Erin M. Fuller, FASAE, MPA, CAE
Areas of Expertise:
- Growth-focused strategy for high-profile organizations
- High-impact brand and market analysis and implementation for nonprofits
- Board consensus building
- Thoughtful industry sector advocacy and representation
- Creating sustainable, high-performance teams
Erin Fuller joined Coulter as a senior associate in 2002, was named a vice president in 2006, group president in 2009, and Coulter President in 2013. Fuller leads Coulter’s team of more than 80 professionals who exclusively focus on nonprofit management, and assesses business development and partnership opportunities that advance Coulter’s mission and model while supporting our culture of creating thoughtful growth and strong career pathways. Fuller is a noted expert on nonprofit management and women’s issues, and has appeared on programs including NBC Nightly News, CBS’s MarketWatch, ABC News, Fox News, NPR’s Marketplace, and BBC’s America. She has been quoted in publications including: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, Fortune and Newsweek.
Through her work with Coulter’s consulting clients, Fuller and her colleagues have delivered expert guidance to high-profile national and international nonprofits on topics including financial analysis, governance redesign, comprehensive marketing, branding and communication plans and non-dues revenue development. A small sample of organizations served include: The ESOP Association, the National Law Journal, the National Council of Jewish Women, the SCORE Foundation, and the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund.
Fuller has served as the chief staff executive for a number of Coulter client organizations, including the Alliance for Women in Media, Tysons Tomorrow, and the National Association of Women Business Owners. Her staff leadership accomplishments include the then-cutting edge launch of a social media-driven grassroots advocacy campaign, the implementation of a “freeium” membership model for a 60+-year old association, and the growth of corporate investment of over 400% within a two-year period. Prior to joining Coulter, Fuller served as the executive director of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) Research Foundation and as vice president of CAI's education department. Other previous employment includes positions with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), the American Medical Student Association/Foundation and American University. She has facilitated a number of workshops on nonprofit strategy, marketing and advocacy, and has authored a wide number of articles that have appeared in national and regional publications.
Fuller received both her undergraduate and master of public administration degrees from American University in Washington, D.C. An active member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Fuller was named an ASAE Fellow in 2011 – a distinction earned by less than one percent of its membership. Fuller received the 2011 Alice Paul Award from American University’s Women and Politics Institute for her work advancing women’s causes. She currently serves on the board of directors for American Forests, the nation’s oldest conservation organization. She earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 2002 and served as a faculty member for the CAE Immersion course, where she taught financial management, strategic planning and brand management. In addition, Fuller served as an associate professor at Northern Virginia Community College, teaching "Introduction to Nonprofit Management" from 2005-2010, and is a featured guest lecturer within American University’s School of Public Affairs. She served as the president of the American University Alumni Association Board, and previously served on the board of directors of the ASAE Foundation from 2003-2006, as well as the editorial board of the Journal of Association Leadership. Fuller was named one of Association Trends Leading Young Association Executives in 2000, and received an award to study leadership at The Banff Centre in 2002 from the Canadian Bureau of Tourism.
Fuller and her two sons reside in Arlington, Virginia.
Here's what Erin is talking about:
- Professional Practices in Association Management (3rd edition, 2015) – co-author of “Fundraising & Development” chapter. (Published by ASAE.)
- Panelist, ASAE’s Celebrating Women, November 2014.
- Embracing Free Membership, Associations Now, February 2013
- “Extreme Makeover: Association Edition” ASAE Annual Conference presentation, August 2012
- "We HAVE Come a Long Way, Baby - Now What?" ASAE Annual Conference Presentation, August 2011
- "Goodbye Dues" Associations Now, March 2011
- Local-Market Engagement: Case Study of the AWM Affiliate Program, Component Relations, June 2011
- “Small Associations Win Big in Social Media” Signature, January/February 2010
- Keynote Speaker, ASAE’s In Honor of Women, November 2009
- Creating New Opportunities for Investment, Association Management, May 2005
- A Question of Relevance, Journal of Association Leadership, Summer 2003
Now, here's the backstory on Erin:
- Hometown: Auburn, Massachusetts (central Massachusetts, 40 miles west of Boston – it explains why my sons were issued Red Sox hats at birth.)
- First car: 1978 Caprice Classic – it seated 20 comfortably.
- Superhero power I wish I had: I want the full Wonder Woman package – telepathy, lasso of truth, invisible jet (so handy in Washington traffic!) and of course, the bullet-resistant tiara and bracelets. Plus, she has a great theme song.
- App I can’t live without: Weather. I track five cities at once – a must for frequent business travel. Plus, I like to keep tabs on the small beach town in Maine that I visit each July.
- Favorite guilty pleasure: Why pick one? A combination of dark chocolate, red wine, a new novel and a roaring fire. Followed by a nap. (I realize this is sadly tame.)
- Three publications I’d recommend for anyone who does what I do: Associations Now, Fast Company, and ”Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me” podcasts each week, so you can see how you are doing on current affairs.
- What I do in my “free” time: A lot of reading (more balanced between non-fiction and fiction than I used to be), an endless quest to find fabulous, nutritious meals that both my kids and I enjoy that take no more than 25 minutes to prepare and don’t feel like culinary settling (ha!), and my position as past-president of the American University Alumni Association. (Go Eagles!)
- If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would go…: I am currently obsessed with Portugal, Vietnamese food stalls and Western European river cruises, but my list changes very frequently and is driven almost entirely by cuisine.
- Advice I would give my “younger self”: Relax! Travel more! (And rethink that 2002 haircut – you don’t have the cheekbones for it.)
- How my life has changed since I joined Coulter: My decade-plus at Coulter has been amazing – served as chief staff executive for three amazing associations, seen our company more than double in size, picked up a few kids along the way…an incredible ride so far!
- At the end of the day…: no regrets, a little learning, a lot of laughter and a glass of wine sounds about right.
“To do the work you love and feel that it matters; how could anything be more fun?”