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D.C. has big donation void to fill

Signs at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac buildings

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a certain reputation now after what's happened in the mortgage market. But in Washington, they're also beloved for their contributions to nonprofits. Could be a big void to fill right now. Here's Rachel Dornhelm.


Rachel Dornhelm: Hope and a Home provides housing to homeless families. It's just the kind of D.C. organization that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac always supported. Executive Director Dan Hall says those donors count.

Dan Hall: Combined between both Freddie and Fannie, that's about a little over $200,000 and representing about 25 percent of our annual, you know, fundraising revenue.

Now, he says, the largesse is in question.

Hall: At 3 o'clock in the morning, I wake up occasionally thinking OK, what can I do, you know, what strategies can I look at and work on to bring in the money.

The mortgage financers handed out about $42 million a year to D.C. nonprofits. Chronicle of Philanthropy editor Stacy Palmer says it was critical, because D.C. is a government town without a lot of local corporate donors.

Stacy Palmer: So charities really have to look hard to find major benefactors, and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were among the biggest.

Of course, now they are a part of the government. Local nonprofits have started lobbying the Federal Housing Finance Agency to continue Fannie and Freddie's donations.

I'm Rachel Dornhelm for Marketplace.

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