What is ACFRE?

The ACFRE is the top credential of the fundraising profession. It demonstrates advanced level breadth and depth of knowledge about the fundraising practice, a commitment to leadership in the sector, and a commitment to ethical and effective professional practice.

ACFREs are focused on more than their jobs—they serve other organizations as volunteers; they research for our profession; they pass on their knowledge to others; they commit to and lead professional associations; they mentor the next generation of leaders; they ask questions and seek the best solutions to increasingly complicated ethical issues; they are strong and reasoned voices on behalf of the nonprofit sector, fundraising, and fundraising professionals; they are thought leaders; they are curious; they spend a lifetime learning…and leading.

​Do these traits describe you? Do these traits describe your aspirations? Do you want to be the best of the best? If so, we invite you to explore AFP’s ACFRE Program.

Demonstrating Advanced Leadership in Fundraising

Earning the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) credential signals to fellow professionals, employers and the philanthropic community that you possess advanced level mastery of fundraising leadership, management, ethics and professional standards. The ACFRE is an incredible accomplishment, recognizing the best of the best in the fundraising profession.


Reflecting on my work to date, as well as educating myself on industry standards as part of the certification requirements was invaluable to my employment today. Through the process I gathered a network of mentors that I can now call upon when faced with unique challenges, best practice questions and determining strategic direction.
​- Joy McKee, ACFRE

Being an ACFRE is about the joy of making philanthropy work for donors, beneficiaries, organizations, our world!
– Cecilia N. Reyes

I became an ACFRE because I can’t resist a challenge. I love being one because I can now tell everyone about the journey and inspire others to challenge themselves, too.
– Leah Eustace, ACFRE

I have had the opportunity to associate with, and work with, the top professionals in philanthropic service as a result of becoming an ACFRE. It has also given significant meaning to my life.”
– Carl Mansfield, M.Ed., ACFRE

The ACFRE offers you the opportunity to measure your knowledge, passion and commitment to the fundraising profession through challenging yourself to reach the highest credential in the industry. Once obtained, you will discover respect and credibility from others as a leader, providing personal validation and encouraging your continued personal growth and involvement to improve the nonprofit sector.
– Paul Strawhecker, MPA, ACFRE

Ready to Get Started?

Check the About the ACFRE page to learn more about the ACFRE program and the qualifications. You will also find a recommended reading list, recommended sessions, and articles exploring the meaning of the ACFRE.

Video: In Conversation with ACFRE’s: The Credentialing Process (AFP ICON 2021)

Listen in as five development professionals share how they became ACFREs. Through conversation and storytelling you will become familiar with the requirements of the ACFRE credentialing process, as well as learn tips and insights from their personal experiences.

©2024 Association of Fundraising Professionals