A Legacy for the Future – Planned Giving Strengthen’s SNAP’s Foundation

Margaret Hinnenkamp lived a humble, frugal life, making it a point to attend church and volunteer once a week at Trinity School Cafeteria in Spokane. 

Cara Weipert remembers her chats with Margaret over coffee and cookies after services at St. Anthony’s Parish on North Cedar Street. At the

time, Cara worked at SNAP Financial Access and Margaret would inquire about what was happening at the agency.  

“I could tell she appreciated what we were doing, the whole idea of helping people achieve stability,” Cara recalls. “I let her know about other SNAP programs too and she was very positive about it.”

Margaret contributed two donations to SNAP totaling $200 before she passed away in 2014 at the age of 89. Later that year, SNAP was informed that it was the beneficiary of a $300,000 gift Margaret had left in her estate plan.

“I was stunned,” Cara recalls. “She never talked about money. She was just a sweet, caring person who wanted to help others.”

SNAP was among several local nonprofits to receive generous reinforcement from Margaret through her legacy of community support. Margaret’s obituary noted that she “gave generously to numerous charities over many years, quietly and with little fanfare.”

While events like the upcoming Ode to Opportunity lunch, quarterly appeals and online giving are critical to SNAP’s ongoing sustainability, fundraising tools like planned giving and an endowment through the Innovia Foundation set the stage for how SNAP will be equipped to serve our neighbors in the future.

In 2017, SNAP formed a Planned Giving Advisory Council, consisting of estate planning attorneys, financial advisors and specialists in the field of planned giving as a way to raise awareness and develop consistent messaging about this important funding mechanism.

Tom Ahern, a nationally prominent author and speaker on donor communications, says the majority of estate gifts come from people like Margaret.

“Most charitable bequests originate from middle-class households,” he said. “For those households, a bequest will typically be the largest single gift ever made.”

Mary spent years as a SNAP volunteer, donating time at outreach events and representing the agency as an ambassador. When it came time to organize her estate plan, Mary included SNAP as a beneficiary.

“I know that SNAP will put my donation to good use when it comes their way,” she said. “I feel good knowing that I will be able to help my less fortunate neighbors in some way when I eventually pass on. I’ve seen first-hand the way lives have changed and families have rebuilt foundations. In my small way, I imagined my gift to SNAP would carry on that legacy.”

Sometimes, a bequest comes in a unique form. In 2017, Spokane resident Eric informed SNAP that he would be leaving his longtime home in the Garland area to the agency. 

“I first learned of SNAP in the mid-1970s while working on developing the city community centers and was impressed with the scope of its efforts to help the less fortunate get back on their feet,” Eric said. “SNAP’s work has only gotten broader since then. They can sell the house and apply the money to whatever is needed most helping people get back on their feet and be self-sufficient.”

To learn more about planned giving for SNAP, visit https://snapwa.org/planned-giving or contact SNAP’s Legacy Manager Mariah McConnaughey at mcconnaughey@snapwa.org or 509-319-3012.