The sgENGAGE Podcast Episode 162: Why You Need a Planned Giving Strategy


Too many nonprofits overlook the opportunities for planned giving. While planned giving may not be the most typical type of gift, it can be a powerful driver of growth for nonprofit organizations and can be a way of deepening donor relationships.

To talk about the modern landscape of planned giving, today’s guest is Patrick Schmitt. Patrick is the co-founder and co-CEO of FreeWill, a company that specializes in modernizing how organizations can take advantage of planned giving. Listen in to hear what Patrick has to say about how the thinking around planned giving is changing, how organizations can incorporate planned giving into their strategy, and how to steward donors through the planned giving process.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Patrick’s background and experience
  • Why planned giving allows “average” donors to give much more than they otherwise could
  • Why right now is the time to focus on planned giving
  • What Patrick has seen change in the way people are thinking about planned giving in the last year or so
  • How organizations can start incorporating planned giving into their fundraising strategy
  • Ways to talk to and steward donors
  • Giving donors choices
  • Common questions that donors tend to have
  • Getting people started with planned giving

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Patrick Schmitt

Free Will



“We made it so easy for people to give 10 dollars, and yet in some cases, quite hard for them to give a hundred thousand dollars or a million dollars in the same way.”

“It behooves you to start much earlier than people do traditionally, to secure planned giving donors.”

“In some ways, we always talk about how fundraising is a highly specialized skill, and it is, but also, humans are humans.”