May 18, 2009, The Washington Post — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reduced charitable giving by more than 40 percent from 2006 to 2008 and focused it more sharply on housing-related issues, leaving some local nonprofits without a major source of funding.
Today, Fannie Mae announced the results of the 2008 Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Program. The Program raised a total of $5.6 million to benefit 164 Washington metropolitan area homeless service providers, which provide safe, decent housing and social services to assist homeless families and individuals in the region. The funds were raised through the Help the Homeless Walkathon, more than 630 community mini-walks, sponsor contributions, and other related activities.
Over the past few years, Washington, D.C., has witnessed two explosive nonprofit scandals. In 2005, the board of American University received a letter from an anonymous whistle-blower alleging that the university’s president, Ben Ladner, was abusing his university expense account. A subsequent audit found that Ladner had indeed spent more than $500,000 of university funds on lavish personal expenses, including a $5,000 vacation in London and a $15,000 engagement party for his son. Already concerned about Ladner’s compensation—which was higher than those of all Ivy League college presidents—the board split over whether to reduce Ladner’s pay. The fracas filled newspaper gossip columns for months, sparked a congressional inquiry, and eventually led to Ladner’s termination. The board then required two years to rebuild itself and to name a new president.