I’m not sure. CFRE International is either spinning its wheels or it is poised for growth. Either way, it needs and welcomes our advice.
I see articles and postings that promote the Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) credential from time to time. Most recently, I saw:
● “New CFRE Website and Online App” posted by Garvin Maffett in the CFRE International Network Group on LinkedIn (Oct. 31, 2013)
● “Are You Certified?” by F. Duke Haddad in FundRaising Success (Nov. 8, 2013)
As someone who has held the CFRE designation longer than 89 percent of all others, I care about and support the credential. So, I’m pleased to see that CFRE International has a new, easier to use, more robust, more service-oriented website. I’m also pleased to see others promoting the CFRE designation.
However, despite my enthusiasm for the CFRE credential, I continue to be troubled. Two years ago on this site, I asked, “Does CFRE Have a Future?” My concerns persist. As of 2012, there were 5,630 CFRE holders worldwide, according to the CFRE International annual report. That’s just a 5.7 percent increase over the number of certified professionals in 2007.
That’s a miniscule five-year growth rate.
Depending on how you count larger (expenditures of $500,000 or more) and active public charities, the sector has seen growth of approximately 12 percent in the US since 2004/05.
That means the CFRE growth rate of 5.7 percent has not even kept pace with the growth rate of the nonprofit sector in the US. Every year, CFRE has been becoming less significant, relative to the market, despite its modest rate of growth.
The number of CFREs relative to the number of development professionals is modest at best. The number of CFREs in the US and Canada is about 17 percent of the number of members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.