May 29, 2024
In Grantseeking Your Budget Does Matter
March 13, 2018
Tales from the Crypt: Dead People Are Better Donors Than Corporations
March 14, 2018
In Grantseeking Your Budget Does Matter
March 13, 2018
Tales from the Crypt: Dead People Are Better Donors Than Corporations
March 14, 2018

Does Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Remind You of the RMS Titanic?

Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE)

Should the RMS Titanic be renamed the CFRE Titanic

Does Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Remind You of the RMS Titanic? – By Bishop Redfern II

Bishop Redfern II is Association of Fundraising Professionals Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser, United Way’s Alyce Kemp-Dewitt Award Winner and Presiding Bishop and General Overseer of the Ecumenical Christ of Christ.

Have you ever wondered if the RMS Titanic* should be renamed the CFRE Titanic?

There is a movement afoot to crucify anyone who asks the question, “Has Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) become obsolete?” The nonprofit establishment has been quick to brand thought-leaders who challenge the value of CFRE as heretics or even worse, as charlatans.

To declare CFRE as the Titanic is to say that in 1912, experts and industry leaders thought she was unsinkable. Titanic was not for the common man, it was for the elite. CFRE charges titanic-sized fares proving that they’ve missed credentialing’s true purpose. Modern credentialing must equip, engage and prepare EVERYONE to navigate the ever-changing waters of civil society while simultaneously achieving significant impact. It takes years to complete CFRE credentialing, by the time you’re finished, everything you were examined for has changed. CFRE is out of reach of the average nonprofit executive burdened with transporting our communities’ largest loads.

Titanic, in its day, was the epitome of arrogance, wealth, position and exclusion. To be on board was to mingle with “titans” of industry whose lust for power created monopolies that ultimately had to be dismantled by force. CFRE is desperately trying to maintain control (along with their affiliated organizations, networks and publications) of the levers of nonprofit management, operations, thought and idea creation. Experts have been saying for years that the day of the CFRE monolith is over. The needs of modern nonprofits – their boards, executives, staff and consultants are varied and complex. CFRE’s one-size-fits-all fundraising credential is not only ineffective but places us in the iceberg filled waters of the 21st century marketplace without the benefit of even a simple GPS.

Is CFRE (Certified Fund Fundraising Executive) Sinking?It’s widely known that CFRE has been taking on water for decades and was never more evident when their own credential-holders embarrassed CFRE by attacking National Association of Nonprofit Organization & Executives‘ 2017 Board of Governors Convention & Expo. Certified Fund Raising Executives from across the U.S. violated countless ethical codes using slander and false accusations to cyber-bully NANOE’s members, governors and its board of directors. Why such vitriol from so-called professionals? The answer is simple. NANOE introduced a new set of credentials (CNE, CDE & CNC***) that are flexible, fluid, outcome-based and are in direct competition with the monolithic CFRE Titanic. NANOE’s dedicated team of academicians, donors, volunteers and c-suite level administrators took five years to develop a program with one purpose in mind — to provide ALL charitable leaders the training they require to design heroic missions of scale that confront issues so completely money chases after their every need.

NANOE credentials are based on hundreds of thousands of dollars of university-led research, empirical studies, field-tested management practices and proven growth innovations. Practitioners who achieve a NANOE credential discover startling new ways to save animals facing extinction (including humans), rescue families from poverty, cure the planet’s major plagues and usher in new eras of world peace.

CFRE Certfied Fund Raising ExecutiveNANOE is not a rotting hull sitting in obsolescence at the bottom of the North Atlantic. Rather, it’s Tesla’s speed boat both sleek and modern. It’s SpaceX’s reusable rocket platform using new technologies. NANOE is Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship capable of boarding every leader who believes in their own success. NANOE credentialing is authentic, accessible, affordable and achievable. CNE, CDE & CNC credentials consider the uniqueness of our needs and the different outcomes we require. NANOE is the vessel that will take us into the final frontier, to boldly go where no one has gone before.

CFRE is the past. Modern energy needs can’t be met using kerosene lamp technology. Smartphones can’t be regulated by rules that governed the telegraph. CFRE’s outdated ethical codes have been replaced with cloud based accounting and public/private reporting technologies that keep our finances transparent. CFRE burdens organizations with rules and regulations that keep nonprofit executives in “steerage” below deck. By contrast, NANOE shows executives how to secure the monies they need to fund their personal compensation packages ensuring we are never in need of our OWN services.

Today is not the day of the CFRE Titanic. It is a new day. It is a day for modern enterprise engines that supply clean water to ALL who thirst, that shelter ALL in need of a home, that provide love and relief to ALL people in need. NANOE gives charities everything they require to make their dreams come true.

It’s time to lay Certified Fund Raising Executive to rest. Let’s replace it with a credentialing experience so powerful and unique, that caring people will say in their hearts, “I can’t wait to do that again, again and again!”

That’s NANOE.

To see a side-by-side comparison of Certified Fund Raising Executive vs CNE, CDE, CNC please VISIT HERE

Bishop Redfern II, Presiding Bishop and General Overseer of the Ecumenical Christ of Christ, is the founding Board Chair of the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives. He has been named by the Association of Fundraising Professionals as its Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year and is United Way’s Alyce Kemp-Dewitt Award Winner. Redfern, has served as the Chief Executive Officer in a diverse array of companies worldwide. He is known for his innovative leadership and management skills and a track record of providing companies with the leadership, organizational and operational tools they require for sustained profitable growth.

*RMS is a British abbreviation dating back to 1840 and stands for Royal Mail Ship.

**CFRE stands for Certified Fund Raising Executive and is a subsidiary organization of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

***NANOE’s CNE credential stands for Certified Nonprofit Executive, NANOE’s CDE credential stands for Certified Development Executive and NANOE’s CNC credential stands for Certified Nonprofit Consultant. CNE, CDE, CNE are overseen by the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives (NANOE)

Share and Enjoy !

Bishop Redfern II
Bishop Redfern II
Bishop Redfern II finds a need and meets it. He makes a promise and keeps it.


  1. Nicole Harris says:

    I enjoyed reading your article, it offered a interesting perspective on the CFRE credentialing process and its accessibility to all nonprofit professionals. The nonprofit world is changing and fundraising standards must change with it.

  2. Jason Bundy says:

    Jason Bundy, Integrated Merchant Alliance – Founder/President

    If you think about it, the old saying, “If it’s not broke…don’t fix it” is too much of a shared mentality. The problem with this thought process, is the complete failure to recognize what is actually BROKEN AND BEYOND REPAIR.

    It is sad to think how many nonprofits who had an important cause and a great staff who end up shuttering their doors due to lack of operating capital/funding.

    I have personally sat on several Boards that fired the Executive Director (something I almost always voted against) or other staff, because the funds were not there and the Board decided to “hold accountable” an individual who had never been trained and was not given the resources/tools to actually raise funds in the first place.

    Instead the Board(s) would hire a CFRE and be charged thousands of dollars to raise less than they were actually paid.

    This was not a one off…I watched this many times, I did not know how to fix this problem…but I was very aware there was a problem.

    When I found out about NANOE, I read with great interest the new philosophy and processes and I was relieved to see that someone(s) had figure out how to actually address the prevailing issues/attitudes and help nonprofits not just survive…but thrive.

    This whole debate makes me think of one more saying “when the horse is dead…DISMOUNT”!

    The old system (CFRE’s) is obviously not working….IT IS NOT WORKING…what do you do when something does not work…first you try the old methods of fixing it and if that does not work…you make a CHANGE…you dismount the broken system and find something that works…NANOE works!

    I would encourage anyone who truly cares about their nonprofit to at least fully learn what NANOE does and how it does it. It is a 21st Century approach (to an issue that has been treated the same since the 1800’s) that is long past due.

    It’s real, it has been tried and tested and it works!

    I for one am excited at the thought of NEVER again firing a nonprofit staff member over something that is beyond their control.

    Best wishes and God Bless!

    Jason Bundy

    Integrated Merchant Alliance – Founder/President

  3. The big question remains : if it is a non for profit body of professionals, why should CFRE be so restricted and costly when the charity works demanding the expertise of professionals in Non profit organizations are increasing common place. Governments in developing countries are overwhelmed with the numerous challenges which places non governmental organizations on the precipice of last hope with little human resource, technical know -how and financial wherewithal to match the human and environmental issues. NANOE, I think you need to develop and expand your training and empowerment programmes to meet specific needs of Non profit professionals in developing countries. Thanks

    John Thompson, Lagos Nigeria.
    President, Media Centre for Safety Reporting
    PRO: Prisoners Care Support Association
    Director: Paths of Peace Initiatives
    Consultant/ Member: Human Right Defenders and Advocacy Centre

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *