AFP Is Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive Credential

I remember 1993 very well, as I became a member of AFP and began the Master of Arts in Philanthropy and Development program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota as part of the third cohort. With great professors and great texts, I learned about our craft and planned for my CFRE, which I earned in 1995.

Just before this, in late 1992, the first Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) exams were held, and in 1993, the inaugural class of 14 ACFREs was bestowed with this honor. These 14 individuals, many still active leaders in our profession today, forged the way for the credential and set the bar very high for the rest of us. To me, this group epitomized the role of master fundraiser. Committed to our profession as my career, I soon came to realize that I aspired to do the same. Now, 25 years later, the number of ACFREs has grown. In January of this year, we welcomed Dr. Rebecca Davis as ACFRE No. 111. It was great to be able to tell Dr. Davis in person that she had passed her oral exam, the fourth and final step of the process, and to see her excitement with her achievement.

Any AFP member with fifteen years in the profession is eligible for nomination as a Distinguished Fellow. For the Honorary Fellow, a minimum of fifteen years in nonprofit leadership is required. Nominations were required to address professional recognition, employment history, publications and speaking history, AFP memberships, honor and activity, and a concise description of why he or she should be selected a Fellow. I too remember very clearly my friend, and this year’s Barbara Marion Award winner, Jim Allen, calling me as I drove north from Arlington to tell me the committee had passed me. That is now nearly seven years ago, in 2011, and yet it seems much more recent, as the memory is so vivid. Any AFP member with fifteen years in the profession is eligible for nomination as a Distinguished Fellow. For the Honorary Fellow, a minimum of fifteen years in nonprofit leadership is required. Nominations were required to address professional recognition, employment history, publications and speaking history, AFP memberships, honor and activity, and a concise description of why he or she should be selected a Fellow.

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