As a Community Action Agency, SNAP is a part of a network of over 1,000 agencies nationwide that are reaching children and families in 99% of America's communities with life-changing services. May is Community Action Month, and to celebrate, we are focusing our campaign on growing our endowment. A substantial endowment allows SNAP to be prepared, gives us the opportunity to innovate with new programs or respond to crises, and provides much needed financial reserves for the future of our work in the community. We want to continue to put funds into our endowment for long-term growth and stability – much like we help clients invest in their personal futures, SNAP wants to be sure we invest in our own.
Approximately 97 percent of SNAP's overall budget consists of "restricted" funds, meaning those monies are specifically designated to a certain program or service. When a crisis like the November 2015 windstorm hits, we relied on flexible funds in order to respond. When funding for a program like Essential Home Repair suffers drastic losses in funding as it has in the past, we want to be resilient enough to respond with a wheelchair ramp, a new furnace, important electrical repairs, or other homeowner needs.
Having a substantial endowment will help SNAP remain solvent in the present and prepared for the future. We want to have the opportunity to innovate with housing or with new programs like Spokane Ride to Care, which helps reduce ER visits and unnecessary ambulance transportation and Youth Transitional Housing which provides safe and secure dwellings to at-risk youth between 18 and 24. We'd much rather go to our supporters for resiliency funds now than for bailout funds in the future.