Why get your CFRE?

The value of becoming a Certified Fund Raising Executive 

NEAHP member Betsy Cross has been a CFRE since 2005. She currently serves as the Director of Development for Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. Below she shares why she pursued her certification and the positive impact it has had. 

1) When did you enter the fundraising profession and what was your first fundraising role? 
My first job in fundraising was during college, calling alumni for gifts. I lasted three days. My first real job in development was for a very small social services agency. I did everything from writing grants, to running events, to keeping up the database. It was a great way to learn literally everything about development.

2) Why do you think it is important for fundraising professionals to hold a certification?
It demonstrates a level of professionalism and commitment to the field. Particularly in health care, certifications convey expertise

3) How did you first hear about the CFRE?
I was active in the NSFRE Central MA Chapter for many years (before it became AFP). The organization was wonderful about promoting professional education, along with supporting people who want to pursue certification.

4) When and why did you decide you were going to pursue your CFRE?
I have always loved learning, and this was a way to broaden my education about my chosen field and convey a level of expertise in my field.

5) Once you decided you were going to work towards being a CFRE, what next steps did you take? 
NSFRE Central MA Chapter ran a study group for three of us who were pursuing certification. We read a lot and convened periodically for relevant discussion. 

6) How did you decide what you were going to study and what study tools did you use?
Linda Dodge, current NEAHP board member for certification, ran our study group and was fantastic about recommending study tools for us.

7) How long did you study?  
I think we met for 6-12 months.

8) What was your mindset like when you went to the testing center? How did you keep your thoughts positive?
I took the exam when it was still on bubble sheets - the current exam is computer-based. We had to drive about 2.5 hours to get there and then sit in a classroom with probably 30 other people from all over New England. We were all nervous, but I just tried to remind myself that I had prepared and was ready!

9) When you learned you passed the exam, how did you feel?
When I took the exam, we were notified by mail about a month later. I was on vacation that week and had a colleague keep an eye on my mail and call me when the letter came. She read me my results over the phone!

10) What do you think has been the greatest benefit of being a CFRE?
Is it strange to say street cred? Having the certification lets others in the field know that I have a body of knowledge and am serious about my profession.


Learn more about the CFRE initial requirements. NEAHP members always enjoy a 20% discount on CFRE initial certification and recertification. The next application deadline is January 15, 2021.





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