$4.1 Million in Bequest Commitments in One Year


The Progressive Multiplier Fund, a Progressive Power Lab partner, connected a national progressive non-profit organization with FreeWill, an online estate planning software platform where non-profits’ members can create a will and are encouraged to leave the non-profit a part of the estate. After that, the organization generated nearly $2.5 million in bequest commitments in under 12 months. Since then, the PMF has granted funds to People’s Action, Jobs with Justice, Clean Water Action, Working Families Party, and Friends of the Earth. These grants generated an additional $1.6 million in estate commitments for these organizations in about six months.

FreeWill was founded by Patrick Schmitt, former Campaign Director at MoveOn.org and Innovation Director at Change.org, and Jenny Xia, one of Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs list in 2019. Since it’s inception, the company has generated $252 million in commitments to nonprofit causes. The average bequest left to charities through FreeWill to date has been $70,000, about twice the national average.

Patrick and Jenny created FreeWill because of one simple fact: in the next 20 years, nearly $30 trillion will be inherited in the United States. In other words, this will be the largest wealth transfer in human history.

You can learn more about how FreeWill works at the full article about FreeWill on the Progressive Multiplier’s site.

How to Qualify and Apply for a FreeWill Bequest Grant

The Progressive Multiplier Fund has funds for eight non-profits to test FreeWill or similar planned giving tools. To qualify, non-profits should have a responsive email list of 100,000 or more. To Apply, please reach out to FreeWill directly to learn more and get a quote.  Then click “Projects” in the Center of Excellence and click “New” to create a Recoverable Grant application. Feel free to use content from People’s Action’s grant application to keep it simple. Be sure to include your email list size in your application.

For more information on planned giving or bequest income, search for Planned Giving in the PMF’s Center of Excellence.

Published by Phil Radford

Phil Radford is a social entrepreneur and technologist. He is the CEO of Progressive Power Lab, which incubates and manages non-profits and companies that move millions of people and dollars into progressive causes. PPL's projects include Membership Drive, Progressive Multiplier, and several software services including The Field. Phil has held a range of leadership positions, including CEO of Greenpeace US and Power Shift and co-founder of the Democracy Initiative.

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