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Unlocking Growth for Organizations and Idealists Like You

Are We Creating Slacktivists or Activists?

Slacktivist is one of my new favorite words. There’s just something about the act of combining two existing words to create a new one that I find really entertaining. Guesstimate, Labradoodle, Brangelina – you get the idea. What I don’t find entertaining about the word “slacktivist”, however, is what it stands for.

Slacktivism has been defined as “the act of participating in obviously pointless activities as an expedient alternative to actually expending effort to fix a problem.” It has also been called “armchair activism”, because you literally never have to leave your chair to feel like you are doing something helpful.

Topics: Inspiration Strategy

Organizational Structure 101

Are you just starting your peer-to-peer fundraising program and wondering why you can’t move faster and more decisively towards your organization’s goals? One place to evaluate the issue is within your organizational structure. If you are just starting to build your peer-to-peer fundraising program, and have a dedicated program lead assigned to the project, and they are using allocated resources from the organization’s functional areas, well then, you have a matrix. And more than likely you have what is known as a weak matrix. A weak matrix is a structure in which the project lead does not have the authority to prioritize resources for the project. In the weak matrix structure authority belongs to the functional manager whose priorities and focus are often split between multiple projects. This scenario leads to the project lead constantly having to negotiate for resources, time, attention, and focus with the functional manager. And if the functional manager’s incentives and focus are not aligned with the new project priorities, it often leads to the program’s initiatives being stalled and ultimately underachieved.

Topics: Funding Leadership

Clarifying Your Peer-to-Peer Strategy: Success Factor #1

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be looking in more detail into an evaluation framework we call the Seven Success Factors. We use this framework to help us analyze fundraising programs, identify opportunities for growth, and spot weaknesses or misalignments that are impeding growth.

Topics: Funding Leadership Strategy

The Escalation of Endurance

Recently, a good friend forwarded me a story by James Hamblin of the Atlantic called “Another Solid Reason Not to Do a Mud-Obstacle Run.” I’ve got to be honest, it’s a bit gross. The gist of the article is that aside from the more mundane risks of doing an obstacle event – sprains, broken ankles, dehydration, the gnawing realization that you’re not 22 anymore – there are an increasing number of bacterial infections being diagnosed in participants. Turns out that those mud pits can have all sorts of icky stuff in them. Yuck!

The mud run trend is one the Plenty team has been watching for quite a while. It is part of a larger dynamic that we call “the escalation of endurance,” the increasing extremism in athletic events. For a long time, the most extreme event that large numbers of people participated in was the marathon. The concept of the 26.2-mile marathon memorializes an event 2,500 years ago when a solider named Phidippides ran from Marathon to Athens to spread the news of the Athenians’ victory over the Persians. When Phidippides got to the city gates, he delivered the good news and promptly died (not a great participant retention strategy).

Topics: Funding Strategy