The Advanced Certified Fund-Raising Executive (ACFRE) program is the most rigorous step in the certification process available to all fundraisers. The ACFRE process encompasses several steps. First, a written application assesses a candidate's experience, education and volunteer service. All potential candidates must meet the following qualifications: currently hold the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential or current Fellow, Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (FAHP); agree to uphold the AFP's Code of Ethical Principles and Standards of Professional Practice and the Donor Bill of Rights; have a minimum of 10 years of professional experience in the fund-raising field; have participated in fund-raising ethics courses as well as senior-level organizational management and leadership seminars or courses during the previous five years; actively participate in a field-related professional organization and demonstrate volunteer service to other not-for-profit organizations. The ACFRE Certification Board approves all applications before a candidate may sit for the written ACFRE Examination.
In the second phase, a written examination measures a candidate's knowledge of planning, execution and evaluation of fund-raising programs as well as the philosophical, ethical and social aspects of philanthropy, including trends in giving.
Next, the candidate presents a portfolio of fund-raising materials, personally developed within the last five years, to a peer committee. A planning document and a case statement, as well as examples of competency in writing, creativity, management, and teaching/training constitute the elements of the portfolio.
Finally, the candidate must successfully complete an oral peer review and evaluation by articulating a mastery of advanced-level knowledge and understanding of fund-raising ethics, management, leadership, planning and problem solving. Knowledge articulated must be both experientially and theoretically based in the broad field of fund raising and in at least two of the candidate's specialty areas.
Upon successful completion of all four steps, the ACFRE designation is conferred. Currently, there are 48 Advanced Certified Fund-Raising Executives in the United States.
"I believe," Dr. Grande said, "that it is critical for all fundraisers to be certified. The sacred trust of caring for our donors' gifts is too important to entrust to those who have not met the highest standards of professional competence and ethical behavior."
Dr. Grande joined Buffalo State in March 1997. Previously, he served as the president of The Children's Hospital of Buffalo Foundation and its Women and Children's Health Research Foundation, where he was responsible for the hospital's development program, research foundation management, volunteer services, public relations and government relations. Before his Children's Hospital position, he was vice president for development at the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, and served as a vice president with Citicorp.
He holds a doctorate of professional studies in marketing and management from Pace University, a master's of business administration in finance and investments from Baruch College and a bachelor of science from City College of New York.