February 17, 2019

Over the past year I’ve received several calls from friends and colleagues asking me about my CFRE, CNE, CDE & CNC credentials. I’ve had my CFRE for years and was one of the first executives to achieve CNE, CDE, CNC. I joined Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) in 1998 and have been a member of National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives (NANOE) since its inception. I’ve immersed myself in the cultures of both organizations, worked with their leaders and have attended their annual conferences. I’ve decided to take a few moments today to answer the question “Which credential benefits me most?” Here’s the areas I’ll review:

1. ADVANTAGES: What does each program offer?
2. AMPLITUDE: What is the scope of each credential?
3. AUTHORSHIP: Who designed these programs? What subject matter is covered?
4. ACCESSIBILITY: What ease-of-use structures have been created for participants?
5. AFFORDABILITY: How much do these programs cost?
6. ACHIEVABILITY: What do you have to do to succeed?
7. ACCREDITATION: How does this affect your personal success?
8. ASSOCIATION:  Who oversees these programs?
9. AUTHENTICITY: Do you share their values?


Tracy S. Ebarb, CFRE, CNE, CDE, CNC NANOE

Tracy S. Ebarb, CFRE, CNE, CDE, CNC

Before we get started I thought you’d like to know that I’ve spent a quarter-century as a charitable executive in nonprofit management and fundraising. I’ve been privileged to work as a consultant with Cargill & Associates, conducting capital campaigns that have raised over $50 million dollars. I’ve raised funds for humanitarian projects in the African nations of Sierra Leone, Malawi and Zambia, and the Central American nations of Nicaragua, Haiti and Honduras. I’ve also overseen 75 church fundraising campaigns across the US. Presently, I serve as the Director of Business Development for the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame in Arlington, TX.

Now that my bona fides have been established let’s take a few minutes to compare these programs.

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

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

 


1. ADVANTAGES: What does each program offer?

Though both organizations provide a list of similar benefits I can personally attest that there are FIVE basic advantages both programs have to offer.

CFRE Advantages:

1. Participants receive a certificate suitable for framing.
2. Participants use the designation CFRE after their name – Tracy Ebarb, CFRE
3. Participants have their education, experience and achievements cataloged.
4. Participants have their fundraising knowledge measured.
5. Participants receive a credential that improves their resume.

NANOE Tracy Ebarb CFRE CNE CDE CNC

CNE, CDE, CNE Advantages:

1. Participants receive a certificate suitable for framing.
2. Participants use the designation CNE, CDE, CNC after their name – Tracy Ebarb, CNE, CDE, CNC
3. Participants have their education, experience and achievements cataloged.
4. Participants are immersed in a learning experience that supercharges their ability to build capacity.
5. Participants receive a credential that improves their resume.

CFRE Tracy Ebarb CNE CDE CNC NANOE


2. AMPLITUDE: What is the scope of each credential?

CFRE Amplitude:    

1. Fundraising Credential for Fundraising Professionals

CNE, CDE, CNC Amplitude:

1. CNE, capacity-building credential for Nonprofit Executives.
2. CDE, capacity-building credential for Fundraising Executives.
3. CNC, capacity-building credential for For-Profit Consultants.


3. AUTHORSHIP: Who designed these programs? What subject matter is covered?

CFRE Authorship:

The CFRE program was designed by nonprofit fundraisers, for-profit consultants and for-profit vendors and is based on current fundraising practices, ethical codes, and regulations dating back to 1980. The CFRE exam is divided into six sections:

1. Current and Prospective Donor Research
2. Securing the Gift
3. Relationship Building
4. Volunteer Involvement
5. Leadership and Management
6. Ethics, Accountability and Professionalism

CFRE exam is multiple-choice and contains 200 questions.

CNE, CDE, CNC Authorship:

CNE, CDE & CNC credentialing has been designed by academicians, volunteers, philanthropists and nonprofit executives within the past five years and is based on 700 pages of new empirical peer-reviewed capacity-building research compiled in New Guidelines For Tomorrow’s Nonprofit – Second Edition. New Guidelines for Tomorrow’s Nonprofit has been divided into six sections:

1. Give & Take: Harnessing the Power of Differentiated Relationships
2. Strong CEOs: Heroism, Strength, Knowledge, Achievement and Vision
3. System Shock: New Era Management Structures for Charities that Soar
4. Building Capacity: Technology, Equipment, Legacy and Working Capital for Significant Impact
5. Boosting Capacity: Securing Risk, Opportunity and Change Capital for Significant Impact
6. Evaluating Impact: Before During and After Strategic Growth Actions

CFRE NANOE New Guidelines for Tomorrow's Nonprofits

CNE exam is multiple choice and contains 260 questions.
CDE exam is multiple choice and contains 150 questions.
CNC exam is multiple choice and contains 100 questions.


Tracy Ebarb CFRE vs CNE, CDE, CNC NANOE


4. ACCESSIBILITY: What ease-of-use structures have been created for participants?

CFRE Accessibility:

Exams are proctored at regional sites, certain dates only. Test-taker is given 4 hours to complete their exam. Exam is closed-book. 70% correct answers to pass. Course preparation is event driven and requires payment of a separate fee.

CNE, CDE, CNC Accessibility:

Exams are administered via an online testing platform available 24/7 and can be taken at the test-taker’s convenience. Test-taker is given 30 days to complete their exam. Exam is open-book. 70% correct answers to pass. Course preparation is online and requires no additional fee.


5. AFFORDABILITY: How much do these programs cost?

CFRE Affordability: $1,265.00 (with course prep)

Initial Investment (Exam Passed): $1,265.00
Initial Investment (Exam Not Passed): $1,640.00

Course Preparation: $390.00 (National Average)
Initial Certification: $875.00
Exam Re-Take: $375.00
Recertification Costs: $510.00
Recertification Process: 25-50 pages have to be written to re-certify
20 Year Career Cost: $4,445.00

CNE, CDE, CNC Affordability: $198.00 (with course prep)

Initial Investment: $198.00
Initial Investment (if Not Passed): No Additional Cost

Annual Membership: $100
Course Preparation: Included
Initial Certification: $98.00, $74.00, $66.00
Exam Re-Take: Included
Recertification: Included
Recertification Process: No Recertification Process
20 Year Career Cost: $2,098.00


6. ACHIEVABILITY: What do you have to do to succeed?

CFRE Achievability:

Three Year Application Process (see below seven minute video titled: what does it take to become a CFRE)

CNE, CDE, CNC:

No Minimums (your existing experience, education & CEUs are recorded)


7. ACCREDITATION: How does this affect your personal success?

CFRE Accreditation:

CFRE is accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies.

CNE, CDE, CNC Accreditation:

CNE, CDE, CNC credentials are based New Guidelines for Tomorrow’s Nonprofits – Second Edition. New Guidelines takes a strong position AGAINST nonprofit networks whose customers are nonprofit associations whose customers are nonprofit organizations. Watch Dr. Robinson’s 2 1/2 minute video below on how these layers of bureaucracy work against the charitable sector. CNE, CDE, CNC follows strict protocols designed by academicians that are overseen by program directors who ensure the efficacy and integrity of these credentials.

Simply put, whether you hold CFRE or CNE, CDE, CNC accreditation does not play a factor in your personal success.


8. ASSOCIATION: Who oversees these programs?

CFRE Association:                              

CFRE is a nonprofit subsidiary of the Association of Fundraising Professional (AFP) and is governed by nonprofit executives, for-profit vendors and consultants.

AFP’s Mission Statement: AFP’s, an association of professionals throughout the world, advances philanthropy by enabling people and organizations to practice ethical and effective fundraising. The core activities through which AFP fulfills this mission include education, training, mentoring, research, credentialing and advocacy.

CNE, CDE, CNC Association:  

CNE, CDE an CNC credentials are overseen by the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives (NANOE) and is governed by a wide-array of volunteers representing all aspects of civil society.

NANOE’s Mission Statement: NANOE is a nationwide network of donors, volunteers and charitable leaders whose relentless commitment to significant and sustainable impact transforms the communities we serve. NANOE members are innovators who solve problems (not just service them) by deploying heroic missions of scale that confront social and environmental dilemmas so completely that money chases after their every need.


9. AUTHENTICITY: Do you share their values?

CFRE Authenticity:

CFRE’s Values Statement is as follows: CFRE International’s values are the principles that guide our daily work—how we interact with each other and those we serve. These values guide our Board, volunteers and staff in making ethical decisions that affect candidates, certificants and the profession of fundraising.

SERVICE – We engage in continuous organisational review and improvement in order to deliver our programme in a way that meets and exceeds expectations. IMPARTIALITY – We adhere to an objective, fair and consistently applied process for collecting and evaluating information for decision-making that treats all people with equity. INTEGRITY – We ensure fairness, accuracy, validity and reliability in the development and administration of the certification programme to ensure it meets the highest standards as defined by experts in the field. ACCOUNTABILITY – We accept responsibility individually and collectively to create a quality, sustainable organisation that operates in an honest and transparent manner and is prudent in the use of financial and volunteer resources. DIVERSITY – We embrace and include the strengths, skills and perspectives that contribute to the development of the certification programme and its certificants in order to build bridges among fundraising professionals.

CNE, CDE, CNC Authenticity:

CNE, CDE, CNC Values Statement titled OUR MEMBERS ARE OUR MISSION have been determined by the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives and are quite extensive. They are divided into the following six sections:

1. Our values are OUR MINDSET
2. Our values are OUR METHOD
3. Our values are OUR MANNER
4. Our values are OUR MEMBERS
5. Our values are OUR MODIFICATIONS
6. Our values are OUR METRICS

You can review CNE, CDE, CNC’s Values Statement in its entirety by VISITING HERE


IN CONCLUSION: CFRE or CNE, CDE, CNC?

In the spirit of sharing “just the facts” I encourage you to decide for yourself “which credential benefits you most?” Make your choice and then stick with it. Feel free to call or email with your questions or meet me at AFP’s Convention in New Orleans April 15-17, 2018. I also look forward to seeing you at NANOE’ Convention & Expo in Charleston, March 26-27, 2019.

In Your Service,

Tracy Ebarb, CFRE, CNE, CDE, CNC

[email protected]
(325) 320-1377

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