Stefanie Edwards, chief development and operating officer of Community Cooperative, was recently awarded her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Certification, showing professional achievement and commitment to fundraising.

The credentials are awarded based on work experience, continuing education and passing an exam. Each CFRE recipient signs an ethics agreement. Founded in 2001, CFRE International is an independent nonprofit organization whose sole mission is dedicated to setting standards in philanthropy through a valid and reliable certification process for fundraising professionals.

“During this pandemic, it is increasingly more important for nonprofit executives to be able to fund programs in the face of unprecedented need,” said Tracey Galloway, chief executive officer of Community Cooperative. “Innovation and creativity have become critical in fundraising, and Stefanie has been at the forefront of funding through grants, donors and partners and thus meeting the needs of our clients.”

Edwards is a graduate of the Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University and oversees all of Community Cooperative’s operations, fundraising, development and volunteer programs that include 3,500 volunteers with more than 40,000 hours last year. In 2020, Community Cooperative’s annual Soup Kitchen Benefit raised over $1 million for the first time.

She was named the 2017 Fundraising Professional of the Year from the Cape Coral Community Foundation. Currently, she serves as an Advisory Board Member for Pace Center for Girls, Lee County and as a board member for the Planned Giving Council of Lee County.