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The Association of Fundraising Professionals



What is the association of Fundraising Professionals?

It's a professional association of individuals who work in the fundraising sector.

So what does it have to do with me?


The association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) may be a good starting point if you're reading this because you need professional help with a fundraising campaign.

It's one of America 's well-established and well-known fundraising organizations.

Well-established? Didn't they just start a few years ago?

No. The association of Fundraising Professionals gained its current name after a rebranding in January 2001, which may explain why such a long-established company's name doesn't trip off the tongue. It was actually founded in 1960, but was initially named the National Society of Fund Raisers (NSFR), and then the National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE).

But what does it do?

The AFP's aims are as comprehensive as you could wish: to help fundraisers in their professional duties, to unite them, to promote the image of fundraising and fundraisers, to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information and to promote fundraising as an academic discipline by encouraging (and sponsoring) grants for fundraising research.

So how can the AFP help me?

If you're about to hire a professional fundraiser to help with your campaign, accreditation from the AFP will give you some peace of mind. When you're looking for an accredited fundraiser, you'll want one who has Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation. All AFP members have this, and the AFP also have their own certification program, the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) program. This requires, among other things, more experience in fundraising than that required for the CFRE designation.

Are all accredited fundraisers members of the AFP?

No. CFRE certification is independent of membership of any professional organization.

But all members of the AFP are accredited fundraisers, right?


What exactly does accreditation mean?

A CFRE certified fundraiser will have completed a written application, passed a written exam and agreed to uphold a code of ethics. The written application will be based on goals achieved in their career to date. The CFRE requires that accredited fundraisers re-certify every three years, which means demonstrating that they are still working in the field to the standards required. When you hire a certified fundraiser, you know that he or she is committed to certain professional standards.

For more information about the association of Fundraising Professionals, click here.