First-year law student earns highest professional fundraising credential

October 25, 2013 | News, UToday, Law
By Rachel Phipps

Benjamin J. Imdieke, a first-year College of Law student, who built a successful career in philanthropy before beginning his studies at The University of Toledo in August, has been awarded the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) credential, the highest certification offered by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.



Imdieke was honored for his achievement during the association’s leadership academy Oct. 4 in Pittsburgh.

The senior philanthropic services officer at the Toledo Community Foundation has enjoyed his first few weeks at the College of Law.

“I really am quite impressed by the caliber of the College of Law’s faculty and the quality of intellectual engagement I’ve experienced thus far,” Imdieke said. “When I notice the considerable number of endowed faculty chairs here, I quickly infer that philanthropy has made an important contribution to the College of Law, and that with their support, donors are advancing the college and the legal profession. I feel grateful for the opportunity to be here and look forward to sharing with my colleagues in an exciting and enriching first year.”

Available only to senior-level fundraisers who have worked in the profession for 10 or more years, the ACFRE is an achievement earned by only 100 professionals since the inception of the program in 1992.

“We are very proud of Ben, who like many of our other nontraditional students, comes to law school after a successful career in other fields,” said Daniel J. Steinbock, dean of the College of Law. “In addition to bringing skills that will be useful after law school, their prior experience adds richness and diversity to our classroom interactions.”

Imdieke has a bachelor’s degree from Kalamazoo College and a master’s degree from the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, where he was a Jane Addams-Andrew Carnegie Fellow. His former positions include vice president of development at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and senior consultant at the national fundraising consulting firm Campbell & Co.

The ACFRE Program is the most rigorous certification process available to professional fundraisers. Imdieke started the process, which includes a comprehensive application, a written examination, a portfolio representing the candidate’s body of professional work, and an oral peer review, two years ago.

“Ben joins a very small group of leaders within the Association of Fundraising Professionals, an international organization with more than 30,000 members in 22 countries,” said Vern Snyder, UT vice president for institutional advancement and ACFRE. “Ben is one of three ACFREs in Ohio, and all three reside in Toledo.”

For more information on the Association of Fundraising Professionals, visit

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