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4 Reasons to Consider Becoming a CFRE

Samantha Hunter
Published:  09/23/2021
Road sign in the desert Photo by Pablo García Saldaña on Unsplash

As of last month, there are just over 7,400 Certified Fundraising Executives (CFRE), several of which are fellow AHP members. Chances are you’ve heard about, or have even considered, pursuing a CFRE certificate. But, you’ve probably asked yourself, “Is the CFRE even worth it?”

Deciding to become a CFRE is a personal choice, and it may or may not be the right step for you, depending on where you are in your career. Whether you’re actively evaluating becoming a CFRE or if you’re just hoping to learn more, here are four reasons why you should consider it. 

1. It expands your fundraising knowledge

Receiving your CFRE requires training, studying, and keeping up with changes in the industry. The exam covers multiple fundraising knowledge areas, including ethics, management, leadership, and more. Most people don’t have direct experience in all areas of fundraising, so it can help demonstrate that you have a deep understanding of the entire philanthropic process.

Thinking about this year specifically, many fundraisers have had to step in to help out in new, unfamiliar areas. After completing the CFRE accreditation, 92% of CFREs have reported increased confidence in their job. By getting your CFRE, you get the opportunity to gain experience in an area that you might not be able to in your current role.

2. It can set you apart from other candidates

According to CFRE International, 90% of CFREs have said that it led to enhanced professional opportunities. The certification program signals that you have invested in yourself and your professional development. It shows that you have the drive to go above and beyond and are interested in being a well-rounded fundraiser. If you are looking for a new job or are applying for a promotion, having your CFRE can give you “that edge” over other applicants.

3. It provides built-in continued education in the profession

The CFRE program requires a recertification process every three years. You have to demonstrate that you still meet educational requirements and are keeping up with changes in the industry. In addition, it shows peers, supervisors, and even donors your commitment to your career and that you are someone who meets a set of ethical standards in philanthropy.

4. You can increase your earning potential 

Last but certainly not least, it can increase your yearly income. The 2021 Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) Compensation Survey Report showed that CFREs earn on average 15% more than their non-certified colleagues, with a comparable number of years of experience. 

While there is an upfront cost, it’s an investment that comes back to you many times over. If you’re staying at your current organization, you can use the accreditation to advocate for a raise. If you’re looking for a new opportunity, a CFRE could be the thing that puts your resume on the top of the pile. Just over 82% of CFREs have said it has a positive impact on their earning potential. 

Ready to learn more about how to become a CFRE? Check out our webinar to learn more about the CFRE credential, eligibility requirements, and tips for taking the CFRE exam.
NEWS  /04/14/21
Tips on how to make sure your next fundraising role is the right fit.
NEWS  /08/13/20
Get tips on how to study and stay motivated from three AHP members and newly minted CFREs .

Meet The Author

Sam Hunter headshot
Samantha Hunter
Association for Healthcare Philanthropy

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