Diversity in CFRE Certificants

March 1, 2017

Only through nurturing diversity and inclusion in every aspect of the social impact sector can we truly address our nation’s longstanding social problems. In this guest blog post, lead faculty for Forefront’s upcoming CFRE certification series, Melanie Frazier, CFRE, offers her experience with diversity in CFRE certifications.

I’m pleased to partner with Forefront to provide this learning series to its members and the nonprofit community, with the hope of further increasing the diversity of CFRE certificants. When I received my own certification in 2008, I was surprised by the lack of diversity in CFRE certificants, something that has compelled me to continually renew my own certification and help others in the profession. While serving on the AFP Chicago Board and chair of the Diversity Committee, I wrote “Diversity, CFRE” which was published on the chapter’s website. The goal was to call attention to the lack of representation of people of color and encourage others to pursue their credentials.

As you can see from the table below, diversity in the CFRE numbers has nearly doubled for almost all ethnic groups:

Overall, however, just over 9% of those with a CFRE certification are are from diverse backgrounds. We have a lot more work to do.  

Forefront's upcoming CFRE certification series will be taught by an excellent slate of instructors with decades of experience in the nonprofit arena. In addition to the monthly classroom instruction, there is an online component that provides more resources and engagement opportunity for participants. We welcome you to pursue your CFRE with the help of a supportive and engaging environment. Learn more and register for an upcoming session here. 


Melanie Frazier, CFRE is the Director of Development for the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues. She has 10+ years’ experience in the areas of fundraising, nonprofit leadership and management. Previously, she served as the director of development for Roosevelt University’s College of Business, the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and the College of Professional Studies.

Melanie is a Certified Fund Raising Professional CFRE and has a master’s certificate in Advanced Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector from Loyola University’s School of Social Work. She received a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communications (2004) and a master’s degree in Training and Development (2006) from Roosevelt University. Melanie’s volunteer and professional development activities include developing and administering a CFRE Study Group and working with faith-based organizations for over two decades. Melanie has presented at the 2006 and 2007 Breakin’ It Down Conferences.


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