This Foundation Is One of the Best-Kept Secrets in Boston

The Aquidneck Foundation is one of the best-kept secrets in Boston. Despite large gifts to major institutions around the city, Aquidneck keeps an incredibly low profile. The foundation recently awarded a $100,000 unrestricted contribution for general operating support to Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. However, if you search for information about Aquidneck, the majority of your results will be little more than standardized tax records. (See IP's Grants for Hospitals and Health Centers.)

Aquidneck is a Boston-based independent trust foundation that is in care of Goldman Sachs and has nearly $5 million in assets. Stephen B. Kay, senior director of Goldman Sachs, is the man behind the curtain. Kay serves on the boards of directors of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and a tennis academy for inner city youth called Tenacity.

The Aquidneck Foundation also awarded grants recently to nature programs at Mass Audubon and to the Whittier Street Health Center. As a longtime Harvard University supporter, Kay established a professorship in epidemiology to boost material and infant health. While Aquidneck is far from transparent, it's apparent that the foundation's primary focus area is health care. Aquidneck's grant to Beth Deacon will likely help fund the medical center's biomedical research, patient services, and infrastructure developments. Aquidneck's other obvious focus area is youth education, with awards of $50,000 to Brandeis University and $25,000 to Tenacity.

The Aquidneck Foundation doesn't have a website, and no contact information is made available to the public. Your best bet to team up with this very private foundation is to contact Stephen Kay and Goldman Sachs directly. Give the foundation a call at 617-204-2015 and schedule a visit to the headquarters at 125 High Street, Suite 1700, in Boston. While Aquidneck seems less accessible than some other foundations in the city, you might be rewarded by a lack of competition if you catch Stephen Kay's attention.