Adventures in Living & Giving

After more than a decade working with global financial firms in Hong Kong, Chicago, New York and San Francisco, Erin decided to take her sales and marketing skills and use them for the forces of good. She started transitioning to the nonprofit arena, learning from the ground up with top-notch nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

More than six years ago, Erin launched her own consulting firm: Michelson Consulting Group. As a consultant, Erin works with nonprofit organizations helping build a diversified asset base and corporations looking to expand their philanthropic footprint. She’s worked in every region of the world and in all sectors, focusing on delivering exponential growth for her clients.

Dedicated to “extreme giving,” in 2011 Erin went on a two-year sabbatical to travel the world and volunteer with global humanitarian organizations. She sold everything she owned and started a charitable fund, the GoErinGo! Fund, to make charitable gifts along the way.

Still a nomad, Erin has returned to consulting, working with a diverse array of clients. She remains passionate about philanthropy and continues to volunteer and travel widely.

Here are more details about Erin’s professional background:

Citizen Sector Expertise

Erin was founder and past president of Alliance for Women’s Equality (AWE), a citizen organization providing pro bono strategic planning, fundraising and communications consulting to women’s and girls’ rights groups.

Erin has worked with many leading organizations within the nonprofit space, including: Habitat for Humanity, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, KRCB (NPR & PBS), The Commonwealth Club of California, The Tech Museum, Save The Bay, Upwardly Global, Pets Unlimited, The Pathway Home, and the Alliance Against Sexual Assault.

She is a past board member of AWE, the National Organization for Women (NOW) – Chicago, and the YWCA – Brooklyn. Erin continues to volunteer her time to organizations addressing women’s rights, access to healthy food and clean water, and fair wage practices.

Financial Background

Before launching her consulting career, Erin was Senior Vice President and Director of Philanthropic Management at Bank of America for the Northwest region. In this role, Erin authored a regional business development strategy and created a sales pipeline throughout Northern California, Washington and Oregon. Previously, Erin was with Bank of America’s Global Corporate & Investment Banking division for four years. Erin held both her Series 7 and Series 63 securities licenses.

As a financial marketing consultant, Erin has worked with some of the nation’s largest brokerages houses, including American Express, Morgan Stanley, and Smith Barney. In addition, Erin has a great deal of retail financial experience, counting the following firms as clients: Charles Schwab, Mellon Capital, PIMCO, and Wachovia (Wells Fargo).

Erin began her financial career in Hong Kong, working on the buy-side at a boutique investment management firm, EK Investment Management, which specialized in Chinese and Japanese equities.

International Experience

Recognized as a global social entrepreneur, Erin is the recipient of multiple international scholarships and awards. She has lived and studied in Auckland, Beijing, Hong Kong and Cape Town.

She received her BA from Mills College in International Relations, a Masters of Philosophy degree (M.Phil) in Government & Public Administration from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and a MA from The New School of Social Research in NYC, where she studied democratization theories and human rights.

Erin will be pursuing her PhD in Politics. Her thesis studies focus on how philanthropic activities such as donating money and participation in petitions can lead to systemic political change.

A Map of Erin’s Travels

Red markers indicate the 62 countries Erin visited during 2011-2012. The black markers refer to countries previously visited — 94 countries in all!