The next CFRE test will focus more on relationship building and asking for the gift and less on prospect research and volunteer involvement.
The NonProfit Times reports on the development as follows:
“The Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) exam is changing in scope and the number of questions based on a Job Analysis Study examining attitudes and perspectives from professional fundraisers around the world.
“The CFRE Test Content Outline will eliminate questions from the sections Current and Prospective Donor Research, Volunteer Involvement and Leadership and Management. It will add questions to Securing the Gift, Relationship Buildings and Ethics and Accountability.
“The Alexandria, Va., organization sends out a survey every five years to nearly 3,000 fundraisers in eight countries, both CFRE certified and non-certified participants. With a 26 percent response rate, certified and non-certified respondents were in agreement in finding ‘Relationship Building’ to be the most important topic while finding ‘Volunteer Involvement’ the least important.
“’Based on the conclusions we’ve been able to reach,’ said Denny Smith, president and CEO of CFRE, ‘the study has shown us how much the CFRE is a practice-based credential, practice-based meaning we’ve done actual analysis tied to their jobs.’
“CFRE begins this process by choosing a Job Analysis Task Force (JATF), consisting of 10 subject matter experts in fundraising. Individuals are chosen based on ensuring balanced representation from various types of nonprofit organizations and regions in the world.
“Once JATF has created a contemporary description of the work of fundraisers, they finalize the practice description into: 6 Practice Domains; 32 Performance Tasks; and, 108 Knowledge statements. These are then sent to certified and non-certified fundraising professionals to evaluate the importance of each on of these aspects.
“Among the changes on the 2011 exam will be questions eliminated from the sections called Current and Prospective Donor Research, Volunteer Involvement and Leadership and Management. Questions will be added to sections called Securing the Gift, Relationship Buildings and Ethics and Accountability.
“Although Smith would not prophesize the reason for this switching around by respondents, he did discuss how CFRE does nothing in distinguishing what questions or sections should eliminated. It is totally up to the respondents.
“’We actually don’t take that approach at all,’ said Smith. ‘We let the data come to us. If we see the data is going up in a certain area, we will take those recommendations. Most places do it this way, so they have a solid grounding for the exam, not just based on opinion.’”