The Importance of Goals and ACFRE Certification

Woman Excitedly JumpingWe all know that goals are critical in the world of fundraising.

Whether you’re in your first capital campaign or your umpteenth annual fund drive, setting measurable, achievable (yet lofty) goals is one of the primary keys to success.

On Achieving My Own Goals

As a fundraising consultant, the same is true for me in a different way. In order to do my very best work for my clients, I regularly set professional development goals for myself.

Whether it’s writing a new book, developing a new training session, or providing a superior board retreat, I’m able to make fundraising simple and fun for you because it’s my job to learn everything necessary to do so — which includes keeping up-to-date on new strategies, best practices and trends.

That’s why I’m pleased and proud to tell you that this Friday, October 4, 2013, I’ll be the 99th person to receive the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) credential from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). This also makes me one of only two people in my home state of New Jersey to hold the certification.

Press Release: Fundraising Consultant Earns Field’s Highest Professional Credential »

Earning ACFRE Certification

I originally decided to earn my ACFRE almost two years ago and have been working at it ever since.

In addition to being able to prove substantial, long-term work in the field, fundraisers who want to achieve the ACFRE must pass both a written and oral exam and demonstrate substantial knowledge of our own specialties as well as ethics, management, leadership, and more.

Putting in the time and effort to earn this credential was important to me for two reasons:

  1. First, I’ve worked toward this goal because doing so has helped me learn even more about effective fundraising. Now I can share what I’ve learned with you and together we can be even more effective in raising more money for your organization.
  2. The second reason, though, is equally important…

Higher Standards for Training

As you may know, the field of fundraising is still in the process of becoming recognized as having the same kinds of high standards as other professions. Most of the specialized academic programs in our field are less than ten years old, and I’m convinced that the primary reason so many people have trouble asking for money is that they haven’t had any formal fundraising training.

By creating the ACFRE and making the process of earning one so rigorous, the Association of Fundraising Professionals has done our field a huge service. I’m both proud and grateful to be a member (and volunteer) of this organization and, through my efforts, to help raise the bar and the profile of my profession.

With that in mind, I want to thank the Association of Fundraising Professionals for creating this certification and for providing such valuable programs and services. I give AFP credit for all of my formal fundraising training — I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.

Joining AFP is Win-Win

If you’re a fundraiser but not yet a member of AFP, I strongly encourage you to join and actively participate in “our” organization.

Attend AFP’s meetings and conferences, and make the time to network with others in our profession. By doing so you won’t just be doing yourself a huge service; you’ll also be able to do even better work for your organization and help our profession achieve the respect it deserves. Active AFP membership is a definite “win-win”!

Well, that’s one huge goal I can check off my list. What’s on your list?


  1. says

    From one ACFRE to another, CONGRATULATIONS!! This is a great accomplishment.

    I remember when I started my own consulting practice I set a number of goals for my own personal development. Those included earning a masters degree, getting my ACFRE, and having a book published. I’m proud to say that I accomplished all three.

    Not only do I have my own book, I also have chapters in four others and one more on the way! As well as a thriving practice, wonderful colleagues, great clients, fulfilling board service of my own, and the reward of doing good for the world everyday. What could be better!

    • says


      Thank you, and congratulations on your accomplishments.

      I do love being a consultant, speaker, trainer, coach, and author, where I have the ability to help so many nonprofit staff and board members!


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