Freddie and Fannie slow down on giving

May 18, 2009 at 10:37 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 18 (UPI) -- Two giant U.S. mortgage brokers in Washington reported sharp declines in charity donations since the financial crisis swept them into government control.

The government seized control of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. and the Federal National Mortgage Association in September.

Charity donations from the two -- Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae -- dropped from $83.5 million in 2006 to $47 million in 2008, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The two government-sponsored enterprises said they expected to maintain the level of donations this year that they made in 2008. But combined donations for the first quarter were only $4.5 million, the newspaper said.

"We remain committed to the community and supporting stable homes and neighborhoods, but it's a reflection of the economy and our status," Freddie Mac spokesman Doug Duvall said.

Washington area non-profit groups have felt the pressure as the two important sources of funding have declined.

"It makes me a little nervous to say the least," said Linda Dunphy, executive director at Doorways, a non-profit firm that supports women and families.

As donations diminish, "what we see is a number of non-profits that are struggling and trying to determine how they're going to support the important work they're doing," said Tamara Lucas Copeland, president of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.

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