Australia, Business Strategy, fundraising, philanthropy, Women, Women in Business

Should you be certified?

CFREJust recently I decided to apply for certification as a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) Why? What? Did you know you could be such a thing? I was encouraged by my highly professional and effective fundraising colleague Stephen Mally of Fundraising Force that this was something that was considered highly important for all fundraisers and I do agree that it is important that we help recognise the skills and abilities required to be provide excellence in this challenging – and somewhat undervalued –  field.  It is not, as a lovely contact said to me the other day, just a matter of sending out a few ‘begging’ letters. He added: ‘Surely your assistant could do that?” I hope there’s more to fundraising than a few sporadic mailings no matter how well written?

For me, it was a choice to acknowledge the commitment I had made to my own career over these past 16 or more years. It was a way to promote the continuing professionalism of the sector and to encourage others to seek to further their own careers.

So I’ve signed up and will take the exam later this year.  I had a look at the number of  Australian ‘graduates’ to the certification and while there were a few there were not that many. So it made me ask? Do you think it’s worth the effort? Should it matter whether you’re a CFRE?  I’m interested in your thoughts.  And will let you know how I go with my study before the exam.  It never hurts to brush up on your knowledge and I’m sure I’ll also learn a few things I didn’t know before. If you’d like to find out more about CFRE, visit or go to the Fundraising Institute of Australia website for more information.

2 thoughts on “Should you be certified?”

  1. Thank you for sharing. The points made emphasise those made elsewhere. My belief is that CFRE is important to our professional growth. However it does need vocal take up by FIA to ensure acceptance by employers and recruiters. Congratulations to Stephen Mally on leading the charge.


  2. Pamela, congrats on taking the step to becoming a Certified Fundraising Executive. I look forward to welcoming you among the Australians who have their CFRE! Your blog post hits to the heart of why someone should become CFRE. Thank you for posting.

    We have a study group formed in Sydney and, I believe, others exist across the country to aid you and others who want to become CFRE. Completing the application and being approved to take the exam is a big advance.

    Congrats for making this decision and thanks, again, for your blog post! Let me know if I may assist you in any way. All best.


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