Peter Congleton

Senior Consulting Associate

Pete brings more than twenty-five years of successful fundraising management experience in healthcare and academic institutions to Heaton Smith’s team.  He has built planned giving programs from initiation and rebuilt programs that had been previously neglected.  Pete has managed portfolios of donors and prospects, collaborated with annual and major gift officers, led a team of gift planners at a large university, planned and participated in campaigns, and created successful outcomes for a wide variety of gift planning scenarios.


Director of Planned Giving, Hartford Hospital

  • Designed, wrote, and implemented a unique, customized planned giving website that fully integrated with the Hartford Hospital Philanthropy Department website and saved thousands of budget dollars per year.
  • Identified all DAF and QCD donors within the database for use in targeted marketing, significantly increasing the number of gifts and total revenue from this segment of the constituency.

Director of Planned Giving, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science & Art

  • Formed and recruited a team of alumni patent attorneys, software professionals, and other experts, to transfer, register, analyze, and facilitate the gift of high-value intellectual property from an alumnus inventor.
  • Created and led a challenge fund initiative in response to a $4.4 million bequest that generated an additional $4 million in the form of 1,126 new or increased donations.

Director of Gift Planning, Virginia Tech

  • Proposed, negotiated, consulted, or closed on $15.8 million of planned gifts while leading a team of gift planners at Virginia Tech.
  • Provided expert consultation to the Virginia Tech Foundation on the feasibility, due diligence, and mechanics involved with accepting a proposed $1 million gift of Bit Coin virtual currency.

Director of Planned Giving, University of Hartford

  • Re-energized University of Hartford’s planned giving program over 9 fiscal years. Led the program to set new records for legacy membership recruitment and dollars raised.

Director of Planned Giving, Groton School

  • Initiated Groton School’s first formal planned giving program and led gift planning initiatives for 11 fiscal years.
  • Contributed significantly toward planning and completion of The Campaign for Groton, a five-year capital campaign that exceeded its $103 million goal by nearly $6 million.
  • Added 310 new legacy society members and identified $52 million in future expectancies.

Pete has a proven track record as a strategic thinker and thoughtful leader who comfortably combines his technical knowledge with an effective and personable communication style.

His volunteer leadership and memberships include Western Massachusetts Veterans Treatment Court Mentors, Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York (PPGGNY), The Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, Gift of Hearing Foundation, Planned Giving Group of New England (PGGNE), Planned Giving Group of Connecticut (PGGCT), the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, and the American Council on Gift Annuities.

A graduate of Groton School and Wesleyan University, Pete served twelve years on Active Duty as a Naval Aviator (helicopters) and a Naval Reservist before embarking on his career as a philanthropic fundraiser.




Combat the Effects of High Inflation on Donors’ 2023 Giving

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