Fannie Mae Foundation

Fannie Mae Foundation


* Assets: $0 (2009)
* Grants Received: $0 (2009)
* Grants Awarded: $162,364 (2009)

The Federal government established Fannie Mae in 1938 in an effort to expand the flow of mortgage money by creating a secondary mortgage market. In 1968, Fannie Mae became a private company operating with private capital on a self-sustaining basis. In 1979, its Executive Committee established the Fannie Mae Foundation with a $600,000 seed endowment for the purpose of making charitable contributions aimed at improving the quality of life for the people of Fannie Mae’s hometown, Washington, DC. The Foundation’s focus was on expanding home ownership, “especially for low-income and minority families.” The Foundation reported that as of early 2005, it had provided more than 15 million people with free, step-by-step home-buying information to help them achieve the American dream of home ownership.”

The Fannie Mae Foundation offered home-buying guides that outlined the basics of purchasing and maintaining a home, borrowing money, and choosing the best mortgages. One such publication, titled the New Americans Guide, provided information on the home-buying process for immigrants in America. The Foundation also provided homeownership education programs to help what it called “underserved populations” gain access to affordable housing.

In a joint venture with the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Fannie Mae Foundation Fellowship Program annually sponsored up to 35 fellowships for elected and appointed officials. These were three-week training programs taught by Kennedy School faculty and geared toward people interested in promoting affordable housing in the United States. Between 1995 and 2005, nearly 250 local and state officials were chosen for such fellowships.

Each year the Fannie Mae Foundation hosted a Help the Homeless Walkathon, which in 2005 raised a record-breaking $7.8 million to benefit 178 Washington-area homeless service providers. Between 1988 and 2005, the annual Walkathons brought in more than $54.5 million.

Apart from the aforementioned projects, the Fannie Mae Foundation was also an important funder of leftist groups and causes. Among the recipients of Fannie Mae philanthropy were: the Alliance for Justice; the American Civil Liberties Union Fund of the National Capital Area; the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN); the Brookings Institution; the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; the Center for Community Change; the Children’s Defense Fund; Demos; the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (at least $600,000 between 1989 and 2007); the Greenlining Institute; the Institute for Policy Studies; the International Human Rights Law Group; the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund; the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund; the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy; the National Council of La Raza; the National Immigration Forum; the National Organization for Women Legal Defense and Education Fund; the National Urban League; the National Women’s Law Center; Planned Parenthood; the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; the Tides Center and the Tides Foundation; and the Urban Institute.

To view a list of additional noteworthy grantees of the Fannie Mae Foundation, click here.

The Fannie Mae Foundation closed down the bulk of its operations in April 2007. By 2009, it was entirely defunct.

(Information on grantees and monetary amounts courtesy of The Foundation Center, GuideStar, ActivistCash, the Capital Research Center and Undue Influence)

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