How Ashly Alberto raised $5M for suicide prevention with FreeWill

March 3, 2020
min read
How Ashly Alberto raised $5M for suicide prevention with FreeWill

The Challenge

National Fundraising Director Ashly Alberto was asked to kickstart the planned giving program at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. AFSP had received a few bequests over the years, but didn’t have a method for documenting new gifts.

However, Ashly was already in charge of major giving, annual giving, and even the Foundation’s social media presence. So she wanted a solution that would help her get smart quickly about the best practices in planned giving and implement new ways to increase their bequests.

I’m always looking for two things: to get results for my organization and to get smarter at my job. FreeWill has helped in both areas to an enormous degree.

Ashly Alberto
National Fundraising Director

The Solution

With FreeWill’s help, Ashly was able to launch a new planned giving program at AFSP in less than a month. FreeWill helped Ashly implement a new marketing strategy and give FreeWill’s bequest tool to AFSP donors.

FreeWill and Ashly set an ambitious goal: to go from nearly $0 in bequests to more than $1.5M in a year. Through thoughtful and effective outreach content, Ashly quickly blew past this goal and raised more than $5M in bequest commitments by the end of the first year.


  • $5.4M new bequests in 1 year
  • 70x growth in new bequests


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It's not necessarily extra work, it’s just being smarter in the work we do. I think FreeWill has challenged us in that way. And our results since our FreeWill partnership have been tremendous. Having that relationship with your strategist to make sure you’re doing what’s best for your organization has paid off.

Don Cannada
Board Member
MPB Foundation

Not only are we booking bequests valued at over $1 million, we are getting full contact information for constituents that we only had email info for. The support offered by the FreeWill team from sales to implementation is top notch. This has been the best vendor experience I’ve had in my twenty plus year career.

Valerie Trego
Senior Development Officer,
Susquehanna Health Foundation

I think you're putting your finger on the pulse of what charitable organizations want and need to promote. I think it's very smart. It's exciting, and I'm excited to be in this space with you. You're creating a whole new class of philanthropists.

Brian Peterson
Director, Legacy and Gift Planning
Human Rights Watch

Having FreeWill is like having a part-time planned giving officer. Our FreeWill strategist is there anytime I have questions, ideas, or comments. I trust their expertise, and all the support they provide means I can spend time on other priorities.

Les Fout
Senior Stewardship Advisor
Knox Area Rescue Mission

FreeWill is the missing piece of this puzzle. It starts a conversation and creates this almost audible buzz around the topic. Larger donors hear the buzz and want to be a part of it so they step forward and that's already proving to be so valuable. The excitement is real in our office on a Director level.

Jeff McCormick
Director of Development and Planned Giving
Saint Ignatius High School