- Assets: $90,573,437 (2012)
- Grants Received: $0 (2012)
- Grants Awarded: $22,429,124 (2012)
- Was shut down in 2016
The Freddie Mac Foundation (FMF) was the grant-making arm of the Freddie Mac Corporation, a shareholder-owned entity that was chartered by Congress in 1970 to create a continuous flow of funds to mortgage lenders, and “[to make] the American dream of decent, accessible housing a reality” for people who might otherwise be unable to obtain home mortgages. Toward that end, the corporation purchases mortgages from lenders, and then packages those mortgages into securities that are sold to investors. In 1991 the Freddie Mac Corporation established FMF as a philanthropy that would award grants to recipients in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, where the corporation’s headquarters were located. The Foundation also gave large sums of money to organizations based in the cities where Freddie Mac’s corporate regional offices were situated.
FMF viewed the social and economic struggles afflicting low-income minorities as problems that could be ameliorated by taxpayer-funded social programs targeting what the Foundation called “at-risk” populations. Thus FMF contributed heavily to childcare facilities; “parenting support [and] child enrichment” services; “home-visiting and support services to parents … at risk for child abuse and neglect”; programs designed “to help prevent at-risk youth … from entering the juvenile justice system”; and initiatives to “reach out to families to offer support at birth or before.”
In 1997 the Capital Research Center, which examines the political leanings of advocacy organizations and charitable foundations, rated FMF as being slightly to the left of “Liberal” — assigning the Foundation a score of 2.85 on an 8-point scale, where 1 represented the far left extreme of the political spectrum, and 8 signified the pro-free-market right end of the spectrum.
Among Freddie Mac’s more noteworthy grantees were: the Alliance for Justice; the American Bar Association; the Carter Center; the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; the Children’s Defense Fund; the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights; the NAACP; the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy; the National Council of La Raza; National Public Radio; the National Urban League; and Planned Parenthood.
Additional key recipients of FMF funding included:
- the Healthy Families America program, alternately called the Prevent Child Abuse America program, which provided intensive home visits by counselors and instructors to help first-time parents deal with the stresses of childrearing;
- the Wednesday’s Child USA program, a national campaign to find adoptive homes for children in foster care;
- the Washington, DC-based JC Nalle Community School, which provided students with math and English tutoring, physical and mental health care, social services, summer programs, and cultural and recreational activities.
To view a list of more FMF grantees, click here.
In September 2011, FMF announced that it was planning to spend its assets down to zero by early 2015. In May 2013, however, the Foundation stated that its closure would be carried out in a more gradual manner than previously anticipated, so as to soften the impact that its grantees would feel. “Beginning next year and lasting through 2016,” reported the Daily Wrag (the official blog of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers), “the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region will administer[FMF’s] remaining grants.”
Further Reading: “Company Overview“; “Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae Donations Disappearing, Study Predicts” (Washington Post, 1-2-2011); “Celebrating the Successful Transition of the Freddie Mac Foundation” (Daily Wrag, 5-8-2013).