Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE)


Congrats to the 2021 Class of new CFRE's!
These 265 individuals join over 7,400 professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation.
Individuals granted the CFRE credential have met a series of standards set by CFRE International which include tenure in the profession, education, and demonstrated fundraising achievement for not-for-profit organizations. They have also passed a rigorous written examination testing the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of a fundraising executive, and have agreed to uphold Accountability Standards and the Donor Bill of Rights.

See full list here.


A voluntary credential that is recognized worldwide, the CFRE signifies a confident, ethical fundraising professional.

It is how today’s fundraiser shows accountability, service, and commitment to making a difference for good. We believe the CFRE credential is vital to a fundraiser’s professional growth and that it sets the standard for ethical practice in the sector.

ANSI Accreditation

In 2017, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited CFRE certification under the ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 standard for personnel certification programs, making the CFRE credential the world’s only accredited certification for philanthropic fundraising professionals.

ANSI accreditation is the hallmark of a rigorous, high-quality certification program. Accreditation by ANSI means that the CFRE credential’s global significance is recognized by other worldwide accrediting bodies with which ANSI has multilateral recognition agreements.

Reach and Scope

More than 7,200 fundraising professionals from over 20 countries are currently CFREs. They work throughout all segments of the nonprofit sector including healthcare, education, and the arts, where they bring adherence to rigorous standards to all aspects of their work.

CFRE is poised to expand its reach in the coming years, growing philanthropic sector recognition of the CFRE credential and growing in service to certificants and partner organizations in the sector.

Differing Types of Workplace Credentials and Certifications

The CFRE is a third-party certification that assesses fundraising competence. Learn more about how a third-party certification differs from other types of workplace certificates, certifications, and licenses in this video from ANSI.


Monthly Spotlight

Decades of service. Years of dedication.
We thank you, Jeannette Archer-Simons, CFRE -
ASAC, Executive Director, who has been a leader in
fundraising and CFRE since 1995!


Q&A with Jeannette

1.      When did you obtain your CFRE and why?

Seems like the original date was 1995.  I fell in love with bringing good causes together with good people who want to support good work when I started my nonprofit career in 1991.  I was a member of AFP to learn more about how I could be a better fund raiser as an executive director.  They offered a conference that included a prep course for CFRE so I completed the application and sat for a couple days in a prep course and then took the exam.  I believe that the credentialing indicates to donors and organizations that you have a professional understanding of the care of donors and donations and you are better prepared to offer the most appropriate strategies for organizations to have a diversified fund raising plan and to reach a variety of donor types.

2.      How have you maintained your credentials?

I look for courses that interest me and sign up as they are available. I also periodically take a course to gain knowledge like years ago it was on social media marketing related to fund raising.  This year it was how to hold virtual events.  I also attend AFP meetings and conferences and periodic planned giving meetings to gain knowledge and hours of training.  As I have been credentialed for more than 25 years I also periodically teach courses and share knowledge, which also apply to the point structure.  This quarter I am teaching a college level nonprofit management course.  I also have offered a Fire Up Your Board to Fund Raise workshop to organizations.  Sharing knowledge helps me keep fresh and get new ideas.  I believe that credential gives us the opportunity to stay challenged by our field and to support others developing careers in fund raising so that we can do good work for both organizations and our donors.

3.      What are the benefits of CFRE in your opinion?

It makes me accountable for effective work with donors and it keeps me learning.  It provides opportunities to try new approaches to funding strategy.  When I launched the first major capital campaign for a nonprofit it helped me to find resources on how to engage donors in a capital effort.  We set a goal of $6M and raised $11M.  The board was not sure we had the capability, so having professional knowledge allowed me to reassure them and engage the board in approaching donors in a variety of ways.

4.      What is one piece of advice for anyone in fundraising today?

Love the work your organization does and connect that passion with people who want to do good work.  Tell your story to connect the dots for those you are trying to approach and make sure you always have data in your back pocket to show the impact your organization is having on where we live and the people we serve.  This is about building stronger communities by again matching good people with good causes.

Eastern Iowa Chapter CFREs

Brenda K. Haefner, CFRE
Eric S. Weiler, CFRE
Helen B. Arnold, CFRE
Hilery S Livengood, CFRE, MA, BA
Jason S. Wright, CFRE
Jeannette Archer-Simons, CFRE
Jenifer Vick, CFRE
Jody Pellerin, CFRE
Justin C. Tolan, CFRE
Kelly Allen, CFRE
Laura Booth CFRE
Lois Ann Buntz, CFRE, MSW, ASCW, LCSW
Lorrie Erusha, CFRE, BA,MS
Melissa Pence, CFRE
Michele Ellen Brock, CFRE, MBA
Is your name missing? Please let us know if you’ve achieved your CFRE credentials so we can acknowledge your accomplishment. Email the chapter administrator at afpeasterniowachapter@gmail.com.