Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE)


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.

Melissa Pence, CFRE

AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising, Fundraising Advisor



Q&A with Melissa

Q:    When did you obtain your CFRE?
A:    March 2010. I have recertified every 3 years since 2010.

Q:     How have you maintained your credentials?

A:    For education, participating in conferences, classes and workshops that focus on fundraising and offer CFRE credits. I also earned a Master’s degree since I have held a CFRE in which some of my time in the Master’s program were able to be counted toward continuing education. Professionally, I have continued to be active in the fundraising profession, raising funds as a staff person in a nonprofit and counseling other nonprofits to obtain fundraising goals. Personally, I have tried to give back to the community through volunteer service.


Q:     What are the benefits of CFRE in your opinion? 

A:     The CFRE distinction signifies to employers, board members, donors and prospects one’s knowledge and understanding of sound fundraising practices, while upholding ethical standards.

Q:     What is one piece of advice for anyone in fundraising today?
A:     Continue to learn and keep up with the trends in fundraising. The fundraising profession and strategies to raise funds have changed since I entered the profession in 2000. (Think – the beginning of raising funds online.) There needs to be a multi-channel approach to reaching your target audiences today. Be open to try new strategies and utilize technology to amplify your message.

Never underestimate the power of stewardship. Always be grateful for the generosity of donors!

Eastern Iowa Chapter CFREs

Brenda K. Haefner, CFRE
Dawn Brouwers, 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
Julie Coppock, CFRE
Kelly Allen, CFRE
Laura Booth CFRE
Lois Ann Buntz, CFRE, MSW, ASCW, LCSW
Lorrie Erusha, CFRE, MOL
Mary Klinger, CFRE
Megan Johnson, CFRE
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.