How Ms. Foundation gained 400+ new legacy donors and $20M+ in bequest commitments through FreeWill’s National Featureship

March 22, 2023
2
min read
How Ms. Foundation gained 400+ new legacy donors and $20M+ in bequest commitments through FreeWill’s National Featureship

The Opportunity

Founded in 1973, the Ms. Foundation’s mission is to build women’s collective power in the U.S. to advance equity and justice for all. They needed a planned giving program that could help sustain their work to invest in and strengthen the capacity of women-led movements that advance social, cultural, and economic change.

While the Ms. Foundation had started a planned giving program in 2013, it wasn’t a primary focus for staff time or resources. A change in leadership led to a relaunch of their established planned giving program to reinvigorate legacy giving. They partnered with FreeWill as a new way to reach new donors and increase planned gifts.

What I most value about the FreeWill National Featureship is how low-lift and low-maintenance it is.

Anjelica Garcia
Director of Major Gifts

The Solution

As the largest online estate plan provider, where more than 200,000 people make their estate plans for free each year, FreeWill provides a pipeline of potential new donors to nonprofits. FreeWill’s National Featureship allows the Ms. Foundation to be placed front and center for individuals visiting FreeWill.com from anywhere in the United States to make their free and legal will. As they go through the will-making process, FreeWill visitors are presented with the option to leave a bequest to one or more nonprofit organizations.

In just 17 months, the Ms. Foundation has gained over 400 new donors through their FreeWill Featureship, leaving a total of over $20 million in bequest commitments.

FreeWill provides the Ms. Foundation with an online portal where they can log in and see results. No marketing or outreach is required by the Ms. Foundation; traffic to the website is generated by FreeWill, making the Featurship an extremely light lift for fundraising staff.

With the contact information provided by the will-makers, the Ms. Foundation can steward these new donors to become lifelong supporters.

The FreeWill Featureship really just runs in the background. Every week I log in to the portal and see the bequest commitments that have come in. The amount of energy we have to put into watching this resource expand is really limited.

Anjelica Garcia
Director of Major Gifts

Results

  • $20M+ in bequest commitments
  • 400+ new legacy donors

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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