The Need to Belong
UCM Foundation 2011 Annual Report
By Dalene Abner
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Abraham Maslow figured out in the 1940s that people need each other. He contended that humans want to belong and be part of something greater than themselves. This hypothesis became part of his "Hierarchy of Needs," which has since become one of the most studied theories in the field of psychology.
Maslow's hierarchy listed eight basic needs. Belonging came in third, right behind people's physiological and safety needs.
That basic human need of wanting to belong says a lot about the UCM Foundation's fundraising success in fiscal year 2011. Central Missouri alumni and friends made the fiscal year one of the best in the UCM Foundation's 32-year history, generating $5.2 million in gifts and future commitments between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011.
"It was an outstanding year, not only in total gifts, but also in areas such as the Central Annual Fund and the Presidents Society," said Jason Drummond, vice president for university development and executive director of the UCM Foundation.
Giving in FY11 increased 48 percent over the previous fiscal year, reaching the fifth highest level in the foundation's history. The Central Annual Fund reached $189,190 in gifts, the fifth highest level on record and the highest amount raised without a special campaign.
Yet the growth of the Presidents Society underscores a significant reason why the year was so successful --- for a range of reasons beyond the need to belong. Such other commonalities as the desire to pay back and the need to impact the future also played a part.
The Presidents Society is considered the foundation's premiere donor recognition group. It was organized 25 years ago in recognition of all of Central Missouri's presidents. To become members, individuals must make an annual gift of at least $1,000.
Membership in the society increased this past fiscal year to 463, the highest in foundation history and 9 percent over last year. A key to reaching that goal was having 100 percent of the Foundation's Board of Directors become members, according to Drummond.