Three Things to Know About the New Breeze Foundation's Boston Area Grantmaking

Robert and Karen Hale recently came onto our radar with their large $20 million gift to Hale's alma mater, Connecticut College, a gift which is exceptional for the couple both in terms of size (it appears to be the largest gift the Hales have ever given) and its location. In fact, after some digging, we found out that the Hales have a charity called the New Breeze Foundation, which focuses its grantmaking not in Connecticut but in the Boston area.

The 49-year old Robert Hale has been on the rise in recent years as president and CEO of Quincy,Massachussetts based Granite Telecommunications, which last year hit revenue of $1 billion. The company was created just a short time ago in 2002 by Hale and his late father, Robert Hale Sr. The Hales live and work in the Boston area where the New Breeze Foundation gave away a little under $550,000 in 2013. In past years, though, grantmaking has exceeded $1 million. 

Unfortunately, the foundation doesn't have much of a web presence, or a clear way to get in touch, but here are a few must knows:

1. Health, Particularly Cancer Research, Is A Priority

The late Robert Hale Sr. passed away from cancer in 2008. In life, Robert Sr. and his wife Judy started the Robert T. and Judith B. Hale Fund for Pancreatic Cancer at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Hale and Karen, meanwhile, through New Breeze, have steadily supported Dana Farber, with a $103,000 grant in 2013, and a $70,000 grant in 2011. Money has also gone to Brigham & Women's Hospital, where Hale sits on the board. More than $630,000 went to the hospital in 2012, and $500,000 each went there in 2011 and in 2010. Support has also gone to Boston Children's Hospital, where Hale sits on the board, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and Martha's Vineyard Hospital, among others. Granite's charitable arm has also supported Dana Farber and other Boston-area health outfits.

2. Support Has Also Gone to Human Services

A steady stream of money has gone to South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Hingham Food Pantry, Hingham Sports Pantry, and Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, which supports children in need. Funds have also gone to Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund, which provides "educational assistance grants to the children of Massachusetts Servicemembers who were killed while deployed on Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom." $250,000 alone went to the fund in 2013. Money has also gone to One Boston Fund, which helps those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.

3. Assorted Sums Have Gone Elsewhere

Grantmaking has also involved the environment, with recent money going to Westport Land Conservation, and religious institutions, with funds going to Hingham Congregational Church, and Acoaxet Chapel in Westport. New Breeze Foundation has also supported education, with a large $1.26 million gift going to Deerfield Academy in 2011, and steady support going to Thayer Academy in Braintree. This grantmaking hasn't really involved Boston-proper, at least of late.

Related: New Breeze Foundation: Boston Area Grants