The 360-degree approach to nonprofit management. Erin McPartlin teaches us about nonprofit’s capacity building, strategic planning, and leadership development, from the useful lens of understanding all aspects of an organization. You’ll discover how Erin’s comprehensive view fosters holistic leadership and better nonprofit management.


“Being a 360 leader is about understanding all of the different aspects and components of your organization,” Erin begins. She highlights the necessity for leaders to possess a comprehensive view, even if they are not experts in every area. This perspective enables them to see how various parts of the organization impact each other, fostering a holistic approach to leadership. “It’s not about being the person with every single answer,” she continues, “it’s asking, listening, and hearing, but also knowing that everything is going to have to flow through you.”

Erin’s concept of 360 leadership originates from a memorable strategic planning session where she physically stands in the middle of a circle of stakeholders, orchestrating discussions and decisions. This metaphorical and literal positioning helps her realize the significance of having a panoramic view of the organization’s operations and challenges. She recounts, “You said, you know, not just physically, that you’re standing in the middle of the circle, but that you have this ability to see how this side affects that side and how the board sees that and how the staff sees that.”

A pivotal theme in Erin’s discussion with co-hosts Julia Patrick and Sherry Quam Taylor is the balance between macro and micromanagement. She cautions against the assumption that hiring experts absolves leaders of their responsibilities. Instead, leaders must have a clear understanding of what success looks like in each area to effectively guide their teams. “You don’t want to micromanage,” Erin advises, “but you need to macro manage so you understand all those different components that go into what success looks like for your organization.”

Erin’s insights into nonprofit management are both inspiring and practical. Her emphasis on the 360-degree approach focuses on the importance of a well-rounded perspective, continuous learning, and strategic foresight in nonprofit leadership. Erin’s consultancy focuses on enhancing relationships between board chairs and CEOs.