achievement 
  • Increases earning potential. In the U.S., CFRE certificants report earnings of $30,000 more than their non-certified colleagues

How Do I Earn the CFRE Credential?

Certification is a 3 step process:

  1. Complete the online application
  2. Pass the CFRE Exam
  3. Agree to uphold a code of ethics and accountability standards

CFRE Tracking Forms

Full participation in AFP Southern Colorado programs may be applicable for points toward initial certification and/or recertification. For your convenience, we provide tracking forms for our programs.

How Does AFP SOCO Support CFRE Candidates?

Our local chapter supports CFRE candidates and certificants in various ways.

  • CFRE mentors are available to guide candidates through the process.
  • We offer a CFRE scholarship program to qualified AFP SOCO Members. 
  • Our chapter organizes a time for current CFRE certificants to meet, network, and discuss current trends in the profession.


AFP SOCO recognizes the significance of the CFRE designation and supports members who wish to seek this distinction. The AFP SOCO Chapter is offering this scholarship funding to help defray the cost of the certification process for current members in good standing. The applicant will receive half of the testing fee, up to $350, to support the cost of CFRE certification. 

Applicants must complete the online scholarship application along with a current resume.  Applicants will be notified of the status of their application by the AFP SOCO Chapter Administrator. Upon successfully passing the exam, applicant will submit a copy of CFRE certificate to claim scholarship. You must claim your scholarship within one month after you have received your certificate.

This scholarship is closed for 2022. Please check back again at the beginning of 2023 when we will accept a new round of applications!

This scholarship is funded by the AFP SOCO Chapter.

2019 CFRE Scholarship Recipient

Photo of CFRE Scholarship Winner

Debbie Swanson, CFRE

"Now that I have attained  my CFRE credential, I have something tangible to offer in support of my capabilities. It has done much for my own sense of confidence. It is not something to take lightly – it took two attempts to earn this designation, and I had been fundraising for 17 years. It took understanding that the exam tests on the knowledge of underlying theories and the best practices in fundraising and the ability to apply these theories and practices in our everyday work scenarios. It took more than just studying to pass – I had to assimilate the information deeply within me, to find the heart, purpose, and passion behind our profession, to capture the nuances that make this profession ethical and professional. Even though I have earned the certification, going through this process will make me an even better fundraiser."

~ Debbie Swanson, CFRE, ~ Pikes Peak Fund Development Manager at Girl Scouts of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Past CFRE Scholarship Recipients

2017 Winner: Michelle Reich, CFRE ~ Development Officer at UCHealth Memorial Hospital Foundation

AFP SOCO website

Contact Us:

AFP Southern Colorado Chapter
PO Box 231
Colorado Springs | CO 80901
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