What Our Team's Designations Mean


FCEP: Fellow in Charitable Estate Planning

Earned from the Charitable Estate Planning Institute. FCEP means that the professional knows that donors make planned gifts only within a larger context – that of their financial, tax and estate planning situations. The FCEP professional has taken a major step to understand this larger context and how planned gifts fit in it. They have demonstrated their interest in going beyond “planned gifts” to understand “charitable estate planning” and how it can lead to not only larger charitable gifts but also greater donor satisfaction.

Holding the FCEP credential shows a commitment to a nationally-recognized standard of ethics and to maintaining and improving knowledge by attending an FCEP conference every three years.


ACFRE: Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive

The Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive designation is awarded to those who have submitted an approved application listing their accomplishments over at least 10 years in the profession, passed a rigorous written exam, prepared an extensive portfolio and, finally, engaged in an even more rigorous oral review process. In many respects, the process echoes the stages of obtaining a Ph.D., with the portfolio taking the place of the dissertation and professional and life experience taking the place of years of academic study. An achievement held by fewer than 100 people worldwide. Lifetime designation.


AEP: Accredited Estate Planner

Professional estate planners can now achieve an accreditation that acknowledges their experience and specialization in estate planning.

The Accredited Estate Planner® designation is available to attorneys, Chartered Life Underwriters, Certified Public Accountants, Certified Trust and Financial Advisors, Chartered Financial Consultants, and Certified Financial Planners®.

The AEP® designation is awarded by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils to recognized estate planning professionals who meet special requirements of education, experience, knowledge, professional reputation, and character.

The National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) is a national organization of professional estate planners and affiliated Estate Planning Councils focused on establishing and monitoring the highest professional and educational standards. NAEPC fosters public awareness of the quality services rendered by professionals who meet these standards. NAEPC builds a team approach involving cross-professional disciplines to better serve the public’s need in estate planning.


CAP: Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy

The Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) provides professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to help clients and donors achieve their highest aspirations for self, family, and society. It is a graduate level curriculum, passing all three exam levels, and is the study of philanthropy from the perspective of the professional advisor, the charity and the donor.


CFA: Chartered Financial Analyst

The CFA Program is a globally recognized, graduate level curriculum that provides a strong foundation of real-world investment analysis and portfolio management skills along with the practical knowledge you need in today’s investment industry. It also emphasizes the highest ethical and professional standards.

Each year, tens of thousands of candidates enroll in the CFA Program and sit for the exams in test centers all over the world. Completing the CFA Program confirms a mastery of the rigorous CFA curriculum, signifies passing all three exam levels, and is one of the requirements for earning the CFA charter.


CFP: Certified Financial Planner

The CFP® certification marks identify professionals who have met the high standards of competency and ethics established and enforced by CFP Board. CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct require CFP® professionals to act in their clients’ best interests. CFP professionals have completed extensive training and experience requirements and are held to rigorous ethical standards. They understand all the complexities of the changing financial climate and will make recommendations in your best interest.


CFRE: Certified Fund Raising Executive

The CFRE Professional Certification Program offers fundraising professionals with 5 or more years of experience an opportunity to earn recognition for their experience and professionalism. The designation “Certified Fund Raising Executive” (CFRE) is a mark of distinction, providing heightened professional recognition plus greater career options and earning potential for fundraising professionals.


CPA: Certified Public Accountant

Statutory title of qualified accountants in the United States who have passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and have met additional state education and experience requirements for certification as a CPA.

CSPG: Certified Specialist in Planned Giving

Professionals in the challenging and complex field of planned giving must have access to the latest techniques and strategies to be successful. That's why the American Institute for Philanthropic Studies has developed this unprecedented program.

The CSPG is a multi-module curriculum in planned giving developed by the American Institute for Philanthropic Studies under license to California State University, Long Beach Research Foundation. The curriculum encompasses the entire syllabus recommended by the National Committee on Planned Giving (NCPG).

The CSPG program is the only program that offers the Certified Specialist in Planned Giving designation. By earning this designation, professionals will be able to:

  • Document their proficiency as a planned giving professional
  • Enhance their marketability
  • Increase their opportunities for advancement in the field


Ed.D.: Doctor of Education

Terminal doctoral degree that has a research and/or professional focus. It prepares the student for academic, administrative, clinical, or research positions in educational, civil, and private organizations.

FAHP: Fellow of AHP (Association of Healthcare Philanthropy)

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.


JD (Attorney): Juris Doctor

Professional doctorate degree in law, earned by completing law school in the United States, with most individuals having to pass an exam to be licensed to practice law within their jurisdiction.

LL.M.: Latin for Legum Magister, or Master of Laws

LL.M. is an abbreviation of the Latin Legum Magister, which means Master of Laws. As such, the designation of an LL.M. degree is usually accompanied by the particular field of law in which the degree was obtained, e.g. LL.M. in Taxation.

The LL.M. (Master of Laws) degree is a postgraduate law, usually obtained by completing a one-year full-time program. The LL.M. is a higher academic degree than the J.D. degree. Students and professionals frequently pursue the LL.M. to gain expertise in a specialized field of law, for example in the area of tax law or international law. It indicates that a lawyer has acquired advanced, specialized legal training, and is qualified to work in a multinational legal environment. Lawyers are not required to hold an LL.M. degree, and many do not choose to obtain one. An LL.M. degree by itself generally does not qualify graduates to practice law; in most cases, LL.M. students must first obtain a professional degree in law, e.g the Juris Doctor (J.D.) in the United States, and pass a bar exam before they can practice law.

MAcc: Masters of Accountancy

A graduate professional degree designed to prepare students for public accounting and to provide them with the 150 credit hours required by most states before taking the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination. The program is designed to not only prepare students for the CPA examination but also to provide a strong knowledge of accounting principles and business applications.

MBA: Masters of Business Administration

The core courses in the MBA program are designed to introduce students to the various areas of business such as accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, operations management, etc. Students in MBA programs have the option of taking general business courses throughout the program or can select an area of concentration and focus approximately one-fourth of their studies in this subject.

MSFE: Master of Science in Finance and Economics

Designed as a terminal, professional degree in financial economics. The curriculum includes courses in the key areas of finance and the supporting areas of economics and quantitative methods. It is intended to prepare students for a wide range of careers both within and outside the financial industry, including risk management, asset management, macroeconomic and financial forecasting, trading, and financial and economic research.