Our history

EFA was formed in Brussels, Belgium in 2002 after many years of discussion by fundraising associations and leading fundraisers from across Europe.

The European fundraising community saw a need for one central body to share knowledge and best practice, to champion fundraising at the highest level and to strengthen the industry with established qualifications.

But what's happened since then?

Our highlights

EFA was formally registered in 2004 in Amsterdam, with support from the Resource Alliance.

In 2006, EFA appointed Denise Dawes as part-time executive officer to support the work of the Association.

2007 saw the launch of EFA Certification and the subsequent development of a series of fundraising qualifications across Europe.

In 2008, EFA’s first Skillshare - an annual event that serves as a platform for exchange, where members can meet, explore best practice and learn from each other – took place in Berlin and was hailed as a great success. The EFA Skillshare continues to grow, having travelled to Barcelona, Krakow, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest and Paris, welcoming member fundraisers, observers and associates from across Europe.

In 2011, EFA hosted its first capacity building workshop in Vienna. Funded by the ERSTE Foundation, the workshop provided specific support for leaders of fundraising organisations in Central and Eastern European countries where no formal fundraising association has yet been established.

2012 - our 10th Anniversary year! In 2012, EFA celebrated with the launch of a new resource for members - Fundraising Europe is distributed by email through EFA's membership to around 10,000 fundraisers.

In 2013, EFA published A Decade of Change looking back on how fundraising had changed in recent years. EFA also supported the development of the world's first advanced fundraising qualification. Fundraising Europe was opened up to subscribers with an interest in European fundraising.

During 2014, EFA launched a programme of regular survey reports, summarising trends reported by EFA members.

And in 2017, we celebrated fifteen years of EFA and our 10th annual Skillshare (in Berlin).

2018 saw the first EFA Certification Symposium take place in Amsterdam.

In 2020 we launched our new EFA Certification Framework.

Also in 2020, we broadened out EFA membership to include organisations beyond national fundraising associations. 

In 2022 we celebrated our 20th anniversary! This year, we also launched the EFA Certification Advanced Framework, and established our Public Affairs Working Group.  

Where now?

Life at EFA never stands still. So, if you’d like to find out more, please get in touch.