About The ACFRE Program

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.

I have had the opportunity to associate, 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 was created out of the Advanced Credential Task Force, chaired by Russell Raker and appointed by then-AFP (NSFRE) chair Del Staecker. In 1991, the task force completed the written examination component of the advanced credential program, and the first ACFRE examinations were administered in 1992. The first credentials were conferred in 1993 to 18 individuals: Ted D. Bayley; Mary Anne Chern; C. Neal Davis, Ph.D.; John P. Demoleas; Lona M. Farr, Ph.D.; Simone P. Joyaux; Zoltan A. Karpathy; Barbara R. Levy; David J. Madson; William M. Moran; J. Russell Raker III; Charlotte Rhodes; Del Staecker; Dennis Stefanacci; Dana R. Todsen; B. Jeanne Williams; Karla A. Williams; and Marjorie A. Winkler.

The Advanced Certified Fundraising Professional Program is a credentialing program of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. It is not directly affiliated with CFRE International, which is an independent, accredited certification program. For information about the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), visit cfre.org.

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

©2023 Association of Fundraising Professionals