CFRE Review Course

AFP’s revised CFRE Review Course offers development professionals an opportunity to review the main components of a complete fundraising program. It is a two-day, intensive program the purpose of which is to provide an overview of skills techniques, and program components base on fundraising experience at the five-year level.

Who should attend?
The course was developed for intermediate-level fundraising professionals who want a quick and comprehensive overview of fundraising principles, at a step above the fundamental level. Its content is organized around the CFRE exam domains: Current and Prospective Donor Research, Securing the Gift, Relationship Building, Volunteer Involvement, Management, and Accountability. Participants engage in fundraising problem-solving with top-notch professionals and network with fundraising peers.

What will I learn?
The AFP CFRE Review Course consists of an introductory module and nine content modules. Each module contains content, questions for discussion, activities and other ideas and suggestions for engaging participants in reviewing the material.

Brief Description of Each Module

Introduction to the CFRE Review Course– 20 minutes
Provides participants with an introduction to the two-day CFRE Review Course and allows them to get to know one another.

Module I: Why Philanthropy? – 25 minutes
Provides participants with an overview of philanthropy and fundraising through brief exploration of how and why people give. Sets the stage for how the general principles of research, marketing, building relationships, and ethics apply to fundraising. Introduces a glossary of common fundraising terms and definitions.

Module II: Current & Prospective Donor Research– 1 hour, 45 minutes
Explores the strategies and tools needed to create, analyze, use, and maintain a prospect list. Examines methods for qualifying and rating prospects, and for conducting research to enable planning and evaluation of specific aspects of a fundraising program.

Module III: Marketing & Communications for Fundraising & Development– 90 minutes
Provides participants with an overview of marketing and communications tools, techniques, and strategies for promoting organizations and their work to stakeholders.

Module IV: Developing a Comprehensive Solicitation Program– 2 hours, 30 minutes
Beginning with developing the case, this module covers the steps involved in planning and implementing a solicitation program encompassing a variety of fundraising programs, from annual through major-gift and planned giving.

Module V: Building & Sustaining Relationships– 2 hours
Once plans for and structure of the fundraising program are in place, attention may be paid to establishing, building, and maintaining the relationships that are the core of effective fundraising. This module covers the concepts of cultivation and stewardship as well as of the balancing act that nonprofit organizations must undertake. Both individual and organizational relationships are discussed.

Module VI: Securing the Gift– 90 minutes
This module focuses on the tools, techniques, and elements used in asking for and recognizing annual and major gifts from donors, including preparing volunteers with the content they need to successfully solicit contributions to the organization.

Module VII: Volunteer Involvement– 90 minutes
This module focuses on methods and strategies for engaging volunteers in the work of the organization. It covers recruitment and retention, orientation and training, engagement in fundraising planning and implementation, and delineates the roles of volunteers and staff.

Module VIII: Management– 90 minutes
This module covers fundraising from the perspective of the development officer and/or CEO, touching on the various elements of strategic and operational planning, managing the fundraising process, staff management and development, and contracting outside services.

Module IX: Accountability– 60 minutes
This module provides participants with an overview of the legal, regulatory, and ethical considerations with which fundraisers must comply in order to ensure accountability and transparency for stakeholders.

Overall Course Learning Objectives
The objectives for the content modules in the CFRE Review Course as shown below match CFRE International’s objectives for the exam. However, to completely achieve these objectives, exam candidates should do significant study of the exam material on their own. This review course highlights key areas of knowledge required; it should be supplemented by thorough study of the CFRE Reading List, available from CFRE International at