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Raiser’s Edge Fundamentals & Professional Certifications For 2018

Great news—Blackbaud University 2018 Certification is available now!

You know Raiser’s Edge inside and out. But can you prove it? Blackbaud certification in Raiser’s Edge is the best way to demonstrate your level of product mastery. If you’re ready to prove what you know, get certified!

Blackbaud University offers certified learning opportunities to recognize student achievement and help validate product knowledge. We provide these development opportunities to reflect our students’ commitment to excellence.

Fundamentals Certification
Ready to take the first step in proving your Raiser’s Edge product knowledge? Start the process to become Blackbaud Fundamentals certified in Raiser’s Edge. The recommended path to achieve product-specific certification is to first attend the Fundamentals series of courses, and then take the Raiser’s Edge Fundamentals Exam.

If you have previously taken the Fundamentals courses, or feel you have the necessary product skills and knowledge, you may proceed to the exam. Students who pass with an 80% score or better are Fundamentals certified. Passing this exam enables access to all courses for which the Fundamentals series is a prerequisite. Fundamentals certification is a great milestone for every Raiser’s Edge user.

Certification Designation

·         Fundamentals: Raiser’s Edge bCRE

Fundamentals Exam Recommended Courses
Raiser’s Edge: Fundamentals—Constituents
Raiser’s Edge: Fundamentals—Gifts
Raiser’s Edge: Fundamentals—Query
Raiser’s Edge: Fundamentals—Data Analysis and Extraction

Professional Certification
Are you ready to take the next step? Blackbaud University provides a secondary level of certification for Raiser’s Edge users. This Professional level of certification indicates a broader and deeper knowledge set. Eligibility for Professional certification requires Fundamentals certification and completion of required badges.

Badges serve as learning paths to guide students who want to build toward advanced expertise and Professional certification. Before attempting any badge exam, we suggest taking the associated recommended courses.
Certification Badge Exams Recommended Courses
Data Analysis Badge
Fundraising Badge
Communications Badge
These area-specific badges allow students to customize their learning plan to fit their goals. The ambitious learner can complete all required badges and then attempt the Professional level exam. The student who passes with 80% or better can proudly claim their Professional Certification for the year of issuance.

Certification Designations

·         Fundamentals: Raiser’s Edge bCRE
·         Professional: Raiser’s Edge bCRE-Pro

Bonus: All recommended courses, exams, badges, and certifications are included in Blackbaud University’s Learn More® and Learn Everything® training subscriptions! The opportunity to earn Raiser’s Edge Fundamentals certification (bCRE) is also included in the regional course Raiser’s Edge: Fundamentals and Certification.

Action Item: Ready to test your skill? Click on the course names in this blog post to view the course descriptions and course abstracts.

When you achieve accreditation, you join a savvy community of professionals who are Blackbaud experts, and you attain credentials recognized as the industry standard. Blackbaud Certification validates your credentials, enhances your resume, and helps advance your career.

Bonus: When you pass your certification exam, you’ll receive a certificate and will be able to start promoting your Professional designation. You will also receive an email from Blackbaud with a link to download the certification seal to share on social media pages, and a small digital icon to use on your business cards, resume, and email signature. You can even promote your certification status with a badge on your Blackbaud Community profile!

No Expiration
Every certification identifies the year it was achieved. There is no expiration on a certification, but the year gives context to when the title was achieved. We encourage students to periodically renew certification in order to reflect updates in the product platforms. You can use your certification as exemption from Raiser’s Edge instructor-led prerequisite courses for a full three years after certification date.

No Course Requirement
We want you to pass your certification examination; we therefore recommend specific courses be taken before attempting certification. However, if you feel you possess skills and knowledge strong enough to pass an exam, we encourage you to take the exam without taking the recommended courses. To learn what topics are covered in a recommended course (and in the associated certification exam), click on the course name in this blog post to review the course abstract.
Posted by Mike Adams on Mar 5, 2018 5:45 PM America/New_York

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There is nothing in this that tells me how to get to the exams...
  • Posted Thu 15 Feb 2018 03:50 PM EST
The links to the badges and certifications are within these documents.

Hope that helps,
  • Posted Fri 16 Feb 2018 08:20 AM EST
Where can I find the Professional Certification exam?
  • Posted Tue 06 Mar 2018 03:32 PM EST
Hey Connie!
The Professional Exam will only appear as an option after the Fundamentals Certification and the Badges have been completed with a passing score. This causes it to 'unlock' after about 24 hours after the Badge exams have been passed. Once it appears, you will be able to register for the exam.  You can either search for it from Training Central or by clicking the name of the exam from the datasheets:
  • Posted Tue 06 Mar 2018 04:56 PM EST
Has this happened with anyone else?  I've completed the badges but the Professional Certification isn't available - it just points me back to the badges.
  • Posted Wed 07 Mar 2018 10:28 AM EST
Hi. I've got all my badges examp and the fundamentals but it happend in 2017, can i take the Professional exam or should I retake the fundametals plus the badges again for this year?
  • Posted Wed 14 Mar 2018 04:36 PM EDT
Hi Ana!  I checked with Training Help and they said that they already chatted with you. There would be no need to take the 2017 Fundamentals exam, but you would need to take the 2018 Badge Exams.
  • Posted Wed 14 Mar 2018 04:49 PM EDT
Is there any kind of study guide or preparation materials (like the badge exam tables above) for the Professionals exam?
  • Posted Mon 26 Mar 2018 02:30 PM EDT
Do we have to do the badge tests again when renewing?
  • Posted Wed 28 Mar 2018 11:24 AM EDT
Hey Jessica!  We recommend reviewing the class handouts from the prerequisite classes for the badge exams as a way to review/study for the Professional Certification. Thanks and good luck!
  • Posted Wed 28 Mar 2018 11:35 AM EDT
Hey Sunshine!  If your last Professional Certification Exam was taken in 2017 and you wish to renew, you would need to take (and pass) the 2018 Badge Exams first to unlock the 2018 Professional Certification Exam. 
  • Posted Wed 28 Mar 2018 11:36 AM EDT
It is funny how a taking a test and getting certified can make you feel so good about yourself. It is the little things in life :) 
  • Posted Tue 03 Apr 2018 11:46 AM EDT
Are you able to just take the Exam?  I have worked on RE for some time and now we have moved to NXT. I feel I know database well enought just to take the exam.
  • Posted Tue 03 Apr 2018 05:50 PM EDT
Hi Karen!  If you navigate  directly to you should be able to begin taking the exams right away.
  • Posted Wed 04 Apr 2018 08:37 AM EDT
Do you have to renew every year???
  • Posted Fri 06 Apr 2018 04:47 PM EDT
Hey Joan! You don't have to take it every year. Having the credit from the exam will exempt you from pre-requisite classes for up to three years. Have a great weekend!
  • Posted Fri 06 Apr 2018 04:50 PM EDT
Hey Allison!
So, I would say there are two ways to go about it; pitch the exam itself, and pitch a Learn More subscription (which includes exams and classes).
Advantages of the exam you could mention:
  • Covering the exam(s) is an inexpensive way to help members of your team continue their professional development by proving they know the product
  • Covering the cost of the exam could be a tool in future job posts and recruiting for the organization
  • On the recruiting theme, organizations can cast a wider net when hiring new employees if they are willing to pay for training/certification as they will no longer need to “require” BB product experience in the job posting. This will give the organization more liberty to choose new recruits that fit their culture and mission, rather than have a more limited pool of potential hires with RE experience, etc
A Learn More subscription would include all of the above benefits, but the cost of the subscription is usually less than purchasing each class and exam separately. Having access to training with a subscription would take off more of the burden of onboarding new employees from current employees, help them learn the system more quickly, and allow them to learn best practices from the classes themselves and through the classroom discussions with other attendees at different organizations.

Anyway, those are some things to consider. Let me know if you’d like your organization’s Account Exec to reach out. Good luck!

  • Posted Wed 18 Apr 2018 09:11 AM EDT
Is there a way to see what questions you've missed on the certification exam? I'd like to know what I don't know.
  • Posted Fri 20 Apr 2018 02:14 PM EDT
Still want to know when the Master Level (bCRE-Ma) is coming out? It seems it has been in the works for years.
  • Posted Wed 25 Apr 2018 11:25 AM EDT
Hi KaLeigh!

There is not a way to see the specific questions missed, but the score should show you the module or area where questions were missed. Knowing which module to review will hopefully help on the second time around.
  • Posted Mon 30 Apr 2018 11:17 AM EDT
Hi Adriana! A Masters Level certification for Raiser's Edge is under consideration, but we have no specific plans for it at this time. If you are looking for more advanced certifications, you may wish to consider our Best Practices Nonprofit Fundraising Certification.  
  • Posted Mon 30 Apr 2018 11:31 AM EDT
I wish there were more Professional Badges offered so that we get bCRE-Pro certification that is based upon our roles within our organization.  The certification offered this year is more Development based except for the Communications Badge.  Database Administration needs its own badge if you are looking into giving options for this.  Maybe you could offer five badges and three can be chosen to get professional level certification.  Thanks, Annette  
  • Posted Wed 02 May 2018 02:08 PM EDT
Yes, was finally able to take my professional certification! 
  • Posted Thu 03 May 2018 06:27 PM EDT
Hi Annette,
I like the idea! There is no plans to offer additional badge exams this year, but we will take that under consideration for the future.
  • Posted Mon 07 May 2018 03:26 PM EDT
Hi Jenna,

I am glad to hear it! :)

  • Posted Mon 07 May 2018 03:26 PM EDT
Excellent post Mike. Thanks for all the information. I was able to clear through the fundamentals cert exam, along with the fundraising, communication, and data analysis badges with very little trouble. I would assume that I just need to wait the 24 hours you mentioned to open up the professional cert exam. 1 quick question, is there someplace I could find a basic study guide on what will be in the professional cert exam?  I didn't take any of the classes to pass the other exams, so I'm unable to pull the handouts from those classes as you mentioned in a previous post.  Any information would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks again. 
  • Posted Wed 16 May 2018 10:33 AM EDT
Thanks Chris! The best way to prepare for the Professional Exam is to prepare for the Badge Exams that serve as pre-requisites. The Professional Exam covers the same courses as the Badge Exams, so reviewing the handouts after taking the Badge Exam courses would be the normal, recommended way to prepare. If you passed the Badge Exams already, my recommendation would be to review any program areas that you felt less familiar with during the Badge Exams. 
  • Posted Wed 16 May 2018 10:46 AM EDT
Once we pass our certification Pro exam how to we add it to our profile?  I've been looking and can't find it anywhere?
  • Posted Mon 04 Jun 2018 02:37 PM EDT
Great information!   Now to convince those with the checks! :)
  • Posted Mon 04 Jun 2018 03:57 PM EDT
Hi Karina! The email notification after you passed the exam should include a link to claim your badge for the Community. Send me a private message if you didn't get it or if it doesn't work.
  • Posted Mon 04 Jun 2018 04:00 PM EDT
"You can use your certification as exemption from Raiser’s Edge instructor-led prerequisite courses for a full three years after certification date." I didn't know that. I'll be updating my certification just for that reason and maybe to see myself get a better score *fingers crossed*.
  • Posted Mon 04 Jun 2018 06:26 PM EDT
Is there a steady link to the courselist, like the PDF, somewhere? I'm always having trouble finding a new PDF, and the most recent version (last changed on 5/15/18 with Wendy.Assatourian as the author) takes me to courses that are "outdated", but it's really confusing to navigate through the University site. Thanks!
  • Posted Tue 05 Jun 2018 11:50 AM EDT
  • Posted Tue 05 Jun 2018 11:55 AM EDT
Good afternoon!

Are there any types of sample exams or study material to prepare for the Raisers Edge certification exam?
  • Posted Thu 07 Jun 2018 04:14 PM EDT
Any sample exams for Raisers Edge fundamentals course?
  • Posted Thu 07 Jun 2018 04:15 PM EDT
Hi Leah! We do not have sample exams. The best study resource would be the handouts from the classes listed as prerequisites for each exam. Have a great week!
  • Posted Mon 11 Jun 2018 04:03 PM EDT
Could you tell me if the courses need to be followed strictly in the order listed?
  • Posted Wed 27 Jun 2018 10:57 AM EDT
Hi Susie!  The order doesn't matter for the exam itself, but it can matter for registration for some of the courses. The Fundamentals need to be taken in a certain order. The Badge exams vary- some of the courses are pre-requisites for the other course. For example, Optimizing Mail with Segmentation requires Efficient Mail Communications as a pre-requisite, so those would have to follow a certain order. Many courses only require that you take Fundamentals first. As long as you have taken the prerequisite classes, the order doesn't matter when reviewing to take the exam.  I hope that helps!
  • Posted Wed 27 Jun 2018 02:12 PM EDT
I really hope that I get through the professional certification exams this summer! I have passed the badge exams several times but I always run out of time on  the Big One. 
  • Posted Thu 28 Jun 2018 12:43 PM EDT
Can you tell me if you have to complete the exam in one sitting or am I able to start- work for 45 min - and complete it the next day?
thank you!
  • Posted Thu 12 Jul 2018 03:42 PM EDT
Hi Karen! The exams are all timed. Once the timer begins, you are not able to pause them and come back to them later. Good luck!!
  • Posted Thu 12 Jul 2018 03:49 PM EDT
This post is very helpful, and I'm working through Fundamentals now.  Bookmarking this post for sure!
  • Posted Fri 13 Jul 2018 01:45 PM EDT
Do any of the classes for the badges provide CFRE credits?
  • Posted Wed 08 Aug 2018 03:29 PM EDT
Hi Deirdre!
Most of the classes listed for the Badges qualify for CFRE credits. I recommend checking here for the most up-to-date list of Blackbaud courses that qualify for CFRE credit.

  • Posted Wed 08 Aug 2018 03:53 PM EDT
Do you have to take the exam each year? I see a 2017 Exam and a 2018 Exam. I have done the 2018 Exam but am wondering if I will need to retake it next year. 
  • Posted Fri 10 Aug 2018 12:46 PM EDT
Hi Cassondra!
You can use your certification as an exemption from Raiser’s Edge instructor-led prerequisite courses for up to three years after the certification date. So, if you took it in 2017, you are good for a while! However, it may be worth taking it again if it is something your organization would want to see as a job performance metric, or just to ensure three-year year credit extends as far out into the future as possible.
  • Posted Mon 13 Aug 2018 10:49 AM EDT
I did the fundamentals certification exam last August but I noticed the badge is not showing up on my profile. How do I get it there? I've tried the link you posted but I don't see where to get to the badge. Thank you!
  • Posted Mon 13 Aug 2018 10:55 AM EDT
Hi Michele!
Please reach out to to sort out your profile badge. They got me squared away when I had an issue earlier.
  • Posted Mon 13 Aug 2018 11:13 AM EDT
Hi Mike, 
My bCRE-pro certification is tied to my login from a previous job and I would like to have it transferred to my new organizational user profile or a personal profile. Is that possible?
Thank you!
  • Posted Tue 14 Aug 2018 04:11 PM EDT
Hey Bekka!
Our Training Help team should be able to help you with this. Please send them an email at with your contact information, a brief summary of the request, the previous organization(s), and your current organization. 
  • Posted Tue 14 Aug 2018 04:27 PM EDT
Where can I find the certification for RE NXT?  And how is the Master Certification coming along?
  • Posted Wed 22 Aug 2018 03:20 PM EDT
Hi Jenny!
A separate Raiser's Edge NXT Certification is on our roadmap for 2019. A Masters Level certification for Raiser's Edge is under consideration, but we have no specific plans for it at this time.

  • Posted Mon 27 Aug 2018 10:32 AM EDT
Is there sound with the RE Fundamentals exam?
  • Posted Mon 17 Sep 2018 01:57 PM EDT
Hey Dianne! The certification exam does not normally include sound.
  • Posted Tue 18 Sep 2018 05:05 PM EDT
Where can I get information about in-person training sessions?
  • Posted Thu 20 Sep 2018 12:05 PM EDT
Hey Suzanne Hopkins! We offer in-person trainings through regional trainings and private trainings. Let me know if you would like to have someone reach out to you with more information!
  • Posted Thu 20 Sep 2018 12:44 PM EDT
Thanks, Mike. Yes, I would like to discuss some options.
  • Posted Thu 20 Sep 2018 01:23 PM EDT
Hey Suzanne Hopkins‍, I reached out to our Sales team and they will follow up with you within 1-2 business days. Have a great weekend!
  • Posted Thu 20 Sep 2018 01:48 PM EDT
I have completed (and passed) the fundamentals and all three badges. How do I access the Professional exam?
  • Posted Fri 02 Nov 2018 05:32 PM EDT
Hey Tami Hormell‍, the Professional Badge Exam should be available 24 hours after your last badge exam. Please contact if it doesn't!
  • Posted Mon 05 Nov 2018 07:52 AM EST