Bequest Giving at Northwest Harvest

Current and bequest gifts are the backbone of support at Northwest Harvest, ensuring we can serve our statewide network of 375 partner programs with nutritious food. This past year we’ve experienced the largest level ever of bequest gifts. These bequests ranged from several thousand dollars up to the $6 million endowment gift by long-time donor Floyd Jones.

How donors choose to fund their current giving and bequests provides clues to how giving is evolving. Here, we provide an overview of trends:

Current Year Giving

Cash and stock gifts continue to be favorites for current year giving. But for those who have reached 70 1⁄2 years of age and have a Traditional IRA, there are tax savings to be had using the IRA Charitable Rollover. At 70 1⁄2 you face an annual Required Minimum Distribution which adds to your taxable income. The IRA charitable rollover allows taxpayers age 70 1⁄2 or older to make tax-free charitable gifts from these accounts to eligible charities, such as Northwest Harvest.


Most bequests have come through wills or trusts. But increasingly, for income tax savings, Traditional IRA’s are a favorite of savvy donors for legacy giving. By naming Northwest Harvest as a percentage beneficiary of a Traditional IRA, the donor ensures that we will benefit from an income tax-free gift from your estate. Left to an heir, that same gift would be taxable to the heir as income.


While almost all bequests are unrestricted and used immediately in support of our statewide food banks and healthy meal distributions, the Floyd and Dolores Jones Endowment gift of $6 million led us to established guidelines for a Northwest Harvest Endowment.

If you have named Northwest Harvest in your estate plans or to get additional information about legacy gifts, please contact Anne S. Knapp, Northwest Harvest’s Senior Planned Giving Officer, at 206.390.6094 or 206.390.6094.