How Greenhill Humane Society raised over $4.8M
in legacy gifts with FreeWill

October 27, 2023
min read
How Greenhill Humane Society raised over $4.8M
in legacy gifts with FreeWill

The Opportunity

Greenhill Humane Society, a life-saving animal shelter, has served the Eugene-Springfield region since 1944. As the sole animal shelter in their area, Greenhill plays a vital role in its community with a primary focus on preserving positive relationships between animals and people.

Their small but mighty team experienced several planned giving hurdles. While they gratefully received several bequests each year, most arrived unexpectedly. On the rare occasion they were notified of a donor’s intention to leave a legacy gift, they found themselves without a way to assist donors lacking an estate attorney.

As explained by Executive Director Cary Lieberman: “We’ve sometimes been the beneficiaries of invalid wills. Knowing exactly what people’s intentions were and being unable to help fulfill them has been tremendously heartbreaking.

”Greenhill knew there was a need for a tool to facilitate the process for donors and make planned giving more accessible to the animal lovers eager to support them.


The Solution

Greenhill partnered with FreeWill on the Planned Giving Suite to offer supporters a free will-creation tool. The platform allowed them to simplify the estate planning process for donors, ensuring donors can properly fulfill 
their wishes.

Central to this partnership is FreeWill’s Partner Portal, a comprehensive dashboard where Greenhill can easily view and track their planned gift commitments to streamline 
their follow-up and foster stronger relationships with
legacy donors.

As part of its mission as a community shelter, Greenhill offers the “Securing Your Pet’s Future” program, where community members can make arrangements for the shelter to care for their animals in case of their absence. Though not a requirement, most individuals who participate in this program have gone on to include Greenhill as a beneficiary of their estate because the tool serves as a bridge, allowing staff to inquire whether program participants have legal representation or existing arrangements in place.

With the data provided by FreeWill, bequests are no longer surprises. Knowing estimated bequest amounts and donor data allows Greenhill to prepare for big organizational changes.

“Bequests have allowed us to finish capital campaigns to make huge investments in the organization, and they’ve allowed us to become the organization we are. We may not know exactly when they’ll come in, but we know they will,” says Lieberman.

Through the adoption of FreeWill’s user-friendly platform, Greenhill has raised over $4.8M in bequest commitments and secured a more sustainable financial future, ensuring their mission to nurture human-animal bonds for generations to come.




in primary bequest commitments


new legacy commitments


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One thing I appreciate about interacting with [FreeWill's] Partner Portal is the information it provides. It gives me a reason and a way to connect with people that I might not have otherwise.

Monica Girard
Monica Girard
Donor Engagement Manager

We now have a tool that our donors have been asking for and we’re able to guide them in the right direction without breaking that ethical line.

Cary Lieberman
Cary Lieberman
Executive Director

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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.

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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.

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