$7M+ in 7 months: How BCRF kickstarted their legacy program

December 18, 2020
min read
$7M+ in 7 months: How BCRF kickstarted their legacy program

The Challenge

Recognizing the empowering potential of legacy giving, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation — the highest-rated breast cancer organization in the U.S. — decided to seize the opportunity to make the most of planned gifts. Knowing how much their mission means to people everywhere, they wanted to provide their supporters with more ways to make an impact.

BCRF’s goals were to market beyond their current supporters and found a legacy society while prudently deploying resources to achieve them.

The FreeWill National Feature enabled us to maximize our resources and introduce our mission and impact to new friends across the country at unimaginable speed. Our results in this short time have far exceeded our expectations. We are so pleased we partnered with FreeWill.

Lucretia Gilbert

Chief Philanthropy Officer

The Solution

In order to quickly build their pipeline of new planned giving donors, BCRF signed up for a FreeWill National Feature. The National Feature places their organization’s name in front of thousands of people as they make their wills on FreeWill and consider leaving charitable bequests.

With FreeWill working as an effective marketing channel, they’ve reached supporters far beyond their current donor base and acquired hundreds of new legacy donors. This has allowed them to formally launch the Evelyn H. Lauder Catalyst Circle and Legacy Society and begin stewarding these donors into becoming loyal supporters and annual givers.

Results in 7 months


raised in gift commitments


new planned giving donors


in contingent residual gifts


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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