About Us

You want to secure more blended and planned gifts.

Heaton Smith gives you the critical tools you need to meet your blended and planned giving goals, regardless of your organization’s size.

Actionable Knowledge – We know that many gift officers are highly motivated and yet too often lack the right knowledge to have strategic and successful gift planning conversations with donors. Through our gift planning training, your gift officers will become empowered to connect with donors and secure more blended and planned gifts, successfully.

A Proven Approach – Most advisors lead conversations about philanthropy with tax issues, which are often not the primary motivation for donors to give: Donors want their values to inform and drive their philanthropy. Our values-based legacy and charitable estate planning approach ensures that donors achieve all of their family, financial, and philanthropic legacy goals.

Alignment in Best Practices – Even the best gift planning programs can become overrun with complexity and start to work against itself. Your organization must ensure full alignment in your gift planning marketing, prospect identification, donor engagement, stewardship, and code of ethics and standards. When your development activities align with best practices, you’ll remove the barriers that stand between you and successfully reaching your development goals.

Generate Sustaining Gifts – The right gifts make all of the difference when it comes to the financial health and impact of your organization. More than 50 percent of gifts facilitated by Heaton Smith in partnership with clients are documented. Blended gifts will provide resources now, while documented estate gifts will allow you to thank donors during their lifetime.

All of our services are provided by Heaton Smith’s nationally-recognized team who bring their unique experiences and expertise to work for you as we tailor our services to meet your needs. It is time to stop missing opportunities, and instead, build a more robust gift planning program to support your organization.

Comprehensive Gift Planning Counsel | Gift Planning Guide Desk® |Gift Planning Program Audits

Legacy Planning Team

Organizations With Full-Time Gift Planning Staff

Forty percent of Heaton Smith’s clients have full-time gift planning staff.  These organizations partner with us because,

  • they want to add the values-based legacy planning model to their portfolio of services – sometimes for a campaign,  
  • they believe the values-based legacy planning model will help certain donors fully realize their capacity to give to heirs and to charity,
  • they recognize that some donors face complex estate planing issues and therefore offer the values-based legacy planning to those donors, they focus the values-based legacy planning model on specific donors with the hope that they will document a larger estate or blended gift than without our planning model,  
  • they recognize many donors’ resistance to discussing family matters, current estate planning documents and assets with gift officers, and  
  • they offer the values-based legacy planning model to long-term staff, senior leadership, physician community, etc.  

Client Examples Include:

Organizations With No Full-Time Gift Planning Staff

The multi-trillion dollar wealth transfer is underway according to a recent study by the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship/LOCUS.  Specifically, between 2017 and 2027, Americans are estimated to transfer $8.8 trillion through estates. Your organization needs a strategy to secure a portion of this immense transfer of wealth.

If your organization wants to talk to donors about legacy goals and gifts but has opted to not hire a full-time planned giving officer, then a Heaton Smith partnership would help your organization thrive in the legacy planning area.  


  • Consistent legacy and gift planning activity with our onsite consultant.
  • Values-based legacy and gift planning discussions with board members, committee members, physicians, and other loyal donors.  
  • Disclosed and documented gifts for your organization.
  • Tell legacy donors’ stories, which would encourage other donors to follow their lead. 
  • Properly thank and steward legacy donors during their lifetime.
  • Increase your planned and blended gift knowledge through training.
  • Multi-channel marketing plan.
  • Facilitate gift acceptance policies and procedures.

Importantly, you could start or add members to your legacy society, annually.

Client Examples Include:


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