How a regional featureship with FreeWill allowed RMHC of the Intermountain Area to reach more donors and raise $1.6M in bequests

October 31, 2023
min read
How a regional featureship with FreeWill allowed RMHC of the Intermountain Area to reach more donors and raise $1.6M in bequests

The Opportunity

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area (RMHCIA) is dedicated to serving as a homeaway-from-home for pediatric patients and their families experiencing some of the toughest times they might go through in their lifetime.

To ensure their services could continue for decades to come, RMHCIA knew they needed to expand their planned giving program. They restructured their sevenperson fundraising department into two teams: one dedicated to stewardship and major gifts retention, and the other dedicated to marketing outreach and events. With a renewed focus, the teams set their sights on ramping up efforts to reach more potential legacy donors and pull in more gifts.

FreeWill’s online bequest tool and regional featureship allows us to reach a broad group of individuals that I wasn’t able to focus on before. Instead of only stewarding  more wealthy donors, we can now cultivate a lot more people who may not have as much disposable income but still want to give.

Vickie Moschetti

Chief Stewardship & Major Gifts Officer

The Solution

“Getting FreeWill was part of our plan for growing our planned giving program.” Vickie Moschetti, Chief Stewardship & Major Gifts Officer, shared with us. “I knew other RMHC chapters had FreeWill’s tools, so I reached out to them and interviewed each one individually to ask them a ton of questions. By the time I was done, it felt really good. Everyone had positive comments. I took it to our board, and we decided to give it a chance — and it has proved quite successful.”

Partnering with FreeWill — the largest provider of online estate plans in the United States — in 2020 allowed RMHCIA to provide an easy way for their supporters to create their wills online for free, and promote the benefits of building a legacy by including a bequest to RMHCIA.

FreeWill provides RMHCIA with all the content they need to promote legacy giving. This makes it easy for development staff to effectively get their message out using a variety of mediums including their website, email, social media, and print materials.

I’m usually juggling so many balls between campaigns, social media, events, and all the things that we’re doing. But the FreeWill team makes it so easy for me to promote planned giving. All the content is given to me: emails, social media, tracking urls — everything. All I really have to do is copy and paste. It doesn’t require a lot of my time and planning to share it. So that has made it really wonderful.

Katie Smith

Chief Development & Marketing Officer

RMHCIA also leverages FreeWill’s regional featureship to reach even more potential donors. When people visit to make their own free will, they have the opportunity to designate a nonprofit beneficiary during the will-making process. users from Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming see RMHCIA as a featured nonprofit organization, a charity doing good work in their own backyard.

This multifaceted approach allows RMHCIA to reach a broader audience, which has resulted in more than 65 new legacy donors, and over $1.6 million in bequest commitments.



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Trusted by the smartest minds in planned & major giving

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