About Us

You want to secure more planned gifts. And, you want legacy discussions with donors to be
donor-centric and values-based.

At Heaton Smith, we partner with nonprofits to help them close the gap between their donors’ desire and capacity to give to heirs and to charity. Through our proven values-based legacy planning model, donors make important decisions regarding when and how they will support their heirs’ journeys and nonprofits most important to them. Values-based planning discussions often lead donors to make more significant and meaningful estate and blended gifts to nonprofit clients – what donors consider their ultimate gift.

Our clients include nonprofit organizations in five arenas:  healthcare and academic medicine, higher education, arts and culture, religion, and independent schools, and we serve clients across the United States.

Heaton Smith team members have led programs and development offices at some of the nation’s most esteemed nonprofit institutions such as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Duke Medicine, Harvard Endowment, and the Lucille Packard Foundation for Children’s Healthcare.

We will never sell products or services to your donors.

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: