AHP's Certification Program, established in 1975, allows members to achieve professional recognition by documenting experience and testing knowledge in health care resource development. Currently, there are two levels of achievement in the program: the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and the Fellow (FAHP).

Who should pursue certification?

  • Anyone currently employed in the field of health care resource development and management
  • Health care resource development professionals who want to challenge themselves and jump-start their careers
  • Specialists in one aspect of health care resource development who want to develop more general knowledge and skills and learn how their activities fit into their organizations overall fundraising program
  • Consultants to health care resource development and management
  • Professionals employed in related fields (such as public relation, marketing, or fundraising for causes other than health care) who wish to pursue or maintain professional credentials in the health care arena


The Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) is the baseline designation for a unified credentialing program designed specifically for fundraising executives. This program is administered by the independent CFRE Professional Certification Board which consists of representatives from the participating partner organizations. At present, these include AHP, the Association of Lutheran Development Executives (ALDE), the National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC), the National Council for Resource Development (NCRD), and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). It was created to provide a single, credible industry-wide process for identifying practitioners who meet the standards for the fundraising profession. The CFRE program is open to all individuals meeting the eligibility requirements, regardless of affiliation with a professional association.

The Certified Fundraising Executive program is open to any eligible fundraising professional, regardless of professional association affiliation. All potential candidates must meet the following qualifications:
  • Paid, professional Employment for a minimum of five (5) of the most recent eight (8) years, allowing for employment gaps;
  • A minimum of 80 points in Education, consisting of points awarded for academic education and continuing education (1 point per clock-hour or .1 CEU). CFRE candidates are expected to have participated in on-going educational activities.
  • A minimum of 60 points in the area of Performance. Points are earned for actual dollars raised (1 point per $25,000) and/or for major communications efforts (i.e., public relations campaigns) and/or management projects (i.e., long-range strategic planning.
  • A minimum of 55 points in the area of Service which looks at a candidate's personal commitment to the spirit of philanthropy through participation in professional associations and/or community organizations (i.e., local church, youth groups, etc.)
The program consists of an evaluation of a candidate's experience, fundraising accomplishments, post-high school education, professional continuing education, and service to the profession and society. In addition, the candidate's employment history is verified and the candidate's knowledge of fundraising principles and techniques is measured by a written, multiple choice examination.

For more information about the CFRE program, please visit the CFRE website.


April 2017 Update: Beginning in February 2016, the FAHP examination was put on hold while the examination process went through an extensive review and update. The newly revamped FAHP program is slated to roll out in early 2018. If you have any questions regarding the status of program, contact Director of Education, Jacqueline Hays.

AHP's highest level of achievement is the designation of Fellow (FAHP). Elevation to the status of Fellow in AHP is the top level of achievement in the field of health care resource development. Attaining the Fellow designation is recognition of individual professional distinction, earned through dedication and continual self advancement and demonstrated commitment to ethical standards of professional practice. To earn the FAHP designation, you must successfully complete two steps.

The Individual Certification Plan (ICP)

A hallmark of the AHP Certification Program, the ICP is not only a way to record, but also a way to plan those activities that will help you gain the knowledge and learn the skills essential for personal and professional growth in the field of health care resource development and management. To begin, download the ICP PDF files listed below. If you need the Individual Certification Plan mailed to you, contact us at ahp@ahp.org or call 703-532-6243.

Section A
Section B
Section C


The Fellow examination is composed of a written examination, and an oral examination. Candidates must receive a minimum of 111 points out of a possible 170 on the written examination, and a minimum of 13 points out of a possible 20 points on the oral portion. Examinees must pass each part of the exam separately.
  • The written examination is three hours long. It consists of 120 multiple-choice test items and five short-item answer (essay) questions.
  • The oral examination is one hour long. It consists of four problem situations. Generally, each problem contains 6 to 10 related questions.