A Vision for Planned Giving

One of the most fun things about partnering with ministries in the areas of marketing and fundraising is that — even after 26 years — we still have opportunities to learn and pioneer.

We started out helping you with direct mail services, expanded into radio and print, added exceptional analytics capabilities, built out a top-flight digital team, and added brand strategy expertise. None of these have been attempts to be the proverbial “one-stop shop.” Too often, “one-stop shop” is code for “jack of all trades, master of none.” We never want to expand services unless we can be a “master” in that strategy.

For years, we’ve integrated planned giving as a component of what we do for clients. But for the past year, we’ve been working hard to develop a full-fledged program that leverages the best of direct marketing to drive maximum impact in planned giving. We weren’t going to announce it until we knew it was excellent.

Well … it’s excellent.

That excellence starts with our strategic partners: Mike Buwalda and Barnabas Foundation.


Mike brings subject matter expertise in mass donor engagement for planned giving, having very successfully innovated in the areas of donor messaging and trigger-based communications strategies. In fact, a client recently split-tested Mike’s messaging versus a well-known planned giving vendor. Mike’s messaging generated TEN TIMES more new planned giving donors. The reason? Mike understands the heart of the donor. Their motivations are so much different than many self-proclaimed experts seem to grasp.

Speaking of heart and motivation, Barnabas Foundation is a provider of planned giving services with a wonderful dedication to the Kingdom and a 40-year track record. Their goal is to help believers grow in understanding and living out Christian stewardship. They do this by providing top-quality estate planning and planned giving services to individuals and families of all life stages and wealth levels.

You already know Masterworks’ heartbeat. We exist to help ministries inspire and engage people in what God is doing in the world through the giving of their time, talent and treasure. Our expertise is understanding the heart of the ministry and communicating in the most effective way with the ministry’s constituents. In Mike Buwalda and Barnabas Foundation, we see a perfect match of motivation, mission and mindset.

And we see a perfectly complementary relationship. We are already helping clients reach new and existing donors and volunteers, to strengthen and grow Kingdom-minded ministries. Bolting on a traditional planned giving vendor provides nothing like the strategic integration needed to effectively attract and grow a special community of legacy givers. We not only integrate Mike’s messaging and Barnabas Foundation’s fulfillment services with our clients’ overall marketing and fundraising strategy, we bring our analytics expertise to the table to ensure that we identify the right prospects. And we don’t stop with recruitment; we work to ensure that our clients keep communicating, at the right level, with these wonderful donors as their later life stages require them to pull back on annual giving.

So there’s your announcement. Masterworks + Mike Buwalda + Barnabas Foundation. We’re ready.

Are you? If so, let’s talk! Email me at athornburgh@masterworks.agency or give me a call at 360.731.0417 so we can talk about your vision for planned giving and see if our solution might be a good fit.