QUINCY — From domestic violence organizations to childhood cancer, hospice care and more, the billionaire owner of Quincy-based Granite Telecommunications and his wife turned their philanthropic efforts to small, local nonprofits this year.
Over the past 40 weeks and the next 12 this year, Rob Hale and his wife Karen have donated $1 million to local nonprofits committed to doing good on the South Shore and beyond.
“We think all of these organizations are great, they have an impact on the community, but they’re pretty small,” Hale said. “In most cases they don’t have a staffing, so it’s our attempt to set them up for long-term success.”
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Hale said organizations should be able to invest the million dollars and withdraw at least 5% – $50,000 – per year in perpetuity.
“It gives them a more stable future and gives them the ability to say, ‘OK, we know where the money is coming from and we can focus on doing great work,'” Hale said.
South Shore organizations gifted so far include empowerHER in Cohasset, New England Wild Life Center in Weymouth, Norwell Visiting Nurse and Hospice, Dove Inc. in Quincy, Kerry Jon Walker Fund in Hull, Quincy’s This Star Wont Go Out, the Jett Foundation of Plymouth, Boys and Girls Clubs, South Shore Stars, Friendship Home in Norwell and Hingham Congregational Church
This weekend, Forbes honored Hale’s year-long project with an article and a cover story. He was named this year to Forbes’ list of global billionaires in April and on Friday was ranked the 202nd richest American with a net worth of $5 billion.
Hale, from North Andover, founded Granite Telecommunications in Quincy in 2002, less than six months after his former company, Network Plus, filed for bankruptcy. When Network Plus went public, Forbes named Hale the 7th richest person in the world under the age of 40. Shortly after, the company went bankrupt. Hale calls this failure a defining moment in his life and career.
Today, Granite is a $1.5 billion company that provides voice, data and other communications services to more than two-thirds of America’s 100 largest companies. Granite was recognized for the fifth time this year in Forbes’ annual ranking of America’s Best Employers, was included in the publication’s list of Best Diversity Employers, and has for years been ranked in the top three most diverse companies. of the Boston Business Journal in Massachusetts. .
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Hale is known nationwide for his philanthropy, specifically related to cancer research organizations. Her company hosts the annual “Saving by Shaving” fundraising event for employees, which raises millions for Dana Farber each year. The Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research was established in 2016, and Forbes credits Hale with donating more than $259 million to cancer research, educational institutions, and other charitable causes.
The Quincy Center South Shore YMCA was renamed in August in honor of Rob and Karen Hale, both longtime donors. Karen Hale is also a former board member of the nonprofit. The couple recently donated $3 million to the Quincy Y, bringing their total donations to the branch to around $5 million. They also made donations to other branches of the YMCA de la Rive-Sud.
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Contact Mary Whitfill at [email protected]