My Stupid
Journey to becoming a CFRE 

business me

Rachel M. Reis, MPA, certified fundraising excecutive, fundraising professional

other me 

How Much It Cost Me to Take the CFRE

I'm Rachel and I'm passionate about guiding people through the CFRE journey, because I largely did it on my own and thought there must be a better way! 

Not only did I find it hard to decipher the instructions on how to apply for the CFRE, but I was also plagued with questions about the process and it was very expensive! 

Here is my stupid expensive journey summed up. 

CFRE Test Application 

Discounted with AFP


Test Run - 1 month subscription


Test Run is the recommended vendor for practice tests for the CFRE. 

Additional Materials

The recommended reading list has books that are routinely $25 - $50 each, even when bought used 


I don't regret paying for the test with my own money because the $700 test is much more than the professional development costs of other departments at my organization. But studying tools added to my expenses, as I didn't want to take the risking of failing and losing what I had already invested. So the cost just kept adding up. 

The Purpose Behind Philanthropy Study Key

I created"Philanthropy Study Key" to support other millenial fundraisers in the pursuit of educational attainment and credentialing that can support their nonprofit careers. If my stupid expensive journey is any sort of a model, I hope to cut your outside study resources line item by at least 50%. This is why I've given you my perspective on the recommended reading list before you buy it and made my study guide the cheapest available on the market.  

The mission of Philanthropy Study Key is to provide high-quality, low-cost CFRE study guides for those who are preparing to take the test after they passed the application stage. 


Simply put -I want you to pay less and focus on doing more good. 

The longer I stay in fundraising, the more I am concerned about the well-being of the field. About half of fundraisers are expected to leave the profession in two years due to agency pressure and burnout. We must put philanthropy first before agency competition to secure a healthy financial future for organizations doing tremendous work.