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Organizational Structure 101

The Plenty Team
June 10, 2014

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.

At Plenty, we have helped launch numerous peer-to-peer programs where the goal was to use networks to unlock more support, participation, and fundraising. Our experience has proven that when an organization is launching a peer-to-peer fundraising program, like an event fundraiser, it is important they allocate as many full-time dedicated resources and leadership as financially possible. These dedicated resources create a project structure with more accountability and focus, and ultimately more progress.

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